- Diary: In Sanaa
The lead-up to the current war, by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
- Syria’s truth smugglers
Very worthwhile read on the effort to document Assad's and others' crimes
- Wadi Barada: Snapshot of a Civil War
- Leaks Gain Credibility and Potential to Embarrass Egypt’s Leaders
If they were susceptible to embarrassment
- Promises and figures from Sisi's latest speech
- To Make the World a Better Place, Teach Arabic
- Mafia in Africa
- Egyptian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy Sues Al Jazeera for $83 Million in Punitive Damages
- Ursula Lindsey on Correspondents Club
ABC Melbourne interviewed me on being a journalist in the middle east these days
- Egypt’s Megafantasies
Good review of David Sim's latest book on desert development
- Tunisian novel wins ‘Arabic Booker’ in Abu Dhabi despite UAE ban
Sounds like the ban has already been lifted though
- Al Jazeera America, Its Newsroom in Turmoil, Is Now the News
Are they extra dysfunctional or just extra scrutinized?
- Why Peter Kennard's montages are political dynamite
Can't believe I'd never seen his Blair "Photo Op"
- A French Freelancer in Lebanon on the ‘Slow Death’ of Foreign Correspondents
- Progress in Tunisia, but much still to be done
Op-ed by Rached Ghannouchi.
- The Day After · LRB 4 May 2015
Neve Gordon on the IDF’s new tactics
- Fear Makes Everything Possible
Wael Eskandar on Egypt today
- Saudi-Led Group Said to Use Cluster Bombs in Yemen - NYT
- Aleppo’s Real-Life Soap Opera « The Majalla Magazine
- Repression in Egypt: Worse than Mubarak | The Economist
- Mauritanian film-maker gets death threats from Salafis for film about violence against women (Arabic)
- New secular party to 'challenge religious dominance'
Interesting if probably not influential
- Egyptian Chronicles: Another Blow to Online Media in Egypt Coming on the way !!
- Souad Massi’s New Album: Interpreting Classic Arabic Poems
Love her, can't wait.
- Conflicting reports over Tarabin ‘war’ on Sinai militants
- A Saudi Royal Shake-Up With a Goal of Stability - NYT
- Understanding the Saudi king’s succession bombshell
- Renowned U.S. Arabist Is Second Witness to Refuse to Appear With MEK Leader | Foreign Policy
- Congress Moves to Protect Israeli Settlements
- Egypt’s revolution will get a shot in the arm with data that shows how government spends money
Uhmm, very skeptical.
- The human 'mules' of Morocco
So many countries run of women's cheap suffering..
- Efforts to Fight Extremism in Education Misses the Point, by Ursula
- Invisible Atheists: The Spread of Disbelief in the Arab World
Interesting article on atheism in the middle east
- Gone Girl: An Interview With An American In ISIS
And her distraught family
- Deport me!
Another post that must be read on Paper Bird
- Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State
And how much it borrows from Saddam's security services
- Islamic State leadership in Libya | TheMagrebiNote
- A Saudi war going badly wrong | Middle East Eye
- Mali: On the CMA’s Refusal to Sign the Algiers Accord
- A review of the award-winning novel The Bamboo Stalk
Set in the Philippines and Kuwait, translated by Jonathan Wright
- In Syria's war, Alawites pay heavy price for loyalty to Bashar al-Assad
- The United States and Palestine
- The Islamic State in Libya, TheMagrebiNote | Articles, Translations, Analysis, Reports on the Islamic Maghreb
- Geoff D. Porter on the price of stability in Algeria
- Her Majesty’s Jihadists
On British Muslim foreign fighters in Syria.
- The Authoritarian Resurgence: Saudi Arabia’s Anxious Autocrats - Carnegie Endowment
- Gasser Abdel Razek: Interview with prominent Egyptian human rights activist
The first in a series by Mada Masr
- NBC Alters Account of Correspondent’s Kidnapping in Syria
Seemingly only after other media investigates
- Egyptian court sentences American to life in prison
Mohammed Soltan is the son of an MB leader
- 7 books to help you understand Libya
- Police allowed to deport gay foreigners, rules Egypt court
- Confusion regarding Egypt's new capital after Sisi announces lack of funds
- Syria: Death from Assad’s Chlorine by Annie Sparrow | The New York Review of Books
- Putting Palestine on the Map…and the Jersey
Great long read about Palestinian-Chilean soccer team
- Understanding Kafala: An archaic law at cross purposes with modern development | Migrant Rights
- Yémen : une faillite américano-saoudienne
- Saudi Shiites worry about backlash from Yemen war - The Washington Post
- In Egypt, ex-military men fire up Islamist insurgency | Reuters
- Arab Peacemaker
Cairo Review interview with Lakhdar Brahimi
- Expedited Weapons Deliveries to Saudi Arabia Signal Deepening U.S. Involvement - NYT
Sending weapons but not bothering to help stranded Americans.
