December 2017 – Its building turned to dust, its citizens traumatised and impoverished, Mosul may have been ‘liberated’ from ISIS but it has become a graveyard. Can this razed and devastated city ever be free again?
September 2017 – If Arabs could have voted, Angela Merkel would have won by a landslide, rather than the embattled situation she currently finds herself in following the shock gains scored by the far-right.
September 2017 – Syrian Rami Basisah and his violin have been through hell and high water together. His childhood dream of becoming a world-famous musician is about to come true. But the trauma of losing is country means he cannot enjoy his success.
August 2017 – The Greek island of Tilos has hosted more than seven times its population in refugees… and has done so with dignity, respect and with almost no external assistance.
August 2017 – “A lot of Syrians are indulging in a nostalgia that requires a lot of denial,” says Syrian-American author Alia Malek. “This is why I’m a student of history, not to live in a fantasy but to learn why and how we are where we are today.”
February 2017 – The Mosul I have always loved, whose sky was our protective shield, has been replaced by an alien city of death, destruction and destitution.
January 2017 – The plight of the 63,000 refugees and migrants still marooned in Greece should give Europeans pause for thought.
September 2016 – Where once Syrians struggled for the ideals of freedom, equality and dignity, the liberty that most counts in Syria today is the freedom from the fear of death.
September 2016 – If you’re feeling dejected by the troubled times we live in, remember that human generosity lives on, even in the most wretched of places.
July 2016 – Turkey’s failed military coup has been a “gift from God” for Erdoğan, who is now cementing his grip on dictatorship.
May 2016 – Following the EU-Turkey deal, refugees in Greece are being held in so-called “hotspots”, which are actually prisons, and many are now on hunger strike.
April 2016 – By following two young girls on their voyage of discovery of Sunni and Shia Islam, a new documentary highlights the insanity of Islamic sectarianism.
April 2016 – Rather than airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS), Belgium should strike at the root causes of homegrown extremism.
March 2016 – The terrorist attacks in Brussels will reinforce the idea that returning jihadists pose an existential threat to Europe. But the facts say otherwise.
March 2016 – In Brussels, people are resigned to a stark new reality of uncertainty and insecurity until a way is found to channel destructive energy positively.
March 2016 – As Europe turns its back on refugees, Syrians who can’t afford the “luxury” of fleeing are making the perilous journey back to their ruined homeland.
January 2016 – Despite the massive efforts of volunteer lifeguards, refugees are losing their lives in the Mediterranean. Europe must act… and out of compassion.
يناير 2016 – في لقاء موسع، يتحدث الكاتب والناشط البارز ياسين الحاج صالح هنا عن سوريا الماضي، الحاضر المأساوي والمستقبل المجهول.
January 2016 – In an exclusive interview, prominent Syrian writer and dissident Yassin al-Haj Saleh talks about Syria’s past, tragic present and uncertain future.
January 2016 – Through art, film and education, Watanili is a grassroots initiatives which is working to give traumatised Syrian kids a dose of normal childhood.
November 2015 – Counterintuitive as it may sound, ISIS is proof that the clash of civilisations is a myth. The reality is that interests clash, while cultures mix.
November 2015 – Belgium says it is working to combat radicalisation in Brussels. But is it doing enough to counter jihadist narratives and address exclusion?
November 2015 – The UN Security Council has a long track record of failing to resolve conflicts. Now it is also in danger of bringing the major powers to blows.
October 2015 – In light of the continuing legacy of Saddam Hussein’s rule and the US invasion of Iraq, is it appropriate to stage a comedy about the former despot?
October 2015 – Any objective observer can see that the refugees of today are not the invaders of history. So why are so many Europeans afraid of refugees?
October 2015 – An Iranian engineer who is seeking asylum in Europe because he wants to pursue his passion, dancing, would probably be rejected. Should he be?
October 2015 – In Syria, Amer and Raghda found liberation from political prison in love. But as refugees in Europe, their love became hostage to politics and guilts.
September 2015 – Tribalism and sectarianism afflicts Western societies too. So why is that they seem to be tearing the Middle East apart?
September 2015 – Rather than threatening Europe’s way of life, refugees are, through their struggle, helping to preserve the most precious of European values.
September 2015 – Can an Egyptian billionaires vision of turning a Mediterranean island into a just republic for refugees help solve the refugee crisis?
September 2015 – A violinist’s inspired and impromptu choice of music at the Greek-Macedonian border tells us a lot about the Syrian refugee crisis.
September 2015 – With all the wars and conflicts raging in the Middle East, collective trauma carries very serious consequences for the region.
August 2015 – How can it be that we Europeans greet the biggest refugee crisis in living memory with indifference, xenophobia and hostility?
August 2015 – Joining Syrian refugees on their long trek to the EU, Boštjan Videmšek discovers how easy it is to lose faith in humanity and how hard to restore it.
June 2015 – Kos is straining under the influx of Syrian refugees. Though locals are hospitable, the refugees are desperate to move on but where or how eludes them.
April 2015 – Europe’s history of total war and mass displacement can help create more sympathy for today’s refugees and keep hope alive in the Middle East.
