Yemen: Sweet Spot

The scent of the food that wafts from Mat’am Souriya (Syria’s Restaurant) attracts passersby in Hada Street in the middle of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, where Sobhi Al Marei and his colleagues are hard at work, crafting delicious meals. When the Syrian war became unbearable in Aleppo, Marei decided to shut shop and head… Continue reading Yemen: Sweet Spot

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Pakistan: The Shame Of It All

The medieval practice of honor killing is defined as “the murder of a family member, usually a female, who is perceived to have brought dishonor and shame on their family.” In the majority of cases, an honor killing is not only justified as such by the perpetrators, but also by their families and communities. As… Continue reading Pakistan: The Shame Of It All

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Saudi’s Social Contract

2015 was a seminal year in the history of Saudi Arabia. Not only did it mark the passing of King Abdullah who had been de facto monarch since 1995 and the ascension to the throne of his brother Salman, it also ushered in a new era of a more assertive foreign policy and a more… Continue reading Saudi’s Social Contract

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Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well. The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum… Continue reading Palestine: The Road Ahead

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Into the Valley of Death

AFTER weeks of hand-wringing and heated debate, the United Kingdom has now joined the coalition in extended military actions in Syria. So far the impact has been fairly limited. U.K. bombs have only fallen on isolated Daesh-controlled oil fields in eastern Syria. But make no mistake, London has also committed to using its military resources… Continue reading Into the Valley of Death

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Forever Frenemies

In the imperilled world of India-Pakistan relations, things can change drastically very quickly, while ultimately staying the same. In the final week of 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled stop to Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the first such visit by an Indian leader in 11 years, and… Continue reading Forever Frenemies

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Travesty of Justice

On January 6, 2016, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami, the leader of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami became the fifth opposition politician to be sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for alleged war crimes committed during the 1971 liberation war. However, with three executions last year for war crimes—two on the same day—the death sentence failed to… Continue reading Travesty of Justice

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The Pursuit of Justice

Israel’s ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and enforced siege on Gaza Strip, with its illegal policies from land colonization and settlements to blockade and collective punishment, has led to mounting frustration with the country’s conduct in political circles internationally. At the level of civil society in particular, this anger has found expression in… Continue reading The Pursuit of Justice

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Israel-Palestine: The Unattainable Peace

October 2015 was one of the bloodiest months in Palestine/Israel since the Second Intifada, with 69 Palestinian fatalities (including some 40 attackers or alleged attackers) and 7,392 injuries, along with eight Israeli fatalities and 115 injuries. The number of Palestinians injured mainly during anti-occupation protests across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was more than… Continue reading Israel-Palestine: The Unattainable Peace

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The Ground Beneath Their Feet

On Nov. 12, as Kurdish and Yazidi forces backed by the U.S.-led military coalition and Iraqi air force attempted to retake the northern city of Sinjar from Islamic militants, violence erupted between two traditional Iraqi allies in Tuz Khurmato, 108 miles north of Baghdad. Over four days of clashes in the city, militants affiliated with… Continue reading The Ground Beneath Their Feet

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Pressing Matters: Media Coverage and the Arab Gulf States

Over the past few years Western media’s negative coverage of the Arab Gulf states has increased so much that it is starting to look more like a rite of passage for some journalists and news organisations. Meanwhile, what’s notable is that most Western media outlets have softened their tone when reporting on Iran. For instance,… Continue reading Pressing Matters: Media Coverage and the Arab Gulf States

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Palestine: A Third Intifada?

It was just after midday on Oct. 5, 13-year-old Abd Al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah was standing with friends in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Young Palestinians had been throwing stones at the Israeli occupation forces stationed nearby when, without warning, a soldier fired two live bullets. Abd Al-Rahman was struck in the chest. An hour later,… Continue reading Palestine: A Third Intifada?

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