- What really happened in Tikrit after ISIL fled - Al Jazeera English
- 600 days in jail for taking pictures: A letter from an Egyptian prison
- Perfectly Reasonable Question: Did The Times ‘Self-Censor’?
In the UAE, its partner did.
- The Unknown Man, and the Deaths at Abu Zaabal
Excellent reporting on a massacre of Egyptian prisoners
- Yemen: The Houthi Enigma
- Salafists and Sectarianism: Twitter and Communal Conflict in the Middle East
- ‘ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror,’ and More
Steve Negus reviews this very good new book on ISIS, and others
- Wadha et Ibrahim Abdhalla: affreux, sales et marrants
Refreshingly off-beat portrait of Iraqi refugees
- TSA’s Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists
Includes being nervous, being late, being arrogant, whistling, yawning, staring, gazing down...
- Gaza family 'tricked' into selling Banksy painting for $175
- Palestine ICC entry to shake up peace process
- Obama Removes Weapons Freeze Against Egypt
- Moroccan free press activist accused of adultery, given 10 month jail sentence
Another dissident framed and smeared
- Yemen and Iran: What's really going on?
Brian Whitaker tries to assess how serious alleged Iranian involvement is
- Witnesses, Who Say Police Killed Activist, Are to Be Charged in Egypt
More judicial bullying
- Diplomatie, retenue militaire et patience sont les seuls remèdes pour la Libye
Jean Marie Guéhenno and Issandr El Amrani op-ed in Le Monde.
- US Couple Spends Millions To Save Migrants In The Mediterranean
Have spent $8 million and helped 3,000 so far
- An Interior Ministry runs through it
Blogger Sarah Carr takes a Nile taxi
- Is it a coincidence that one of the world's most feminist countries is having a fight with one of its most misogynist ones?
- Reading al-Koni in English — Elliott Colla
The great Libyan writer is a Booker finalist this year
- A Policy Puzzle of U.S. Goals and Alliances in the Middle East
- Majority of Egyptians Believe Muslim Brotherhood Should Be Allowed Participation in Politics
More accurately, believe everyone should be allowed.
- Yemen becomes new front in the war between Saudi Arabia and Iran
- Road to Extremism for Tunisian Museum Gunmen Went Through Libya
Investigative report in the WSJ
- Islam’s Improbable Reformer
Portrait of Sisi by Bret Stephens, improbable journalist
- I Am Norman Finkelstein
Norman Finkelstein does Reddit's Ask Me Anything.
- Egypt enters Guinness Book of Records with 4-ton ful platter
- What It Feels Like to Be a ‘Demographic Threat’ to Israel i.e. one of its Arab citizens
- Nigerian Army Noticeably Absent in Town Taken From Boko Haram
- How Will Tunisia Respond to the Bardo Museum Attack?
- War has plunged 80% of Syrians into poverty: UN report and "reduced life expectancy by 20 years"
- The Syrian spy who fooled the Assad regime in the southern front
- Tunisia’s Grand Compromise Faces its Biggest Test | Crisis Group
Q&A on Bardo terror attack.
- The Politics of Egyptian Migration to Libya
A historical view.
- Egypt honors mother who dressed as man for 43 years to provide for family
- An interview with the urban designers behind The Capital Cairo project
- An Israeli Election Turns Ugly
- 19 Killed in Attack at Tunisia Museum; 2 Gunmen Dead After Firefight
- NYU Professor barred entry into U.A.E.
Andrew Ross has been a critic of labour abuse
- Tony Blair poised to step back from Middle East peace envoy role - FT
Took him long enough.
- De rares photos de Ben Laden dans son repaire afghan ressurgissent
Abdel Bari Atwan's 1996 snapshots.
- Morocco: The slow pace of change
- Europe Stands Up to Saudi Arabia
Interesting Swedish-Saudi falling out
- Built on Sand: Egypt’s Questionable Strategy for Growth and Development [PDF]
- Egypt: Newspaper reporting that ministries dodged over US$1 billion in taxes confiscated
- The “invisible hand” of the state in MENA economies
On SOEs, many good points.
- AFTER ARAB SPRING, SURVEILLANCE IN EGYPT INTENSIFIES
Good to see The Intercept focus on Arab countries.
