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Iraqi Kurdistan: the fight for a seat at the table of nations

The result of Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum was never in doubt, but the budding state’s future is.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Citizens of Erbil stand in line to vote for independence referendum on September 25th, 2017. Picture by IranImages/Zuma Press/PA Images. All rights reserved.

Iraqi Kurdistan: the fight for a seat at the table of nations

The result of Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum was never in doubt, but the budding state’s future is.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Citizens of Erbil stand in line to vote for independence referendum on September 25th, 2017. Picture by IranImages/Zuma Press/PA Images. All rights reserved.

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Bahrain on North Africa West Asia

صراع البقاء ورهانات التغيير.. الصحافة السوريّة إلى أين؟

من الصعب أن يتحوّل السوري لصحافي يعمل بطريقة احترافية في مؤسسات تخضع لسلطة الممول والأجندة السياسية، وسط فقر الالتزام بمعايير العمل الصحافي.

Another case of energy colonialism: Tunisia’s Tunur solar project

The unrestricted flow of cheap natural resources from the global south to the rich industrialized north, maintains a profoundly unjust international division of labour.

An Arab perspective on Channel 4’s "The State"

A review of Channel 4's "The State", a show that takes ISIS as its subject and Syria as its backdrop. But does it deliver on its promises?

Political Islam in Tunisia: a history of Ennahda and the Tunisian exception

A review of Anne Wolf's Political Islam in Tunisia: A History of Ennahda, a book that presents the hidden history of Tunisia’s main Islamist movement, from the 1960s until the post-revolution present.

"نائبان لوزير الداخلية: كواليس معركة السيسي ضد "مافيا الشرطة

ترى من سينتصر في النهاية: الشعب و الرئيس، أم مافيا الشرطة والداخلية؟

Pink buses and race politics

To ally campaigns for women’s rights with racism is to accept the very logic that, at its ideological core, feminism seeks to destroy.

سياسات العمل الثقافي السوري في تركيّا: التهميش مازال مستمراً -١ من ٢

الانتقال القسري نحو السياق التركي يحمل صعوبات لا يختلف طعمها كثيراً عن طعم التهميش الذي اعتاده كثير من السوريون في وطنهم، ومازالوا.

Macho men only: no space for femininity in Jordan’s LGBT+ community

‘Just manly men’. ‘Guys that hit the gym’. ‘Straight-acting only’. ‘No fems’. The message for gay and bi men browsing through dating apps in Jordan is clear: masculinity is in, femininity is out.

DSEI: A supermarket for state surveillance and border wars

As borders are increasingly militarised and their operation privatised, migration, more than ever before, is also an anti-militarist struggle.

الإضراب عن الطعام يستمر حتى تحقيق المطالب

لافتات السوريين وبياناتهم ووقفاتهم وإضراباتهم تخدم فكرة واحدة، السوري ليس بربرياً، السوري ليس إرهابياً، السوري صاحب قضية محقّة، ولن يتوقف عن الدفاع عنها، أبداً.

Militias and crony capitalism to hamper Syria reconstruction

Reconstruction is a main project of the regime and crony capitalists, linked with a plan to consolidate their political and economic power, while rewarding foreign allies for their assistance with a share of the market.

Normalising torture

On impunity, and the erosion of ethics in International Human Rights Law - from Guantanamo to Yemen.

Justice after ISIS: time for judicial triage

The overwhelming reliance on a counterterrorism framework is showing its limits. Judges and local officials in Iraq and Syria are realizing that you cannot lock everyone up.

Race and exploitation in the Gulf

It is time for the issue of race to become central to any discussion on the continued exploitation of workers in the Gulf.

Chartering the trajectory of the Syrian poultry industry

While momentary decline in price offers a short-term reprieve for Syria’s struggling citizens, the future of a staple food source in Syria grows increasingly uncertain.

The right to blasphemy: is this the boundary between civilisation and barbarism?

Former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui collects fatwas like badges of honour. Her recent book outlines similarities between the Islamic and European far right.

Erdoğan: prophetic leader or political suicide?

If Erdoğan persists in his callous quest, it will only be a matter of time before he succumbs to increasing economic pressure that will threaten to leave the country destitute. 

To the victors, the ruins: the challenges of Russia’s reconstruction in Syria

From rebuilt mosques to new oil contracts, Russian firms are cashing in as the Assad regime gains the upper hand in Syria. 

Arms bazaar: needs wars, eats lives

A world of conflict and fear means boom time for big military companies.

Kurdistan referendum: why now is the wrong time

It appears that the referendum is arguably nothing more than a bargaining chip used by President Barzani, whilst also covering itself as a clever ploy to lull the suffering Kurdish population away from the on-going problems.

Gaza border controls: frustration, despair and death

This summer how many people will drive, walk, or take a train and barely realise that they have crossed a border?  How many people will know about the 2 million residents of Gaza that don’t have that right?

Claiming rights under the kafala system

How can domestic workers organise when the legal system places them at the complete mercy of their employers?

Morocco: time for self assessment in the Palace

Amid the tense political environment in Morocco, now is the time for the Palace to assume its responsibility towards the people.

Critical voices in critical times: the partition of India – lessons learned, an interview with Rajmohan Gandhi

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi distills the vital lessons from the past, the complicated legacy of independence and partition, and the enduring relevance of nonviolent resistance.

Sisters in solidarity: the communal care of domestic workers in the Middle East

Jordan has recognised domestic workers in local labour laws, but many workers are still stuck in dire situations with few good options available to them.

For a secular interpretation of prophethood

The conception of secularism has developed in a prolonged and convoluted historical path and has been so diversified that it often implies multidimensional, ambiguous and contradictory notions. [عربي]

Dubai and Gwadar: the silent economic war in the Gulf of Oman

The expansion of Gwadar port in Pakistan is a game-changing venture that would reformulate the economic agenda of the entire region.

Strikes, protests and Egyptian nights of curfew

A conversation about journalism and research in times of uprising and repression on the fourth anniversary of Egypt's Rabaa massacre.

Iraq after ISIS: continued conflict or rebuilding beyond ethno-sectarian identities?

Ignoring priorities that have popular support in Iraq risks undermining post-ISIS attempts to build a stable country, with knock-on effects at a regional level. 

What do people in the Arab countries want? Conceptions of democracy

Arab respondents mostly reject the EU brand of formal liberal democracy in which elections are essential, but civil and political rights remain decoupled from unprioritised social and economic rights.

Perceptions of EU foreign policy in the MENA region

In Arab countries, the EU is not seen as providing stability or promoting democracy. Asked what policies the EU should prioritise, survey respondents wanted 'economic support' and 'economic development'.

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza

The over 10 year-long blockade of Gaza is having a devastating impact on the lives of people living in the strip, affecting healthcare, water systems, and the ability to live and work.

“I am proud to keep resisting”: fighting the occupation in Hebron

Hazem Abu Rajab’s family was forcibly displaced from its home in Hebron’s old city by Israeli settlers.

Time to rethink UK’s engagement with Saudi Arabia

The UK has long been criticised for its close relationship with Saudi Arabia but it is time to rethink it.

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.

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