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Bahrain on North Africa West Asia

The Arab political landscape is being redefined. Regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have fallen while many more struggle to hold on. Protests in Morocco and Jordan have opened the way to constitutional and electoral change, and inspired peoples across the region with hopes for a better future. New alliances and fresh tensions are calling into question the assumptions that have long governed our understanding of the region. Yet it is not only the Arabs who are shaping the landscape. Nations across the globe, from the US to China, are trying to make the Arab Spring bear fruit for them. Return to Arab Awakening

The possible devastating outcome of a Kurdish referendum

An attempt to establish a Kurdish state including Kirkuk is likely to result in a truncated and economically devastated mini-Kurdistan.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

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.

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

الحوثيين وإيران: تحالفات السياسة وتوترات المذهب

لايزال الدور الإيراني في اليمن وطبيعة العلاقة مع الحوثيين مسألة مثيرة للجدل، يميل البعض إمّا لانكارها بالكامل والتقليل بشدّة من حقيقة وجود تحالف بينهما أو المبالغة في تقدير العلاقة وتقديم الحوثيين كألعوبة بيد الإيرانيين.English

The weakening of Egypt’s regional role

As time passes, pressure on the regime will mount and a choice will have to be made between a domestic crisis, loss of valuable allies and international support.

How to lose the next war in the Middle East: the short answer, fight it!

It’s hardly a brilliant observation to point out that, more than 15 years after the "global war on terror", the entire region is a remarkable mess.

The world’s last colony: Morocco continues occupation of Western Sahara, in defiance of UN

Some claim that the admission of Morocco will now resolve the question of Western Sahara’s occupation but in fact Morocco is now emboldened.

The US cannot win the Middle East: six reasons why

The United States has yet again attempted to resolve issues in the Middle East. This time it is by firing missiles on a Syrian military airfield, sending a ‘strong message’ to a dictator.

The making of the modern Kurdish Middle East

Rather than a unified Kurdistan across borders, a single ethnic group with multiple sovereign territories is more likely to be the political foundation of the modern Kurdish Middle East.

Iraqi Kurdistan: from democratic consensus to de facto autocracy

Due to the war with ISIL and international support, the Kurdistan region is currently run by an autocratic administration under the influence of neighboring countries.

The changing security dynamic in the Red Sea

The expected transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands is revealing a number of regional dynamics between Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Populism, terrorism, and the crisis in western democracies: an interview with Iran’s former president

Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first post-revolutionary president, discusses neo-liberalism, the crisis in western democracies, and the relationship between Islamic terrorism and the rise of far-right politics.

Will the re-launch of the Mosul battle by the Iraqi PM reverse Trump’s hostile stance?

The highly unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections sent shock waves across the world, but for Iraq’s PM Haider al-Abadi, it unquestionably heralded the beginning of what promises to be a long-running painful nightmare.

Marine Le Pen in Lebanon: mission accomplished?

Where to start in discussing Marine Le Pen’s visit to Lebanon? The French “Trump without the crazy” got her first meeting with a head of state and performed a successful media stunt.

Many birds, one stone: why did Iran execute 25 Sunni Kurds in August 2016?

In the chaos and instability the region is experiencing, now more than ever, religious and racial minorities find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

Saudi foreign policy under Salman: same goal, different threat perceptions

An in-depth look at the transformations of Saudi foreign policy since the ascension of Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz to the throne.

From failure to engagement: a new western strategy in the Middle East

Western strategy in the Middle East has been torn between support for brutal dictatorships, and an urge to see the region change in the western image.

Leaving stings in the wounds of others: Donald Trump and American foreign policy

If you are from the Middle East, Donald Trump is a sad reminder of virtually all the mainstream politicians you have lived under, often supported by the US government.

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.

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?

Turkey: the road towards dictatorship and the west’s responsibility

The recent arrests of HDP co-leaders and MPs is another dangerous episode in Turkey’s road towards absolute dictatorship.

Will a No-Fly Zone help the people of Aleppo?

The debate around a no-fly zone in Syria is governed by divisions in the political establishment and opposing views.

Turkey’s Mosul dream: showing up uninvited to a party or having prepared its seat well in advance?

Turkey is already shouldering the greatest portion of the burden for Syrian refugees.  It should temper its approach regarding Mosul accordingly.

The Libyan GNA: the rise and impending fall of the Libyan political agreement

A viable Libyan state that will restore normalcy and security to the daily lives of its citizens must be given the same priority as the international community’s immediate desire to combat Daesh. 

Gaza: a city no one wants

The Gazans have been abandoned and left in the hands of Hamas to do with them as they please. This policy is transforming Gaza slowly but steadily into a hotbed of radicals.

Kerkennah: on the frontline of resistance to the fossil fuel industry in Tunisia

The effects of climate change and neoliberalism converge in Kerkennah in the worst possible way – but the islands are fighting back.

Why is a military coup in Saudi Arabia possible?

Saudi Arabia is the most significant player in determining the future of the Arab revolutions. There are two ways to break this stalemate: replace Saudi regional hegemony, or change the regime controlling it.

ISIS and Israel on the Golan Heights

The Yarmouk Valley is run by ISIS – and left alone by Israel. This is a testament to the complex, cynical and calculated machinations of the actors in this conflict.

Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria: an argument for protecting humanitarian law in US politics

The extremist goals of those who seek to abolish such laws reflect a deeply problematic ideology, in which guilt by association is a celebrated norm.

The troubling political economy of Iraq’s Sh’ia clerical establishment

Iraqi and Iranian Shia have been competing over Iraq's shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala since the invasion. Al Sistani's successor will have to cope with the fall-out.

Why airstrikes on ISIS in Libya could worsen the situation in Tunisia

Concerns that bombing ISIS in Libya might destabilise Tunisia were tragically confirmed last week, as ISIS militants assaulted military and security facilities in Ben Guerdane, killing more than 50 people.

Defeating Israel

Mohammed Al Qiq has recently ended a record 94-day hunger strike protesting his so-called administrative detention, a procedure Israel uses disproportionately against Palestinians, holding them without charges or due process.


A vision for Western Sahara and the Moroccan protest movement

If autonomy is to prevail then it should be an autonomy within a fully and strictly democratic Morocco, and if confederation is to prevail then a confederation within a fully and strictly democratic Western Sahara.

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