- The big drop: Riyadh’s oil gamble
Interesting long piece on Saudi energy policy.
- The Inquiry: Who Wants What in Libya?
With my contribution.
- Iran Offers to Mediate Talks Between Republicans and Obama
- On the difficulties of forming a Shia-Sunni alliance against ISIS
- Sisi has a lot riding on this economic investment conference
- How to get (and dump) and ISIS boyfriend online: A reporter’s undercover life with a terrorist
- Becoming Jihadi John
Good analysis of how ISIS "weaponizes discontent"
- Liberman: 'Behead' Disloyal Arab Citizens of Israel
- School shut down after pupil allegedly killed by teacher in Cairo And teacher arrested?
- 'SNL' Has Nothing On The Way The Middle East Mocks ISIS
- Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art: A year after a terrorist bombing, the famed museum remains in ruins. Partly because of corruption in Egypt
- Max Fisher on another murder of a Muslim in the US and the climate that may have encouraged it
- In Libya, will Misrata be the kingmaker?
Good overview of diversity of militias in Misrata.
- New EU Syria sanctions reveal regime collusion with Isis - FT
- Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt | Brookings Institution
- Saudi Arabia wants us to make peace with Egypt, says Turkish president
- Will #SisiLeaks be Egypt's Watergate for Abdel Fatah al-Sisi?
One of many videos mocking ISIS, with a re-mixed version of one of its anthems.
- Fascinating blog narrates trip on a container ship through the Suez Canal
- gary's choices | Netanyahu’s Speech Gary Sick on what was not said about Iran's nuclear program
- Facebook rant against his Emirati employer lands US man in UAE jail
- Al-Azhar says Islamic State backed by Western agencies
So do a lot of other idiots
- Tunisia blogger gets 6 months for defaming army
- Sinan Antoon: an Iraqi novelist living in continuous mourning
Looking forward to forthcoming English translation of his latest
- Sultan Al Qassemi on the resurgent art scene in Beirut
- Brookings - With friends like these
Wittes responds to Indyk (but why think an architect of Oslo and dual containment had much to offer?)
- Insight - Syria's Nusra Front may leave Qaeda to form new entity
With Qatari encouragement/funding
- Egypt's investment expectations are "a little ambitious." From the Awraq blog
- This reviewer calls Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy, translated by Robin Moger "one of the best books he's read all year"
- Terrorist Targeting of the Libyan O&G Sector
Interesting stuff from Geoff Porter
- Political transition in Tunisia [PDF]
- Recordings Suggest Emirates and Egyptian Military Pushed Ousting of Morsi
- ETH Zurich - Sinai Peninsula – from Buffer Zone to Battlefield
- #We Are Not Charlie: Muslims’ Differentiated Reactions to the Paris Attacks, and the Dangers of Indiscriminate Finger-pointing
Excellent SWP report [PDF]
- Online, American Helps Fuel Attacks in Egypt - NYT
- Justice Department: We’ll Go After ISIS’s Twitter Army
US could prosecute for remarks made on social media
- Anatomy of a Killing: How Shaimaa al-Sabbagh Was Shot Dead at a Cairo Protest
And how her friends had to fight police to stay with her body
- Chicago police detain Americans at an abusive 'black site'
- Secret interrogation sites at home, too
- Obscure Group Says It Set Off Blasts in Egypt, Raising Alarm - NYT
Attacks target businesses.
- How the Islamic State was Won
- The politics of "quietist" Salafism
New Brookings paper argues that quietist Salafists are plenty political.
- Men In Skirts Protest Violence Against Women In Turkey
Al Jazeera video
- The Clash of Civilizations That Isn’t
- Abu Aardvark: An Open Letter to John Legend
Urging him not to play a concert in Bahrain
- Ahmed Ezz: My exclusion from election goes against the revolution
- Israel cuts off electricity to thousands of West Bank Palestinians
- Emir of Qatar writes an open letter to Obama in the NYTimes
- Mali and the Sahel
Separatism, terrorism, smuggling networks
- Bernard Haykel, professor quoted in that Atlantic piece everyone is arguing about, has more to say
- How two Palestinian Americans plan to Pivot the world
App unveils history of Palestine
- The Verdict
In the Shura case
- Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah sentenced to 5 years
For a protest
- Mystery group defends UAE's rights record. Vitriolic response to criticisms
- The Middle East and China
Talk by Chas Freeman.
- The Hezbollah Connection
Great account of investigation of Hariri murder
- Activists Trying to Draw Attention to Killings in Syria Turn to ISIS Tactic: Shock Value
- Did Egypt’s President Sisi Just Fall Into ISIS’s Trap?
