Insight on the Middle East from an unusual data point

The indispensable Walter Russell Mead notes that a recent story about a mansion for sale in London's Hyde Park explains a great deal about both anger on the streets in the Middle East and the absence of easy solutions for bringing modern economic and social development to the region. According to CNBC The 45-bedroom, seven-storey building runs from 2-8A Rutland Gate and covers an area of 60,000 sq ft - slightly smaller than the playing surface of a Premier League football pitch. The property, built as four separate family houses, was owned by Mr. Hariri until his assassination in 2005. After his death, the building was made over as a gift to Sultan bin Abdulaziz, crown prince of Saudi Arabia who died in October. Mr. Harari had close business ties with the prince's family. The property has a large swimming pool, an industrial-sized kitchen, several lifts and underground parking. Its internal decor is rumored to contain millions of pounds worth of gold leaf. The windows in the house,...(Read Full Post)