The Moroccan Surveillance State – Made in Israel

This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel’s NSO Group which features ‘Pegasus’ spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFPMat Nashed In Morocco, the expression the ‘walls have ears’ now applies to your phone. A massive international investigation found that a Moroccan operator … Continue reading “The Moroccan Surveillance State – Made in Israel”

Morocco and Algeria Resume their War of Words over Western Sahara

Saharawi men hold up a Polisario Front flag in the Al-Mahbes area near Moroccan soldiers guarding the wall separating the Polisario controlled Western Sahara from Morocco on February 3, 2017. Photo by STRINGER / AFPSophia Akram Tensions between North African neighbours Algeria and Morocco have grown as the question over self-determination of their populations are … Continue reading “Morocco and Algeria Resume their War of Words over Western Sahara”

Indictment of Trump Associate Threatens UAE Lobbying Success and Raises Questions about Emirati Campaign Against Political Islam

Thomas Barrack, a close adviser to former President Donald Trump and chair of his inaugural committee, leaves after attending a hearing at the US District Court of Eastern District of New York on July 26, 2021 in New York City. Thomas Barrack, a close ally to former US president Donald Trump and one of his … Continue reading “Indictment of Trump Associate Threatens UAE Lobbying Success and Raises Questions about Emirati Campaign Against Political Islam”

Greater Middle East May Force China to Project Military Power Sooner Rather Than Later

Chinese honour guards prepare for the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 2, 2019. WANG ZHAO / AFPJames M. Dorsey China may have no short-term interest in contributing to guaranteeing security in parts of … Continue reading “Greater Middle East May Force China to Project Military Power Sooner Rather Than Later”

Tunisia: Bardo Square, Again and Again!

Supporters of Tunisia’s President Kais Saied chant slogans denouncing the country’s main Islamist Ennahda (Ennahdha) party in front of the Parliament which was cordoned-off by the military in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country’s parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. Tunisia was plunged deeper … Continue reading “Tunisia: Bardo Square, Again and Again!”

Sudan’s ‘Forgotten’ Pyramids Risk Being Buried by Shifting Sand Dunes

A Sudanese man sits on a camel as he looks at the pyramids in the Meroe desert, north of Khartoum, on February 26, 2010. ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFPAhmed Mutasim Abdalla Mahmoud: PhD Researcher, Sand Movement in Sudan, University of Nottingham The word “pyramid” is synonymous with Egypt, but it is actually neighbouring Sudan that is … Continue reading “Sudan’s ‘Forgotten’ Pyramids Risk Being Buried by Shifting Sand Dunes”

Faces of the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa is an arena where public figures play a vital role in crystalizing the challenges by which the region has been encountered. Some public figures fade, while others brightly shine in the political, cultural, and social arenas. Some public personalities might have an exceptional impact, whether it’s bad or good. … Continue reading “Faces of the Middle East and North Africa”

Studies On Polygamy: Between Fraud and Truth

Abdul Rahman al-Obeidi, a 22 year-old Iraqi farmer, sits between his two new wives on April 25, 2012 in Samarra. AFP PHOTO/STR.Nour Abbas Jordanian student Mamdouh Barakat Abu Tayeh confused social media after a picture of him with the title of his master thesis: The level of happiness among polygamists and monogamists in Ma’an Governorate. … Continue reading “Studies On Polygamy: Between Fraud and Truth”

Tunisia: Fighting Covid-19 with Sarcasm and Conspiracy Theories

A Tunisian man receives a dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine at the Palais des Congres in the capital Tunis on July 20, 2021. Tunisia, where vaccine stocks remained limited until recently, only fully vaccinated 913,000 people, or about 8% of its population, a rate that remains among the highest in Africa. FETHI BELAID / … Continue reading “Tunisia: Fighting Covid-19 with Sarcasm and Conspiracy Theories”