April 2015 – Mosul’s youth are desperate, disillusioned and terrified because “ISIS will never let us have a future, we could die any second.”
March 2015 – The selfie fad has reached epidemic proportions, but we don’t live in more narcissistic times. Selfie-absorption is as old as civilisation itself.
February 2015 – Before ISIS began targeting Iraq’s minorities and cultural heritage, it set to work veiling women in a new dark age, reversing decades of hard-won gains.
February 2015 – If ISIS is a virus, then fighting it with the antibiotic of ill-conceived deadly force and repression could create ever-more deadly strains.
January 2015 – The romantic myth that Arabs share “one heart and one spirit” led pan-Arabism to talk unity while walking the path of disunity.
December 2014 – If an Arab says he’ll kill you, don’t worry – he wants to buy you dinner. Whether Arabic dialects are a single language is politcal, not linguistic.
December 2014 – With ISIS’s destruction of Mosul’s heritage, it is no longer the “Pear of the North”. But it’s people will rise up and reclaim their ancient city.
December 2014 – The Islamic State’s (ISIS) destruction of Mosul’s ethnic diversity is more heart-breaking than the erasure of its architectural and cultural heritage.
October 2014 – For those who have refused to flee the Islamic State (ISIS), formerly close-knit Mosul has become a dangerous city robbed of its diversity and dignity.
October 2014 – Arab civilisation has not collapsed but the thuggish political, economic and religious mafias dominating the region are dying violently.
October 2014 – From the man literally blinded by horrors to the girl whose dream is to read books, we meet the Syrian Kurds fleeing the ISIS onslaught on Kobani.
September 2014 – ISIS has skillfully manipulated social media as a powerful propaganda tool. Should the online community self-censor to deprive it of free publicity?
July 2014 – The tyranny of Arab secular dictators and destructive Western hegemony combined to enable ISIS to “restore” a brutal caliphate which never existed.
Juni 2014 – Gezien de verreikende gevolgen van de Amerikaanse invasie van Irak, laten we het idee om Bush en Blair voor het gerecht te brengen nieuw leven inblazen.
June 2014 – The US invasion and occupation caused Iraq to implode into anarchy and then explode into civil war. For that reason, its architects must be prosecuted.
September 2013 – It is up to the Arab world to stop the bloodshed in Syria – unlikely as this may sound, and despite Arab League failure so far.
September 2013 – Punishing a dictator for killing his own people by killing yet more of them is not the answer. It didn’t work in Iraq, and it won’t work in Syria.
August 2013 – Islamism is not the solution but is built on an illusion. Islam’s past strength was actually a secular one based on free thought.
June 2013 – Insisting falsely that the Syrian conflict is sectarian will tear the country apart once Assad is gone and place the Alawite minority in grave danger.
June 2013 – From Egypt to Turkey, Middle Eastern uprisings have not only been leaderless but have even been a rebellion against the idea of leadership itself.
April 2013 – From Guy Fawkes and Lord Byron to Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell, Westerners have an ancient tradition of doing ‘jihad’ in foreign lands.
March 2013 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the clash of civilizations theory, but Samuel P Huntington was wrong.
September 2012 – There is no conflict between Islam and the West – only clashes of interests between and within them. But there is a very real mash of civilisations.
May 2012 – Though risky, a civilian fly-in to Syria will send out a clear message that the world cannot stand idly by while ordinary people are slaughtered.
February 2012 – As Hizbullah sides with its brutal backers in Damascus, are the Shi’ite movement’s days numbered or can it regain its popularity and credibility?
September 2011 – On the 10th anniversary of the day after 9/11, it is high time to trash the ‘clash of civilisations’ theory and the ‘war on terror’ and start a new chapter in the West’s relationship with the new Middle East.
May 2010 – Jordanian journalists believe they do not enjoy enough freedom – a malaise shared with the rest of the Middle East. But why?
February 2010 – The Arab world may debate the merits of external occupation versus repressive self-rule, but neither are acceptable.
January 2010 – Author and journalist Brian Whitaker diagnoses the Arab world’s problems.
August 2009 – A UN report has reignited the controversy over who is to blame for the sorry state of the Arab world: Arabs or the West?
July 2009 – Can we look forward to a boom in Arab science or will poverty, bureaucracy and religion be insurmountable obstacles?
June 2009 – Obama may gain some trust, but America’s deceptive belief that it is not an empire condemns its leader to repeating old mistakes.
April 2009 – A secular society confines religion to the spiritual sphere where it belongs, and leaves worldly affairs to human resourcefulness.
December 2008 – An Iraqi journalist expressed his contempt for President Bush in a manner familiar in the Arab world: by throwing his shoes.
August 2008 – Does Obama’s choice of running mate mean he’s shaping up to be just another establishment candidate for the White House?
August 2008 – Israeli voters should give their next leader a clear mandate to negotiate an equitable peace with Syria.
August 2008 – A return to the negotiating table is encouraging, but Syria will have to make a daring gesture to win Israeli public sympathy.
September 2008 – Cluster bombs continue to hurt people and their livelihoods years after they were dropped.