Torn: defaced posters and silent dissent in Egypt

Nevertheless, they remain just one example of the many artefacts that make urban spheres active spaces of remembrance. In my imagination and maybe to those of others, these slashed posters manifest my own chaotic memory, as if I were looking into an inverted mirror, where the past collapses into the present. They remind me of … Continue reading “Torn: defaced posters and silent dissent in Egypt”

How Iran Has Broken the Strategic Deadlock Created by the US

Iran’s strategy following the US’ withdrawal from the JCPOA has focused on two objectives. The first is to push back against the maximum pressure policy with the aim of proving its irrelevance in bringing Iran to the negotiating table on US terms. The second is to drive a wedge between the US and its regional … Continue reading “How Iran Has Broken the Strategic Deadlock Created by the US”

US Recognition of Illegal Settlements Puts Israel a Step Closer to Annexing Parts of West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, welcomed the statement, saying it “rights a historical wrong”, adding that Israeli courts were the place to determine the legality of the settlements, “not biased international forums that pay no attention to history or facts”. The post US Recognition of Illegal Settlements Puts Israel a Step Closer to Annexing … Continue reading “US Recognition of Illegal Settlements Puts Israel a Step Closer to Annexing Parts of West Bank”

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Largely Unrecognized Christian Sect

Similarly, Tunisia and Jordan have refused to recognize Jehovah’s Witnesses as a Christian community and have banned their activities and publications. However, this has not prevented them from preaching, proselytizing and establishing some informal centres. The post Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Largely Unrecognized Christian Sect appeared first on Fanack.com.

The decline of Erdoğanist authoritarianism: a new chance for “democratization” in Turkey?

On the flip side of the picture, ironically, the making of Erdoğanist authoritarianism has generated ample opportunities for a radical liberalization of the Turkish political system. Scrapping institutional discipline, liquidating the bureaucratic guardians, disposing of the ‘traditional’ cadre structure and confusing the ideological compass that defined the ‘old’ imperious state apparatus, without effectively replacing them … Continue reading “The decline of Erdoğanist authoritarianism: a new chance for “democratization” in Turkey?”

Are Foreign Forces Giving Haftar Staying Power in Libya?

Russia’s deepening involvement in Libya’s ongoing civil war, supporting Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) that is waging an offensive against the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj, have been exposed in recent reports. The post Are Foreign Forces Giving Haftar Staying Power in Libya? … Continue reading “Are Foreign Forces Giving Haftar Staying Power in Libya?”

Jordan’s Teachers’ Union Reaches Deal with Government to End Strike

Amid the revolutionary fervour sweeping the Arab world, Jordan has gone largely unnoticed. This is despite the country going through the longest public sector strike in its recent history, disrupting schooling for more than 1.5 million students. The post Jordan’s Teachers’ Union Reaches Deal with Government to End Strike appeared first on Fanack.com.

Earning Potential Attracts Foreigners to Egypt’s Belly Dancing Scene

In Egypt, where belly dancing has long been one of the most important arts, the market is filled with dancers of various nationalities looking for fame and fortune. The competition between Egyptian and foreign dancers is fierce. Atiyat Abdel Fattah Ibrahim, better known as Fifi Abdou, has been the most renowned Egyptian belly dancer since … Continue reading “Earning Potential Attracts Foreigners to Egypt’s Belly Dancing Scene”

Qatar Pledges to End Abusive Kafala System

Since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the country’s labour practices have come under greater scrutiny, prompting the Arab state to work with the ILO towards reform. In addition to ending kafala, it has also introduced a non-discriminatory minimum wage, the first in the Middle East. The post Qatar Pledges … Continue reading “Qatar Pledges to End Abusive Kafala System”

Western states must repatriate IS fighters and their families before more break free from Syrian camps

The first, still best, option – repatriation of foreign nationals – is arguably a quickly closing window. Even then, questions would remain about what should happen to Iraqi and Syrian nationals, and what role the West should play in resolving their situation. But European powers must avoid taking the third option they’d been exercising by … Continue reading “Western states must repatriate IS fighters and their families before more break free from Syrian camps”

