It could be a squat house anywhere: music is playing non-stop and there is also a radio station and an art exhibition. However, weapons are also on display among the instruments, and most here wear camouflage uniform.
"Going back home? That would be suicide. The Islamists would cut our throats straight away," says Khalil Hafif Ismam. The fear of this Mandaean refugee sums up that of one of the oldest yet most decimated communities in Mesopotamia.
As the international media is mesmerised by the Islamic State’s advance on Kobani or ‘Ayn al-Arab on the Syrian-Turkish border, Arab states and the United States would need to look beyond Kobani’s fate and the Islamic State’s territorial successes and defeats.
The Islamic State’s territorial expansion and barbaric executions in Iraq and Syria are a gathering threat and must be confronted. American air bombardment, however, is the wrong course of action, and will not necessarily weaken ISIS or DA’ISH, as it’s known in Arabic.
With the Kremlin’s attention fixated on Ukraine, the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist group fighting to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus, threatens to undermine Russian domestic security in new ways.
Azerbaijan appears to be joining in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaign against a religious movement led by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen.
The summary mass trial and sentencing of 529 Egyptians to death this week is yet another example of Egypt’s descent into lawlessness and blatant miscarriage of justice.
A year after Mali’s civil war came to an end, experts here are increasingly concerned that the country risks an eventual return to violence, particularly as Malian authorities continue to marginalise the restive north while neglecting to pursue meaningful political and economic reforms.
In the city of Metlaoui in the Governorate of Gafsa, a mining region in the parched south of Tunisia, the streets are dust, filled with ruts, the skin of the men in the cracked lanes leathery brown from the heavy weather.
Women's rights activists in Morocco have criticised the Islamist-led government for excluding them from drafting proposed legislation to combat violence against women and for seeking to dilute the bill through changes.
Thousands of opposition activists have protested in central Tunis, demanding the resignation of Tunisia's Islamist-led government, before a national dialogue aimed at ending months of political deadlock.
Gory social media images that fueled the global Jihadist influx into Syria 18 months ago are back. But this time the outpouring is coming from Egypt.
Scorching flames from a makeshift oil refinery sting eyes and the fumes choke throats near the top of a hill in northwestern Syria, where Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters gather for fuel, coffee and phone calls as darkness falls.
The Egyptian military’s removal of the democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power upended the MB’s 20-year old political participation programme. If the new regime aims to achieve genuine reconciliation and political consensus, the MB and its supporters must be included in the restructuring of Egyptian politics.
During the decades when Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was a barely tolerated opposition party, it campaigned against the reigning secular autocrats under the banner “Islam is the solution.”