Near & Middle East

When we started the midnight milking in the kibbutz dairy barns, there were two tasks.  One worker drove cows into the washing pen to begin the process. The other worker made coffee.  Hot coffee was the right of dairy workers beginning their shift.  (More…)

As Gaza’s Great Return March goes into its 12th week, the massive protest along the border with Israel has become a source of much-needed business for a variety of types of people. For example, hundreds of foreign journalists have flooded the Strip and most need fixers, videographers, photographers or producers to help them complete their coverage. That’s how I became fixer for a day, a new challenge for me. (More…)

4:06 AM
Friday
25 May 2018

I woke up from a nightmare and turned off my mobile alarm just before it blared forth. I don’t know what I was dreaming about, but I know it was a nightmare. It has been so long since I was able to sleep in peace. It’s 4 AM, the perfect time to wake up for the Islamic al-fajr prayer, but that’s not the only reason why I had set my alarm for that hour. (More…)

I thought they were Arabs. “Where are you guys from?” I asked in Hebrew, as we waited to get off the plane. “Non parla Ebraico,” the oldest of the group replied in Italian. Switching to English, I apologised and carefully said, “You’d easily pass for Israeli.” (More…)

BEIRUT – Iraq’s self-declared victory over the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) at the end of 2017 was a key reason the country was listed as the second most improved state on the 2018 Fragile State Index, which assesses a state’s vulnerability to conflict or collapse. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces and their allies regained control of several strategic opposition-held areas in recent weeks, as its aerial campaigns and ground offensives culminated in a series of so-called evacuation deals. (More…)

At our six-year-old daughter’s dance finale, an American Jewish physician sat down next to me. “It’s a great day, isn’t it, with the embassy in Jerusalem?” His wife, a lovely woman from Beersheva, tried to intervene: “I don’t think Joe is the one to say that to.”I decided to respond anyway. “I always asked ‘what will be the price in lives?’ Now we know the answer. (More…)

“I need someone who speaks Farsi.” Early one day at the Humans4Humanity community centre on Lesbos, the voice of the centre’s Syrian cofounder Rafat echoed through the main lobby.

I poked my head out from the grocery store. “Ali can do it,” I said. (More…)

Qods Force leader Qassem Sulaimani expressed anxiety over an escalation of tension and possible war with the US. The general claimed Iran is doing its part to reduce conflict by pressuring allied Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to impose a freeze on attacks on American forces by his Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) militia, and by stopping the flow of Iranian weapons to Iraq. (More…)

BEIRUT – Thousands of civilians trapped in a Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus are bearing the brunt of a fierce government campaign targeting so-called Islamic State (ISIS) militants holed up in the area. (More…)

Iran may be the greatest beneficiary from Iraq’s occupation, the fall of the regime, and the disintegration of the Iraqi state. After all, it got rid of the enemy that broke the force of the revolution and came to have political, security, and ideological influence in the Iraqi arena. (More…)

DAMASCUS – I have lived in the Syrian capital of Damascus since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. I haven’t left Syria for more than a week, and even then it was only to Beirut and only recently, which means only after seven years of war. (More…)