- A terrible blow, but Tunisia will not buckle
- Tunisia attack: multiple deaths at Sousse beach resort
- Scott Ritter · ‘We ain’t found shit’ · LRB 2 July 2015
On why Iran shouldn’t accept ‘no notice’ inspections of its nuclear sites
- Patrick Cockburn · Why join Islamic State? · LRB 2 July 2015
On Kurdish advances on Tal Abyad, IS and Turkey
- Political TV talk shows a victim of Egypt’s crackdown on dissent — FT
- Stop Scaremongering About ISIL in Libya | Al Jazeera America
- Why We Need al-Qaeda by Ahmed Rashid | NYRblog
- A Partnership with China to Avoid World War by George Soros | The New York Review of Books
- The west opens up to Egypt’s President Sisi - FT
This gets the politics right and the economics wrong - Egypt has not "graduated from handouts" and not that many foreign companies are keen to invest.
- How leaked Saudi documents might really matter
By Marc Lynch
- Germany frees al-Jazeera reporter Ahmed Mansour
Instead of extraditing him to Egypt as it had hoped
- Leaks allege assassination plot hatched by Egypt and Sudan | Middle East Eye
- How security forces keep critics quiet in 'progressive' UAE
- How security forces keep critics quiet in 'progressive' UAE
One tactic: kidnappings
- The Moral Conflict of Living and Working in Qatar
Interesting discussion of the personal pros and the ethical cons
- Water In Crisis - Spotlight Middle East
Apparently desalination is not the answer
- The Rhetoric of Egyptian Reaction
A new post by Baheyya
- Smuggling books across the border: PalFest 2015
Leila Abdelrazaq puts the experience into drawings
- 'One Thousand and One Nights won’t be any less impressive than Hollywood movies': Nicole Saba
Ahram Online on what may be the Ramadan serial of the year
- Why Obama’s Plan to Send Advisers to Iraq Will Fail - The New York Times
Compare to what Iran's "advisers" do in Iraq...
- Clans du pouvoir : les masques sont tombés
Algerian Kremlinology - the comments are out there.
- U.S. Embracing a New Approach on Battling ISIS in Iraq - NYT
- Israeli exonerates itself over killing of Gaza boys on beach
- A Room Of Their Own: Makeshift Schools Help Syrian Students
- Egyptian Muslim Brothers launch “fierce” attack on Tunisia’s Ennadha, Ghannouchi
- The Guardian view on the flogging of Raif Badawi: Saudi Arabia is in the dock | The Guardian
- Egypt says terror attack foiled at temple in tourist city of Luxor | The Guardian
- Five takeaways from the Turkish election
- One Egyptian novelist takes another to task for accepting $60,000 Qatari literary prize
- Mysterious Disappearances of Egyptian Youth Continues
Egypt more and more resembles Pinochet's Chile
- On being transgender in Egypt
- How Teaching in English Divides the Arab World - Ursula on a growing trend at universities in the middle east
For the last few weeks – not for a lack of more serious things to talk about – the Egyptian media has fixated on two different aspects of the longstanding culture wars the country has fought over religion and public life. One is the brouhaha caused by TV personality Islam al-Beheiri and his frontal attack on al-Azhar for needing reform; the other is the lament by the writer Cherif Choubashi that Egyptian women should take off their veils. These type of storms in teacups have been standard for decades, they used to be a favorite issue for the Muslim Brotherhood to champion and embarrass the government under Mubarak. But what now that the Brotherhood is exiled and underground, and that current strongman Sisi is himself issuing calls for religious reform?
