This week's guest editors

The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 1 of 4)

In a series commemorating the uprising's third anniversary, Syrian revolutionary activist Joseph Daher answers key questions still circulating in the western digital commons. In this first part he offers us a short history of the socio-economic causes behind the protests that sprang up across Syria in March 2011.

The conscience of Syria: An interview with activist and intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh

A popular Syrian intellectual responds to questions on the Syrian conflict and the west. Throughout, Yassin confronts and reframes several western fears and constructs about Islamists, intervention and the development of the uprising.

Bulgaria's 'chilly welcome' to Syrian refugees

As the civil war in Syria continues, refugees are desperately seeking refuge. It seems that Bulgaria has consistently preferred to engage in exacerbating the situation. Bulgarians have built a wall and are allowing far-right xenophobic rhetoric to prevail.

A fragile cold peace: the impact of the Syrian conflict on Israeli-Syrian relations

Is the Syrian crisis threatening to end 40 years of cold peace between Syria and Israel? How long will Syria and its allies pursue a policy of restraint and containment?

Women and peacebuilding in Yemen: challenges and opportunities

What are the hurdles facing and opportunities available to Yemeni women in light of UN Security Council Resolution 1325’s guidelines? Are internal and external stresses posing threats to women’s security? 

Kafr Batna, Syria

I want to believe, have to believe, that when people learn of what is truly going on in Syria, to the Syrian people, they will want to act. To stop, and acknowledge that this is happening.

Iran and the Arab world: a change in foreign policy

Maged Mandour

Iran has lost a significant component of its soft power in the Middle East. No longer viewed as a Muslim nation, it is regarded as a Shiite nation. This might be very costly for Iran in the long run. 

Lebanon: a year which promises little but foreboding?

The feeling of being hamstrung by international events both out of their control but with direct consequences, combined with domestic political stalemate and factionalism, is all too familiar. 

The 2012 National Elections: why Algeria remains the exception in North Africa

Algeria partnershipLarge numbers did not vote because they saw the election as a charade. This sentiment was clear in countless blogs and posts on the internet.  Again and again Algerians underlined their disgust with the political class, with ‘le pouvoir’

Taking the next step: Security Sector Reform in Libya

Can the experience of the western Balkans help Libya in its transition? Some best practice could be adapted to the local context.

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