“Do you speak English fluently? No? Then you risk to become a terrorist!.” IPS posed this dilemma to some young Muslim women living in Cairo, while explaining that this appears to be UK prime minister David Cameron's formula to judge the level of Muslim women's risk to fall, passively, into the horrific trap of extremism.
Despite the enormous challenges facing Africa now, the leaders of its 1.2 billion plus inhabitants have decided to spotlight the issue of Human Rights With a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women in their 26th summit held in Addis Ababa on 21-31 January this year. Why?
Africa is clearly one of the most negatively impacted regions in the world, not helped by the increasing trend of the mainstream media to focus on tragic news, following a self-imposed rule: “if it bleeds it leads”.
Economic exclusion; financial systems that perpetuate their discrimination; limited participation in political and public life; lack of access to education and poor retention of girls in schools; gender-based violence; harmful cultural practices, and exclusion of women from peace tables, are the major standing barriers to achieving gender equality in Africa.
Few months ago, an unprecedented "humanitarian auction" was opened in Brussels at the European Commission, shortly after watching the image of the three-year old Syrian child that the sea threw up on the Turkish shores. The "auction" was about deciding upon the number of Syrian refugees to be hosted by each EU country. Germany won the largest batch.
The “big five” – i.e., the most military powerful states on earth (US, UK, France, Russia and China) have just agreed that it would be about time to end the Syrian five-year long human tragedy.
When, in June 2006, former US National Security adviser and, later on, Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, spelled out the George W. Bush administration new, magic doctrine for the Middle East, tons of ink was poured and millions of words said in a harsh attempt to speculate with what she really did mean by what she called “Creative Chaos.”
One hundred years ago, on 6 May 1916, two men, Briton Sir Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot, were entrusted by their respective governments with a rather exceptional task.
Of all over-written, under-reported issues and regions, the Middle East is perhaps one of the oldest, outstanding ones.
Unconsciously or not, most mainstream media and foreign correspondents here have been echoing Muslim Brotherhood voices by depicting Egypt's new president, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, as the general who led the July 2013 “military coup” against the “legitimately elected” Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.
After a week of activities in Oslo during the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, major anti-nuclear campaigners moved Monday to the Bahraini capital, Manama, in yet another step towards the abolition of atomic weapons.
In the shadows of a critical Arab summit in Doha this week, a parallel Arab- South American heads of state meeting is expected to seal key political and economic cooperation agreements between the two regions.
Most policy makers draw a bleak picture of dramatic water scarcity in the Middle East, warning of water wars to come. But there is plenty of water in the desert, says Tunisian geographer and water expert Habib Ayeb.
The media has a key role to play in effectively addressing the two major challenges of the 21st century - sustainable development and climate change. But is it doing enough?
"We need to warn against any attempt to bring about the collapse of the Hamas government," says former Israeli minister Shlomo Ben-Ami.