Steve Negus on how ISIS may be Sisi-baiting.
- The Battle for Benghazi
Good paper (PDF)
- Mr Freeze « LRB blog
Masterful takedown of de Mistura by Moin Rabbani
- Migrants scattered by Morocco's new immigration policy
- Egyptian student given prison sentence for atheist Facebook posts
He was reported by his science teacher
- Egypt confiscates revolution graffiti book for “instigating revolt”
- More Egyptians kidnapped by ISIS
Why didn't Egypt plan for retaliation/organize evacuations?
- Journaliste, j'ai été arrêté au Maroc : surréaliste et violent
French journalists tailed, searched and deported from Morocco
- "Once Upon a Revolution"
Review of Thanassis Cambanis' book on Egypt
- Why Syrian Refugees Risk the ‘Journey of Death’ to Europe
Reporting from Alexandria
- Simmering Unrest and Succession Challenges in Oman
On "the sleepy sultanate"
- Frantic Intrigue of King Abdullah's Last Hours
Another fascinating, plausible, but ultimately unsourced (single-sourced?) piece by David Hearst.
- Egypt Conducts Airstrikes on Islamic State Targets in Libya
- 'For the Love of Egypt' electoral list leaves political parties divided - Ahram Online
The usual elite divisions.
- The future of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf
- Behind the $57 Million Network Fueling Islamophobia in the U.S.
New doc by Center for American Progress
- The struggles - and hopes - of Hend Nafea
The Egyptian "girl in the blue bra" gets a life sentence
- Conservatives Dance On Grave Of ISIL Hostage: 'Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel B**ch'
Because she volunteered in Palestine
- Ali Abdulemam: I have not lost my identity.
Bahraini blogger on being stripped of his citizenship alongside 71 others.
- Dubai Unveils Plans For World’s Largest Human Rights Violation | The Onion
- Chapel Hill shooting: Three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina family home
Looks like a hate crime.
- In Matareya, death unites
On a Cairo slum that has lost hundreds in clashes with police
- Russia to help build nuclear power plant in Egypt
What could possibly go wrong?
- An investigation by Le Monde gives rare glimpse into the assets of Morocco's royal family
- Morocco legalizes 18,000 migrants in 2014 under new policy
- Houthi Constitutional Declaration just issued in Yemen, translated by IDEA
- Mutual escalation in Egypt
Escalation in rhetoric towards violence.
- Steel tycoon and loathed symbol of Mubarak-era corruption, Ahmed Ezz, to run for Parliament
- The Muslims of Early America
"Like the rodeo, Islam is an indelible part of our culture."
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi Buys a Washington Portrait by Stuart
- Anonymous “Hacktivists” Go After ISIS Accounts
- Libya Against Itself by Nicolas Pelham
Essay-review of new book on Libya.
- The Egyptian judge sentencing hundreds to death and activists to life looks and acts exactly as you'd imagine
- More readers, better designs and unlikely bargains at the Cairo book fair
Interesting roundup what's new of Cairo's major book fair.
- Rafale en Égypte : l'accord est à portée de main
Reminds me of Jack Lemmon in Glencarry Glen Ross.
- Thugs Beat Up Monkeys At Alexandria Zoo
Makes you wish for Planet of the Apes reprisal
- Egypt's Sisi 'despised' and colluded with Gulf rulers
More leaks of high-level military calls -- where are they coming from?
- The Saudi palace coup | Middle East Eye
Tentative overtures to MB?
- F. Gregory Gause III | Saudi Arabia's Game of Thrones | Foreign Affairs
- Frederic Wehrey | Misrata and Hope for a Political Solution in Libya | Foreign Affairs
- Who Are the Billionaires Attacking Obama’s Iran Diplomacy? | The Nation
- Egyptian court sends prominent activist Ahmed Douma to jail for life
And a $2 million fine. Insane.
- Peter Greste is now free, but there are still 11 journalists left in Egypt's prisons
- Britons dislike Israel more than Iran – but North Korea beats them both as most maligned nation
- Israel's ambassador jokes on Twitter about undermining Obama
Egypt’s Cartoonists, After Charlie Hebdo
Profiles + work
Pan-Arab news channel off air hours after launch
For hosting Bahraini dissident
The news website that’s keeping press freedom alive in Egypt
A nice profile of Mada Masr
A Letter to Saudi Arabia's New King
From an anonymous Saudi writer
First link dump of the year, some dating from December 2014 – all Charlie-free, see recent posts and link roundups for that.
