- 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
A lean couple of weeks...
- Israeli authorities destroy Palestinian family’s valley of fruit trees
On so it goes on an on..
- Alaa Abdel Fattah, 24 others handed 15-year sentences
For an "illegal" protest. This is fucking heartbreaking.
- Sisiphus | MERIP
On Egypt's new president.
- FRIDE - Morocco’s Islamists: Bucking the trend?
Anouar Boukhars on the PJD.
- Save Mohamed Soltan’s life In preventive detention and on hunger strike since 26 January 2014
- Tahrir Square assaults
Nadine Marroushi gives a comprehensive account of the reactions to recent mass sexual assaults
Belated link-dump so we can clear the joke election stuff.
- Egypt 2014 Presidential Election - Google Sheets
A handy results breakdown by Evan Hill
- Ganzeer - Who's Afraid of Art?
Famous street artist labelled "terrorist"
- Egyptian Presidential Challenger Withdraws Monitors - NYT
What a disastrous election - doubt sowed on everything.
- Egypt Elections: A Message in Spoiled Ballots - WSJ
- Satirical show on hold to prevent influencing voters - MBC - Aswat Masriya
Bassem Youssef only one with influence? What a joke.
- A Brotherhood Inquiry in Bad Faith - NYTimes
Kenan Malik on David Cameron's "investigation-for-contracts" of the MB
- The campaign to condemn the Brotherhood | ECFR
Hammond on the Saudi spin to blame MB for Islamic extremism.
- Hammonda. » The Riyadh Document: What could it mean?
On the inter-GCC negotiations.
- Absence by Sabry Khaled
Stunning photography of the families who have lost loved one in Egypt in the last 3 years
- How Egypt's Rebel Movement Helped Pave The Way For A Sisi Presidency
Lo and behold, a Tamarrod leader admits to Sheera Frenkel the group was infiltrated by security, "duped"
- From Minya, after the verdict
Great piece about the atmosphere in a town where 529 have gotten a death sentence
- The Obama Doctrine
Gary Sick on Obama's uber-realist (unrealistic?) MENA policy
- Egypt army extends power by taking charge of Gulf aid
- Egypt: The Revolution’s Last Stand - The Daily Beast
On student unrest.
- Petites guerres locales en Libye
Good piece on the difficulty of "reading" Libya.
- Meet Egypt’s next would-be president | Mada Masr
Reminds us that Sisi + army said he would not run.
- BBC News - Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: New face of Egypt's old guard
- Sisi 2014!
Steve Cook on the challenges facing Sisi.
- Occidental’s $8 Billion Deal Stalled by Brotherhood Row - Bloomberg
Fallout of GCC divide.
- Saudi Arabia: A kingdom on guard - FT
Long piece by Roula Khalaf on Saudi, Egypt, MB, GCC, etc.
- Report: Qatar's World Cup Expected To Take More Lives Than 9/11
What a headline.
- Time to Get Tough on Egypt - Shadi Hamid - POLITICO
- Meet Egypt’s next would-be president
So Sisi has announced...
Above, the "Libyan navy" – actually Misrata militias loading their pickup trucks mounted with artillery weapons onto a barge – shoots at the Morning Glory, a tanker that loaded oil from the blockaded port of Sidra, controlled by "federalist" militias. The ship was later seized by US Navy Seals. And below, the long-overdue links.
- Israel’s War on American Universities
- In search of an energy vision | Mada Masr
On Egypt's energy crisis.
- Book on women driving banned
At the Riyadh Book Fair. Which also banned all the works of Mahmoud Darwish this year.
- Egypt Revolutionary Singer Stopped From Performing
Not the sign of a confident regime
- In Egypt, the Military Means (Big) Business - Businessweek
- Ahmed Shafiq, in leaked phone calls, talks smack about Sisi
Calls the army's decision to back general for presidency "bizarre and ignorant"
- L’Arabie saoudite, un royaume en pleine transformation dans un environnement régional en recomposition - Entretien avec Nabil Mouline
- Egyptian women in numbers
On the occasion of International Women's Day
- The Jazeera Trial
Good dispatch by Bel Trew
- Another letter from jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah
Who as usual shows how dangerously thoughtful he is
- MBC Misr signal jammed during Bassem Youssef show
Satirical news show briefly interrupted when an "unknown entity" jammed the signal. A warning?
