No Easy Ride: Women in Sudan’s New Government already Targeted

Yet despite this apparent advance in gender equality, the appointment triggered a debate in Sudan about the role and quality of women’s representation in the government of Abdalla Hamdok, a veteran economist who was sworn in as prime minister of the country’s transitional cabinet on 6 September. The post No Easy Ride: Women in Sudan’s … Continue reading “No Easy Ride: Women in Sudan’s New Government already Targeted”

Buffer Zone on Syrian Border: Why the Turkish Obsession?

Erdogan is under growing pressure at home to find a solution to tensions, perceived and real, between Syrian refugees and the Turkish communities hosting them. The slowing Turkish economy, in particular, has provoked rising anti-Syrian sentiment, with hard-up Turks quick to blame Syrians for their troubles. The buffer zone has long presented a publicly palatable … Continue reading “Buffer Zone on Syrian Border: Why the Turkish Obsession?”

As Algeria Forges New Political Future, the Amazigh Will Play a Central Role

The crackdown has occurred despite the Amazigh achieving greater recognition in recent years, including in the constitution. A 2016 amendment declared Tamazight, the Berber language, Algeria’s second official language after Arabic, and recognized ‘Amazighness’ as a part of the national identity. In 2018, the Amazigh new year was designated as a public holiday. The post … Continue reading “As Algeria Forges New Political Future, the Amazigh Will Play a Central Role”

Trump’s ‘deal of the century’: 17 things we learned

Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian lands isn’t mentioned once: the closest it gets is a reference to “higher-wage, high-growth occupations”, meaning jobs – which is far removed from how most people understand the term in the context of Palestine. The post Trump’s ‘deal of the century’: 17 things we learned appeared first on Fanack.com.

How Syrians Have Enriched Lebanon’s Artistic and Cultural Life

Some argue that the level of academic experience, techniques and skills that the Syrian artists brought with them was much higher than what had previously existed in Lebanon. For example, the Syrians introduced the concept of the ‘dramaturge’ – a literary editor who liaises with playwrights and researches, edits and interprets scripts. The post How … Continue reading “How Syrians Have Enriched Lebanon’s Artistic and Cultural Life”

Oil Wrestling in Turkey: All You Need to Know

These breeches are worn tight on the skin, but an opponent’s oiled hand can easily (and is permitted) to slip inside them for added traction. This is where some of the sport’s few rules come in, as fighters are prohibited from getting too intimate with their opponent’s genitalia. The kispet trousers also act like a … Continue reading “Oil Wrestling in Turkey: All You Need to Know”

In Libya, the Amazighs fight for their rights, but risk getting caught in the country’s ongoing and bloody conflict

With a distinct culture from the country’s Arab majority, the culture and identity of the Amazighs has undergone a history of repression, particularly under the rule of Gaddafi, who saw them as a separatist threat to his crafting of the narrative of Arab unification in the region. The post In Libya, the Amazighs fight for … Continue reading “In Libya, the Amazighs fight for their rights, but risk getting caught in the country’s ongoing and bloody conflict”

War is no solution to the US-Iran standoff

Hence, nothing other than direct talks can offer a prospect whereby Iran may overcome its economic woes and the US can reach a more comprehensive agreement with Iran that includes issues not covered in the JCPOA. Although the current standoff between Iran and the US may deteriorate even further, both parties are acutely aware that … Continue reading “War is no solution to the US-Iran standoff”

In Syria, Lack of International Recognition for Raqqa’s Civilian Administration Hampering Reconstruction

Tens of thousands of people who left the city before the final battle have now returned. But life is far from easy: most of the buildings are in ruins, there is no electricity and IS sleeper cells still pose a threat. Crucially, a lack of international recognition of the city’s civilian administration is hampering reconstruction. … Continue reading “In Syria, Lack of International Recognition for Raqqa’s Civilian Administration Hampering Reconstruction”

Lebanese Actor and Theatre Director Hisham Jaber: Betting on the Audience for Artistic Success

Jaber concluded, “I think the most important achievement of the Metro was that it gave hope that something good can be done and that real art can be presented, which has brought life back to art in Lebanon and allowed theatres to compete with cinemas. We dreamed of creating an oasis in a city full … Continue reading “Lebanese Actor and Theatre Director Hisham Jaber: Betting on the Audience for Artistic Success”

Morocco’s Windy Future

Morocco’s green strategy endeavours to increase threefold the income of nearly 3 million people living in rural areas. However, green investment is not without its challenges and requires more than money to realize its lofty targets. The post Morocco’s Windy Future appeared first on Fanack.com.

