Near & Middle East

“The Holocaust is so popular we had to commemorate it twice,” my father quipped, as we attended a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) event in Jerusalem with relatives visiting from the United States. One of them stared at my father with a look of shock and horror. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces are allegedly in full control of the last rebel pocket in Eastern Ghouta, the Russian military announced on Thursday, ending a nearly two-month-long campaign that has killed at least 1,600 people and has largely cleared the area in the Damascus suburbs of rebel forces for the first time since 2012. (More…)

Early this morning, US-led forces struck targets in Syria associated with the government’s chemical weapons program. The objective was to degrade its offensive capability in light of the alleged attack carried out by the Syrian Arab Army in Douma last week, in which scores of civilians were killed. The French government claims to have evidence chlorine was used in the assault. (More…)

The current downturn in Russian-Iranian relations has demonstrated the fragility of the relationship that has developed since the revolution and brought a profound mutual distrust into the open. (More…)

For decades, the impoverished residents of southwestern Damascus’ Basateen el-Razi district have lived in poorly built shacks and ramshackle housing facing the upscale Mezzeh district, one of the wealthiest areas of Syria. (More…)

Most of the modern states of the Middle East were created as a result of agreements between the British and the French at the end of World War I. Much of the region had belonged to the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years. Since Turkey was defeated in the war, Britain and France became the chief beneficiaries of the dismemberment of Ottoman colonial holdings. (More…)

IDLIB, Syria – The bombs and missiles falling on Idlib are getting more frequent by the day.

Usually, when it’s calm, my colleagues and I make home visits to provide psychological support to individuals and families. If there is fighting in the area, we can’t move from the health centre. Recently, we had to stop working for an entire day because of the intense fighting. But we haven’t closed our operations and are trying to keep it running until the fighting stops. If God wills, this will end soon. (More…)

Ayad Saryoul has spent most of the past month in an underground shelter that he shares with his family and 40 other people. Sometimes spending 18 hours straight underground, he passes the time by counting the number of rockets and shells that fall on the besieged Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. (More…)

My mother grew up in Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo when it was still colonial Rhodesia and I have spent the last decade reporting from the Middle East. (More…)

BEIRUT – Situated within mortar-range of the Syrian capital, the Eastern Ghouta region has been the main launch point for rebel attacks targeting Damascus – thus a grave threat to the government’s seat of power – since it fell to opposition forces in 2012. (More…)

BEIRUT – The Syrian war has often been cast as a sectarian conflict between a Sunni majority population and a minority Shiite ruling elite. However, sectarianism is only one component of a multi-faceted conflict that is also partially driven by socio-economic grievances, according to Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. (More…)

ISTANBUL – For two years Alaa* lived in a basement in Istanbul with his mother and sister. As the sole provider for both, Alaa said he had to work as a waiter for 12 hours a day to pay rent and bills. (More…)