Racist Rhetoric Against Syrians in Lebanon on the Rise

Social media has been full of videos depicting the abuse of Syrian children, including a video showing a Lebanese man encouraging his son to beat a Syrian child, another video of a man insulting and torturing a Syrian child, as well as reports of human trafficking, prostitution and drug networks that exploit the circumstances of … Continue reading “Racist Rhetoric Against Syrians in Lebanon on the Rise”

The Tunisian film industry

Tunisian filmmakers have shared their anxieties and personal perspectives in feature films and documentaries with a political message. Between 2011 and 2018, at least four feature films addressed radicalisation and other frequent topics about the position of women, the struggles of the youth as well as the changing parent-child relationships in Tunisian society. Some of … Continue reading “The Tunisian film industry”

Victory for Turkey’s Opposition in Istanbul, But What Now?

Imamoglu’s win represents a serious blow to the AKP’s electoral dominance in Turkey. However, observers should not mistake it for a fatal one. The party still commands powerful support across the country, even if it has lost the two largest cities. And although the first cracks seem to have appeared in Erdogan’s political base, it … Continue reading “Victory for Turkey’s Opposition in Istanbul, But What Now?”

Where next for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after death of Mohamed Morsi

Morsi’s death provoked an outpouring of mourning in Egypt and in countries where the Brotherhood still has a presence, such as Turkey, Qatar and the UK. While much of Egypt looks ready to move on – particularly with many Egyptians focused on the African Cup of Nations which Egypt is hosting – it appears many … Continue reading “Where next for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after death of Mohamed Morsi”

Bahrain Workshop – Road to the Deal of the Century?

International funding for the Palestinian Authority for over 25 years has led some countries, especially in Europe and the Middle East, to lose enthusiasm for what they see as financing the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation. As long as there is no political framework under international law, the Israeli occupation will continue to dominate the … Continue reading “Bahrain Workshop – Road to the Deal of the Century?”

Third Exodus in Modern History: Why So Many Egyptians Are Leaving Home?

It has become illegal to issue verdicts of banishment or exile against the Egyptians. Even successive Egyptian constitutions have categorically prohibited exile. It is saddening to see exile de facto being practised against the Egyptians in the present time. Such dangerous transformation has not taken place as a result of constitutional amendments or the enforcement … Continue reading “Third Exodus in Modern History: Why So Many Egyptians Are Leaving Home?”

King Abdullah’s Conundrum

Loyal to its traditional diplomatic strategy, Jordan is unlikely to explicitly thwart its long-standing alliance with the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but seems rather inclined to work preventively on developing further its ties with other states, such as Russia, China, and Turkey. The post King Abdullah’s Conundrum appeared first on Fanack.com.

Negotiations Over Israel-Lebanon Maritime Dispute Expected to Start in July

The negotiations come at a highly sensitive time in the region, with Iran and the US facing off in the Gulf and escalating tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Iran-backed armed group and political party Hezbollah. On 19 June, Israel organized its largest military drill in years, with thousands of army, navy and air force troops … Continue reading “Negotiations Over Israel-Lebanon Maritime Dispute Expected to Start in July”

Key Ministerial Appointments Put Iraqi Government on Safe Ground – For Now

In essence, the slow formation of the government could have been its demise. While it may be on safe ground for now, critical tests are yet to come and sectarian and political differences have not disappeared. This could eventually lead to a loss of public trust if citizens’ concerns are not taken into account. The … Continue reading “Key Ministerial Appointments Put Iraqi Government on Safe Ground – For Now”

Egyptian Theatre Director Nada Sabet: Enlightenment is Born on Stage

The performances deal with diverse and often controversial topics such as circumcision, sexual harassment, street children, dreams, civic participation of youth, the environment, racism, migration and the portrayal of women in the media and law. The post Egyptian Theatre Director Nada Sabet: Enlightenment is Born on Stage appeared first on Fanack.com.

The UN Released a Damning Report on Khashoggi’s Killing – Will It Make a Difference?

In the report, Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings deduced that Khashoggi had been the victim of a “premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible.” As a non-binding report, what impact does this allegation have? The post The UN Released a Damning Report on Khashoggi’s Killing – … Continue reading “The UN Released a Damning Report on Khashoggi’s Killing – Will It Make a Difference?”

