Unrest in Iranian Sistan and Baluchestan

Ethno/sectarian tensions in Iran routinely manifest themselves in deadly violence in the country’s peripheral provinces that are home to millions of the Islamic Republic’s non-Persian and/or non-Shi’a citizens.

Passport

Even After Defeating ISIS, Iraq Struggles to Find Its Feet

Even After Defeating ISIS, Iraq Struggles to Find Its Feet

One of the principal effects of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an exponentially compounded threat of terrorism in the country by extremist groups. 15 years after the invasion, and one year after defeating ISIS, the Middle Eastern country is still struggling to land on its feet.
Death of Two Saudi Sisters in New York Leave Unanswered Questions

Death of Two Saudi Sisters in New York Leave Unanswered Questions

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of two young Saudi sisters in New York City have spurred a still-unresolved investigation and provoked speculations that Saudi Arabia’s repressive society is partly to blame.

Argan Oil: Is Outside Exploitation of Morocco’s Liquid Gold Imperiling Local Coops?

Many business owners claim that the argan oil industry enhances the socio-economic situation of Amazigh populations in the argan forests region. However, this multi-million dollar industry could threaten the future of wild argan forests in Morocco and lead to results that are the opposite hoped for by the Moroccan government.
Matthew Hedges and the Glorification of Anti-Intellectualism.

Matthew Hedges and the Glorification of Anti-Intellectualism

Despite scant evidence against him, the United Arab Emirates has issued Matthew Hedges a life sentence, claiming that he is not an academic researcher, but a spy. Now, the Emirates’ international reputation is at risk.

Culture

Visa For Music Festival Returns to Rabat

Visa For Music Festival Returns to Rabat

Every November, a stunning array of musicians from across Africa and the Middle East convenes in Morocco’s capital city.

Empowering Arab Women through Financial Technology

Although the financial exclusion of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has historically undermined the economic potential of the region, the recent introduction of financial technology (fintech) could play a vital role in disrupting regional financial systems, social paradigms, and gender stereotypes

Djinn in Muslim Culture: Truth or Superstition?

Djinns are believed to be powerful, invisible beings, capable of possessing people and even inflicting suffering on them. Stories of human encounters with djinn are very common across cultures and history.

Virginia Community Welcomes Palestinian Al-Quds Festival

A recent Al Quds Festival and Palestine Trade Show highlighted the importance of events that promote cross-cultural understanding.

Opinion

ARABIA THAT WAS

When Bigotry and Intolerance Reigned: The Expulsion of Moriscos from Renaissance Spain

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

Kamel Daoud’s “Meursault, contre-enquête,” Modern Epilogue to “L’étranger”

Meursault and Haroun, the respective narrators of Albert Camus’ 1942 novel, “The Stranger,” and Kamel Daoud’s 2012 novel, “The Meursault Investigation,” are united by their social and political alienation. While Meursault is able to achieve independence from his family and country, the central role of colonialism in Haroun’s life deprives him of this freedom.
Kamel Daoud’s “Meursault, contre-enquête,” Modern Epilogue to “L’étranger”

ARABIA THAT IS

Learning Between the Lines Protecting Immigrant Children’s Right to Education In Morocco

Learning Between the Lines: Protecting Immigrant Children’s Right to Education In Morocco

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.

IN-DEPTH

Muslim Hajj: From Religious Ritual to Lucrative Business. Mecca

Muslim Hajj: From Religious Ritual to Lucrative Business

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.

Tunisia’s Political Crisis: Domestic Power Dynamics Threaten National Stability

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 ...

Iranian Women Dance on Social Media to Resist Government’s Attempts to Stifle Freedoms

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...

UAE Punishes Somalia for Its Stance on Ongoing Gulf Crisis

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.

VOICES

Habka Libya's First Manga Initiative Seeks to Promote Creativity

Habka: Libya’s First “Manga Magazine” Overcomes Challenges to Promote Unity Through Creativity...

Despite difficulties, a pioneering magazine based in Benghazi is using Japanese art as a medium to share a creative message of hope and empowerment with communities throughout Libya.

Analysis

Morocco’s First Take on Fast Trains

Morocco is now the home of Africa’s first high-speed rail line. The state of the art “Al Boraq” Train now links Tangier and Casablanca in just over two hours.

Half a Century After its Independence from the British, Yemen Now Faces a New Colonialism

This year, Yemenis celebrated the 51st anniversary of South Yemen’s independence from British colonial rule. But now decades later Yemen is facing a new colonization—this time by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. While five decades of independence have given way to something even worse than British occupation, the past four years suggest that this new colonialism will not last long.

Climate Change Raises the Specter of Food Insecurity in Gulf Countries

The changing climate portends more extreme weather events that are likely to hurt global food supplies and raise prices. While the rich countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are currently food secure due to their strong buying power, they are too vulnerable to supply fluctuations because of near total food import dependency, growing population rates, and declining freshwater and rainfall to be able to boost domestic food production.