Middle East & North Africa

Syria’s Children Remain at Immense Threat of Rape and Recruitment by Army: Report

Children in Syria are facing the brutal brunt of the ongoing civil war in the country, now rendered further paralysed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and United States sanctions. At the Sept. 15 launch of the report investigating human rights violations in Syria by the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, experts warned that in addition to the already ongoing conflict, “newer forms of violence” was on the rise.

The Exploitative System that Traps Nigerian Women as Slaves in Lebanon

“I need help, right now I cannot walk properly,” trafficking victim Nkiru Obasi pleaded from her hospital bed in a video she posted online. The young Nigerian woman had been injured in the Aug. 4 Beirut blast, which ripped through the Lebanese capital, killing 190 people injuring a further 6,500 and damaging 40 percent of the city. However, it’s not her injuries keeping her in Lebanon but a restrictive and abusive system of migrant laws.

Nepal Welcomes Qatar Labour Reform

Even as Nepali workers stranded overseas face confusion and uncertainty during the Covid-19 crisis, labour reforms in Qatar – including an increase in the minimum wage announced in Doha on Sunday — may have lasting implications for migrants there.

The Abraham Accord: Will it Bring Peace or Perpetuate Pain in Palestine?

There is not much good news for President Donald Trump of the United States these days. If electoral polls have any credibility, he is staring at the face of almost certain defeat in the elections come November. So, when the so-called Abraham Accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was sealed in a telephone call between him and the leaders of Israel and the UAE, signalling a sliver of silver lining in the otherwise hovering dark clouds over him, Trump was ecstatic. A Trump twitter called it a “HUGE breakthrough among “three GREAT friends!”.

The Beirut Blast: An Accident in Name Only

The catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s port is a manifestation of the Lebanese political elite’s predation and dysfunction. Among the country’s long-suffering citizens, shock is quickly yielding to fury. It may be the last chance for those in power to effect long-overdue structural reforms.

Impending Food Crisis in Lebanon will Largely Affect Migrant Workers

Migrant workers and refugees in Lebanon will “inevitably” suffer the most as food insecurity threatens the nation following last week’s blast.

Lebanese Financial Crisis Validates Importance of Abolishing ‘Kafala’

They were promised the world but ended up in a Lebanese household. This is the story of many domestic workers in Lebanon. With a 70-year-old sponsor system still in place, domestic workers are tied to their employers with little or no basic rights. The ‘Kafala’ system is the major problem behind what we have been seeing in Beirut in the last months.

We Arabs Ask No Favors…..

In these difficult times for the Palestinian people and for justice, the Government of Israel is proposing to add further to the turmoil by unilaterally absorbing large swathes of the Palestinian West Bank of the Jordan River. It might therefore be fitting to remind the world of the chronology of the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948.

Enforced Disappearances, Arbitrary Detentions, Hate Speech & Attacks on Civilians – ICC Report on Libya

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday highlighted crimes against humanity and grave mismanagement of the law in Libya during a release of their latest report on the North African nation. 

The Gaza Strip and COVID-19: Preparing for the Worst

The coronavirus is now present in Gaza, the populous Palestinian enclave blockaded by air, land and sea since 2007. An epidemic would be calamitous. Hamas should tighten public health measures; Israel should loosen restrictions so that medical supplies can enter and afflicted Palestinians can

Coronavirus Worsens Yemen’s Long Tale of Woe

In every room in Yemen’s Al-Saba’een hospital, patients in critical condition waited on chairs, and still others laid on the bare ground. I saw women and girls sharing beds in pairs, and children laying close together being treated.

What’s Needed for Real Changes for Women in Lebanese Politics?

Women were at the forefront of Lebanon’s 2019 ‘October Revolution’. Beyond the iconic images of their participation, it seems that by women linking equity in politics to the broader issues of mismanagement of corruption paid off - although activists say there is a long road ahead.

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.

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