Iran Raises the Pressure on Human Rights Defenders

Most of the human rights defenders whose cases are detailed in the Observatory’s report are detained in Tehran’s Evin prison. They are kept there in solitary confinement for long periods of time, are deprived of essential medical care, and are frequently denied visits by their family or lawyer. The post Iran Raises the Pressure on … Continue reading “Iran Raises the Pressure on Human Rights Defenders”

I’m one of hundreds of archaeologists exiled from Syria who’s mourning what the war is costing us

Conducting archaeological research requires direct contact with ancient sites and materials. But the escalating armed violence in Syria continues to prevent archaeologists from resuming their work on the land. Most of the international institutions shifted their focus from Syria and moved their teams and projects to neighboring countries. The post I’m one of hundreds of … Continue reading “I’m one of hundreds of archaeologists exiled from Syria who’s mourning what the war is costing us”

A Long and Winding road: Turkey and her Music

Music in Turkey has long been a key barometer of the greatest influences on the country, its political climate, and even its demographic change. With such a proud history of musical development and leadership, in both popular and more underground style and genres, music in Turkey looks set to continue as a key pillar—and guide—of … Continue reading “A Long and Winding road: Turkey and her Music”

Services in the Yarmouk Basin

An important point is that the quality of services and the humanitarian situation can vary by locality. Rather than being the product of differences in the skills of municipal staff and workers in various localities, this situation depends on whether the money exists to finance reconstruction and development. As the government’s capacities amid the country’s … Continue reading “Services in the Yarmouk Basin”

Everything in Mecca gets 5 stars — and online reviews of other holy sites are wildly inflated, too

Recognizing these holy site review trends can help pilgrims planning a trip make more conscious decisions while planning their journey. Whether for sacred sites in Mecca, Haridwar, Jerusalem, Lumbini or another sacred city, the super high ratings and compelling storytelling mostly reflect past visitors’ spiritual experiences – not the real-world practicalities that actually affected their … Continue reading “Everything in Mecca gets 5 stars — and online reviews of other holy sites are wildly inflated, too”

Women in Saudi Arabia Gain Right to Travel – Does This Mean Equal Rights?

As well as the freedom to travel, the royal decrees also introduced new rights in Saudi Arabia to register marriages, divorces and births and make family documents. There was also reportedly a new concession to allow students to study abroad without a mahram (a legal escort). These reforms are substantial in providing women with the … Continue reading “Women in Saudi Arabia Gain Right to Travel – Does This Mean Equal Rights?”

In Lebanon, Freedom of Speech Under Attack as Mashrou’ Leila Concert Scrapped

Organizers of the Byblos International Festival yielded to pressure from church officials, politicians and online groups who accused the locally grown and internationally acclaimed band Mashrou’ Leila of dishonouring Christian symbols and promoting homosexuality. Following several threats of violence, the organizers announced on 30 July that the show scheduled for 9 August would be cancelled … Continue reading “In Lebanon, Freedom of Speech Under Attack as Mashrou’ Leila Concert Scrapped”

Did Yemen Just Sink Deeper into a Quagmire?

The Houthis, who have received support from Iran, maintain a grip on key central and northern provinces and have stepped up attacks on Saudi cities in response to the Coalition’s incessant aerial bombing campaign. “Hadi and his government have [had] major problems with legitimacy,” The post Did Yemen Just Sink Deeper into a Quagmire? appeared … Continue reading “Did Yemen Just Sink Deeper into a Quagmire?”

Keeping Up with the Circassians: How a Persecuted Group is Reclaiming its Heritage

CircassiansYet while geographically dispersed pockets of Circassians can now connect and organize, attempts to re-establish their identity and heritage are likely to remain largely symbolic unless they can overcome fierce political resistance. The post Keeping Up with the Circassians: How a Persecuted Group is Reclaiming its Heritage appeared first on Fanack.com.

