Keyword: Paris-Dakar

The Paris-Dakar car rally gets lost in the sands of Saudi propaganda

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Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS Preparations for the Paris-Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on January 2nd 2020. © REUTERS

The Paris-Dakar Rally, often now known simply as the Dakar Rally or Dakar, has been held most years since 1979, and this rally through desert sands is one of the most high-profile motor sports events on the planet. The 2020 rally, which began on Sunday January 5th, is taking place for the first time in Saudi Arabia. Mediapart's Middle East correspondent René Backmann argues in this opinion article that underneath the media din and razzmatazz, the event is nothing more than a PR exercise by the Saudi regime to persuade people to forget its despotic, fundamentalist and brutal nature, as well as the scale of its crimes.