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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Debates and articles from across the openDemocracy website that discuss or are relevant to the Middle East

‘The Art of the Deal’ in the Arab Gulf: how Trump could strike a new bargain with Bahrain

America’s new president has yet to fully articulate his foreign policy strategy but one thing is abundantly clear: the next four years are going to be a far cry from the Obama Doctrine.

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

Trump is creating a real threat to security by trumpeting a false one

The order is not only morally reprehensible and legally problematic; it is also strategically irresponsible and will create real security risks for the United States.

Renewing cooperation on water: what hope for the two state solution?

A new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority gives Israel carte blanche to expand water provision for illegal settlements.

With a more enterprising Russia, cards are reshuffled in the Arab world

A new power structure is emerging in the Middle East as Russia uses its intervention in Syria to position itself as an important partner for regional powers as diverse and opposed to each other as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Iran.

عالمية حقوق الإنسان ومدى ارتباطها بالثقافة

لو كانت الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان قيماً جماعية، أما كان العالم أكثر انجذاباً إليها؟  English

Syria: grassroots democracy, future prospects (Part II)

Part two of this interview with Joseph Daher explores some of the experiments in grassroots democracy and the possible futures in Syria.

Revolution and counter-revolution in Syria (Part I)

This first part of an interview with Joseph Daher offers an in-depth look at the forces involved in the Syrian revolution, and those fighting against it.

The consequences of politicized forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The politicization of the Kurdish military and security forces has a diverse and severe impact on human security, and stability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

From Ramallah to Paris: the Middle East’s forgotten conflict

There are issues the international community should consider in the wake of the Paris talks if it is serious about its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter. 

The Two-State solution’s silver bullet

If the international community cannot come to recognize the State of Palestine before Trump takes office, the State of Palestine may ultimately be reconstituted from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Fatah’s seventh party congress: a masterstroke by Abbas?

The Fatah leadership, with the tacit support of its international backers, has chosen small gains at the cost of an uncertain future. 

Aleppo's forgotten revolutionaries

Countless icons of the Syrian revolution who struggled for freedom between 2012-2014 have been ignored and erased from history by the western media.

Nationalism in Jordan: king, tribe, or country? Part two

Part two of this two-part series reveals the fragmented nature of nationhood in Jordan with the East/West Bank divide and tribalism.

Nationalism in Jordan: king, tribe, or country? Part one

The first article in this two-part series traces the formation of nationalism in Jordan as both a pan-Arab identity and a relationship between Arabs and family rulers.

Syria: prospects and solutions

The optimal outcome of the conflict in Syria is for democratic elections to take place and the regime to step down. But what are the real prospects of this happening?

As the world turns towards the right: what future for the "refugee crisis"?

The “refugee crisis” is portrayed as a new phenomenon plaguing Europe, but it is another episode in an old crisis of injustice and rights.

India and Israel - bedfellows indeed

The Israeli treatment of Palestinians might serve as an ideal vantage point to scrutinize Indian rule over Kashmir.

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

In Yemen, the war goes on and on and on...

As people in Europe get ready for their end of year celebrations, more than 20 million Yemenis are getting ready to face the next disaster coming their way: mass starvation.

Our testimony to death

It is just an image, containing something, a new event; a newsworthy event, but look closely at the image, it resembles an event we have witnessed before, time and time again.

Mohammad Abu Sakha: in prison for making children happy

One year after he was arrested by Israeli forces, Palestinian circus teacher Mohammad Abu Sakha is still behind bars, and without charges.

Human rights’ universality and correlation with culture

If democracy and human rights were collective values, wouldn’t they have been more appealing to the world? عربي

Theodor Herzl and the trajectory of Zionism

An interview with Professor Derek Penslar, former professor of Israel Studies at Oxford University, offers one possible explanation for why Jewish nationalism is so divisive and garners such controversy.

On the international day for women human rights defenders: building bridges of solidarity and protection

Patriarchy affects the lives of women human rights defenders as much as the ongoing wars, bombs, and crisis do, and it should not be neglected.

Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East

The election of Trump will give second wind to autocrats in the region as well as create space for the growth of Russian influence.

Thank you Mr. Trump, the unifier

A letter to President-elect Trump, thanking him for unifying progressive voices from all corners of the world by winning this election.

My 350 on Donald Trump: Widening the Gulf

The Gulf Arab states will welcome the end of Obama's administration. But there are no guarantees that Trump will be a better partner.

Trump's first steps on Israel / Palestine

Free advice for Trump from a fellow American citizen and Palestinian who lives and works under Israeli military occupation.

US drone base in Tunisia: expanding a borderless war against terror to North Africa

By normalising the use of drones, the US might be planting a seed that people in the Arab world reject: the seed of arbitrariness.

Are litmus tests on culture spreading from Israel to Berlin?

Pro-Israel journalists and politicians in Germany target a Palestinian arts and culture festival, its curators and the venue hosting it.

Trump can't simply delete a dangerous campaign

Attacking your opponent is one thing during the campaign, but attacking entire groups has far-reaching effects that do not get ‘deleted’ so quickly.

Lebanon's foreign minister shouldn't celebrate Trump. Here's why

Lebanon should not celebrate any foreign president or leader who espouses “poisonous rhetoric” that affects a large portion of its population.

A Middle Eastern take on Trump’s election

An open letter from the Middle East to the American people after the election of Donald Trump as the new president of the United States.

Mosul: the looming battle has begun

The Mosul operation marks the return of US forces to Iraq after their 2011 withdrawal. What would a long term stability in Mosul need?

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