February 2020 – Safia, a Yazidi teenager from Iraq, was captured by the Islamic State, sold into sexual slavery, raped, tortured and made pregnant, leaving deep psychological scars. Her ability to come to terms with the trauma are thwarted by taboo, shame and her forced separation from her daughter.
November 2018 – While the outrage of Europeans has been turned to Donald Trump’s wall and the handling of migrants at the border with Mexico, they ignore a humanitarian disaster closer to home. The EU has left Greece to handle the influx of refugees on its own and those stuck on Lesbos are living in abysmal conditions.
May 2018 – Arab audiences are not ready for the return to music of a pop superstar who became a Salafist extremist and allegedly took up arms against the Lebanese state.
March 2018 – In the two years since the EU’s inhumane deal with Turkey, the plight of traumatised refugees arriving on the Greek islands has worsened significantly. Instead of refuge, they are being offered prison.
December 2017 – Despite the destruction, pain, trauma and dread for the future, Mosul’s tough and long-suffering are returning to the ruins of their devastated city.
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February 2017 – The Mosul I have always loved, whose sky was our protective shield, has been replaced by an alien city of death, destruction and destitution.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.