From the Middle East to the East China Sea, the last week’s events have offered a particularly vivid example of the much-heralded shift in foreign policy priorities under the administration of President Barack Obama.
"Can there possibly be anything more satisfying than teaching your own language to your own people?" Abdel Salam Wahali remarked to IPS. He is a teacher of Tebu, an ancient language which is experiencing a boom in post-Gaddafi Libya.
Nihal Saad Zaghloul is an Egyptian woman in her late twenties. Like other young women, she faces the daily risk of sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo. But Egypt’s revolution made her realise that people can unite and that she can make a difference.
Saudi Arabia’s public anger against the United States masks the kingdom’s growing concern about its diminishing influence in the Persian Gulf and the wider Arab world.
The almost three-year-old Syrian civil war has been a “silent war on human and economic development”, destroying the ability of ordinary Syrian citizens to maintain basic livelihoods, according to a report launched here Wednesday by two United Nations agencies.
Demonstrations have been at the heart of historic upheavals in Egypt since January 2011. But a newly proposed law that seeks to regulate protests could imperil one of the biggest gains of the Arab Spring revolution here: freedom of expression.
While Monday’s meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah may have helped calm the waters, the latest anxieties and anger expressed by Riyadh toward the United States has reignited debate here about the value of the two countries’ long-standing alliance.
Amani has just turned 22. Two months ago she fled from the civil war in Syria and left her house in capital Damascus. After a dangerous nightlong trip she arrived at Zaatari, the refugee camp just over the border in Jordan, where her parents and two sisters had already lived for over a year.
"I got married when I was 14 and I already had four children at 20," recalls Nafia Brahim. In her fifties now, she is working hard so that no other woman loses control of her life.
“O green Battir, mother of the air,” Mariam Ma’mmar sings in praise of her village. As the hot season draws to a close, the land – her people’s strength – dries up. Not here in her Battir, where a peaceful form of resistance against the Israeli occupation is taking root.
"The whole region is under control but be careful in the city centre," says a Kurdish militiaman at the eastern gate of Qamishli, 600 km northeast of capital Damascus, confirming rumours about breaches in Syria’s relatively stable northeast.
Bahraini opposition groups announced on Tuesday their opposition to participating in the dialogue that is supposed to start tomorrow. According to the Bahrain Mirror, the five opposition groups that signed the joint statement included al-Wifaq, Wa’d, al-Minbar, al-Tajammu’, and al-Ikha’.
Mahmoud Abu Yousef, 28, sits in one of the suburban subway stations of Egyptian capital Cairo selling socks. He had fled Syria with his wife and one-year-old child this February after his parents and three brothers were killed in the civil war that has been raging in his country since March 2011.
Kurdish fighters have emerged as a powerful player in the Syrian war thanks to the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG - “People's Protection Units”), a seemingly well-organised armed group which has so far proved capable of defending the territory it claims in northern Syria.
New and unexpected strains in Washington’s ties with two of its closest Middle Eastern allies -- Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- have underlined the difficult challenges the administration of President Barack Obama faces in navigating its way in the region’s increasingly treacherous and turbulent waters.
When Saudi Arabia sought the presidency of the General Assembly in a bid for U.N. glory back in 1991, the oil-rich kingdom was facing Papua New Guinea in a race to head the highest policy-making body in the organisation.
Despite U.S. and Western pressure on the opposition to take part in U.N.-sponsored talks aimed at halting the two-and-a-half-year-old Syrian civil war, most experts here believe the rebels are unlikely to show up any time soon. And even if they do, the results will be unlikely to change much of anything on the ground.
This week the Islamic world marks one of its holiest holidays, Eid al-Adha - honouring Ibrahim’s commitment to sacrifice his first-born son to Allah. The festival involves large family gatherings, bountiful lunches and generous gift giving.
After fleeing the war three months ago, Gulnaz is headed back for Syria to bury her brother within the 24 hours Islam stipulates. But it is far from easy to take the coffin across the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The administration of President Barack Obama announced Wednesday it was freezing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian military pending "credible progress" toward a return to democratic rule.
The lengthy prison sentences handed down to 50 Shia activists last week and the refusal of Bahraini courts to hear their allegations of torture once again confirm the regime’s continued repression of the opposition.