Two Hospital Fires Point to Wider Problems in Iraq

People place fake coffins in front of the fire-ravaged coronavirus isolation ward of Al-Hussein hospital, during a protest in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, on July 15, 2021. Asaad NIAZI / AFPSophia Akram A deadly fire has caused renewed outrage among Iraqis, tired of corruption and mismanagement of public resources after wars and international … Continue reading “Two Hospital Fires Point to Wider Problems in Iraq”

Palestinian Authority Tightens its Grip on Power in the West Bank

Palestinian protesters clash with Palestinian security forces in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on June 26, 2021, following a demonstration against the death of human rights activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. ABBAS MOMANI / AFPSophia Akram A brutal crackdown by the Palestinian Authority … Continue reading “Palestinian Authority Tightens its Grip on Power in the West Bank”

Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in a virtual session in the capital Riyadh, on January 28, 2021.Fayez Nureldine / AFPMat Nashed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are racing to diversify their economies as they gear up for a post oil future. Sparring for … Continue reading “Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute”

Greater Middle East May Force China to Project Military Power Sooner Rather Than Later

Chinese honour guards prepare for the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 2, 2019. WANG ZHAO / AFPJames M. Dorsey China may have no short-term interest in contributing to guaranteeing security in parts of … Continue reading “Greater Middle East May Force China to Project Military Power Sooner Rather Than Later”

Tunisia: Bardo Square, Again and Again!

Supporters of Tunisia’s President Kais Saied chant slogans denouncing the country’s main Islamist Ennahda (Ennahdha) party in front of the Parliament which was cordoned-off by the military in the capital Tunis on July 26, 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country’s parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. Tunisia was plunged deeper … Continue reading “Tunisia: Bardo Square, Again and Again!”

Sudan’s ‘Forgotten’ Pyramids Risk Being Buried by Shifting Sand Dunes

A Sudanese man sits on a camel as he looks at the pyramids in the Meroe desert, north of Khartoum, on February 26, 2010. ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFPAhmed Mutasim Abdalla Mahmoud: PhD Researcher, Sand Movement in Sudan, University of Nottingham The word “pyramid” is synonymous with Egypt, but it is actually neighbouring Sudan that is … Continue reading “Sudan’s ‘Forgotten’ Pyramids Risk Being Buried by Shifting Sand Dunes”

Studies On Polygamy: Between Fraud and Truth

Abdul Rahman al-Obeidi, a 22 year-old Iraqi farmer, sits between his two new wives on April 25, 2012 in Samarra. AFP PHOTO/STR.Nour Abbas Jordanian student Mamdouh Barakat Abu Tayeh confused social media after a picture of him with the title of his master thesis: The level of happiness among polygamists and monogamists in Ma’an Governorate. … Continue reading “Studies On Polygamy: Between Fraud and Truth”

Tunisia: Fighting Covid-19 with Sarcasm and Conspiracy Theories

A Tunisian man receives a dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine at the Palais des Congres in the capital Tunis on July 20, 2021. Tunisia, where vaccine stocks remained limited until recently, only fully vaccinated 913,000 people, or about 8% of its population, a rate that remains among the highest in Africa. FETHI BELAID / … Continue reading “Tunisia: Fighting Covid-19 with Sarcasm and Conspiracy Theories”

Two Hospital Fires Point to Wider Problems in Iraq

People place fake coffins in front of the fire-ravaged coronavirus isolation ward of Al-Hussein hospital, during a protest in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, on July 15, 2021. Asaad NIAZI / AFPSophia Akram A deadly fire has caused renewed outrage among Iraqis, tired of corruption and mismanagement of public resources after wars and international … Continue reading “Two Hospital Fires Point to Wider Problems in Iraq”

Palestinian Authority Tightens its Grip on Power in the West Bank

Palestinian protesters clash with Palestinian security forces in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on June 26, 2021, following a demonstration against the death of human rights activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. ABBAS MOMANI / AFPSophia Akram A brutal crackdown by the Palestinian Authority … Continue reading “Palestinian Authority Tightens its Grip on Power in the West Bank”

Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in a virtual session in the capital Riyadh, on January 28, 2021.Fayez Nureldine / AFPMat Nashed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are racing to diversify their economies as they gear up for a post oil future. Sparring for … Continue reading “Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute”

Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in a virtual session in the capital Riyadh, on January 28, 2021.Fayez Nureldine / AFPMat Nashed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are racing to diversify their economies as they gear up for a post oil future. Sparring for … Continue reading “Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute”

Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in a virtual session in the capital Riyadh, on January 28, 2021.Fayez Nureldine / AFPMat Nashed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are racing to diversify their economies as they gear up for a post oil future. Sparring for … Continue reading “Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute”

Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in a virtual session in the capital Riyadh, on January 28, 2021.Fayez Nureldine / AFPMat Nashed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are racing to diversify their economies as they gear up for a post oil future. Sparring for … Continue reading “Saudi-UAE Rivalry Takes Center Stage in OPEC Dispute”

Israel Deprives Central Europeans of Moral Cover

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) is flanked by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, as he chairs chairs the first weekly cabinet meeting of the new government in Jerusalem, on June 20, 2021. EMMANUEL DUNAND/ POOL / AFPJames M. Dorsey When Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid recently sparked a war of words with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki … Continue reading “Israel Deprives Central Europeans of Moral Cover”

The Ottoman Sultan Was a Divine Ruler in the Circle of Justice

A symbolic old Ottoman Empire military band called ” Mehter ” parades in the capital Ankara 29 October 2003. Turkey celebrated the 80th anniversary of its birth as a republic but the festivities were undermined by renewed tensions between the fiercely secular elite and the country’s growing Islamic movement over a ban on women wearing … Continue reading “The Ottoman Sultan Was a Divine Ruler in the Circle of Justice”

The Man Who Sold His Skin: A Feminine Punch with a Silk Glove

Tunisian director and screenwriter Kaouther Ben Henia and Syrian actor Yahya Mahayni pose in front of the poster of “The man who sold his skin” after its first screening in the country, in the capital Tunis, on March 30, 2021. The Tunisian film, the first ever to be tipped for an Oscar, features in the … Continue reading “The Man Who Sold His Skin: A Feminine Punch with a Silk Glove”

The Quran as a Phonetic Phenomenon in a Fair Orientalist Study

A Pakistani Muslim devotee recites the Quran at a mosque during the holy month of Ramadan in Karachi on June 13, 2016. RIZWAN TABASSUM / AFPResearcher Kristina Nelson Focuses on the Quran as a Phonetic Phenomenon, not as a Written Text Youssef Sharqawi The orientalist position on the Quran is not new. The controversy over … Continue reading “The Quran as a Phonetic Phenomenon in a Fair Orientalist Study”

What to do About Islamic State Supporters Still in Syria? Denmark’s Decision Sets a Worrying Trend

A woman walks with a child at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, which holds relatives of suspected Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria, on June 23, 2021. Delil SOULEIMAN / AFPKerstin Bree Carlson: Associate Professor International Law, Roskilde University Denmark has decided to repatriate some Islamic State (IS) supporters from camps in Syria. … Continue reading “What to do About Islamic State Supporters Still in Syria? Denmark’s Decision Sets a Worrying Trend”

Uncovering the Similarities Between the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and British Colonial Laws in Egypt

Soldiers belonging to the Commonwealth and Allied forces are seen in the desert in 1942 on the battlefield at El Alamein, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of Alexandria. AFPAlice Ella Finden: PhD researcher, SOAS, University of London The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill 2021, which is currently being discussed in parliament, has provoked major condemnation … Continue reading “Uncovering the Similarities Between the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and British Colonial Laws in Egypt”

A Wider War Looms as Sudan and Ethiopia Clash Over Contested Border

A boy fills up a jerry can in the Atbarah river, also known as the Black Nile, located in Al-Fashaga agricultural region of Sudan’s eastern Gedaref state on March 16, 2021.ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFPMat Nashid A border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia risks triggering a wider conflict that destabilizes the Horn of Africa. The contested … Continue reading “A Wider War Looms as Sudan and Ethiopia Clash Over Contested Border”

Raisi Brings Promise for Iran’s Economy but a Worrying Trajectory for Human Rights

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi smiles as he greets media representatives during his first press conference in the Islamic republic’s capital Tehran, on June 21, 2021. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)Sophia Akram Last month, Ebrahim Raisi won the much-watched Iranian presidential elections and will take up office in August this year. While he built his … Continue reading “Raisi Brings Promise for Iran’s Economy but a Worrying Trajectory for Human Rights”

What Comes After the War on Gaza?

