Home / Middle East

Middle East

A forgotten genocide – and why it matters today

After the 2014 winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi, Vladimir Putin announced they had been a success. When the 2014 winter Olympics started in Sochi, people gathered outside Russian embassies around the world to protest. Despite the protests, few ever heard about the Circassians, the indigenous people of the …

Read More »

Rojava: The Distant Project of a Kurdish Autonomous State

With the escalation of the Islamic State insurgency in Syria, the Kurds in the country’s north have been, to say the least, an important asset in the war against the terrorist organization. With the help of coalition airstrikes, Kurdish fighters have retaken significant portions of northern Syria from IS, together …

Read More »

A People on the Brink of Extinction – Assyrians in the Middle East

A prominent theme in the global media as of late has been to question whether one of the world’s oldest cultures faces extinction in the Middle East. Assyrians have inhabited the Fertile Crescent since 2500 BCE and were one of the first peoples to convert to Christianity. After the Muslim …

Read More »

Lebanon – on the cutting edge of LGBT rights in the Middle East?

Lebanon, and especially the bustling city of Beirut, has lately become known as a refuge for people escaping sexuality-related harassment in the Middle East. Being the first country in the Arab World with an LGBT movement, the nation has somewhat taken the lead regarding the rights and empowerment of gays, …

Read More »

Capital punishment – a step back in time?

For many, the death penalty may seem redundant and old fashioned. For others, namely the people of Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, executions are almost a daily ritual – an acceptable norm, which only seems to have been strengthened over the past year. 2015 was the golden year of executions – …

Read More »

Nagorno-Karabakh: Yesterday’s Sorrow, Tomorrow’s War

The first weekend of April saw the reopening of old wounds in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, only about half the size of Corsica, has long been an infected issue as both countries claim it as their own while the area itself wants independence. The …

Read More »

Turkey’s role in the Middle East – The return of the Ottomans or just a merchant of death?

Since the beginning of the fighting in Syria in 2011, Turkey has been determined to remove the government of Bashar al-Assad. The explicit goal was to install a Sunni led government in Damascus. This in turn implied a departure from the “zero problems with neighbours” policy doctrine in Turkey, dating …

Read More »

Is the Syrian conflict ripe for peace?

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 after pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Damascus. These dissenters were not met well by the Syrian regime, which responded with violence. The pro-democracy movement grew and the Syrian regime retaliated further by deploying the army to attack civilians. The current round …

Read More »

EU labelling of Israeli settlement products – opening the door for boycott?

In November 2015, the European Union (EU) decided to make it mandatory for its member states to label some of the products produced in Israeli settlements. The decision has strained EU-Israeli relations and led to the EU’s exclusion from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The significance of the decision has been …

Read More »

Modern Wordfare – The semantics of Obama’s war against ISIL

It is now fourteen months since President Barack Obama revealed his plans for dealing with ISIL: a “search and destroy” policy with no US troops on the ground, reliant on air power and allied ground forces. Since then, the war against ISIL has dragged on and after fourteen months of …

Read More »