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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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….
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.
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.
Regardless of a success or failure to reach a new agreement with Iran, Israel must not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and must work closely with the US to develop a joint strategy to curb Iran’s ambition to acquire nuclear weapons and potentially end the conflict with Iran on a more permanent basis
When Israeli Ambassador Gilat Erdan made an unusual presentation before the Security Council last week displaying a large rock, which he claimed, was hurled at Israeli vehicles in the Occupied Territories, a reporter at a UN press conference asked whether Palestinians will be given the right of reply--- by displaying in the Security Council chamber an Uzi sub- machine gun or a bulldozer deployed by Israeli armed forces against civilian demonstrations.
Distress calls from vulnerable Kenyan women in Saudi Arabia experiencing mistreatment and torture at the hands of their employers went from 88 in 2019/2020 to 1,025 just one year later.
The panorama is bleak: hunger in the Arab region continues to rise, with more than 90% increase since 2000, while indebtedness is growing, and the economic recovery is tenuous and uneven.
UN agencies have asked for a record USD 4.4 billion in aid for Afghanistan to avert a full-blown humanitarian crisis that could see hunger, distress, and death and a mass exodus of people from the country.
Despite its apparent liberalism, Lebanon scores low in gender equality, especially in politics.