Near & Middle East
Politics of Class and Identity Dividing Aleppo – and Syria

Politics of Class and Identity Dividing Aleppo – and Syria

This week marked the end of the sixth year of the war in Syria. On this terrible anniversary we examine the deepening economic, social and other divisions that make it so difficult for refugees to return to Aleppo, the city that has become a bellwether for the country’s future. More»

Sieges, Demographic Shifts and Returns to ‘Liberated’ Cities

Sieges, Demographic Shifts and Returns to ‘Liberated’ Cities

Amid a renewed offensive on Mosul and U.N.-led Syria talks in Geneva, Middle East journalist and analyst Patrick Cockburn discusses the changing demographics of Syria and Iraq, and the complexities of displaced people returning to “liberated” cities in both countries. More»

To Work in Douma, Men Must Join Militants of Jaish Al-Islam

To Work in Douma, Men Must Join Militants of Jaish Al-Islam

After enduring four years of government-imposed siege and living under the increasingly authoritarian rule of the armed opposition, residents of the Damascus suburb have no choice but to join Jaish al-Islam if they want to find work. More»

Don't Blame Trump for Yemen

Don’t Blame Trump for Yemen

The White House has attracted fresh controversy for a botched raid in Yemen that led to the death of a Navy SEAL, loss of a $75 million aircraft, and dozens of civilian casualties. Trump has been characterised as reckless, and freshly unfit for duty.  More»

Afrin: Kurdish Town Isolated by Siege, Geography

Afrin: Kurdish Town Isolated by Siege, Geography

The predominantly Kurdish district of Afrin in northwestern Syria has been under near-continuous siege for four years but remained relatively calm, attracting hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Now, it is under threat from Turkish military operations in Syria. More»

After Astana, Many Obstacles Remain to Maintain the Cease-Fire in Syria

After Astana, Many Obstacles Remain to Maintain the Cease-Fire in Syria

Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed to enforce a nationwide truce in Syria, in the hopes of paving the way for a future political solution to the crisis, but both the Syrian government and opposition have their doubts about the truce. More»

‘An Invitation to Kill’: Proxies, Foreign Powers in Syria Endanger Civilians

‘An Invitation to Kill’: Proxies, Foreign Powers in Syria Endanger Civilians

Foreign intervention and the many proxy groups fighting on all sides of the conflict in Syria have further polarized the war and complicated the rules for accountability when it comes to civilian protection. More»

Death Fasting in Turkey

Death Fasting in Turkey

Lale Colak died upon release from Kartal Prison, Istanbul, on December 20, 2000. She couldn’t speak, her mouth was ulcerated, and her hair had turned white after 222 days without solid food. Lale’s mother says that she didn’t want to die, but was militantly devoted to a wave of prisoner hunger strikes that took aim at the expansion of Turkish mass incarceration. More»

The Fifth Corps and the State of the Syrian Army

The Fifth Corps and the State of the Syrian Army

The Syrian government’s new and unprecedented volunteer-based military unit is a window into the current state and the future of the Syrian military, explains Syrian journalist Abdulrahman al-Masri. More»

Prisoners of the Afghans

Prisoners of the Afghans

There is a painful episode in the Afghan war, which perhaps can be introduced in no place more fitly than in this. Whilst the prisoners, who surrendered themselves on the march between Caubul and Jellalabad, were suffering such hardships in a rude and inhospitable country, British officers were enduring unparalleled sufferings in the dungeons of an Oosbeg tyrant, far beyond the snowy mountains of the Hindoo-Koosh. More»

My Days in Damascus: The Strategy of Minding My Own Business

My Days in Damascus: The Strategy of Minding My Own Business

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital, where she faces the daily struggles of maintaining a normal life in a country being ripped apart by war. More»

King Farouk and Me

King Farouk and Me

The year was 1942 and I was eighteen years old. I was in Cairo on holiday arranged by my mother. She ran a hostel for the expats in Cairo. If I go into detail about mother’s job, I’ll never get to tell how I encountered King Farouk. More»