Maryam al-Khawaja’s journey home ended before it had begun: British Airways staff stopped her boarding her flight at the request of Bahraini immigration authorities. Maryam was no regular passenger: her father is veteran human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, in jail in Bahrain for 12 years and counting.
Sundus* scans the news before she heads home, checking for signs that her 30-minute commute could turn into a four-hour-long slog. Any incident could make travel difficult.
Sometimes Sundus waits for her father to call and tell her if the checkpoints around their home are open. After living in Hebron, a city in the West Bank, for the last 20 years, she is used to planning her day around unpredictability.
The population of Egypt increased from 104 million in November 2022 to 105 million in June 2023, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). This represents the growth rate for the country, where the poverty rate is 27.3 percent. The population increase means that every 245 days, it increases by one million, or 3 people per minute.
On September 16 Iranians everywhere commemorated the first anniversary of Mahsa Jina Amini’s murder by the country’s notorious ‘guidance patrol’. Arrested for being badly covered, the 22-year-old was beaten so violently, she died from brain injuries. This violence and the regime’s obfuscation of its crime unleashed a 40-year-long pent-up fury among Iran’s women and girls. Protests ensued in cities and towns across the country’s length and breadth. Young and old men, who in past generations had shown limited empathy for the daily humiliations and systemic discrimination facing women, joined. Amini’s Kurdish origins prompted the mobilization of Iran’s Kurds, Baluch, and other minorities. As protesters’ images flooded social media, the #WomenLifeFreedom movement was born. With the regime cracking down, killing over 500 people, raping, injuring, and threatening countless others, young Iranians’ message to the world was ‘be our voice’. The world responded.
It’s a year since a photo of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini – bruised and in a coma she would never recover from after being arrested by the morality police for her supposedly improperly worn hijab – went viral, sending people onto the streets.
Twenty years ago this month, a colleague saved me from a likely gruesome death. He insisted I stay in his Baghdad office of the World Food Programme (WFP) for a hot drink. “You can't leave us without trying the tea I made for you! The best in Iraq.”
When I first travelled to the Middle Belt of Nigeria, I listened to harrowing tales of murdered family members, physical injury, sexual violence, displacement, and hopelessness. In the years that have passed, these stories have only continued to stack up.
The prospect of normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia will have enormous implications on Israel and the entire region. Since it will certainly take a personal sacrifice to put Israel’s national interests first, the question is, will Prime Minister Netanyahu muster the courage to do what’s best for the country
Two years ago, the then 19-year-old Somaya Faruqi and the Afghan Robotic Team travelled from Herat City to Kabul, the heart of Afghanistan—the Taliban had taken over Herat city, cutting off electricity and internet. The all-girls team’s great passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) had driven them to Kabul to rehearse for a competition.
The likelihood of further confrontations remains high following a major Israeli military assault on an impoverished camp of more than 23,500 Palestinian refugees in Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank earlier this month. The landlocked Palestinian territory, located between Israel to the west and Jordan to the east, has been illegally occupied, according to international law, following the invasion by Israel 56 years ago.
The video shows an empty house with even the door frames and windows torn out. Graffiti on the wall recalls that the building was once requisitioned by the Sham Legion, an Islamist faction from northern Syria.
Turkey’s election hasn’t produced the change many thought was on the cards. Now women’s groups, LGBTQI+ people and independent journalists are among those fearing the worse.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has led the country for two decades, first as prime minister and then as president, prevailed in the 28 May runoff poll, taking around 52.2 per cent of the vote, with his opponent, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, on 47.8 per cent.
A civilian student named Saber was caught in the crossfire in Khartoum. He had two choices: either flee and lose everything; or die. But within a moment his option to choose was violently denied: he died.
The World changes, though prejudices and misconceptions remain. In 1996, political scientist Samuel Huntington published The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
, in which he predicted that people’s cultural and religious identities would become the primary source of conflict in a Post–Cold War World
. Huntington’s allegations have been contradicted by a number of critics, among them American Palestinian professor Edward Said, who lamented their extreme cultural determinism, which omitted the dynamic interdependency and interaction of cultures. Said’s own Orientalism
depicted a generalised “Western view” of Arab cultures as “static and undeveloped”, while European culture was considered to be “developed, rational, flexible, and superior.” Literature and movies have depicted Arabs as exotic men riding camels and horses through the desert, and their women as dangerously seductive objects of male desire. Eventually, the exotic men turned in to being terrorists, and/or depraved oil-rich magnates, while Muslim women were presented as veiled, enigmatic, and oppressed.
The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the Saudis’ diplomatic overtures toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, are part and parcel of the Saudis’ overall reassessment of their geostrategic interests, which rest on three distinctives goals: regional stability, exerting greater regional and international influence, and uninterrupted oil exports. These three fundamental goals are tightly linked and are within the Saudis’ reach.
Egypt intends to sell shares in 32 state-owned businesses within a year, including three banks, two military-owned businesses, and numerous businesses in the energy and transportation sectors. This is part of the administration's efforts to reduce the role of the state in the economy and attract foreign capital.
Europe’s current approach to facilitating refugee returns and containing new arrivals from Syria is based on wishful thinking. Europeans have come to terms with the fact that a political settlement for Syria’s 12-year conflict is not on the horizon.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an organisation whose motto is ‘For democracy. For everyone’, just held its global assembly in a country with a mock parliament and not the slightest semblance of democracy.
For Bahrain’s authoritarian leaders, the hosting of the IPU assembly was yet another reputation-laundering opportunity: a week before, they’d hosted Formula One’s opening race.
As Yemen enters its ninth year of war, its people are facing a humanitarian crisis of horrifying proportions. In my role as Oxfam's Yemen Country Director, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of the humanitarian catastrophe, worsened by economic collapse and sharp increases in the cost of food and other essential commodities.
This year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates
, which, together with its Gulf neighbors, enjoys abundant solar, natural gas
and financial resources. At the same time, many poorer countries are struggling to generate the additional affordable electricity they need to power their development — especially as wealthier nations halted their overseas financing for high-emitting coal power plants
Over the past two decades Iraq has been affected by several waves of intense conflict and violence. The 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multinational coalition led by the United States and United Kingdom toppled the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein.