This week's editor


Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Iraq’s next parliamentary elections: the stakes

We are now completely at the mercy of our political class. Many of the same faces will return, and those who are new will have been imposed on us by the same party structures that have been running the country since 2003.

Obama and Iraq: the myth of abandonment

John McCain and others continue to blame the escalation of tension and sectarian violence in Iraq on Obama’s 'abandonment' of the country in 2011, but the foundations for the violence were laid years before his election. 

Anbar – thorn in Maliki’s side

Anbar province has emerged as the fulcrum of a rising Sunni resistance against Iraq’s Shi’a controlled government and it could have a major impact on the formation of the next government.

Women’s rights under threat in Iraq

Few disagree that the Iraqi government’s increasingly Shia character has alienated its Sunni population—but what has mounting sectarian division meant for the rights of women and girls?

Fallujah revisited

Saudi Arabia’s virulently sectarian geo-policies are behind the resurgence of Al Qaida in Iraq.

Beyond a self-fulfilling prophesy: religion and conflict in the Middle East

Primordialism is back with a vengeance when it comes to analysing conflict in the Middle East. However, Libya and Egypt help us put religion in its proper place.

Iraq’s Sunni civil war

Iraq’s Sunnis have become increasingly alienated from its Shia-dominated government. Al-Qaeda has been able to profit from its inability to offer cross-sectarian leadership.

Al-Qaida's idea, three years on

The Arab awakening promised democratic change and the end of violent jihadism. Today, the losers of 2010-11 are again on the rise.

Why the US should join forces with the Baathist regime in Syria

The Baathist regime is indeed guilty of great war crimes, but the human cost of a failed state would be a greater catastrophe. Washington should have learnt this lesson from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

The Erbil explosions – designed to change the strategic climate of the KRG

When is a terrorist attack a terrorist attack?

The journey from Iraq to Camelot

I had her phone number, and tried to call her several times after I returned to Kirkuk, but no one picked up the phone. I hope that she found her ‘Camelot’ in the end.

Democracy in Kurdistan: more losers than winners

The power structures of the KRG remain clan-based. The extended family is trusted over outsiders and marriage between cousins is the norm, ensuring the disempowerment of a younger generation only now finding their voice.

This week's window on the Middle East - October 25, 2013

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Egypt's most powerful man tries to tame the media.

The root of the Syrian-Iraqi question

If Saddam Hussein and Hafez Assad had worked towards unlearning the new reality which Sykes-Picot aimed to create in the Arab World, the current deadlock in the Syrian-Iraqi situation would never have happened.

This week's window on the Middle East - October 8, 2013

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Tunisia’s political impasse.

The Kurdish Jihadist battleground in Syria: ramifications in Iraqi Kurdistan

The two Iraqi Kurdish parties’ entanglement in the Syrian Kurdish issues seems to have resulted in anti-Assad rebels and extreme jihadists retaliating against the KRG, in a spillover of the Syrian civil war.

A partial victory, but a victory

British MPs’ arguments and information were influenced by a strong public opinion against such a war, itself a product of a mass movement which didn’t stop a war ten years ago but has prevented a further one now. 

Mass slaughter of civilian Kurds in Syria ignites heavy clashes and mass exodus

The al-Qaeda linked “Jabhat al-Nusra” (al-Nusra Front) in Syria, stands accused of instigating a sectarian racist war against civilian Kurds in Syria’s northern Kurdish region, one that is escalating rapidly.

The new phase in the Turkish-Iraqi relationship: fluctuating between friendly and inimical

The already strained Baghdad-Ankara relationship has further deteriorated in recent years, due to regional crises, internal political instability, narrow perceptions and regional interests.

Ten years ago today in Baghdad

Ten years ago today in Baghdad a terror attack blasted apart the UN headquarters in Iraq... At the moment of the explosion Gil Loescher and Arthur Helton were sitting down to interview Sergio Vieira de Mello for their joint openDemocracy column....

The question of sectarianism in Middle East politics

Everywhere the Arab uprisings have been confronted by the entrenched vested interests of old regimes, the so-called ‘deep state’ in Egypt, and by Islamist populism. The alignment of regional powers, following geopolitical interests, has sharpened the sectarian lines. But these alignments are not somehow essential to the region.

Iraq: gendering authoritarianism

Women in Iraq bear the brunt of increasing levels of gender-based violence, inadequate infrastructure and poverty. Yet women activists recognize that their struggle for equality and social justice as women cannot be separated from the wider struggle against authoritarianism and sectarianism

Who is responsible for Iraq’s sectarian violence?

These developments in Syria, with the involvement of Iraqis, have intensified and widened the divisions among Iraqis themselves.  

Palestine, peoples and borders in the new Middle East map

Today’s Sunni/Shiite regional war is the direct product of the Bush/Blair war on Iraq. The divide is all the more dangerous because of the Levant’s confessional mosaic. These events are changing the very nature of the states in the region, and the peoples that lie within them. Where do Palestine’s borders now lie?  

Dying and killing, killing and dying

Our columnist explores the language and the headlines of dying and killing, from Tibet to the United States to Iraq. 

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