Israel is hoarding the Jordan River – it’s time to share the water

Water that Israel promised Jordan back in the 1994 peace treaty has still not materialised. In the West Bank, Israel’s choice to hoard is expressed through the Oslo-created Israeli-Palestinian joint water committee. Because the committee approves the water lines that every new settlement in the West Bank needs, but blocks projects for Palestinian villages, water … Continue reading “Israel is hoarding the Jordan River – it’s time to share the water”

Following Election of New President, What Next for Algeria?

To a certain extent, Tebboune’s election makes sense because of his former position but also because as prime minister he was dismissed for criticizing the president’s clan, which enabled him to distance himself from the old regime during his election campaign. However, this may not be enough if protesters continue to reject his leadership. The … Continue reading “Following Election of New President, What Next for Algeria?”

Unannounced Fuel Price Hike Sees Iranians Return to the Streets

Smuggling became a lucrative business, with 20 to 40 million litres being smuggled across the border per day. In addition, because Iran borders 15 countries, it is almost impossible for the government to control all its borders on a permanent basis. To overcome fuel smuggling, the government resorted to another policy: reducing subsidies. The post … Continue reading “Unannounced Fuel Price Hike Sees Iranians Return to the Streets”

Is Saudi Arabia on the Verge of Striking a Deal with Yemen’s Houthi Rebels?

The agreement signed in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 5 November stipulated the formation of a new cabinet of 24 ministers, with 50 per cent of the portfolios held by STC and other southern movements, the inclusion of STC negations to end the war, the placement of all military forces under the Defence Ministry and … Continue reading “Is Saudi Arabia on the Verge of Striking a Deal with Yemen’s Houthi Rebels?”

Quranists, Islam’s Outcasts

Quranists are a small group of Muslims who regard the Koran as the only valid source of religious belief, guidance and law in Islam. They call themselves ‘the people of the Koran’ while their opponents call them ‘disruptors of the Prophet’s sunnah’. Quranists have long suffered persecution and non-recognition in the Middle East. Their rights … Continue reading “Quranists, Islam’s Outcasts”

Not So Plural: How Sectarianism Has Failed the Lebanese

The sectarian system runs deep in Lebanon’s history, but it was enshrined after independence in 1943. Christians and Muslims established a national pact that would be the pillar of a new independent state. This pact relies on three principles: the independence of Lebanon from other Arab states and from the West, equality between all Lebanese … Continue reading “Not So Plural: How Sectarianism Has Failed the Lebanese”

The Sudan Uprising and its possibilities: regional revolution, generational revolution, and an end to Islamist politics?

The 1964 October Revolution saw a generational transition within a small elite – hopefully this time it will be more comprehensive. The university students today are more diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity and regional origin than was the case in the 1960s. They are not encumbered by the old way of doing politics that … Continue reading “The Sudan Uprising and its possibilities: regional revolution, generational revolution, and an end to Islamist politics?”

Kuwaiti Music: Pioneering Sounds of Sand and Sea

Pearl divers even took a singer with them while away on their ships. During the long months at sea, the nahmastood on the deck and led the men in chores like raising the sails. The homecoming of the divers, if they came home at all, was celebrated with special songs as well, the lyrics telling … Continue reading “Kuwaiti Music: Pioneering Sounds of Sand and Sea”

Omar Barghouti: Peaceful Resistance through Boycott of Israel

Omar Barghouti was greatly inspired by Nelson Mandela’s approach to mobilizing the nations of the world against the apartheid regime in South Africa. This approach was introduced in Palestine after the failure of the Camp David II peace negotiations in July 2000 and the outbreak of the second intifada (uprising) in September 2000 in the … Continue reading “Omar Barghouti: Peaceful Resistance through Boycott of Israel”

How Non-Violent Tools Are Shaping Israel’s Occupation of Palestine

BDS has three demands: ending the occupation of Palestinian territories and dismantling the security barrier that encroaches on West Bank land; ensuring the equal rights of Palestinians living in Israel; and enabling the right of return for Palestinians in the diaspora. The post How Non-Violent Tools Are Shaping Israel’s Occupation of Palestine appeared first on … Continue reading “How Non-Violent Tools Are Shaping Israel’s Occupation of Palestine”

In Morocco, Proposed Reforms Intensify Debate to Repeal ‘Bedroom Laws’

Among the recommendations is the decriminalization of sex outside of marriage, which civil society has demanded for some time. Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Moroccan parliament to adopt the proposals to enshrine individual freedoms. The post In Morocco, Proposed Reforms Intensify Debate to Repeal ‘Bedroom Laws’ appeared first on Fanack.com.

Saudi Arabia Counting on Aramco Shares to Start Trading on 11 December

In what seems to be a case of history repeating itself, Saudi Arabia appears once again to be moving unburdened and untouched towards its national objectives, prioritizing local investments to prevent foreign policy and global insecurity from affecting its progress. The post Saudi Arabia Counting on Aramco Shares to Start Trading on 11 December appeared … Continue reading “Saudi Arabia Counting on Aramco Shares to Start Trading on 11 December”

US no longer thinks Israeli settlements are illegal – this is a green light for more Palestinian displacement

Pompeo’s statement on the Israeli settlements marks the latest departure from previous anchors of US policy on the Israel-Palestine issue. By effectively endorsing the settlements, the Trump administration has signalled a green light for their continued expansion. As a result, further Palestinian displacement is virtually guaranteed. The post US no longer thinks Israeli settlements are … Continue reading “US no longer thinks Israeli settlements are illegal – this is a green light for more Palestinian displacement”

Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State

In a region surrounded by threats – from Turkey’s attacks and Islamic State terrorism and patriarchy at home – the women of Kurdistan are fighting for their life and liberty. And the cost is hard, dangerous labor. The post Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State appeared first … Continue reading “Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State”

Kurdish Storytelling Tradition Takes First Steps on Long Road to UNESCO Recognition

As one of the oldest cultural expressions in Mesopotamia, dengbej should be added to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. This is according to opera singer Pervin Chakar, who has started a petition to gather support for and raise awareness about the importance of dengbej, an ancient Kurdish storytelling tradition. The post Kurdish Storytelling … Continue reading “Kurdish Storytelling Tradition Takes First Steps on Long Road to UNESCO Recognition”

Ramadan, the Holiest Month for Muslims

Muslims are obliged to fast during Ramadan – the fourth pillar of Islam – by refraining from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and other whims between sunrise and sunset, i.e. between the prayers of fajr and maghrib. The exceptions to this obligation are sickness, travel and menstrual periods in the case of women. However, the fasting … Continue reading “Ramadan, the Holiest Month for Muslims”

History of Egyptian Radio and Television Series

The drama industry in Egypt is significant, consisting of millions of workers, technicians, actors, writers and directors. Nearly 40 series were produced in 2018 alone. However, the increasing government control of the Egyptian media in recent years has negatively impacted both the volume and quality of the dramas produced. The post History of Egyptian Radio … Continue reading “History of Egyptian Radio and Television Series”

In Israel’s Coalition Talks, Palestinian Politician Ayman Odeh Emerges as Possible Kingmaker

Born in 1975, Odeh grew up in the city of Haifa. The only Muslim in a Christian school, he speaks fluent Hebrew as well as Arabic, English and Romanian. He became politically engaged at a young age, attending his first demonstration on 30 March 1988, Land Day, aged 13. The next three years “were the … Continue reading “In Israel’s Coalition Talks, Palestinian Politician Ayman Odeh Emerges as Possible Kingmaker”

In Egypt, Military Companies ‘Detrimental’ for Economy

When general-turned-president al-Sisi seized power from the Muslim Brotherhood, who briefly ruled from 2012-2013, the military returned to the top of the food chain. “What we see recently is that the army conglomerate is growing,” the researcher said. And it is doing so more openly than before. The post In Egypt, Military Companies ‘Detrimental’ for … Continue reading “In Egypt, Military Companies ‘Detrimental’ for Economy”

In Syria, the Environmental Toll of War Beginning to Emerge

In Syria, clean-up of environmental hotspots, rehabilitation of affected areas and sustainable reconstruction are necessary to alleviate the burden on the Syrian people and provide them with opportunities to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in a safe and healthy environment. The post In Syria, the Environmental Toll of War Beginning to Emerge appeared first on … Continue reading “In Syria, the Environmental Toll of War Beginning to Emerge”

Lebanon’s Leaderless Uprising Facing Possible Stalemate

Since 17 October 2019, Lebanese have taken over the streets to protest against the crashing economy and a corrupt elite that has been in power for decades. For the first time in the country’s modern history, the population is mobilizing across sectarian lines. The post Lebanon’s Leaderless Uprising Facing Possible Stalemate appeared first on Fanack.com.

Violent crackdown against Iraq protests exposes fallacy of the country’s democracy

The latest protests may have been suppressed but they revealed that democracy in Iraq is nothing but a facade. What sort of democratic government kills its own people, taking away their hopes and dreams? And can it still be called legitimate? Reacting indifferently to the deadly crackdown of innocent people in Iraq, the world needs … Continue reading “Violent crackdown against Iraq protests exposes fallacy of the country’s democracy”

The Unlikely Leader: The Man Who Made No Campaign Promises Becomes Tunisia’s President

Cynics could argue that the boy cannot be disappointed since kais Saied made voters no promises during his ‘explanatory’ campaign. Realistically, Tunisia’s political context is not conducive to success, but for some voters at least, Saied’s election is a victory in itself. The post The Unlikely Leader: The Man Who Made No Campaign Promises Becomes … Continue reading “The Unlikely Leader: The Man Who Made No Campaign Promises Becomes Tunisia’s President”

Despite Indictment, Israeli PM Hanging on to Political Career

The law may seem clear: a minister who has been indicted must resign. However, there is no such stipulation for a prime minister. The reason, according to most interpretations, is a practical one: if a prime minister were to resign, this would bring down the government and make a new coalition or elections necessary. Therefore, … Continue reading “Despite Indictment, Israeli PM Hanging on to Political Career”

Deportation to Syria could mean death for women, children and LGBTQ refugees in Turkey

Returning Syrian refugees to this battleground would make them the “buffer” between these warring forces, turning more vulnerable people into collateral damage of a greater geopolitical war. The post Deportation to Syria could mean death for women, children and LGBTQ refugees in Turkey appeared first on Fanack.com.

In Morocco, Arrest of Rapper for Critical Song Sparks Freedom of Expression Debate

The arrest caused a stir in the North African country as it occurred two days after Gnawi released the song ‘Aacha el-Chaab’ (‘long live the people’) with artists Weld l’Griya and LZ3ER. The song, which has been viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube, criticizes the police and the king and denounces the social … Continue reading “In Morocco, Arrest of Rapper for Critical Song Sparks Freedom of Expression Debate”

Protesters in Iraq Denounce Dire Living Conditions, Demand End of Sectarian System

As demonstrators voice their frustration with the Iraqi political system, they are also targeting Tehran, which has increasingly tightened its grip on the country and exerts an almost unfettered influence. The post Protesters in Iraq Denounce Dire Living Conditions, Demand End of Sectarian System appeared first on Fanack.com.

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”