Archive | Middle East

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The Strength of the Bear: Russia in a Post-Cold War Context

  On the cusp of a war in which millions lost their lives, borders shifted and modern warfare was revolutionized, Winston Churchill made an observation of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” For decades, Russia has fascinated […]

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Posted in Russia, Syria, World

Expression in Istanbul - 1

Enemies of Expression in Istanbul

Turkey has a history of strict censorship which still remains a prominent issue in modern day Istanbul and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Media censorship is at an all time high with 140 press censorship cases already known in the country, newspapers have been shut down and journalists imprisoned. Now censorship is spreading to the […]

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Posted in Culture, Europe, Middle East, Political Security, Turkey, World

Image courtesy of AslanMedia

Israel and the United States: The Relationship Holds

How religion, culture and crude politics sustain America’s support for the Jewish state. We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people ─ the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world. Herman Melville, 1850 Anyone taking even a passing interest in Middle East politics over the past year might be […]

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Posted in Israel, Middle East, US, World

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Syria’s Revolution and The Problem of Conspiracy Theories

Ever since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, the idea of conspiracy has permeated the language of the official Syrian media, the Assad regime’s proponents in Lebanon, and has been reflected in discussions within Arab intelligentsias. As soon as the Syrian revolution started, the Syrian regime claimed that the country had been exposed to an […]

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Posted in Conflict, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Sana'a suk market, beans seller

Forecasting the Effects of Food Price Inflation in Egypt and Yemen

One of the most popular grievances associated with the Arab Spring in Egypt and Yemen was about increased food prices – a grievance that has caused upheaval in these countries before, and has significant potential to do so again. Admittedly, food price inflation may not be a sufficient condition for Arab Spring-esque revolutions to occur […]

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Posted in Food Security, Middle East, Security Issues, World, Yemen

Photography by whiskeybravo

Iran and the West: Why 1953 Still Matters

“It is reasonable to argue that but for the coup, Iran would be a mature democracy. So traumatic was the coup’s legacy that when the Shah finally departed in 1979, many Iranians feared a repetition of 1953, which was one of the motivations for the student seizure of the U.S. Embassy. The hostage crisis, in […]

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Posted in Africa, Culture, Europe, Middle East, Security Issues, World

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Afghanistan and Syria: How History is Repeating Itself

The violence in Syria is escalating and the international community’s efforts to resolve the situation through the United Nations peace plan have failed, leading to Kofi Annan’s resignation as the UN’s Syria envoy. Syrians are in dire need of a peaceful, sustainable resolution but owing to the number of factions involved and the serious human […]

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Posted in Middle East, Russia, Security Issues, Syria, World

Image courtesy of 10b travelling

Unifying the Caucasus

The South Caucasus is a tribally divided region, rich in natural resources, that could wield considerable influence if unified, and could economically compete with Russia and the West. When asked to describe “the Caucasus”, most people reply with a blank stare. Some might guess you are referring to one of the more unusual facets of […]

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Posted in Middle East, Russia, Security Issues, World

Secure fencing surrounds the Detention Center on Christmas Island, Australia. In 2015 some 150 male asylum seekers to Australia were being held here.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: On the History and Legality of Detention Centres

It’s official: Australia’s “Stop the Boats” campaign is a success. Or so the government claims. Back in 2013, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ascended to his post in part because of his pledge to “stop the boats,” or, in less catchy rhetoric, to prevent asylum seekers – mostly arriving by sea from the Middle East […]

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Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Conflict, Europe, Iran, Political Security, Refugees, Syria, UN, World

Reza Aslan Slams Bill Maher for Facile Arguments’ About Muslim Violence

Reza Aslan Slams Bill Maher for Facile Arguments’ About Muslim Violence

This isn’t a new video but in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo and the standard rush to judgement on the nature of Islam, Reza Aslan is worth listening to.  

