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Constitutional conventions: best practice

Qatar crisis: a broader consolidation of power

Despite the real tension and rivalries, there is far more that unites Qatar and surrounding countries than what separates them.

UAE: when tweets become a matter of national security

Think twice before you speak in the UAE, you could end up spending 25 years in jail next time you tweet.

UAE recruiting ‘elite task force’ for secret surveillance state

A security researcher says he was offered $20,000 a month to help the UAE government spy on the public.

Abu Dhabi announces launch of Israeli-installed mass surveillance system

The Internet of Things applies unique identifiers to objects, including people to be followed, and provides large amounts of data on all aspects of an individual’s movements and activities.

Where is the outrage on David Cameron’s scandal in the Gulf?

The UAE, we now know, was busy planning its own operation against Muslim Brotherhood affiliates at home while urging David Cameron to do the same in Britain.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 1)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part one: North Africa, Egypt and the Gulf.

The limited effectiveness of US Middle East policy

There's not much the US can do in a post-Saddam Middle East except practice containment (and keep up airpower)—another invasion of foreign occupiers will only drive yet more legitimacy to Daesh.

Hunted, hooded and sold

Maziyar Moshtagh Gohari’s film Cechanok sweeps through the world of Middle Eastern falconry. At the Open City Documentary Festival on 18 June 2015.

Out of the Middle East

It is time for Arab Gulf countries to stop being on the defensive and to accept their responsibility for what is happening in the region.

Spilling the beans, Riyadh style

With recent events, the Saudis are involuntarily proving Obama's point: petrodollars and weapons cannot buy them security, but social and political reform just might.

The Arab World: towards bi-polarity?

Maged Mandour

In Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, it will be very difficult for revolutionary democratic movements to succeed in such a bi-polar order.

Sudan and Operation Decisive Storm

Major opposition parties in Sudan boycotted the elections that took place earlier this month, but are now supporting the government's decision to join Operation Decisive Storm disregarding the effect this will have on the people of Yemen.

Arab autocracy & revolution

Maged Mandour

Until now, the struggle between autocrats and revolutionaries has been confined within national boundaries. But as the trend shifts towards a pooling of autocratic regimes’ resources, any future confrontation must be regional. 

In the shadow of an empire

Maged Mandour

The reasons for the involvement of the west in the MENA region are not limited to oil and security. These are the arguments used by both local autocrats and western powers to maintain control. The real threat however is a global revolutionary movement.

Will Middle East ground troops be rallied against IS ?

Try as we might, the question of Mr. Assad’s fate will not go away: all roads stubbornly lead back to Damascus.

United Arab Emirates: public affluence, private abuse

Abu Dhabi can present a glitzy, oil-fuelled image to the world. But many female migrant domestic workers in the UAE face maltreatment in the privacy of their employer’s home.

ISIS airstrikes: how to rehabilitate dictators and destroy the revolution

Maged Mandour

The American intervention will strengthen the hand of Arab autocrats against their opponents, Islamists and non-Islamists alike. It lends credibility to the 'war against terror' rhetoric that these regimes use as a suppressant to the revolution.

This week's window on the Middle East - September 24, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon.

Tripoli airstrikes

Maged Mandour

These airstrikes demonstrate new fault lines in the Arab world: between Arab conservative regimes, their Islamist foes, and the democratic secular forces who find themselves in an impossible situation. 

This week's window on the Middle East - June 9, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Syrian conflict transforms security regulations in Jordan.

Fraud fighters wanted in the Middle East

Rayna Stamboliyska

Egypt is just one of the places in the Arab world where scientific misconduct is tolerated. But the onus is global. What are research institutions waiting for to enforce policies? And what is the international community waiting for to stop the use of populations as guinea pigs?

The fate of Gulf migrant workers is deeply connected to the fate of the Arab uprisings

The more the Gulf states pay a reputational cost in the west for maintaining this system of exploitation, the harder it will be for them to resist demands for serious reform. 

The revolt of the periphery

Maged Mandour

An important yet neglected dimension of the Egyptian revolution is Egypt's position as a peripheral country, the connection between its elites and the heart of capitalism. Egypt’s geo-strategic position makes it important.

This week's window on the Middle East - April 14, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Contempt and humiliation greet the Pope's visit to the Holy Land.

The Arab Spring popular uprisings – myth and reality

It is critical to recognize the significance of this revolutionary chapter in the modern history of the Middle East and the creative conceptions and articulations of resistance that shattered the system of domination, particularly the popular roots of these uprisings amongst the urban and rural poor.

This week's window on the Middle East - March 20, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, The continuous battle against sexual harassment in Egypt.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression but conditions apply

Rayna Stamboliyska

Egypt has jailed journalists by the dozen; the Gulf is jailing people for tweets they send and surveillance companies are gearing them up. One does not need a crystal ball to see that repressive states in the MENA region will continue to suppress dissent.

The slow pace of female empowerment in the Gulf

These oil-rich countries cannot sustain long-term growth and prosperity if half the population remains marginalised and excluded from the workforce. The GCC states should begin to invest in and reform public and private sector institutions in favour of female-friendly policies.

The Arab Spring and the changing balance of global power

From an empirical-analytical point of view, what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa since Mohammed Bouazizi died? This is not an opinion piece, but an assessment of underlying factors which have put pressure on the aspiration for justice and political reform launched by the Arab Spring. (5,000 words) 

UAE's political show trials

The latest trial saw 20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis found guilty in a process marred by a litany of human rights and fair trial violations.The widening influence of security services, which act with complete impunity, causes grave concern for the safety of those brave enough to challenge repressive actions by the authorities.

Bizarre trials in UAE

The logic of the authorities is truly Orwellian – the only offence of the ‘criminals’ was thought crime.

The Egyptian crisis and its regional effects

Should Egypt collapse into violence and disarray, supporting the Army might well make the UAE look similar to how Iran and Qatar appear in Syria - one sided backers in a conflict that pulls the country apart rather than unifying it.

Turkey: looking east and west

The ongoing protests have only emphasised the gap between the Turkish government and the EU, and between Turkey and Arab leaders whose fear of revolt doesn’t necessarily translate into political solidarity with Ankara.

No-go areas and arms deals

With a worsening human rights record that includes the alleged torture of both British and Emirati citizens, shouldn’t this visit also be a chance to raise issues of concern with the president of the UAE?

Europe’s guns, debt and corruption

This second of two essays on military spending and the EU crisis, explores the role of the European arms trade, corruption and the role of arms exporting countries in fuelling a debt crisis, and why these 'odious' debts need to be written off. See Part One here.

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