A Palestinian woman paints during a cultural event organised by the Popular Committee for Palestinian Refugees at the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip on July 1, 2021. SAID KHATIB / AFPMajed Kayali Several factors played an influential role in stopping the war on Gaza. The list includes the sudden courageous performance of the … Continue reading “What Comes After the War on Gaza?”

Hezbollah’s Economic Initiatives in Collapsing Lebanon

A picture shows a view of the damaged grain silos at the port of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on April 9, 2021, still reeling from the destruction due to a catastrophic blast in a harbour storage unit last August that killed more than 200 people and damaged swathes of the capital. JOSEPH EID / AFPGiulia … Continue reading “Hezbollah’s Economic Initiatives in Collapsing Lebanon”

Iran Election: What Ebrahim Raisi’s Victory Will Mean for his Country – and the Rest of the World

A man holds an Iranian national flag while a woman holds a picture of Iran’s newly-elected president Ebrahim Raisi as supporters celebrate his victory in Imam Hussein square in the capital Tehran on June 19, 2021. ATTA KENARE / AFPArshin Adib-Moghaddam: Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies, SOAS, University of London   When Iranians … Continue reading “Iran Election: What Ebrahim Raisi’s Victory Will Mean for his Country – and the Rest of the World”

How a Sectarian Oligarchy Destroyed Lebanon’s Economy

Vehicles queue-up for fuel at a petrol station amidst severe fuel shortages in Beirut. June 2021, / AFPMat Nashed Lebanon is coping with an unprecedented banking crisis that has plunged more than half of the population into poverty. Those responsible are sectarian political elites who have plundered the economy since Lebanon’s civil war ended in … Continue reading “How a Sectarian Oligarchy Destroyed Lebanon’s Economy”

Saudi Arabia Steps Up Effort to Replace UAE and Qatar as go-to Regional Hub

A man sits in a plane with the porthole showing an aerial view of oil industrial facilities at Jubail Industrial City, about 95 kilometres north of Dammam in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province overlooking the Gulf on December 11, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)James M. Dorsey Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist … Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Steps Up Effort to Replace UAE and Qatar as go-to Regional Hub”

Bashar al-Assad’s Spectacle of Legitimacy

Syrians waving national flags celebrating in the streets of the capital Damascus President Bashar al-Assad’s fourth term on May 27, 2021. (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP)Mat Nashed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demands to be glorified by the citizens he oppresses, not just tolerated. That was the purpose of his re-election last month, which amounted … Continue reading “Bashar al-Assad’s Spectacle of Legitimacy”

Why Iranians Won’t Vote: New Survey Reveals Massive Political Disenchantment

An Iranian man living in Iraq votes for presidential election, at a polling station in the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf, on June 18, 2021. Ali NAJAFI / AFPPooyan Tamimi Arab: Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Utrecht University Ammar Maleki: Assistant Professor, Public Law and Governance, Tilburg University The Islamic Republic of Iran has … Continue reading “Why Iranians Won’t Vote: New Survey Reveals Massive Political Disenchantment”

New Israeli Government Approved as Netanyahu Ousted

Outgoing Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin (C) is flanked by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) and alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid during a photo with the new coalition government, at the President’s residence in Jerusalem, on June 14, 2021. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)Galia Golan The new government coalition in Israel is … Continue reading “New Israeli Government Approved as Netanyahu Ousted”

Palestinians Away from Politics

A Palestinian boy eats bread near the ruins of houses which were destroyed during Israel’s 22-day offensive in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on February 1, 2009. MOHAMMED ABED/ AFPMajed Kayali The conditions of the Palestinians cause concern and raise fears wherever they are. Those concerns relate to Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank … Continue reading “Palestinians Away from Politics”