Egypt’s powerful football fans and politics: a toxic mix that could combust during Afcon

Ultimately, the state hopes that fan-instigated stadium riots will not occur during the Afcon. While the ongoing clampdowns may make the state feel that this problem has been nipped in the bud, there are uncertainties. Hopefully, for the Confederation and Egypt, the Afcon will be all about football and not about ultras or social problems … Continue reading “Egypt’s powerful football fans and politics: a toxic mix that could combust during Afcon”

The Arts in Kuwait: Recapturing the Liberal Spirit

When put into regional perspective, Kuwait has a distinctive cultural history. A reverse history, one might say, that saw the country go from a liberal haven for artists from all over the region to a restrictive place where the arts face official censorship and a reluctant society. The post The Arts in Kuwait: Recapturing the … Continue reading “The Arts in Kuwait: Recapturing the Liberal Spirit”

Tankers and task forces: The US-Iranian war dance

The imbalance of forces between the US and Iran all but assures Washington of military dominance over Iran. Tehran knows this, and the country can hardly want to face an invasion. Plus, the apparent failure of explosives in the two seaborne attacks does not do much for the reputation of the Iranian military. However, both … Continue reading “Tankers and task forces: The US-Iranian war dance”

The ‘halal’ nightclub problem: In Saudi Arabia, youth entertainment is a catch-22

In the tourism industry, for example, “halal” refers to a sub-category of tourism that is aligned with the laws and traditions of Islam, including restaurants that do not serve pork or alcohol and hotels that offer separate spas and pools for men and women. Clearly, a dancing space for both women and men does not … Continue reading “The ‘halal’ nightclub problem: In Saudi Arabia, youth entertainment is a catch-22”

Political Courage Compared: US Vs. Turkey

It says quite something about the state of world affairs today that standing up to these twin threats is something that is now strongly pursued among AK Party grandees in Turkey, while there is still deafening silence among the Republicans in the United States. The post Political Courage Compared: US Vs. Turkey appeared first on … Continue reading “Political Courage Compared: US Vs. Turkey”

In Egypt, Economic Reforms Look Good on Paper but Poverty on the Rise

Egyptians living in poverty had risen to 30.2 per cent compared to 27.8 per cent in 2015. And the poverty line used in the report was set at 800 EGP per month, which is significantly lower than the World Bank’s 950 EGP per month. The poverty rate in 2015 had itself increased since 2011, when … Continue reading “In Egypt, Economic Reforms Look Good on Paper but Poverty on the Rise”

Olympic Champion: Corruption in Sports Harming Algeria’s Reputation

Bribery has become so common that there is a ‘price list’ for buying officials and players, depending on the importance of a game. Although incidents of corruption are openly addressed by local media and club officials, the Algerian Football Federation has not taken action despite claiming to want to clean up the game. The post … Continue reading “Olympic Champion: Corruption in Sports Harming Algeria’s Reputation”

Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Minorities in the Middle East: A Future in Limbo?

Following the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS), ACS minorities were among the terror group’s first targets. In June 2014, a fatwa was issued forcing all non-Muslims in Mosul either to convert to Islam, pay a tax, flee or be killed. Almost all of the city’s 35,000-50,000 Christian inhabitants fled, and members of ISIS … Continue reading “Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Minorities in the Middle East: A Future in Limbo?”

Corruption Sinking the Country, Says Kuwaiti Lawmaker

Attempts have been made to tackle the problem, such as the enactment of (criminal) laws and the recent establishment of an anti-corruption authority. Cases do reach the courts every now and then, and individuals are occasionally convicted. Whether these are the ‘big fish’ remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen whether legislators … Continue reading “Corruption Sinking the Country, Says Kuwaiti Lawmaker”

No Separation: The Role of Religion in Israel’s State Affairs

As in the past, these parties may well have the opportunity to change the character of the country, especially in a coalition with Netanyahu and the more extreme religious-nationalist right. Thus, it is not only the ultra-Orthodox parties that could change the character of Israel if Netanyahu once again struggles to form a coalition after … Continue reading “No Separation: The Role of Religion in Israel’s State Affairs”

Sudan: A Chance for the AU to refine Support for Countries in Crisis

The challenges presented by events unfolding in Sudan provide a great opportunity for the AU to refine and consolidate its approach to supporting countries in crisis. This is particularly true when the situation involves constitutional reform. The post Sudan: A Chance for the AU to refine Support for Countries in Crisis appeared first on Fanack.com.

