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Violent Transitions

Speaking to a delegation of Latin dignitaries in 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” His words ring prophetic as regimes in Egypt, Syria and Yemen who refuse to cede to the peaceful demands of their people find themselves locked in a deadly dance.

Arabs who have decided to seize their own destiny are confronted with regimes that are willing to use any means necessary to retain power. As Arabs struggle to overthrow their regimes, we will explore ways of averting violence, the virtues and drawbacks of international intervention and the sacrifice tens of thousands of Arabs are making for their freedom.

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The Egyptian Army’s violent trail of breadcrumbs

Supporting Egypt’s particular brand of fighting terrorism is equivalent to supporting a climate of expedited radicalization.

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

Bahrain: “Undeclared Martial Law”

The outright militarization of the security apparatus has infected more and more sectors of Bahraini society. In fact, it’s now been written into the country’s constitution itself.

Towards an inclusive and pluralistic citizenship in Syria

Talk about building a new form of citizenship in Syria might seem unrealistic today, but in fact, it should be seen as a long-term strategy.

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.

Muddling through in Mosul

The west has treated ISIS as enemy number one while local actors see it as a sideshow in a political arena stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. What does the defeat of ISIS in Mosul mean for Iraq?

Trump: justified yet unpredictable

The airstrikes were justified. But Trump’s policymaking is dangerously unpredictable.

Adding insult to injury: when Israel and Britain celebrate the historical trauma of Palestinians

Palestinians will not be silenced. We will voice our historical testimony and tell our narrative to make sense of the senseless grievances of colonialism.

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.

The victims of tyranny and the need for transitional justice in Tunisia

It is important that a law be enacted to criminalize the whitening of dictatorships so that those longing for the past stop their hopeless ventures of trying to falsify history.

Why sectarianism fails at explaining the conflict in Syria

While sectarianism may be a component, its role as the primary cause of the war remains secondary.

‘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.

نقطة اللاعودة: كيف غيّرت الحكومة المصرية والرأي العام معالم إرث الألتراس؟

هذا الجزء الأخير من أربعة أجزاء عن هواة كرة القدم في مصر وكيف تحوّلوا من مشجّعين إلى "إرهابيين". English

Crossing the rubicon: how Egypt’s government and public opinion reshaped the Ultras legacy

The final piece in a four-part series on football fandom in Egypt and how the fans are now labelled 'terrorists'. عربي

الألتراس في حالة حداد: قصة نهاية كرة القدم المصرية بسبب مجزرة وتداعيات ثورة وسياسة

هذا الجزء الثالث من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري. English

شهداء كرة القدم: كيف أصبح مشجّعو الألتراس ثوّاراً؟

هذا الجزء الثاني من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري.English

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. 

Pain and torture: state violence in Egypt

The root of state violence and torture is not poor police training, nor a political decision that can be reversed, it is the nature of the regime and the political order it has created.

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.

Egypt's Copts between terror and discrimination

Until equality and justice are within reach to all, what can Copts do to survive and how much more will they be forced to bear?

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.

Ultras in mourning: how a massacre, revolutionary aftermath and politics killed Egyptian football

The third in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. عربي

Libyan political agreement: recipe for peace or disaster?

The United Nations-brokered Libyan political agreement has failed to bear any fruits thus far because it does not address the root causes of the Libyan crisis and only adds to its complexity.

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.

Football’s martyrs: how the Ultras become revolutionaries

The second in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. عربي

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.

Syria’s “voice of conscience” has a message for the west

Syrian dissident Yassin Al-Haj Saleh talks about the left and the regime, revolution and hope, Islam and secularism.

Avoiding a precedent in Syria and the Balkanisation of the Middle East

A key part of resolving the Syrian conflict lies in establishing a more coherent military-diplomatic dynamic and in post-conflict planning, and the solution is heavily dependent on perceptions.

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 fight for Mosul: the danger of arming Sunni opponents to Daesh and the Sunni/Shia power struggle

The liberation of Mosul, backed up by Sunni powers, themselves backed up by western powers, will only add to the general feeling of injustice experienced by Shias and will only benefit Iran and its conspiracy theories.

Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

The current security situation in Iraq is likely to worsen if the abuses of civilians by Shia militias within the PMF are not officially recognised and appropriately responded to.

Sports diplomacy: Bahrain’s martial arts venture distracts from human rights abuses

While the use of successful sporting events is a persuasive approach to international relations, it is limited in its ability to disguise Bahrain's true nature.

‘Democratic’ doublespeak in Bahrain: how the government spins its summer of repression

If the government continues to imprison or deport every critical voice, Alfadhel’s distortion of democracy may well triumph in Bahrain.

The allure of war: the motivations of Jordanian foreign fighters in Syria

Broadly speaking, religious motivations are the primary draw for Jordanian volunteers in Syria.

Divide and conquer: offer Jabhat al-Nusra access to the Syrian peace talks

Jabhat al-Nusra’s split from al-Qaeda offers the west a unique and crucial opportunity to create a fully inclusive and strengthened transition in Syria.

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