In Jordan, Policing of Women Places Power with Male Guardians

The Jordanian government should urgently address these shameful violations that national women’s organizations have been battling for decades,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, “starting with the zealous use of detention powers by provincial governors, and the discriminatory male guardianship system that allows adult women to be … Continue reading “In Jordan, Policing of Women Places Power with Male Guardians”

State Interference Putting Iranian Sports in Danger

The regime’s interference in sports, whether it is to limit women’s participation in sporting events or to prevent competition against Israeli contenders, has had a notable impact on individuals, affecting their freedom, their life and, for athletes, the chance to fulfil their potential. The post State Interference Putting Iranian Sports in Danger appeared first on … Continue reading “State Interference Putting Iranian Sports in Danger”

Umrah: Muslims’ Most Cherished Sunnah

It is forbidden for pilgrims to remove hair, cut their nails, have sexual intercourse, put on perfume, hunt or write a marriage contract during umrah. Men are prohibited from wearing stitched clothes or covering their heads while women are prohibited from wearing gloves or covering their face. The post Umrah: Muslims’ Most Cherished Sunnah appeared … Continue reading “Umrah: Muslims’ Most Cherished Sunnah”

In Israel, Still No Government after Election Rerun

The deciding factor may well be whether Netanyahu is indicted on one or more of the charges against him. While many of his supporters might remain loyal to him through another election, there is still the option of avoiding a new election entirely if Netanyahu’s own party were to decide to join a coalition with … Continue reading “In Israel, Still No Government after Election Rerun”

In Lebanon, Unexpected Protests Bring Hope to a Country Plagued by Crisis and Corruption

Many never believed it would happen, as the Lebanese fear of another civil war if they let go of their political leaders – who were often warlords during the war and now act as community protectors – has largely kept people from taking to the streets. But on 17 October, large-scale protests erupted after a … Continue reading “In Lebanon, Unexpected Protests Bring Hope to a Country Plagued by Crisis and Corruption”

In Lebanon, Mothers Have Limited Custody Rights after Divorce

As in many countries, women in Lebanon are discriminated against, facilitated by the existence of 15 religion-based personal status laws. One of these laws determines children’s custody in case of a divorce and prevents mothers from raising their children. The post In Lebanon, Mothers Have Limited Custody Rights after Divorce appeared first on Fanack.com.

More Evidence Emerges of Chemical Weapons in Syria’s Eight-Year War

Following the recent confirmation of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime in the May 2019 attack, Pompeo declared that the US would continue to exert pressure on Bashar al-Assad‘s regime so it puts an end to violence directed against civilians and takes part in a political and conflict settlement process overseen by … Continue reading “More Evidence Emerges of Chemical Weapons in Syria’s Eight-Year War”

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Will Almost Certainly Include Iran

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted global attention. Many questions were raised with regards to its scope, aims and feasibility. Now, five years on and with two major meetings concluded (the second was the size of a UN General Assembly), these questions are beginning to fade. The post China’s Belt and Road Initiative … Continue reading “China’s Belt and Road Initiative Will Almost Certainly Include Iran”

Kurds Unable to Unite Against Turkey’s Aggression

If the Kurds really want to stand up to the forces that are trying to bring them to their knees, whether it is the Syrian regime, the Turkish state or any other entity, they will have to unite. But as long as their commercial and ideological aspirations for the future of a Kurdish homeland are … Continue reading “Kurds Unable to Unite Against Turkey’s Aggression”

Protest movements in Iraq in the age of a ‘new civil society’

If the 2015 movement could be deemed as characteristic of a ‘new civil society’, the specificities of the Iraqi context structured by political and sectarian violence make the rejection of identity politics, especially sectarian identity and religion, central. For Iraqi protesters individual freedom, especially the freedom not to belong to a religious and sectarian group … Continue reading “Protest movements in Iraq in the age of a ‘new civil society’”

Examining the Implications of Russia’s Growing Influence in the Middle East

For Russia, extending its hand to the region might indeed be useful; for Saudi Arabia, the decision appears more pragmatic as its once go-to allies for economic cooperation have been the US and Europe. However, the Saudis have several reasons to no longer trust the West and to seek support elsewhere. The post Examining the … Continue reading “Examining the Implications of Russia’s Growing Influence in the Middle East”

