Massoud Barzani’s term as president of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, since 2005, ended in August 2015. For the second time. Massoud Barzani was destined to lead Kurdistan, coming as he did from the influential Barzani clan, which rose to power in the early 19th century. The post Massoud Barzani — Destined to Lead Kurdistan … Continue reading “Massoud Barzani — Destined to Lead Kurdistan”
Two decades on, the system and its leadership seem incapable of resolving these fundamental issues. Opposition parties are allowed to compete in elections, but they are unable to gain significant power on account of the way the system functions and the fact that the military and security establishment still decides important issues. The post Governance … Continue reading “Governance & Politics”
The UAE used its oil revenues (discovered in the early 1960s) and a growing network of commercial and financial ties to attract global investment, skilled expatriate professionals, and migrant workers to achieve phenomenal economic development in a record short time. The post Economy of the UAE appeared first on Fanack.com.
Turkey remains highly dependent on imported oil and gas but is pursuing energy relationships with a broader set of international partners and taking steps to increase use of domestic energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and coal. The post Economy appeared first on Fanack.com.
His first official position after the 2011 fall of autocrat Muammar Qaddafi was as the minister of housing and utilities at the General National Congress (GNC). The GNC was dissolved two years later and replaced by the internationally recognized House of Representatives (HoR), following parliamentary elections on 25 June 2014. Al-Sarraj was elected to the … Continue reading “Libyan PM Fayez al-Sarraj: Can Former Architect Rebuild a Shattered Country?”
COVID-19 historical data, charts & graphs of the virus in the Middle East and North Africa. Includes updates on new cases, deaths and number of recoveries. The post Coronavirus in the Middle East & North Africa appeared first on Fanack.com.
With Lebanon hosting well over a million refugees, Labaki said that the sights of begging street children compelled her to produce a film about their daily reality. Motivated to expose their ordeal, Labaki spent four years building relationships with Beirut’s most marginalized families. On her journey, she saw the dark confines where refugees and undocumented … Continue reading “Nadine Labaki’s Anthem of Resistance”
The group notably ignored advice from Tehran not to capture Sanaa back in 2014. Al-Houthi’s independence thus suggests that he is primarily driven by a domestic agenda rather than a desire to help Hezbollah and Iran exert control over the region. That could change, of course, if the Saudis leave him no choice but to … Continue reading “The Unexpected Rise of Yemen’s Abdel Malek al-Houthi”
Following the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, he claimed that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for creating the radical jihadist al-Nusra Front. However, he remains politically active, despite confirming Taymour as his political heir in March 2017. For example, he blamed Saudi Arabia for the resignation of Lebanese Prime … Continue reading “Lebanon’s ‘Kingmaker’ Walid Jumblatt is Keeping it in the Family”
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post. The post Protected: COVID-19 in the MENA Region: All the Data appeared first on Fanack.com.
Over the past three years, Nasrallah’s support in the Islamic world has experienced a sharp decline. Many observers believe that the leader’s recent actions and stances have been a highly effective way to squander decades of hard-won popularity. The post The Declining Popularity of Hezbollah-leader Hassan Nasrallah appeared first on Fanack.com.