A deal too far: Turkey and the US fall apart over Russian missiles

Whatever the motivation behind the S-400 purchase, Turkey has made its pursuit of a new path very clear: away from past Western allies and into an unknown territory, unburdened by past alliances. What is certain is that US officials misjudged Turkey’s moves throughout this affair as a mere bluff when it appears the country was, … Continue reading “A deal too far: Turkey and the US fall apart over Russian missiles”

Despite the Consequences, Women Speak Up Against Harassment in Egypt

Initiatives to enhance this progress include Harassmap, which aims to empower people to stand up against harassment, and HerStory. The latter is supported by UN Women and aims “to produce and disseminate knowledge about gender equality issues and women and girls’ lives and contributions in the Arab region.” One of the ways HerStory wants to … Continue reading “Despite the Consequences, Women Speak Up Against Harassment in Egypt”

In Lebanon: new waves of hatred with little solidarity

The campaign against Mashrou’ Leila, has expectedly received much attention due to the band’s popularity in Lebanon, the region, and the world. It has also served the purpose of covering what little solidarity there was among the Lebanese population with the rightful protests by Palestinians in the country or diverting attention from the mistreatment and … Continue reading “In Lebanon: new waves of hatred with little solidarity”

International Community Turns Blind Eye to Executions in Bahrain

The international community has been urged to put pressure on Bahrain to respect freedom of expression. However, many believe that the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have not done enough to criticize the Bahraini government, which remains a key ally, and continue to approve arms sales to the country. At the same time, … Continue reading “International Community Turns Blind Eye to Executions in Bahrain”

Sudan’s Military and Opposition Forces Sign Historic Constitutional Declaration

Regionally and internationally, the agreement was met with a sigh of relief. Concerns that Sudan might follow in the footsteps of war-torn Libya, Syria and Yemen loomed large as the country entered its eighth month of unrest and sporadic violence without a real government. These concerns were compounded when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates … Continue reading “Sudan’s Military and Opposition Forces Sign Historic Constitutional Declaration”

Western Sanctions Against Syria Harming the Population, Not the Regime

Increasingly punitive measures imposed on Syria by Western states since the onset of the war in 2011 are having damaging consequences for the population without forcing the regime to accept any sort of political reforms. Even so, the United States (US) and European Union (EU) have stepped up sanctions in recent months. The post Western … Continue reading “Western Sanctions Against Syria Harming the Population, Not the Regime”

Can UNRWA Withstand Another Blow?

The crisis hitting UNRWA is therefore not just a crisis of funding or misconduct, but is connected to attitudes towards its existence due to its symbolic affiliation with the right of return. Global support for the organisation still remains high but the risk of Israeli and US pressure securing the severance of its mandate looms … Continue reading “Can UNRWA Withstand Another Blow?”

In Iraq, Mahdawi Rap Emerges as New Form of Religious Expression

No religious authority in Iraq has made an official statement about Mahdawi rap so far, indicating that it is more a cultural trend than a ‘deviant’ means of expression. It may, however, serve as a reminder that as forms of expression evolve constantly, religion does too. The post In Iraq, Mahdawi Rap Emerges as New … Continue reading “In Iraq, Mahdawi Rap Emerges as New Form of Religious Expression”

Suicide Bombings in Tunisia Prompt Security Clampdown as Elections Near

Tunisian’s anti-terrorism law, approved in July 2015, was a reaction to the panic following the major attacks that year. Human rights organizations said that the law could open the door to practices tantamount to torture and have an authoritarian backlash. The post Suicide Bombings in Tunisia Prompt Security Clampdown as Elections Near appeared first on … Continue reading “Suicide Bombings in Tunisia Prompt Security Clampdown as Elections Near”

Mandaeism or the Forgotten Monotheism

Today, Mandaeism is an endangered religion. Since the American-led intervention in Iraq in 2003, Sabian-Mandaeans have been subject to religious and ethnic persecution, including torture, murder, rape, forced conversion and marriage. Although the Islamic State never reached the Mandaeans’ historical homeland in southern Iraq, the community has endured severe human rights violations linked to the … Continue reading “Mandaeism or the Forgotten Monotheism”

What is Behind Morocco’s Tourism Boom?

The country’s deserts, beaches, mountains and distinct cultural heritage are naturally attractive to holidaymakers and adventurers, bringing in welcome revenue. But according to those in the industry, inflows should be carefully managed in order to guard against the negative effects of tourism, some of which have already impacted neighbourhoods around popular cities like Marrakech. The … Continue reading “What is Behind Morocco’s Tourism Boom?”