Four Years After Garbage Crisis, Lebanon Grappling with Rubbish Stalemate

Lebanon’s endemic corruption is one of the root causes of the crisis. The inability of successive governments to agree on a proper sustainable waste management framework has seemingly been the result of leaders negotiating behind the scenes over which company should be granted profitable waste collection contracts. The bids were apparently launched on a geographic … Continue reading “Four Years After Garbage Crisis, Lebanon Grappling with Rubbish Stalemate”

My Enemy’s Enemy: Syria’s Regime and Kurdish Forces Unite to Fight Turkey

In a matter of days, the US’ role and position in the war in Syria has been thrown into disarray, a relatively stable area of the country has turned into a battlefield, IS, which was all but eliminated, may be rallying, and Moscow and Damascus seem to be in a stronger position than they have … Continue reading “My Enemy’s Enemy: Syria’s Regime and Kurdish Forces Unite to Fight Turkey”

Tunisia’s Revolution Enters Second Phase as Kais Saied Sweeps to Election Victory

Despite the rise of new political movements, none of them seems to offer a substantive political platform capable of harnessing the activism of young protestors in neglected cities outside the capital Tunis, who are still demonstrating daily for better socio-economic conditions. The post Tunisia’s Revolution Enters Second Phase as Kais Saied Sweeps to Election Victory … Continue reading “Tunisia’s Revolution Enters Second Phase as Kais Saied Sweeps to Election Victory”

Egypt: when the rivers run dry

As debt continues to pile up, the pressure on the poor will continue to rise, as the government continues to cut social spending. This will reduce the level of effective local demand, leading to greater pressure on the private sector. The post Egypt: when the rivers run dry appeared first on Fanack.com.

In Palestine, Honour Killing Sparks Debate on Gender-based Violence

Ghrayeb’s shocking death has triggered the outrage necessary for serious action to be taken, but individual acts of justice, while important, might not be enough to combat systemic issues related to violence against women. Deeper institutional reform may be necessary for long-term and more radical change. The post In Palestine, Honour Killing Sparks Debate on … Continue reading “In Palestine, Honour Killing Sparks Debate on Gender-based Violence”

Egyptian Activist Mahienour el-Massry: The Cost of Persistence

During her detention, she wrote an open letter titled ‘We shall continue’, vowing to keep on fighting until the controversial Protest Law issued in November 2013 – which effectively annihilated the right to protest – was abolished. She also pointed to class differences that determine one’s treatment even in prison, ending her letter with the … Continue reading “Egyptian Activist Mahienour el-Massry: The Cost of Persistence”

Hajj: The Fifth Pillar of Islam

Pilgrims who break any of these prohibitions out of forgetfulness, ignorance or necessity are not considered sinful; those who break any of them out of necessity are not considered sinful but are obliged to offer an animal sacrifice; but those who break any of them deliberately without excuse are considered sinful and must also offer … Continue reading “Hajj: The Fifth Pillar of Islam”

Islamic State Strikes as Turkey Attacks North-east Syria

It is not so much that Trump is fulfilling his election vow to pull US troops from Syria that is concerning. It is the way he is doing it: without any apparent strategy, without any protection for the forces the US army has been cooperating with in the war against ISIS since 2014 and without … Continue reading “Islamic State Strikes as Turkey Attacks North-east Syria”

Saudi Arabia Hoping Tourism Will Boost Its Foreign Image – and Revenues

As part of the scheme, visitors can apply for a one-year, multiple-entry visa, allowing them to spend up to 90 days in Saudi Arabia, which previously only recognized business and invitation visas. On the new Visit Saudi, website, available in English, Arabic and Chinese, a slick video promotes the country’s natural and cultural attractions, featuring … Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Hoping Tourism Will Boost Its Foreign Image – and Revenues”

In Iraq, Old Grievances Spark New Wave of Violent Protests

The country is no stranger to demonstrations, but this time the mass action appears to be more widespread and less coordinated, making it harder to contain. The cause of the unrest is, however, a long and familiar list of grievances. The post In Iraq, Old Grievances Spark New Wave of Violent Protests appeared first on … Continue reading “In Iraq, Old Grievances Spark New Wave of Violent Protests”

In Syria’s Overcrowded al-Hol Camp, Islamic State Ideology Spreading ‘Uncontested’

