Tag: Middle East

DAMASCUS – According to the Syrian government, the worst of the war is over. New businesses are opening, domestic tourism is booming and investors are slowly trickling back into the country. (More…)

Seven years of war have transformed Syrian monitoring groups into sophisticated investigation centers. But with few options to hold perpetrators of humanitarian law violations accountable, the number of Syrians supplying evidence of human rights violations is dwindling, along with their hope for justice. (More…)

In the dystopia that is the Mideast, Rojava stands out. Few regions of the world are more synonymous with hopelessness. But this tiny leftist enclave in Syria, where gender and social equality are co-equals, bucks the norm. And then some. (More…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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 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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)