In Tunisia, Self-immolation Soars as Economy Tanks

Before 2011, self-immolation was the third or fourth most common method of suicide. Most of these cases were related to mental illness, marital conflicts (especially women) and financial problems, and took place in the victim’s home. After the revolution, the same studies reported a threefold increase in self-immolation. Specifically, self-immolation in public spaces and outside … Continue reading “In Tunisia, Self-immolation Soars as Economy Tanks”

Israel’s New Separation Barrier: Isolating Gaza from the West Bank for Good?

Approval for the construction of the Gaza fence is thus a response both to a perceived security threat and to complaints from the leaders of the settlements in the areas immediately adjacent to the strip, who say the Israeli army is failing to protect them. In addition, the fence aims to further separate the Gaza … Continue reading “Israel’s New Separation Barrier: Isolating Gaza from the West Bank for Good?”

The Ismaili Muslims: A History of Persecution and Pluralism

The Ismailis are scattered across some 25 countries, mainly in Central and South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and Australia, and number approximately 20 million. Although they rarely make the headlines, several attacks against them have shed light on their existence. The post The Ismaili Muslims: A History of Persecution and Pluralism … Continue reading “The Ismaili Muslims: A History of Persecution and Pluralism”

Ahmed Gaid Salah: What Next for Algeria’s Most Powerful Man?

Gaid Salah abandoned Bouteflika after he found out that the latter’s political career was over and that remaining loyal to him would lead to his own departure. Since then, Gaid Salah has been considered the regime’s most powerful figure and, as the army’s chief of staff, responsible for setting the course of his country’s future. … Continue reading “Ahmed Gaid Salah: What Next for Algeria’s Most Powerful Man?”

In Saudi Arabia, No Let-up in Brutal Policies Against Dissenters

This ‘modernity’ is largely cosmetic, however: a year before Kashoggi’s death, MBS authorized a secret campaign, which includes surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture, to silence any form of dissent. This not only applies to dissenters in the kingdom but also to critics living abroad, with some of those under surveillance being forcibly repatriated from other … Continue reading “In Saudi Arabia, No Let-up in Brutal Policies Against Dissenters”

Three Scenarios for the Development of the Sisi Regime in Egypt

Although the scenario of a development dictatorship appears less plausible, the occurrence of one of the other two sce­narios is much more likely. Both are asso­ciated with high risks and costs, for Ger­many and the European Union (EU). The central prerequisite for the “Mubarak 2.0” scenario would be permanent, substantial financial assistance, which would primarily … Continue reading “Three Scenarios for the Development of the Sisi Regime in Egypt”

Crop Fires in Iraq and Syria May Be Start of Larger Disaster

Given that the north and north-east of Syria are considered to be the country’s bread basket and that the burning fields in Iraq are situated in fertile Mesopotamia, this may be just the beginning of a much larger disaster. The post Crop Fires in Iraq and Syria May Be Start of Larger Disaster appeared first … Continue reading “Crop Fires in Iraq and Syria May Be Start of Larger Disaster”

Istanbul’s Mayoral Rerun: Will Everything Be Great?

If the rerun is clouded in the same controversy as the first vote, it will likely be the final nail in the coffin of Turkish democracy. Conversely, if Imamoglu wins again, and the vote is uncontested, it will herald a new balance of power and perhaps a new era of Turkish politics. The post Istanbul’s … Continue reading “Istanbul’s Mayoral Rerun: Will Everything Be Great?”

Family Business: Nechirvan Barzani Takes Over Presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan from Uncle

In practice, there is no transfer of power, just a reassignment of positions among the Barzanis. With Nechirvan as president and Masrour as prime minister, the Barzani family remains firmly in charge of the KDP and the regional government. The post Family Business: Nechirvan Barzani Takes Over Presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan from Uncle appeared first … Continue reading “Family Business: Nechirvan Barzani Takes Over Presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan from Uncle”

In Israel, Failure to Form Coalition Government Leaves Politics in Flux

For its part, the Blue and White party has stated that it does not see any need to join forces with any other party. On the right, the final picture is unclear. Some former party leaders are returning, or trying to return, to the Likud party in an attempt to secure entry to the next … Continue reading “In Israel, Failure to Form Coalition Government Leaves Politics in Flux”

US is already Fighting a Conflict with Iran – An Economic War that is hurting the wrong People

In other words, the pain of sanctions will force people to rise up and overthrow their leaders. This is as naïve as it is cynical. It reflects the long-discredited theory that sanctioned populations will direct their frustrations and anger at national leaders and demand a change in policy or the regime. Sanctions have never worked … Continue reading “US is already Fighting a Conflict with Iran – An Economic War that is hurting the wrong People”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: A pragmatic politician or a regional puppet?

