In The News

Raya Jalabi September 22, 2017
About 30 million Kurdish people are spread throughout the Middle East in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, and in recent years many fought fiercely to protect their communities against extremists. Iraqi Kurds are expected to pursue independence starting with a referendum and transform their semi-autonomous region into a new country known as Kurdistan. US and United Nations officials have tried to...
Shuaib Almosawa, Ben Hubbard and Troy Griggs September 20, 2017
Directors of UNICEF, WFP, and WHO visited Yemen in July and described the “world’s worst cholera outbreak in the midst of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” Since the start of the conflict when the Houthis overthrew the government and gained control of Sana’a in 2014, Yemen has slowly collapsed. Frequent bombings have contributed to the deaths of more than 10,000 civilians and crippled the...
September 17, 2017
Egypt’s Jewish community, about 80,000 before World War II, has been whittled down to 20 in recent years. The Economist describes an organization made up of Muslims and Jews, Drop of Milk, that is making a concerted effort to “preserve Egypt’s Jewish heritage.” The nation has a contentious past after four devastating wars with Israel, forced conversions and “Jews who worked alongside Egyptians...
September 12, 2017
The protracted hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran’s Arab allies may be cooling. The Economist observes that historically “the [Saudi] kingdom has been [on the] front of Sunni Islam’s anti-Shia dogma.” Following his ascension to the throne in 2015, “King Salman bin Abdelaziz and his young son and defence minister, Muhammad, set their sights on rolling back Iran’s influence from the region by...
Kersten Knipp September 7, 2017
The US president is signaling an opinion that Iran is not complying with the nuclear deal in place since 2015. Without providing specifics, the US ambassador to the United Nations suggests that the United States has technical reasons for ending the agreement, though these would “contradict the information provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” reports Kersten Knipp for Deutsche...
Ghaith al-Omari and Grant Rumley September 5, 2017
War in Gaza seemed possible this summer after Israel went along with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s request to cut electricity for 2 million Gazans living under Hamas rule. As Ghaith al-Omari and Grant Rumley observe in a recent article for Foreign Affairs: “Abbas hoped to pressure Hamas into relinquishing control over the strip, which was plunged into darkness as the cornered...
August 28, 2017
The legacy of the French settler-colonial project continues to impact the politics of education in Algeria. “The republic’s official language is standard Arabic, but few children grow up speaking it, so they often feel lost on their first day of school. Berber, the tongue of perhaps a quarter of Algerians, was officially recognised last year – but no one can agree on which of its six dialects...

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