War in Yemen For years the Houthis have exploited the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed for political gain: in 2017 they used it to overthrow their one-time ally, former President Saleh; in 2016, they used it to raise funds, and now they are using it they are using it to recruit new fighters.
Culture The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have a long history of tattoo art. Once considered a sign of beauty, its popularity declined in many regions because of negative social stigma and the fact that Islam prohibits tattoos. Recently, young Arabs have begun to embrace tattooing once again, and they are changing people’s perception of tattoos.
Culture Frankincense, one of the gifts bestowed upon the newborn baby Jesus by the biblical Magi (the Three Wise Men), has been ...
Human Rights With the Arab world seemingly in constant conflict with no imminent prospects for peace, one world leader outlines her vision of the road to peace in the MENA region.
Culture Yemenis played a significant role in introducing coffee -- the second most traded commodity in the world after oil -- to countries throughout the world. The government's disinterest, however, in preserving the coffee tree and promoting its cultivation has deprived the country of significant revenue.
Profile Founder of one of the most famous literary salons in the Arab world during the twenties and thirties of the last century, she was one of the leading female figures of al-Nahda and one of the forerunners in revolutionizing Arabic poetry and prose.
Booklovers Like many young people in the Arab world, Lana Halabi followed the traditional path to success. She pursed both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business marketing and worked in a prominent retail company in the Middle East. There, she gained experience in fashion ...
Rights Tunisia seems poised to shake off the anti-LGBTQ legacy of its French-imposed 1913 Penal Code after a presidential committee proposed decriminalizing same-sex relations.
Culture Muslim Moriscos converted to Christianity under duress, faced racial discrimination and systematic marginalization by mainstream Catholic Spaniards in Renaissance Spain. They were eventually exiled from their Iberian homeland, but their legacy remains.
Book Review An insurmountable grudge between friends stands in for the unresolved trauma of political violence in the story of an expatriate visiting his native Lebanon.
Immigration As more sub-Saharan immigrants settle in Morocco, advocacy groups urge the government to ensure education access with comprehensive new immigration laws. Under the Constitution, Morocco guarantees everyone living in the country the right to education. In practice, many immigrant children are left out of the classroom.
The Hajj Attended annually by two to three million people from all over the world, the Hajj ritual is the fifth pillar of Islam required of Muslims who are able physically and financially to perform it at least once in their lifetime.
In Depth Domestic power dynamics in Tunisia threaten to destabilize the country by weakening governance within North Africa’s fledgling democracy. The political crisis in Tunisia that began earlier this year over whether Prime Minister Youssef Chahed should resign has revealed a ...
In Depth When 19-year old Iranian teenager Maedeh Hojabri filmed videos of herself happily dancing in her bedroom to American and Iranian pop music and posted them on Instagram, she didn’t think she would end up in prison. Iranian authorities clamped down and arrested her without...
In Depth In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) persuaded Bahrain, Egypt, Mauritania, the Maldives, the Comoros, Mauritius, the Yemeni government of Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi, and the Libyan Tobruk regime to break off diplomatic relations with Qatar.
Art After civil unrest, it can be hard for people to imagine life going back to “normal.” Normalcy not only implies people returning to living their lives in relative peace and restoring a country’s functioning social, economic, and political institutions again (even if they do so ineffectively), but resurrecting an environment that is conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship that allows creatives to explore their imagination and produce artistic work. In Libya, a country that continues to suffer from, among many other things, high levels of insecurity, constant power outages, and a currency crisis, it seems that restoring any sense of normalcy is a slow and painful crawl. However, 26-year-old Libyan artist Nouralddeen Alhouni has not let these challenges stand in the way of his creative endeavors. Alhouni is the CEO, editor-in-chief,...