A New Palestine Drawn by New Media in the Events of Sheikh Jarrah

Protesters march through neighborhoods near a Ford Motor Company plant in Dearborn, Michigan on May 18, 2021, where US President Joe Biden is touring, to protest the Biden’s continued support for Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration, and the on going Israeli army actions in Gaza, and the forced removal of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah in East … Continue reading “A New Palestine Drawn by New Media in the Events of Sheikh Jarrah”

Bustani’s Arabic Encyclopaedia Lacked Teamwork

Iraqis visit a bookstore during the opening of the International Book Fair in Baghdad on February 07, 2019. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFPYoussef Sharqawi Relying on individual genius makes no difference 1876 was the year in which the idea of publishing the Arab Encyclopaedia was born. During the Nahda movement, Butrus al-Bustani worked on this project … Continue reading “Bustani’s Arabic Encyclopaedia Lacked Teamwork”

Israel Military Policy Has Caused a Blow to Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence

Palestinian Citizens of Israel mourn the death of Mohammad Kiwan, a 17-year-old who succumbed to his wounds after being shot during confrontations with Israeli military, during his funeral in the mostly Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 20, 2021. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)Galia Golan Palestinians and Israelis are no … Continue reading “Israel Military Policy Has Caused a Blow to Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence”

The Decline of Journalism in Egypt and the Arab World

Egyptian men share a laugh as they chat over a newspaper at a cafe in the Zeitun neighbourhood of Cairo on November 30, 2011. ODD ANDERSEN / AFPHakim Marzouki In the 1930s and 1940s of the last century, the Egyptian newspapers published articles about corruption and attacked King Farouk himself. Some journalists have even gone … Continue reading “The Decline of Journalism in Egypt and the Arab World”

Turkey Aims to Repair Ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Sanad Loza (background) meets with his Turkish counterpart Sedat Onal (Foreground) in the foreign ministry headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on May 5, 2021. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)Mat Nashed Turkey is trying to break out of its regional isolation by rehabilitating ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt. … Continue reading “Turkey Aims to Repair Ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia”

Nahla Othman: Commercializing Emotion As a News Commodity

Syrian children, displaced from Ras al-Ain, a border town controlled by Turkey and its Syrian proxies, are surrounded with laundry hung to dry between tents in the camp of Washukanni in the northeastern Syrian al-Hasakeh governorate, on November 12, 2020. Delil SOULEIMAN / AFPNour Abbas In recent days, news pages and websites have reported the … Continue reading “Nahla Othman: Commercializing Emotion As a News Commodity”

What Islamic State Police Files Can Tell Us About Everyday Life Under the Caliphate

  Syrian women and children sit by their belongings to wait for departure, as another group of Syrian families is released from the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp which holds suspected relatives of Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in Hasakeh governorate of northeastern Syria, on March 18, 2021.Delil SOULEIMAN / AFPBeatrice de Graaf  Beatrice De Graaf Professor … Continue reading “What Islamic State Police Files Can Tell Us About Everyday Life Under the Caliphate”

Gaza Onslaughts Highlights an Emerging Paradigm Shift

People wave the Palestinian flag as they celebrate in front of a destroyed building in Gaza City early on May 21, 2021, following a ceasefire brokered by Egypt between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)Nour Odeh During eleven days, Israel turned the besieged Gaza Strip into “hell on … Continue reading “Gaza Onslaughts Highlights an Emerging Paradigm Shift”

Jerusalem: the Politics Behind the Latest Explosion of Violence in the Holy City

Palestinian Muslim worshippers gather in Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site of Islam, on May 21, 2021. AHMAD GHARABLI / AFPCarlo Aldrovandi Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin The recent violence at the al-Aqsa mosque/Temple Mount area and in the Old City of Jerusalem has spiralled into something bigger and more dangerous. … Continue reading “Jerusalem: the Politics Behind the Latest Explosion of Violence in the Holy City”