Near & Middle East
Syria Studying Proposal to Amend Nationality Law

Syria Studying Proposal to Amend Nationality Law

BEIRUT – Nationality was a controversial topic in Syria even before the influx of foreign fighters, the fleeing of 5.2 million people from the country and the increasing restrictions on freedom of movement for Syrian nationals. More»

Unified Rebel Army Is Too Little, Too Late

Unified Rebel Army Is Too Little, Too Late

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Dozens of Syrian opposition groups merged last month to form a unified army, at a time when rebel factions are increasingly divided and have suffered a string of defeats at the hands of pro-government and extremist forces. More»

National Struggles

National Struggles

There are signs all over the world that the national question is still unsettled. The spectacle of police trying to block the Catalan referendum has clarified this much in Spain. But it’s far from the only example. In northern Iraq, the Kurdish people have voted for independence. More»

‘I Came for the Jihad’: Women Tell of Life in the Islamic State

‘I Came for the Jihad’: Women Tell of Life in the Islamic State

AIN Al-ISSA – In a dank and dingy room in a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Syria, a striking woman wearing mascara and a long black chador steps through a broken door frame. More»

Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

Elites, War Profiteers Take Aim at Syria’s Economic Future

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»

The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

The Likely Winners in the Race to Rebuild Syria

Author Joseph Daher examines the Syrian government’s reconstruction strategy and warns that Assad will use rebuilding to reward foreign allies and consolidate power around a small core of Syrian elite. More»

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

Looking for Democracy in Idlib: Diary Entry

After being forced to flee eastern Aleppo in December, Wissam Zarqa moved to Idlib. Although the insurgent-held province is not known as a bastion of democracy, Zarqa will always remember it as the place where he voted in his first democratic election. More»

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

In Syria’s War, ‘Mental Health Is the Last Priority’

AFTER SIX YEARS of conflict and extended exposure to trauma, Syria is in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to Chicago-based physician Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian-American trauma specialist and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). More»

Assad’s Allies Trying to Reshape Lebanon’s Syria Policy

Assad’s Allies Trying to Reshape Lebanon’s Syria Policy

President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Lebanon have continued to challenge Beirut’s muddled policy of disengagement with the Syrian state – so far without any repercussions. More»

A Mother’s Loss in the Coalition’s Battle for Raqqa

A Mother’s Loss in the Coalition’s Battle for Raqqa

Umm Omar had not seen her youngest son, Ali, in three years before he was killed by a US-led coalition airstrike on Raqqa city. He is just one of the roughly 500 people who have reportedly been killed by coalition airstrikes on ISIS’s former Syrian stronghold since June. More»

Shia Red Scare

Shia Red Scare

In 2004, King Abdullah of Jordan warned that a “Shia Crescent” of Iranian-led movements and governments would begin to dominate the northern Middle East. His predictions were quickly echoed by regional leaders, from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to defensive Persian Gulf monarchs, and an American security establishment overly focused on Tehran’s influence in a number of regional capitals.  More»

With No Room for the Dead, Graves Go Up for Rent in Damascus

With No Room for the Dead, Graves Go Up for Rent in Damascus

In Damascus, war profiteers are leveraging the scarcity of burial spots in the capital to rent out graves as one would apartments, charging as much as $1,000 per year for a plot of land. More»