- What Would People Say?
Amro Ali on the country's "obsessive-compulsive public-image disorder"
- Visit the cinema at the end of the world | Dazed
An outdoor ghost cinema in Sinai. If this is true it's amazing.
- Qatar to bar Saudis, Bahrainis and Emiratis from Harrods in response to ambassador withdrawal | The Pan-Arabia Enquirer
- Showdown in the Gulf
On the withdrawal of Saudi, Bahraini, Emirati and Egyptian ambassadors from Qatar
- Darwin in Arabia | TLS
Robert Irwin reviews.
- Brutality, torture, rape: Egypt's crisis will continue until military rule is dismantled | Emad El-Din Shahin | Comment is free | The Guardian
- Three Gulf Arab states recall envoys in rift with Qatar | Reuters
- The Strange World of the Muslim Brotherhood Court Cases
Another stellar piece by Peter Hessler. Too many memorable lines to quote.
- Police officers sentenced to 10 years for Khaled Saeed murder
Akheeran! Let's hope they serve their full sentence
- Rebel infighting kills thousands of Syrians
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant killed more rebel fighters than Assad's regime did
- Gulf atheism in the age of social media
Sultan Al Qassemi's very interesting history of atheism in the region
- Egyptian Stars of 'The Square' Can't Attend the Oscars
And it didn't win. Malesh!
- Manifesto - St.Catherine
Timeline of hiker's tragedy on Mount Sinai and official neglect
- Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict | MERIP
- How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations - The Intercept
- Egypt's generals: It gets ever sillier | The Economist
On the koftagi device
- Egypt PM retracts culture minister appointment - Ahram Online
Corporatist reflexes strong as ever - see last line.
- The $20 Million Case for Morocco
Well-researched overview of Morocco's Western Sahara lobby.
- Claims of cure for HIV, Hepatitis C are a 'scandal': Egypt presidential advisor - Ahram Online
- MEI Editor's Blog: Guest Post: Prince Charles' Sword Dance and the Early History of UK-Saudi Relations
- CC cures HIV/AIDS | moftasa.net
Must-read on Egyptian military's miracle device. This is to Sisi what Nile meeting was to Morsi, so embarassing.
- The Conman’s paradise - DNE
Another instant classic by @sandmonkey
- The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer: Egyptian autocrats struggle with soccer’s political pros and cons
- Lourde peine requise contre le caricaturiste
Algerian cartoonist Djamel Ghanem threatened w/18 months prison for unpublished, unfinished comic against Bouteflika re-election.
- A return to the 1990s? | Mada Masr
An informative comparison of jihadi groups in Egypt, in the 1990s and today
- Egypt can stop its spiral toward radicalization - The Washington Post
- Syrian War Crimes: Regime Bombs Bakeries, Uses Starvation As Weapon | New Republic
- Crépuscule du pouvoir en Algérie
- Le métier d’intellectuel, un livre de Driss Ksikes et Fadma Aït Mous
New book on Moroccan intellectuals
- Aide’s Return to White House Reflects Changing U.S. Role in Middle East - NYTimes.com
- U.S. Steps Up Criticism of Russian Role in Syrian War - NYTimes.com
- Brewing Turkish Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide
Nice illustrated guide by Brownbook
- Tunisia’s new constitution: progress and challenges to come | openDemocracy
Zaid al-Ali and Donia Ben Romdhane
- Convince, Coerce, or Compromise? Ennahda’s Approach to Tunisia’s Constitution | Brookings Institution
Monica Marks on Ennahda's internal politics.
- What was the thinking behind Libya’s transition? | THE DAILY STAR
Pete Cole urges patience.
- The Strategy of Egypt's Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
Long War Journal's David Barnett
- The Egypt Effect: Sharpened Tensions, Reshuffled Alliances - Carnegie
Regional impact of July 3.
- Qatar’s leadership transition: like father, like son | ECFR
Andrew Hammond argues Qatar as Ikhwanophile as ever.
- An account of torture from Wadi al-Natrun prison | Mada Masr
- Cairobserver — Review: Ahdaf Soueif's Cairo
- Cairobserver — Second Print Edition of Cairobserver
- Luna of Cairo by Luna and Leela Corman - Narratively
Cute comic on life of foreign belly dancer in Cairo.