- Man discovers passage to Egypt's Great Pyramid — under his house
- Al Jazeera Journalists Are Not Egypt’s Enemies
Mohamed Fadel Fahmy says he and others are victims of regional cold war
- Morocco Approves Exodus Film, After Offending Sections Cut
- How the Iraq War Financed a Beltway Real Estate Boom
- Quand le roi du Maroc boude, il tombe malade
Ahmed Benchemsi in Le Monde
Hopefully the first of a more disciplined weekly link dump.
- How ISIS Rules by Sarah Birke | NYRblog
- 20 key findings about CIA interrogations
Handy interactive summary
- TV presenter defends her role in mass ‘gay’ bathhouse arrests
Argues arresting and shaming naked men will help fight HIV
- The Syrian Civil War, From Space
Its cities shine "a quarter as bright" at night now
- Navy engineer tried to leak plans for new aircraft carrier to Egypt, U.S. says - The Washington Post
- Four years after Egypt's uprising, prison ranks swell: A writer's story - CSMonitor.com
- Imagining a New Arab Order
Tarek Osman - perhaps too optimistic in his bleakness...
- Muslim-hating man rams Missouri teen with SUV, severing his legs and killing him
- Luke Somers, American Hostage, Is Killed During Rescue Attempt in Yemen, U.S. Official Says - NYT
- Sunnis Fear Permanent Displacement From Iraqi Town - NYT
- State Dept. Spokesperson Stuck to Her Lines… Until She Thought Her Mic Was Off
Admits US position on Egypt is "ridiculous"
- Architects float monument concept for Qatar's fallen World Cup workers
Or one could just prevent deaths in the first place
- Radio-Free Syria
- Congress enshrines Israel in a new class of ally
For shame - an ally that spies on US.
- Profiling the Islamic State | Brookings Institution
- Islamist and Secular Forces in Morocco
- The refusal to talk to hostage-takers has sucked the US and UK into war | Jonathan Littell | The Guardian
Interesting argument against US/UK policy not to pay ransoms.
- Jihadi Blowback in Saudi Arabia | Hurst Publishers
Anti-Shia attacks in Saudi.
Another long overdue link recap. Should do these more often...
- Militant Group in Egypt Vows Loyalty to ISIS - NYTimes.com
- Joint Letter to President Obama on Egypt's Targeting of Civil Society
By HRW and various DC figures.
- Amnesty: Egypt’s defence of human rights record ‘cynical’
"Egypt’s defence of its human rights record lay in tatters today"...
- Egypt's Sisi and the insurgency
- The Islamic State and the Internationalization of the Sinai Conflict
Interesting piece on ABM by @zlgold
- A new authoritarian regime in Egypt? Controlling power and eliminating dissent
Dina El Khawaga
- Refugees Fleeing to Europe Face Death From Smugglers
- Egypt Begins Surveillance Of Facebook, Twitter, And Skype
To fight terrorism and homosexuality, officials say
- Russia, Egypt seal preliminary arms deal worth $3.5 billion: agency
- EXCLUSIVE: Egypt Begins Surveillance Of Facebook, Twitter, And Skype On Unprecedented Scale
US company hired to track blasphemy and sarcasm
- 500 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean migrant shipwreck
- "Death of Arabic" Issue Gets a Lecture at Brown by a Fellow Skeptic
Clearing the holiday backlog...
- Fathers of ISIS | P U L S E
- Blamed for Rise of ISIS, Syrian Leader Is Pushed to Escalate Fight - NYT
Assad's ISIS blowback.
- Egypt's Wasat party withdraws from pro-Morsi bloc | Middle East Eye
Wonder if leaders to be released...
- Saudi princes visit Qatar as Gulf states try to end rift | Reuters
I wonder how much of this is over Libya
- Libya: Is civil war likely? | The Economist
- Libya's New Power Brokers?
Excellent overview of power networks by M. Fitzgerald.
- Libya: Anarchy
On the recent UAE-Egyptian raids, and how they haven't tipped the balance
- Art Beyond Politics, by Robyn Creswell
On an exhibition of Arab art at the New Museum
- Saudi king sacks deputy defence minister - royal court | Reuters
- More signs of al-Saud family feuds
- Cairobserver — Egypt's cities: governed by spectacle
- Egypt hosts launch of new Qatari opposition group | Middle East Eye
- Government decides to legalise firearms | Libya Herald
I'm sure all the militias will care.
- Kurds’ deputy PM Talabani calls for decentralised Iraq
- Egypt Moves to Restrict Ramadan Sermons | TIME
More religious control.
- Revisionist powers are driving the world’s crises - FT
Mead vs. Ikenberry