Throughout the political upheaval of the past seven years, el-Tayeb has succeeded in maintaining al-Azhar’s key role in Egypt’s power dynamics, by strongly supporting the regime and the army, preventing major internal changes at al-Azhar and ensuring Islam retains a central role in public policies. The post Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb: A Key Player in … Continue reading “Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb: A Key Player in Post-Revolution Egypt”
In recent years, Al-Qalaa has endeavored not only to present herself as an artist whose main job is to sing, but she has also taken initiatives and participated in activities that contribute to public social work. This includes visiting the Sudanese victims of floods and rains in 2015, providing them with aid, performing concerts, the … Continue reading “The Ongoing Debate About The Biography, Career and Femininity of Singer Nada Al-Qalaa”
“I started writing from day one. I wanted to clarify the psychology and emotions of someone who has a religious creed. I was very interested in going deep, not just looking at Islam as a cultural or political identity, but as a more essential component. Therefore, faith in my literary works is deeper than identity … Continue reading “Sudanese Novelist Leila Aboulela Becomes International Figure Through Religion, Alienation”
Since winning the Arabic Booker in 2009, he has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of religious extremism and cultural decline in Egypt. His voice is one among a growing number in Egypt calling for cultural change, change that can only happen if Egyptians begin to question dearly held beliefs, especially religious ones. … Continue reading “Youssef Ziedan, the Egyptian Intellectual Shaking Up Religious Beliefs”
The Syrian Presidency announced in August 2018 that Asma had breast cancer, after which she was treated for an early stage of a malignant tumour, according to official Syrian statements. Asma took advantage of her illness to carry out a series of activities on social media and make various appearances wearing a scarf on her … Continue reading “The Feminine Face of Al-Assad’s Dictatorship”
Her clients were women who protested the obligatory dress code by taking off their hijab in public in 2018, an act that the authorities equate with treason. Sotoudeh was already well-known for having represented jailed opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes … Continue reading “Iranian Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Sentenced to 38 Years in Jail for Doing Her Job”
The use of cybersurveillance systems is believed to have resulted in the disappearance of many human right campaigners. However, The race to purchase spyware in Gulf states severely concerns rights groups and some western governments. The post The Race to buy Spyware in the Gulf appeared first on Fanack.com.
In fact, what made this era exceptional was the fortuitous coming together of great musical talent – composers, singers and lyrical poets/songwriters. Together, they propelled this artistic engine and left a great legacy behind. The post The Golden Era of Egyptian Music appeared first on Fanack.com.
In terms of rituals and practices, Zoroastrians pray several times a day and worship communally in a fire temple. Contrary to Christianity, fasting and celibacy are proscribed except as part of a purification ritual. Although human struggle has a negative aspect, individuals must strive for purity and avoid defilement by the forces of death. The … Continue reading “Zoroastrianism: An Obscure Persian Religion that Changed the World”
Erdogan has cemented his place in the history books as modern Turkey’s second-most notable ruler, but he seems determined to better that. Even after last year’s referendum, he has orchestrated a purge of elected AKP officials in cities where results from the vote were lower than expected. Loyalty to Erdogan seems to be the sole … Continue reading “Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkey’s Saviour or Sultan?”
After the 1979 revolution, Iranian wrestling was infused with the Islamic Republic’s ideological zeal. No wrestler was allowed to wrestle with an Israeli. In fact, wrestling in Iran remained a symbol of standing up to evil, be it the Shah’s dictatorship and oppression of the Iranian people or the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The … Continue reading “Wrestling in Iran: From Mysticism to Politics”
Despite the social, political and economic challenges facing Gazan rappers, they are determined to continue to produce their own music and give voice to the angry and marginalized youth, so that they can find a just solution to their problems. The post Gazan Rap Music Addresses Blockade and Palestinian Political Divide appeared first on Fanack.com.
The attractiveness of Sufism is also due to the fact that it does not ban modern means of entertainment, unveiling or mixed dancing and chanting. Rather, the difference between virtues and vice is not determined by appearance but by intent and action. However, Sufism started to come under attack particularly with the rise of Salafism. … Continue reading “Sufism Today”
Rap in Saudi Arabia has shifted towards more positive messages directed predominantly at the youth, helping it to gain wider social acceptance. However, in 2018, Saudi Arabia will stage more than 5,000 rap and hip-hop shows, concerts and festivals. The post Saudi Arabia’s Hip-Hop Is Working on A New Identity appeared first on Fanack.com.
The siege of the Grand Mosque came as a huge shock to the political system, both in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. As a result, after finally overcoming the siege, the Saudi political establishment decided to increase its dependency on Wahhabism to maintain the status quo. The Saudi establishment began to pour millions of … Continue reading “The Seizure of the Grand Mosque: The Event that shook Saudi Arabia”
During the first week of the harvest, when several incidents were reported in Palestinian media outlet WAFA, 30 masked armed settlers attacked farmers and several volunteers on 16 October. Two volunteers were injured, including 80-year-old Rabbi Moshe Yehuda from Rabbis for Human Rights. The post Perpetuating Violence Against Olive Farmers and Palestinian Livelihoods appeared first … Continue reading “Perpetuating Violence Against Olive Farmers and Palestinian Livelihoods”
Al-Bashir is known for showing no mercy toward his opponents. He ordered summary executions of 28 army officers a few hours after the failed coup attempt in April 1990. His rule has also been marked by the worst forms of abuse against political detainees in ghost houses. The post President Omar al-Bashir appeared first on … Continue reading “President Omar al-Bashir”
Education is highly valued in Israel, as Jeffrey Geri’s book Israel – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture will tell you. As such, primary and secondary schooling is free and compulsory up until the last year of secondary school, with most lessons taught in Hebrew or Arabic. The literacy rate is 91.75 … Continue reading “Education in Israel and East Jerusalem: What Do We Really Know?”
Also in 2019, the International Crisis Group (ICG) raised concerns over new Israeli policies that would entrench its de facto annexation of parts of occupied East Jerusalem. These include cataloguing all of East Jerusalem’s lands in the Israel Land Registry and inducing schools in the area to adopt the Israeli curriculum. The post Rising Demolitions … Continue reading “Rising Demolitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Signal Measures to Change Jerusalem’s Demography”
MBS’ clampdown on religious militancy has been described as the first step towards disengagement between the Saudi regime and Wahhabism, which have been intertwined for centuries. However, political freedoms have not been affected by this change and remain restricted. In recent years, the regime has arrested dozens of political opponents, social media activists and those … Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Takes First Step to Disengage from Wahhabism After Centuries of Alliance”
A stable truce in Libya needs an efficient arms embargo. The ultimate beneficiaries of such an embargo – the Libyan population – are unlikely to see any improvements soon. The years of international meddling have led to many countries having steadfast interests in Libya, and as it currently stands, no one is willing to take … Continue reading “Libya: why enforcing an arms embargo is so hard”
Through this album, the artists involved hope to update the sound and image of traditional Palestinian music. They also see the album – which is described on its cover as an ‘electronic celebration of Palestinian heritage’ – as a way to reach new audiences who up to now may only have viewed Palestine through the … Continue reading “Musicians and Producers Join Forces to Create Electronic Celebration of Palestinian Heritage”
s he had done in the IRGC, Ghaani soon made a name for himself in the Quds Force. Although always overshadowed by the much more charismatic Soleimani, Ghaani was quickly noticed by both friends and foes. The post Who Is Esmail Ghaani, Iran’s New Quds Force Commander? appeared first on Fanack.com.
Israel would, in turn, not be able to appeal the ICC’s decision as it is not a member of the court. Whether a third party friendly with Israel and party to the Rome Statute could appeal on Israel’s behalf remains an open question. The post A Closer Look at the International Criminal Court’s Decision to … Continue reading “A Closer Look at the International Criminal Court’s Decision to Investigate the ‘Situation in Palestine’”
In his inaugural speech, Haitham emphasized the similarities with his predecessor, saying he was “determined to follow and build on Sultan Qaboos’ approach, and will work to spare the region conflicts and disputes while achieving economic integration”. The post New Sultan of Oman Upholds Old Policies appeared first on Fanack.com.
Over the following centuries, Hashashin appeared in other regions around the world although adherents became known as Nizaris, who constitute the majority of Ismaili Muslims. Today, the sect runs more than 140 for-profit and not-for-profit organizations spanning more than 30 countries to serve the Ismaili community. These organizations employ approximately 58,000 staff and about 20,000 … Continue reading “The Hashashin: Shia Islam’s Mysterious Sect”
Sadly, these developments coupled with a worldwide crisis of leadership may well worsen before a new generation of leaders can rise and try in earnest to resolve many of these conflicts humanely, passionately and equitably to ensure their durability. The post Middle East: Ever More Unstable appeared first on Fanack.com.
