Middle East & North Africa

A Multi-Billion Dollar US Mideast Arms Market May be in Jeopardy

When President Saddam Hussein ran one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes in the militarily-volatile Middle East during 1979-2003, US newspapers routinely described him as “the strongman of Iraq” — as most journalists rightly view dictators worldwide.

US Mideast Peace Plan: from a Paper Pharaoh & a Fake Moses

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu was slapped corruption charges last week while he was hobnobbing with US President Donald Trump in Washington. Bibi has, apparently, done his homework in psychology. He knew the quickest way to get around Trump was to flatter him.

US Mideast Peace Plan: Israelis Offered the Cheese & Palestinians the Holes

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as “more like Swiss cheese-- with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians”.

US-Iran Confrontation & Implications for India

The unease in the relations between the US and Iran have been in the international news for around a month now. Both sides have not shied away from using outright methods of warfare like the use of ballistic missiles and assassinations, along with attempts at economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Is Iraq Now a Virtual “US-Occupied Territory”?

Pat Buchanan, a senior advisor to three US Presidents and twice candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, once infamously described the United States Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” -– apparently because of its unrelentingly blind support for the Jewish state.

Iran Announces New Nuclear Deal Breach

Iran announced its fifth breach of the 2015 nuclear deal Jan. 5, stating that it “discards the last key component of its operational limitations” put in place by agreement.

Arab Region’s Largest Youth Gathering Focuses on New Tech

On late Monday morning, a motley group of more than a thousand youth gathered in a hall in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to listen to Sophia — a humanoid robot capable of displaying humanlike expressions and interacting with people. Yahya Elghobashy, a computer science engineering student from Cairo, sat excitedly in the audience. A few meters away from him, also in the audience, was Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — the President of Egypt.

Syria Regime Detains, Tortures Doctors in ‘War on Health’

Syria’s government has arrested, detained and tortured large numbers of medics in a systematic effort to cut off treatment to swaths of the turbulent country’s population and swing the civil war in its favour, according to a new report.

Bangladeshi Migrant Female Domestic Workers Face Violence

Millions of Bangladeshi women are facing violence either as domestic housemaids or as migrant workers in Gulf countries. A few days ago, a video in social media, secretly filmed by a Bangladeshi housemaid employed in Saudi Arabia, caught everyone’s attention where she was helplessly crying and begging to be rescued from her abusive employer.

Despite Halting Progress, UN Continues its Push for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East

A longstanding proposal for a regional nuclear-weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East – one of the world’s most conflict-ridden regions – has been kicked around the corridors of UN committee rooms since 1974.

Saudi UNESCO Win Riles Khashoggi Standard-Bearers

Human rights campaigners have reacted angrily to the election of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO’s top board, highlighting the kingdom’s ongoing crackdowns on political freedoms and critics.

U.N. Group Launched to put Afghan Women at Centre of Peace Initiatives 

Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations this week launched a U.N. group that aims to put women at the centre of peace initiatives in Afghanistan. 

Achieving the Possible: “Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East”

A historic conference on the Middle East opened at the United Nations in New York on 18th November and will continue until 22nd November. The Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction is presided over by Ambassador Sima Bahous of Jordan.

UN Agency for Palestinians in Crisis as Chief Quits

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees was in “crisis mode” on Wednesday after director Pierre Krahenbuhl resigned amid a misconduct probe over whether he fast-tracked his girlfriend into a top aid job, analysts said.

Election Death Toll Underscores Afghanistan’s Fragile Democracy

A wave of bloody Taliban attacks aimed at derailing Afghanistan’s recent elections killed and maimed hundreds of people, including children, the United Nations mission to the country said on Tuesday.

Vibrant Civil Society Essential for Sustainable Development in Iran

2019 has not been a good year for Iranian human rights activists. At a time where civic space had completely closed, many watched in disbelief as the regime mounted even more restrictions on civil society. Over recent months, many activists have been arrested, like Noushin Javari (a photographer), Marzieh Amiri (a journalist), and Javad Lal Mohammadi (teacher).

Constitutional Committee Breakthrough Offers ‘Sign of Hope’ for Long-suffering Syrians

There is a “sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people” as a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible and inclusive Constitutional Committee is set to start deliberations next month, the United Nations Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Monday.

Watchdog Pushes U.S. to Publish ‘Duty to Warn’ Khashoggi Files

A media watchdog has asked United States intelligence agencies to reveal whether they knew about an assassination plot against Jamal Khashoggi and failed to warn the Saudi journalist he was in mortal danger.

Advice to US: When You’re Going to a Gunfight, Bring all Your Friends with Guns

Jim Mattis a former United States Defense Secretary in the Trump administration quotes a Marine Corps dictum in a recently released book titled “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead”.

NYC Library Ditches Controversial Saudi Royal MBS’ Event

A New York library appeared to bow to pressure this week when it canceled an event that was being co-hosted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is accused of a range of human rights abuses.

Petition and Critics of Khashoggi Killing Heap Pressure on U.N.-Saudi Event

The United Nations faces growing public opposition to an event it is co-hosting with a Saudi Arabian charity only days before the anniversary of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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