For more than 14 years, he has maintained security coordination with Israel because he knows that he is the weakest party, that armed resistance has failed in the past and will fail in the future, and that he has no other option but dialogue to reach a peaceful solution. The post Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: … Continue reading “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: A pragmatic politician or a regional puppet?”

Turning the tide: Israel’s strategy in Africa

One of the reasons underlying in Israel’s interest for the continent is the existence of a significant Lebanese diaspora in Africa. Part of the latter is suspected of funding the Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah, which Israel perceives as a terrorist group and a direct threat to its security. As a consequence, Israel has encouraged national … Continue reading “Turning the tide: Israel’s strategy in Africa”

Changing of the Guards: Iran Picks Controversial New Head of IRGC

Salami will also oversee the activities of the Quds Force, an IRGC unit responsible for extraterritorial operations, giving him a significant say in the way Iran’s network of regional alliances work. However, as organizations under new management usually take time to stabilize, it is too early to say how the change at the top will … Continue reading “Changing of the Guards: Iran Picks Controversial New Head of IRGC”

Qatar’s Role in the Gaza Strip

On the international stage, Qatar has been one of the Palestinians’ staunchest defenders. During a speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani strongly criticized Israel and accused the Israeli army of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the same speech, he expressed his support for the … Continue reading “Qatar’s Role in the Gaza Strip”

Iyad el-Baghdadi, surviving Freedom of Speech from Saudi Arabia’s Grip

In May 2019, he revealed to the press that he has been the target of death threats from Saudi Arabia, which he sees as a way of trying to shut him up, in the light of the investigations he has been leading on the Kingdom and its de facto leader MBS. The post Iyad el-Baghdadi, … Continue reading “Iyad el-Baghdadi, surviving Freedom of Speech from Saudi Arabia’s Grip”

Private initiatives are shaping Lebanon’s museum culture

Yet, politics is only one of the various aspects framing Lebanon’s museum culture. A quick overview of the existing landscape highlights the importance of private initiatives and a significant reliance of cultural heritage preservation on the goodwill of a few wealthy families and individuals. This contrasts with the alleged absence of the state in the … Continue reading “Private initiatives are shaping Lebanon’s museum culture”

In Sudan, Revolution Propelled by Women

Women have emerged as the symbol of the popular protest movement that eventually toppled al-Bashir on 11 April. They inspired young people after facing live ammunition and tear gas, verbal and physical violence, arrest and harassment in prison in a concerted effort to discourage women from joining the protest marches. The post In Sudan, Revolution … Continue reading “In Sudan, Revolution Propelled by Women”

Controversial Militia Leader Becomes Second in Command in Sudan

Hamidat’s name was associated with the Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, that supported the government of now ousted President Omar al-Bashir. From a small trader, he quickly rose through the military ranks under the command of the notorious Musa Hilal, leader of the Mahamid tribe and wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague … Continue reading “Controversial Militia Leader Becomes Second in Command in Sudan”

Sudanese Revolution Subject to Regional, International Interference

The Sudanese revolution fell victim to disagreements in the Arabian Gulf region, especially those between the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian alliance on the one hand and the Turkish-Qatari alliance on the other. Protesters in Sudan believe that the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian alliance is trying to hijack the revolution, prevent the transfer of power to civilians and support the military council … Continue reading “Sudanese Revolution Subject to Regional, International Interference”

Perilous Politics: Is Trump Setting US on Course for War with Iran?

For now, Iran has continued to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal, despite the US withdrawal. However, this may be coming to an end: Rouhani declared earlier this month that Iran would walk back some of the deal’s obligations. The post Perilous Politics: Is Trump Setting US on Course for War with Iran? … Continue reading “Perilous Politics: Is Trump Setting US on Course for War with Iran?”