The US operates at least 30 military bases in the Middle East, ranging from small outposts in Syria and military encampments shared with host nations to airbases under full US control. Some are large and visible while others remain highly secretive, likely managed by a combination of CIA or US special forces personnel. These range … Continue reading “A Finger in Every Pie: The US Military in the Middle East”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Europe on 22 December that his country cannot handle a new wave of Syrian refugees, adding that over 80,000 people from Idlib had fled to areas near the Turkish border. According to Turkish authorities, Turkey already hosts around 5 million refugees, of which 3.7 million are Syrians. The post … Continue reading “In Syria’s Idlib, 4 Million Civilians Are Trapped and Desperate”
Occupied during both world wars, Iran developed its military capabilities to defend itself. Part of the country’s pre-1979 military doctrine was based on the same history: to protect itself from the neighbouring Soviet Union, Iran should be backed by another superpower, the United States (US). The post Iran’s Armed Forces appeared first on Fanack.com.
Although Hezbollah does not officially or militarily oppose the protest movement, it has made it clear that it will side with Iran if the protest movement conflicts with Iranian interests. The post In Lebanon, Hezbollah Torn Between Protestors’ Demands and Iranian Support appeared first on Fanack.com.
Power-sharing institutions need not be as narrowly prescribed as they currently are in Lebanon. These protests are a critical moment for the start of a national conversation on how to expand the basis of inclusion in Lebanese political life. So far, protesters have joined up across sect, class and gender in a way previously considered … Continue reading “As protests continue, Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing stalemate must end”
Clearly, Soleimani’s death elicited a reaction Washington did not expect. Not only did it mend political divides over the way Iran deals with the US, it also turned Iranians from all walks of life against the US, further benefiting the establishment. The post Soleimani’s Assassination and Its Unexpected Effects on Iran-US Relations appeared first on … Continue reading “Soleimani’s Assassination and Its Unexpected Effects on Iran-US Relations”
Despite indications that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are willing to put the tensions aside in order to present a more united front during troubled times, there have been no major changes so far. The post Saudi Arabia and Qatar Consider Careful Reconciliation Despite Indecisive GCC Summit appeared first on Fanack.com.
Shamanism is practiced around the world and its followers are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands in Europe, Asia, especially China and South Korea, Africa and South America. Many people have turned to shamans for treatment in the hope of finding spirits that can cure them of mental and physical illnesses that conventional … Continue reading “Shamanism: A Religious Phenomenon with Similarities to Sufism”
If Turkey is forced to drastically up its military commitment to Libya to combat Egypt’s support (beyond the recently agreed bill to deploy troops to Libya), then Ankara may come to regret its rush to secure its maritime rights. The post Turkey and Libya’s Maritime Deal: Partnership or Poisoned Chalice? appeared first on Fanack.com.
The Trump administration has, so far, refused to explain and justify its policy of targeted killing, but this latest operation further undermines international and US domestic norms against assassination is certain to set more dangerous international precedents for targeted killings. The post Qassem Suleimani air strike: why this is a dangerous escalation of US assassination … Continue reading “Qassem Suleimani air strike: why this is a dangerous escalation of US assassination policy”
Jordan-Israel relations have gone through many ups and downs. Although the Wadi Araba Treaty was the first public meeting between the countries’ heads of state, there had been a history of secret meetings between the two. The post Jordan-Israel Relations: A History of Ups and Downs appeared first on Fanack.com.
As a unified movement, the Joint List has proven successful, acquiring the necessary seats to have a parliamentary presence and even being elevated to kingmaker status when the government hit an impasse. If voters choose to empower the list further, it may even affect real change. The post The Joint List: Representing Palestinians in Israel … Continue reading “The Joint List: Representing Palestinians in Israel”