Bringing ‘banned’ street art to Dubai’s gleaming walls

First published on CNN International on June 2, 2016. By Jon Jensen DUBAI – It boasts the Guinness world record for hosting the longest graffiti scroll in the world — but unlike other major metropolises, don’t expect to see much street art in Dubai. That’s because graffiti is illegal in the United Arab Emirates. Aside from dust … Read More

Is this the world’s ugliest sports car?

Qatar’s first homegrown supercar feels the heat for its distinctive design. Jon Jensen reports. First aired on CNN International on February 8, 2016. By Jon Jensen, CNN and Thomas Page, for CNN ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Luxury sports cars are a common sight on the streets of wealthy Gulf states. It’s not uncommon to drive alongside … Read More

Brave Emiratis Take on Steep Dunes

Story first aired on CNN International on February 10, 2014: LIWA OASIS, United Arab Emirates – If you think drag racing is extreme, you should try doing it uphill and on sand. Dune bashing is an action-packed motorsport popular in the Gulf, enjoyed by both local Emiratis and foreign tourists alike. It is not for the fainthearted and accidents are … Read More

The ‘king of Arabian instruments’

Story first aired on CNN International on June 11, 2012 (written by Jon Jensen & Aroub Abdelhaq & Rima Maktabi): CAIRO, Egypt – Ibrahim Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Azeem is one of the last traditional craftsmen in Egypt making the oud, the guitar-like instrument heard in so much Arabic music. He is one of only six or seven oud makers still … Read More

Can jumping spiders kill in space?

Story originally published on June 7, 2012 by CNN (by Jon Jensen & Rima Maktabi & Catriona Davies):  ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – Can jumping spiders still hunt for their prey in space? It may sound like science fiction or the start of a bad joke, but this is an experiment that will be carried out on the International Space … Read More

The making of a martyr: truth or legend?

  Story originally published on May 16, 2011 by Global Post: SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia – It was the slap heard around the world. When Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old fruit vendor from central Tunisia, was slapped by a female police officer on Dec. 17 last year, his pain was felt by millions of Arabs across North Africa and the … Read More

Tunisia’s Jews ponder modern-day exodus

Story originally published on April 19, 2011 by Global Post: DJERBA, Tunisia — As Jews around the world celebrate the Passover holiday this week, which commemorates the Biblical migration of the Israelites from ancient Egypt, some in Tunisia’s Jewish minority are considering their own modern-day exodus. In the three months since the ouster of former strongman … Read More

Behind Egypt’s Revolution: Youth and the Internet

Story originally published on February 13, 2011 by Global Post: CAIRO, Egypt — Abdel Rahman Faris never saw it coming. When the news of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation reached Faris’ tent in Tahrir Square on Friday, the 30-year-old blogger, along with tens of thousands around him, erupted in jubilation. Faris was one of several youth activists … Read More

Real-life ‘Jaws’ terrorizes Egypt coast

  Story originally published by Global Post on December 7, 2010: SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — The balmy winter morning started like every other for Foad el-Gharib — with a quick dip in the warm, turquoise-blue water of the Red Sea outside his resort home in Coral Bay. But something did not seem right. Just before diving into the … Read More