Growing up, I had always thought Lebanon was the smallest among the Arab states. It was actually Bahrain that was the tiniest. At the time, the word "Gulf States" meant, to me, vast gold-plated empires.
Ali Hashem is an Arab journalist who is serving now as Almayadeen news network's chief correspondent. Until March 2012, Ali was Al-Jazeera's war correspondent, and before that was a senior journalist at the BBC. Ali wrote for several Arab newspapers, including Lebanese daily Assafir, Egyptian dailies Almasry Alyoum and Aldostor, Jordanian Alghad, he also contributed to the Guardian.