According to international law, the detention-like conditions in al Hol camp contravene prohibitions on collective punishment, and detention during wartime must be done on a clear legal basis. Detainees have the right to challenge their captivity before a court, according to HRW. The post In Syria’s Overcrowded al-Hol Camp, Islamic State Ideology Spreading ‘Uncontested’ appeared … Continue reading “In Syria’s Overcrowded al-Hol Camp, Islamic State Ideology Spreading ‘Uncontested’”

In Egypt, Corruption Allegations Against al-Sisi Spark New Unrest

Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has vowed to tackle corruption. However, in September 2019, corruption and slander allegations against him in a series of videos by the relatively unknown actor and contractor Mohamed Ali sparked new unrest. The post In Egypt, Corruption Allegations Against al-Sisi Spark New Unrest appeared first on Fanack.com.

Rapping for Rebellion: Turkey’s Hip-hop Artists Fight Back with Words

Yet while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have made an indelible mark on the country, in many areas of political and cultural life, ordinary Turks have made clear their resistance to Erdogan’s leadership. Perhaps the most unusual of these is rap music. The post Rapping for Rebellion: Turkey’s Hip-hop … Continue reading “Rapping for Rebellion: Turkey’s Hip-hop Artists Fight Back with Words”

Why Syrian refugees have no negative effects on Jordan’s labour market

Providing legal work opportunities to refugees is not detrimental to the native job market. The inflow of foreign aid to Jordan to assist with some of the needs of refugees, as well as the conditions of the Jordan Compact, which included aid and trade concessions and employment support for Jordanians, may have played an important … Continue reading “Why Syrian refugees have no negative effects on Jordan’s labour market”

Who Are Yemen’s Separatists?

The southern separatists are stronger than ever before, taking advantage of the ongoing war against the Houthis in the north to bolster their position. Any serious attempt to divide Yemen would inevitably prolong the current conflict, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and leaving the country even more prone to regional and international intervention. The post Who … Continue reading “Who Are Yemen’s Separatists?”

In Jordan, Teachers’ Strike Enters Fourth Week as Negotiations Stall

The protest was met with a harsh police response. According to reports, tear gas was used to control the protesters. Footage and images showing police violence flooded social media. A total of 50 teachers were detained but later released. The post In Jordan, Teachers’ Strike Enters Fourth Week as Negotiations Stall appeared first on Fanack.com.

LGBTQ Palestinians Face Double Discrimination

LGBTQ Palestinians are still in their infancy although society is changing. The PA’s reversal of the ban on al-Qaws indicates that institutions in Palestine will respond to pressure although such clampdowns have not only harmed LGBTQ people; activists believe they also hurt the fight against the Israeli occupation. The post LGBTQ Palestinians Face Double Discrimination … Continue reading “LGBTQ Palestinians Face Double Discrimination”

Immense Challenges Ahead for Sudan’s New Prime Minister

Despite the immense challenges Abdalla Hamdok faces, his appointment can be seen as a turning point in Sudanese politics. He has been unanimously accepted by opposing civilian and military leaders. Furthermore, he does not belong to the traditional Sudanese elite. The post Immense Challenges Ahead for Sudan’s New Prime Minister appeared first on Fanack.com.

Global Oil Prices at Risk following Saudi Aramco Attack

Considering the target and extent of the attack, oil prices have remained relatively stable. There could be well-founded concerns on the horizon, however, given the less than clear messaging on the damage caused to the Saudi facility and its ability to fulfil supply commitments. We could, in fact, see oil prices rise well above the … Continue reading “Global Oil Prices at Risk following Saudi Aramco Attack”

Alawite Sect: Secrets and Denial

The Alawites are often accused of being esoteric, in other words they manifest their religion and teachings differently from what their essential beliefs say. In his book The Alawites, writer defined the Alawites as those who manifest their essence in different forms and make tawil (hermeneutic interpretations) of every Koranic revelation. The post Alawite Sect: … Continue reading “Alawite Sect: Secrets and Denial”

The ISIS comeback is happening – but the west isn’t learning any lessons

It is becoming ever clearer that the movement is transforming itself at a much faster rate than expected, even as the US president seeks to bring the troops back from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In the short term he may win some political advantage, and it might even help his re-election bid, but the reality … Continue reading “The ISIS comeback is happening – but the west isn’t learning any lessons”