Middle East & North Africa

Vision 2030 & the Political Costs of Saudi Reforms – Part 2

A pillar of the Saudi social contract has been the allocation of oil rents to the population in exchange for loyalty and fidelity to the Saud clan. A key weakness of Vision 2030 is its lack of focus on the potential political consequences of economic reforms. The plan seems to assume that its ramifications will be easily borne by the Saudi population.

Father of Palestine’s Icon: Everyone is Blaming my Daughter

It is late morning. A clear blue sky. The quiet of the village is deceptive. Bassem Tamimi is the father of the teenage girl, Ahed Tamimi, who has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Boycott, Divest & Sanctions Campaign Not Anti-Israel but Pro-Palestinian, Says Norwegian MP

When Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes recently nominated the BDS movement for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, the leader of Norway’s Red Party faced the inevitable: a furious backlash from pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian groups.

Except for Syria, Middle East Disappeared from U.S. Network News in 2017

Except for the ongoing war in Syria, coverage of the Middle East by the evening news programs of the three big U.S. networks virtually disappeared in 2017, according to the latest annual compilation by the authoritative Tyndall Report.

BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

As a member of the Norwegian parliament, I proudly use my authority as an elected official to nominate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Groups Condemn U.S. Cuts to Palestinian Refugee Agency

International organizations have criticized the United States’ decision to cut more than half of planned funding to a UN agency serving Palestinian refugees.

UN human rights chief urges Iranian authorities to defuse tensions, investigate protest deaths

By WAM
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday urged the Iranian authorities "to handle the wave of protests that have taken place around the country with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest," and to investigate all deaths and serious injuries that have occurred so far.

US Faces Collective Defiance at UN Over Jerusalem

When the UN General Assembly condemned the United States for its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the vote was described as a “collective defiance” of the international community against public threats against the United Nations and its member states by a politically unpredictable and predictably wavering US President.

Trump-Mideast: Much More than a ‘Kiss of Death’ to Palestinians

US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital does not represent only a ‘kiss of death’ to the two-State solution, but also a strong blow in the face of 57 Muslim countries, let alone igniting fire in this easily inflammable region, providing more false arguments to criminal terrorist groups to escalate their brutal attacks, in addition to taking a step further in Washington’s new conflict with Iran and the ‘restructuring’ of the Middle East.

Turkish Surveillance Invades Social Media Privacy

”The present government has taken measures that go beyond anything the previous military juntas did”, according to legal expert Sercan Aran of the trade union confederation KESK. The army has previously registered personal data and the private political opinions of suspected dissidents, but always under secrecy.

Aid Groups Condemn Yemen Blockade, Warn of ‘Catastrophic’ Famine

If aid deliveries are not resumed, Yemen will experience the worst famine the world has seen in recent decades.

Members of European Parliament Visit UAE-Jordanian Camp Mrajeeb Al Fhood for Syrian Refugees

By WAM
The UAE Federal National Council (FNC), the consultative council and UAE parliamentary body, in cooperation with the Emirates Red Crescent, organized a field visit for a delegation of members from the European Parliament (MEPs) of the "EU-UAE Parliamentary Friendship Group" to the UAE-Jordanian Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp for Syrian refugees.

Western Sahara’s Locked Positions Might be Loosening

In August last year armed forces from both sides pushed forward into the desert and into the no-go buffer zone that the UN had established.

Russian & US Vetoes Protect Client States

The vote on the latest American-sponsored resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Syria was predictable: of the five big powers, China abstained and Russia vetoed, while the US, UK and France voted for it.

Peace and stability must be restored in the Middle East and North Africa so as to alleviate poverty

On the occasion of the 2017 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim observed that the unprecedented rise of violence and insecurity in the Arab region combined, breed poverty and societal decline.

Strengthening Youth Potential and the Prospects for a Better Future

Investing in youth by developing their potential through education, job creation and instilling the values that advance the cause of humanity is the most daunting, yet promising challenge facing world leaders.

Non-violence and lasting peace are key to secure the long-term stability of the Arab region

The Chairman of the Geneva Centre Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim is calling on the international community to address the surge of extremist violence exacerbating the volatile security situation in the Arab region. This appeal was made by Dr. Al Qassim in relation to the commemoration of the 2017 International Day of Non-Violence observed on 2 October 2017.

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Arab Region: Where Do We Stand?

Women’s empowerment and gender equality should remain a central objective of the world community. The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) includes specific provisions to member States of the United Nations – notably through SDG 5 - to commit to enhancing gender equality and to give women a stronger voice in the fight for equality. The Preamble of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for “equal rights” to be enjoyed by “men and women”: 69 years later, gender equality has not only been recognised for what it is: a fundamental human right, it is also becoming a guiding principle in the efforts of States to attain the highest ideals of a just and inclusive society and the highest rate of growth.

What Charities and Relief organizations do to alleviate poverty in the Arab region

Extreme poverty remains one of the world’s biggest challenges. According to the United Nations, 767 million people live in extreme poverty around the world. Although world society has managed to lift nearly 1 billion people out of extreme poverty – in 1999 it was estimated that 1.7 billion were affected by extreme poverty – the unprecedented rise of conflict and of violence in the Arab region has worsened the socioeconomic situation of vulnerable population segments in many countries. On 22 February 2017, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations –Stephen O’Brien – stated to the United Nations Security Council that 67% of the population in Syria is living under conditions considered as extreme poverty. In another Arab country affected by war and conflict – Yemen – the World Bank estimates that poverty affects 62% of the population, whereas the World Bank’s estimates this number to be at approximately 22% for Iraq or even as high as 40% in territories controlled by DAESH. Inevitably, conflict and violence have worsened the situation in the Arab region.

20,000 Civilians Trapped in Raqqa City, Deemed “The Worst Place on Earth”

The battle to reclaim Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), has raised concerns among top UN officials as at least 20,000 civilians remain trapped under heavy fire in the city. Last week Monday, 42 civilians, including 12 women and 19 children, were killed in an air attack, according to the AP.

Lebanon Joins Jordan and Tunisia in Fight Against Rapists Impunity

The top United Nations human rights official hailed the repeal of laws in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan that used to allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims.

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