Top Gun

When Zaha Hadid died, the world bemoaned a visionary talent. Who was there to replace her? Architecture is a notoriously difficult space in which to make a mark; it took many years before one of her designs was realized. And an architect that can marry the designs of the east and the west—yet still find… Continue reading Top Gun

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Sri Lanka’s Torrential Rains Drive More Than 130,000 from Homes

COLOMBO, May 17 – Flash floods and landslides in Sri Lanka, triggered by more than three days of heavy rain, have forced more than 130,000 people from their homes and killed at least 11, disaster officials said on Tuesday. Troops have launched rescue operations in inundated areas of the Indian Ocean island, with boats and… Continue reading Sri Lanka’s Torrential Rains Drive More Than 130,000 from Homes

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Iraqi Leader Says Political Crisis Helps Daesh Attack

BAGHDAD, May 15 – A political crisis in Iraq is hampering the fight against Daesh, Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said on Saturday after some of the bloodiest attacks on Baghdad this year. Abadi’s government has been crippled for weeks since parties resisted a cabinet reshuffle aimed at fighting corruption. In a televised speech, he… Continue reading Iraqi Leader Says Political Crisis Helps Daesh Attack

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A Nation Of Their Own

When in the summer of 2012, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took over the town of Kobani and later other Kurdish-majority areas in northern Syria, few took the occurrence to be so consequential. It was in the midst of the Syrian uprising and the world’s focus was on the fight in major areas such as… Continue reading A Nation Of Their Own

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In Remote Corner of Iraq, An Unlikely Alliance Forms Against Daesh

UMM Al-DHIBAN, Iraq, May 11  – They share little more than an enemy and struggle to communicate on the battlefield, but together two relatively obscure groups have opened up a new front against Daesh militants in a remote corner of Iraq. The unlikely alliance between an offshoot of a leftist Kurdish organization and an Arab… Continue reading In Remote Corner of Iraq, An Unlikely Alliance Forms Against Daesh

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Our Man In London?

For a site that has served as a historical symbol of christian influence for over a thousand years, Southwark Cathedral in central London took on a new meaning this week. Standing next to a large table where Bishops offer sermons and couples sometimes exchange their marriage vows, a slight 5-foot 4-inch tall Asian man began… Continue reading Our Man In London?

Palestine: Childhood Lost

It took 12-year-old Dima Al Wawi’s parents some serious persuasion to get their daughter to talk. But even then, Dima would only utter a few hardly audible words that failed to form complete sentences at times. “She is still in shock from the experience she lived through during her arrest,” Dima’s mother, Sabha Al Wawi,… Continue reading Palestine: Childhood Lost

France: Rainbow Dreams

I was still at school when France’s so-called “Rainbow Team”—a collection of black, white and Arab footballers—won the World Cup in 1998. It was a time of immense optimism and hope for those of us living on the same kind of suburban estates that many of the players came from. We had a chance to… Continue reading France: Rainbow Dreams

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Yemen’s Mukalla Airport Reopens with Aid Flight After Qaeda Exit

ADEN, May 9 – The airport has reopened at the Yemeni coastal city of Mukalla which was recaptured by government and Emirati soldiers in April after a year-long occupation by Al Qaeda, local officials said. The first flight in on Sunday was a plane carrying relief supplies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the officials… Continue reading Yemen’s Mukalla Airport Reopens with Aid Flight After Qaeda Exit

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Burning The Midnight Oil

“You can’t run a business based on sympathies,” the controversial billionaire oil broker, Marc Rich once said. The business of oil is no different; it lubricates the region. And as the price of oil has taken a hit from a high last year of $115 a barrel to $50 a barrel, many are casting about… Continue reading Burning The Midnight Oil

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Aleppo Bombed as Syrian Army Begins “Calm” Plan Elsewhere

BEIRUT, May 1 – Nearly 30 air strikes hit rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday as a temporary “calm” declared by Syria’s military took effect around Damascus and in the northwest. It was the ninth day of deadly bombardments in Aleppo, which has borne the brunt of increased fighting that has all but destroyed a… Continue reading Aleppo Bombed as Syrian Army Begins “Calm” Plan Elsewhere

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U.K. Royal Kate Appears On Vogue’s 100th Anniversary Cover