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Posted in Culture, Global Politics Videos, Islam, Middle East, Security Issues, Terrorism, World

Image by noborder network

Mediterranean Migration Reveals Flaws in Dublin Convention

John Donne famously reminded us that ‘no man is an island’. Likewise in today’s polycentric, ever-globalized, and interconnected world, no state can remain untouched by social, economic, or political influences from neighbouring states. As terrible as Islamic State has been for people living in Syria, Iraq and Libya, its effects on Europe are also increasingly being felt. […]

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Posted in Africa, Conflict, Economic Security, Europe, Germany, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, World

"Castillia" by Unknown - cantigas de santa maria. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castillia.jpg#/media/File:Castillia.jpg

The Forerunners of ISIS

The recent creation and sudden conquests of the so-called “Islamic State” have astonished policy-makers, military strategists, and foreign affairs analysts. The self-proclaimed caliphate of Abû al-Baghdâdi went from a broken outfit of Iraqi insurgents to a feared theocracy that currently threatens the established order of the Middle East. One can be forgiven for thinking such a movement as being […]

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Posted in Africa, Culture, Education, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, World

Image by troyenekvist

Kurdistan: the Next Epicentre of Regional Instability

Kurdistan is a nation that encompasses parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, but it is not a state. In post-Saddam Iraq the Kurds have had success in forming a new autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) with their own military. In July last year, KRG President Masoud Barzani asked his parliament to prepare for an independence referendum. The Kurds have a […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, US, World

Image by quapan

Was ISIS Inevitable?

ISIS’ exploits dominate headlines, horrifying witnesses around the world. As a history graduate who specialised in researching the rise of Islam, its culture, and its creation of a complex and inspiring civilisation, the recent destruction of millennia old artefacts have almost reduced me to tears. As we now watch and condemn the destruction of priceless […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Images of the late King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan and his son, King Abdullah Il bin al-Hussein, seen here on Oct. 30, 2009, in Al-Batra are a common sight throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is partnered with Colorado in the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which fosters military-to-military, military-to-civilian and civilian-to-civilian cooperation. There are currently 62 SPP partners. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released)

What Price Stability? Jordan’s Balancing Act

At a time when the Middle East appears to be crumbling Jordan appears to be standing firm – a beacon of hope in a burning region.  But is Jordan really as stable as it appears? Are we just turning a blind eye to the compromises that come with such stability at a time of such uncertainty […]

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Posted in Middle East, Political Security, World

Image by Jacques Delarue

After Authoritarianism: State Development and National Identity in the Middle East

The Arab Uprisings have resulted in an increase in the expression of both sectarian and trans-state identities, making the process of reunification and the prospects for a peaceful coexistence somewhat dependent on the new leaderships’ ability to unite, make amends and, possibly for the first time in the region, craft a territorial nationalism that complements rather […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, World

Image by Bernabeu

The overlooked story of Syria’s Yarmouk death camp

A brave 12-year-old girl named Zeynab Daghastani recently attempted to escape the grim living conditions of a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Starving and bone-tired, she did not make it very far before being shot and killed by an ISIS sniper. Welcome to Yarmouk. On April 1st, a group of ISIS’s mask-wearing jihadists swept through the […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, US, World

Image by World Economic Forum

Is Iran Headed For Another Recession?

Garnering over 50 percent of the vote, Hassan Rouhani assumed a decisive victory on June 2013 and became Iran’s new president after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s eight year long reign. Vowing to pull the country out of its sanction filled, depressed economy, he won the elections by a landslide. Less than three months ago, during a December […]

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Posted in Economic Security, Economics, Global Economy, Iran, Middle East, Security Issues, World

Image by Cyrl

Why Israel Is Losing the Public Relations War

Almost everybody thinks badly of Israel. That’s what a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014 shows. More precisely, Israel ranks as the fourth most negatively viewed nation, right after North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. What explains the differences between European and American views on Israel, and how does such an overall negative […]

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Posted in Conflict, Economics, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Security Issues, World

Image by Martin Schultz - EP President

ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Given the calamitous impact these 2 exceptionally privileged individuals have had on the lives of millions in this country it’s hard to look at this photo without thinking of Orwell's observation about "the decay of ability in the ruling class" of England. #Greensill #Brexit twitter.com/andrew_adonis/…

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