In the piece below, former presidential candidate, pre-2011 Brotherhood leader and head of the Strong Egypt party Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh gives a stab at an answer, from what we would venture to say is a somewhat post-Islamist perspective. Translation from the original Arabic is provided, as always, by the stupendous team at Industry Arabic. Please give a go for your translation needs, you won't be sorry.Read More
The crisis in Yemen, coming just as a breakthrough in negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program took place, appears to encompass the entire region's strategic dilemmas. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies see it as a direct expansion of Iranian power, via the Houthis, on the Arabian Peninsula, right on their border. Iran sees the Saudi-led offensive as further signs of anti-Shia rhetoric and militarisation of the Gulf region, and confirmed again its ability to extend its perceived infuence throughout the Arab world (whatever the reality of Tehran's support for the Houthis is). The US, which had blithely backed a deeply flawed Saudi-directed transition in Yemen while it focused on counter-terrorism, is caught in the middle of its desire for a deal with Iran and its strong backing of the Saudi offensive. This is nothing to say of Yemen's own internal dynamics: the remarkable rise of the Houthis, the return of the prospect of two distinct Yemens, the opportunism of deposed president Ali Abdallah Saleh, the irony of the Yemeni Muslim Brothers now finding themselves on the Saudi side (alongside al-Qaeda and the Islamic State). One could go on.Read More
A Yemeni reporter for the Washington Post talks about a war that is not too close for comfort:
Increasingly, Sanaa is turning into a ghost town. The universities, once bustling with students, have closed. So, too, have many businesses. People are packing their belongings into their pickup trucks and sedans and driving to far-away villages, hoping to avoid the air raids that have turned the mountains surrounding Sanaa into fiery-orange volcanoes.
The campaign, with a coalition of Arab nations, is an effort to dislodge Houthi rebels sweeping through Yemen.
The evenings are what alarm me most. That’s when the bombings intensify.
With Sanaa increasingly deprived of electricity, the lack of lighting creates an eerie darkness that is punctuated by the flashes — and explosions that quickly follow — that briefly illuminate my home town.
I’m also increasingly away from my wife. I’ve moved her family into our home because of the air raids. To make room, I’ve been staying at my father’s house, which is across town. I think that the family is safer this way, but all I want is to be home with my wife.
I spend my evenings trying to sleep, but often I can’t. I think about how I’ll report on the following day’s events. Will the Houthis capture the southern port city of Aden? I then inevitably ponder my own mortality. Will my family be killed in the attacks? Will I wake in the morning?
The crack translation team at Industry Arabic brings us this week's installment of our In Translation feature, in which we translate a representative op-ed from the Arab press. This column in the pan-Arab, Saudi-owned Al Hayat newspaper by its editor, Ghassan Charbel, blames the conflict in Yemen on former Yemeni president (and erstwhile Saudi ally) Ali Abdullah Saleh's unwillingness to step down and includes quotes from several previous interviews Charbel conducted with Saleh. The introductory paragraphs, on the discourse of false humility and sacrifice of leaders who can't conceive of relinquishing power, apply pretty much to every ruler in the Arab world.
The General Doesn’t Love the Palace
By Ghassan Charbel, Al-Hayat, 1 April 2015
The master of the palace embarrasses me when he tells me that he does not love the palace and that he awaits impatiently the date of his departure and that he suffers from a tortured conscience with regards to his family, since the concerns of the nation have distracted him from the First Lady and his children. He flabbergasts me when he tell me that he did what was necessary and will allow history to judge, that the decision to depart is final even if the masses cling to the hem of his jacket, and the time has come for him to have time to play with his grandchildren. The master of the palace disconcerts me when he says that power is a torment, and satisfying people an impossible task. He points out the white hair he has gotten from over-taxing himself for the needy and poor, and that he didn’t really intend to run in the last election but the people insisted. It disconcerts me that he says he remains in office based on election results. When he tries to portray the elections as free and fair, my mind immediately jumps to the intelligence chief and the vote-rigging factory in the Interior Ministry.
The fact of the matter is that I’m not a naïve enough journalist to believe all this. This profession has taken me to many capitals and I have interviewed many figures. Politeness forces me to suppress my chuckles so as not to jeopardize future interviews. Sometimes I have felt that the recording device itself will object to the expressions of humility voiced by a ruler who came to power on the back of a tank or the like.Read More