Middle East & North Africa

A University for the Kurds of Syria

There is a main hall as well as workshops, laboratories and, of course, a cafeteria, where the half-hour break flies by amid card games and laughs. It could well be any university if it wasn't for those men armed with assault rifles at the entrance.

Keeping Hope Afloat in a Sea of Uncertainty

“I think I’m making a difference. I’m really helping,” Hanadi tells me, as she reflects on her work in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.

Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

A New Mideast Peace Plan: A Confederation of Israel, Palestine & Jordan

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which dates back to the mid-1940s, is one of the longest military confrontations defying a permanent solution – even as it continues to be on the agenda of the United Nations whose primary mandate is the maintenance of international peace and security.

International Relief Effort After Deadly Afghan Earthquake Displaces Thousands

Survivors of the deadly earthquake that hit Afghanistan’s Paktika and Khost provinces told of their losses while being treated in hospitals in neighboring Pakistan after a 5.9-magnitude quake killed at least 1000 and displaced thousands more in the early hours of June 22, 2022.

Iran’s Economy Hostage to its Foreign Policy

The Islamic Republic of Iran faces widespread anti-government protests amid an economic crisis while doing little to ease tensions with the international community as it becomes a nuclear threshold state.

Those Who Dare: Feminist Movements in Sudan, Lebanon & Syria

The year 2019 was not just a time before the world saw the global pandemic, but also a time when the world saw mass political uprisings with women at the forefront. The MENA region in a way led this force, in Sudan women played as drivers of the revolution, protesting decades of corruption, socioeconomic grievances and gendered violence. Nubian queen became the symbol of the revolution in Sudan which finally saw the overthrow of the dictatorship in 2019.

A Sliver of Hope for Lebanon?

In the midst of what has been an incredibly turbulent period for Lebanon, the conclusion of elections last week ought to be hailed as a chance to focus on the future. This, the first election since the mass uprisings in 2019 against what was seen as a corrupt ruling elite, has shown some signs of the drive for change.

What the Russian Invasion Means for Syria

Moscow’s decision to intervene militarily in Syria in 2015 effectively preserved the Assad regime in Damascus. Russian air power and intelligence support, along with Iranian-backed militias on the ground, allowed the regime to beat the opposition and brutally reassert its control over much of Syria.

Those Who Dare: Voices of Women in the MENA Region

When it comes to gender equality and development, the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and the Arab States region continues to be in a paradoxical situation. While within the region, several laws, policies and programming focused on gender equality are growing, women’s representation in government jobs, corporate roles, and national programming seem to be dismissed. Healthcare, education have seen improvement, most countries have become tech inclusive as well, but access to hospitals and educational institutions –at times due to social programming or gender-related policies continues to prevent women from accessing them and using them.

A New Strategy Is Needed to Address Iran’s Nuclear Program

A revised Iran nuclear deal based on the 2015 JCPOA could provide the basis for a new Biden administration strategy that would limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes and ensure that Tehran’s public pronouncement that it is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons becomes a de facto reality.

Road to European Dream Paved by Extortion and Exploitation

Last June, Mit Al Korama's youth gathered in front of one of their homes on a summer evening to tell stories of citizens from the village and neighboring villages who had successfully crossed the Mediterranean to Europe.

From Rags to Riches: Power and progress in Abu Dhabi

I recently visited Abu Dhabi and my impressions became intermingled with worries about the war in Ukraine. I also happened to read Livy’s The Early History of Rome, written around the beginning of CE, coming across these lines:

Egypt’s Tourism Hit by Ukraine Crisis

Tourism to Egypt’s GDP is as vital as the Nile to its people. After Egypt’s tourism sector began to recover following the Russian plane crash in 2015. Then COVID hit, and now the Ukrainian war shot a bullet through its heart.

The Middle East’s Food Crisis Spells Disaster

In a short period, the war in Ukraine has already had a major effect on the world economy. The United States and the European Union have levied sanctions on an unprecedented scale against Russia, energy prices have skyrocketed, and with the Black Sea closed, the world’s most fertile region is no longer linked to its markets. This will cause an appreciation of food prices that could wreak havoc in the European periphery.

Afghanistan’s Girls’ Education is a Women’s Rights Issue

The late-night reversal of a decision by Taliban authorities in Afghanistan to allow girls from grades 7 to 12 to return to school has been met with distress from within the country and internationally – and fear that it could herald further restrictions.

As Yemen Continues to be Devastated in an eight-year-old Conflict, a UN Pledging Conference Attracts only one Arab Donor

When North and South Yemen merged into a single country ushering in the Republic of Yemen back in May 1990, a British newspaper remarked with a tinge of sarcasm: “Two poor countries have now become one poor country.” Described as the poorest in an oil-blessed Middle East, Yemen continues to be categorized by the United Nations as one of the 46 least developed countries (LDCs), “poorest of the world’s poor” depending heavily on humanitarian aid while battling for economic survival.

Al-Shamiya: When Adversity Becomes Inspiration

When Suhier Abed’s husband broke both legs after falling two floors while working in construction, the 32-year-old mother of five needed to support her family.

War on Syria: Eleven Years of Carnage

“Hundreds of thousands have been killed, more than half of the pre-war population – somewhere in the order of 22 million - have been displaced. More than 100,000 are missing or forcibly disappeared….

Israel’s Glorious and Gloomy Reality

No people have ever risen from the ashes of near-extinction to form a country and achieve the height of development in every walk of life like Israel. These magnificent accomplishments are now tragically marred with domestically charged struggles which ominously undermine its very existence.

The Weaponisation of Libya’s Elections

Libya was supposed to hold elections early this year. Instead, it now has two rival political administrations — a return of the divisions of the past.

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