LONDON, May 1 – The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, will appear on the cover of the 100th anniversary edition of the British version of fashion magazine Vogue, following in the path of her husband’s late mother, Princess Diana. Late on Saturday Vogue revealed the cover of its June edition on its website, which goes… Continue reading U.K. Royal Kate Appears On Vogue’s 100th Anniversary Cover

Davos: The Trials of Christine Lagarde

Some say Lagarde is concerned primarily with preserving the dominant capitalist system and bolstering the rich and powerful. There is probably no population in Europe less fond of Lagarde than the Greeks. Christine Lagarde, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is six months away from the end of her term as managing director of the trillion-dollar International… Continue reading Davos: The Trials of Christine Lagarde

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Yemen: Thirsty for Peace

It has been a year since the Saudi-led military campaign began in Yemen in an effort to return power to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and compromise the territorial gains made by the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency in the country. The escalation of the conflict, following the 2011 uprising, that toppled the regime of former President Ali… Continue reading Yemen: Thirsty for Peace

Saudi Reform Plans Court Social Change

RIYADH, April 27 – Reforms promised by a young Saudi prince are couched in references to the kingdom’s Islamic tradition but include ideas likely to upset some conservatives, risking future ruptures over the direction of society. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” plan, which the 31-year-old announced on Monday, largely aims to transform… Continue reading Saudi Reform Plans Court Social Change

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Syrian Rebels Re-enter From Turkey To Reinforce Trapped Insurgents

AMMAN, Feb 18 – At least 2,000 Syrian rebel fighters have re-entered the country from Turkey over the last week to reinforce insurgents fending off an assault by Syrian Kurdish-led militias, rebel sources said on Thursday. The rebel fighters, with weapons and vehicles, have been covertly escorted across the border by Turkish forces over several… Continue reading Syrian Rebels Re-enter From Turkey To Reinforce Trapped Insurgents

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Saudis, Russia Agree Oil Output Freeze, Iran Still Obstacle

DOHA, Feb 16  – Top oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday to freeze output levels but said the deal was contingent on other producers joining in—a major sticking point with Iran absent from the talks and determined to raise production. The Saudi, Russian, Qatari and Venezuelan oil ministers announced the proposal after… Continue reading Saudis, Russia Agree Oil Output Freeze, Iran Still Obstacle

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The Olympic Venues of Athens: A History of Refuge and Decay

Twelve years ago, Greece was triumphant; she was celebrating the return of the Olympic Games to Athens, the city where it all began. The once-gleaming Olympic venues hosted millions of spectators and thousands of athletes from all over the world, and the Greek economy was vibrant, at a peak. The freefall was yet to come.… Continue reading The Olympic Venues of Athens: A History of Refuge and Decay

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Canada: A Helping Hand

For Mohamad Fakih, everything changed after his visit to one of the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. “My heart was shattered when I saw what I saw in that camp,” the Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur tells Newsweek Middle East. “Children had no jackets; they were playing out in the cold without shoes,” he recalls. But Fakih wanted… Continue reading Canada: A Helping Hand

Turkish Police Detain Nearly 100 People Over Links to Cleric Gulen

ISTANBUL, April 18 – Turkish police detained nearly 100 people in an investigation of their alleged financial links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of President Tayyip Erdogan, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Monday. It said the police operation, focused on Istanbul, was launched across nine provinces and 88 people have so far… Continue reading Turkish Police Detain Nearly 100 People Over Links to Cleric Gulen

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Syrian Rebels Declare New Battle Against Government

BEIRUT, April 18 – Rebels launched a fierce attack against Syrian government forces in Latakia province on Monday and insurgents made separate advances nearby in Hama, a monitoring group reported, as violence escalated in the west of the country. The fighting, which has also increased around the northern city of Aleppo and seen heavy government… Continue reading Syrian Rebels Declare New Battle Against Government

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Marrakesh: Rites of Passage

In the 13th century, when the Mongols conquered Baghdad, their ruler Hulagu Khan gathered the religious scholars in the city and asked them: According to spiritual law, which option is preferable: a disbelieving, but just, ruler, or a Muslim ruler who is unjust? After some reflection, the scholars chose a disbelieving, but just, ruler. This… Continue reading Marrakesh: Rites of Passage

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Leading From The Front

For the first time in history, 39 Muslim nations have come together to establish a broad global military coalition with the sole aim of countering terrorism. From a Joint Command and Coordination Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the newly inaugurated Islamic Military Coalition to Counter Terrorism is drawing up plans to combat terrorists and terror… Continue reading Leading From The Front

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