Migration in the Mediterranean: why it’s time to put European leaders on trial

The ICC may be the only institution capable of breaking the current impasse by threatening to bring Europe’s leaders to criminal account. This is the work of last resort for which international criminal law is designed. The ICC should embrace the progressive ideals that drove its construction, and engage. The post Migration in the Mediterranean: … Continue reading “Migration in the Mediterranean: why it’s time to put European leaders on trial”

The Palestine Youth Orchestra in Europe: An Ode to the Love of Music, Life and Palestine

One of the biggest challenges remains freedom of movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Music teachers cannot travel between the various locations in the West Bank, let alone Gaza. If there is a performance in Jerusalem or Ramallah, it is almost impossible to get all the musicians together in one place. International teachers also face … Continue reading “The Palestine Youth Orchestra in Europe: An Ode to the Love of Music, Life and Palestine”

For Omar Khairat, Music is a Universal Language

Omar Khairat has won dozens of awards for his musical works, including those he received at the Tebessa International Festival in Algeria for the Ostrich and Peacock music. He has also won several awards from the Radio and Television Union and the Cairo Film Society, as well as the Creativity Award from The Middle East … Continue reading “For Omar Khairat, Music is a Universal Language”

The EU Has Figured Out a Way to Trade with Iran. Here’s What You Need to Know

In the background, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps captured the British tanker Stena Impero and its 23 crew members in the Gulf on 19 July, provoked by the UK detaining an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar to stop it taking oil to Syria, which some reports indicate followed pressure from the US. The EU has remained … Continue reading “The EU Has Figured Out a Way to Trade with Iran. Here’s What You Need to Know”

Babylon’s long history: from one of the Seven Wonders to the Unesco world heritage list

Babylon’s dire need of restoration, respect and consideration for its long History and its cultural importance could eventually be answered through this nomination, and budget be unlocked to secure a longer life for the site. In the medium term, the ancient city of Babylon could become a prominent Iraqi touristic attraction. The post Babylon’s long … Continue reading “Babylon’s long history: from one of the Seven Wonders to the Unesco world heritage list”

Opposition Fears Repressive Policies Will Push Egypt Towards ‘Explosion’

Al-Sisi’s firm grip on the country seems a fait accompli. He has the support of the security bodies, which control the media; the parliament is almost entirely on his side; and since the constitutional amendments, he de facto controls the judiciary. It is hard to imagine how the few opposition politicians and activists left would … Continue reading “Opposition Fears Repressive Policies Will Push Egypt Towards ‘Explosion’”

Nai Barghouti: A Young Woman’s Quest for a New Voice in Middle Eastern Music

I find that the influence of Middle Eastern sounds on jazz is never discussed, but it exists. Now, I’m not trying just to mix the two together. I’m working on creating a third sound that harmonizes the two sounds from their roots instead of forcing them together [superficially]. Other people are doing it, like Ibrahim … Continue reading “Nai Barghouti: A Young Woman’s Quest for a New Voice in Middle Eastern Music”

Turkey between NATO and Russia: The Failed Balance

US sanctions will not only affect Tur­key’s economy negatively but also provide a scape­goat (United States and NATO) for the Turkish economic crisis. Such a situa­tion may cause an irreparable rise in anti-West­ern sentiment among the Turkish people. Public opposition in Turkey may bring lim­itations to future collaboration – even those based on mutual interest … Continue reading “Turkey between NATO and Russia: The Failed Balance”

The UAE’s Withdrawal From Yemen is Strategic in Every Way

While the decision of the UAE to reduce its troops presence in Yemen is a notable turn in the four-year conflict, the UAE still plays a key role within it via its proxies and through counter-terrorism efforts. It has also carved itself a new strategic security role in the region and its reduced military footprint … Continue reading “The UAE’s Withdrawal From Yemen is Strategic in Every Way”

Why does China keep buying oil from Iran? Look at China and Iran’s long history of political and economic ties

Iran’s main bet on defying U.S. pressure is whether it can find parties that can help circumvent U.S. sanctions, especially in its oil exports. China is one of Iran’s major importers and seems to eye a strategic interest in supporting Iran’s policy of resisting U.S. maximum pressure. But the question is: to what extend can … Continue reading “Why does China keep buying oil from Iran? Look at China and Iran’s long history of political and economic ties”