Posts tagged "Middle East"
Bosnia to Palestine

Bosnia to Palestine

The Israeli-Lebanese crisis, and the broader Middle East conflict are garnering an increasing amount of public and political attention in BiH. Government statements and media reports are generally factual and correct, but some local public figures have begun to manipulate the Israel-Lebanon crisis for domestic political gain. More»

For the Love of Camels

For the Love of Camels

Before Burnet laid himself down that night on his humble couch in Firouz Ali’s house the plan for his departure had been thoroughly discussed. Among the barber’s friends and agents was one Ibrahim, once a prosperous owner of camels, which he hired out to merchants or pilgrims. More»

Civilization Versus Ideology

Civilization Versus Ideology

The United States has always approached political Islam in a contradictory manner. Since the 1950s, when Washington first made common cause with anti-Communist religious leaders, US policy towards the Mideast has been characterized by a disconnect between rhetoric and politics, particularly in matters concerning Islamist mobilization. More»

Welcome, With Reservations

Welcome, With Reservations

When Angel Merkel opened Germany’s borders last year, she performed an about face few could have predicted. Having just overseen the defeat of Syriza, in its quest to defy the Troika’s debt repayment demands, her policies were being heralded as a return to Germany’s dark past. Not quite Third Reich, but flirting with historical callousness. More»

My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 70

My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 70

Marah, a teenage girl from one of Syria’s besieged cities, recently arrived in Switzerland as a refugee, where she is struggling with her first pregnancy and the potential breakup of her family. More»

The Promised Land

The Promised Land

The grass is always greener on the other side. As far as truisms go, there’s not much to argue with. The Promised Land was never promised to anyone, and there’s never enough milk or honey to go around once you get there. Yet, faith in the idea that the foreign is always better remains a constant. Just ask the million plus refugees from the Middle East that arrived in Germany last year. More»

Europe at War

Europe at War

It ought to be a positive. To have their situation constantly referred to as “the worst crisis since World War II,” today’s refugees ideally ought to be shown the courtesy accorded to persons engulfed in a similar disaster. Why not invoke that era? Aside from the scale of the crisis, it should be an immediate guarantee of empathy, because Europeans all know what the last global conflict was like. More»

Somebody do Something

Somebody do Something

The refugees are right. Europe is a place to escape to. Never mind the populists and the neo-Nazis. They’re nothing compared to getting shelled every day by artillery, or losing your home to Russian missiles. No matter how hard the journey is, nothing could be worse than remaining in Syria, and Iraq. The Middle East is death. More»

Germany at War

Germany at War

Few countries agonize more about sending their troops to war than Germany. That doesn’t prevent foreign deployments, however. German forces have been sent abroad for over twenty years nows, beginning with the war in Bosnia. But the ongoing debate highlights the persistence of pacifism in the country, crossing political boundaries in a manner unheard of in the United States. Given German history, one can understand why. More»

Do-It-Yourself Refugee Aid

Do-It-Yourself Refugee Aid

When hundreds of thousands of refugees began traveling through the Balkans last summer, established humanitarian organizations were slow to react. Concerned citizens stepped in to fill the void. Enter Refugee Aid Serbia. More»

Not Just Jews and Arabs

Not Just Jews and Arabs

Long before reaching Sujbulāk, there were indications of the vicinity of a place of some importance, caravans going both ways, asses loaded with perishable produce, horsemen and foot passengers, including many fine-looking Kurdish women unveiled, walking with a firm masculine stride, even when carrying children on their backs. More»

The Missionary Position

The Missionary Position

A European hat in those days was a rarity except in the large towns, and it attracted notice. That is the reason why I generally discarded it, with other too conspicuously Western adjuncts. Where the inhabitants were not well mannered, the hat was apt to be saluted with a shower of stones. More»