The Great Wall in the desert will run for 950 kilometers along the Iraqi border and an already existing seven meters high sand berm with eight kilometers of ‘no-mans-land'. The Northern Border Security Project is designed to prevent infiltrations by ISIL or ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham — or Levant) , whose stated goal is to extend the Islamic State, or caliphate, over the entire region of “al-Sham”, that is, from southern Turkey to Egypt, including Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Israel.
As the international community is focused on the Middle East, where crises and conflicts follow one another with an unprecedented pace, few people seem to have realized that Pakistan and Afghanistan are experiencing a very delicate phase of transition, whose outcome will certainly contribute to determining future international balances. We spoke about that with Ahmed Rashid, one of the most prominent scholars of the region.
More than a year after the elections, Afghanistan has finally managed to form a government. We interviewed Thomas Ruttig, co-founder of Afghanistan Analysts Network, on the situation of the country and the prospects that the new executive branch can make to solve national and dramatic problems of the region.
"Lebanon, the bin-Republic": that is how the French daily L'Orient Le Jour entitled the article published on its front page on Thursday, August 20. It is not so frequent that a city gets to experience the failings of government quite so literally pungently. But Beirut, the Lebanese capital, the same that until mid 70’s was used to be dubbed the Switzerland of the Middle East, has been drowning in garbage for over a month.
Since Russia has been declared officially in the Middle East, and following the extended presence of its military in all forms in Syria, speculations splashed media platforms across the globe. Observers saw in Russia’s decision to enter Syria a long-term strategy, albeit the abrupt announcement of Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw most of the Russian forces from Syria put friends and foes alike in bewilderment.
Saudi Arabia has bought Islam. For over 200 years, the al-Saud family has promoted fundamentalist Wahhabi theology, mostly through warfare inside the Arabian Peninsula; but in the last 50 years it has instead been able to continue this project by using oil money to pay for a worldwide revolution in Sunni Islam.
Syrian crisis hit Lebanon as well. In the country one person out of three is a refugee, in a territory with only the size of Kosovo. Low salaries, high rents and the rising cost of living are the challenges faced by Lebanese and Palestinian. 25% of the Lebanese population was already under the level of poverty and since 2011 the situation deteriorated.
On January 17 2016, Almigdad Mojalli, a Yemeni freelance reporter, was following the effects of a Saudi airstrike near Sanaa. At that time, he was on a commission from the American television channel Voice of America and there was a photographer with him. A Saudi bomb hit his car, severely injuring Almigdad. His colleague didn’t manage to reach the closest hospital in time to save the journalist’s life.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN IRAN - Zeinab Sekaanvand was 17 when her husband died. Iranian police arrested her for his murder. Now she is 22 and she faces execution by hanging after undergoing a trial that many international organizations consider unfair. The punishment was suspended because Zeinab got pregnant in prison. However, due to a miscarriage she lost the baby this year and the sentence can now be carried out.
Many people in Saudi Arabia must think that the war in Yemen is going very well. Those relying on state-controlled media messages must be proud of their wise rulers, making such an effort with humanitarian assistance to their Yemeni brothers. Of course they are also a little bit afraid. It has been made clear to them that the real danger comes not from anybody in Yemen itself, but from the evil Iranians, who are once again taking advantage of a local conflict to threaten the safety of the Kingdom.
Trump’s victory was a real shock, not only for decision-makers in every single capital on this planet, but also for experts and observers who saw nothing but a landslide victory for the Democrats and Hilary Clinton. Shortly after his victory, statements splashed media and political corridors, and Donald Trump himself announced his readiness to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. Many Israeli officials didn’t shy out from saying that the Trump era will be the golden age for the Israeli- American relations and the probability of establishing a Palestinian state became nil.
Fatima comes from Aleppo.Her profile picture shows her wearing an hijab. Her husband is dead and now she ’s looking for a new one, no matter the country or the part of the world he comes from. He must be “good in Islam” and act as “an Imam, to guide her”.
More than 15 years since the start of the international intervention in Afghanistan, the time has come to make a few remarks about the main mistakes made during these years as well as the expectations for the future.
The "little green men" have arrived in Syria and put their insignia on again. It is not a detail. The arrival of Russian troops in Syria, which began as usual undercover, is now in the sunlight. A quantum leap of the same policy that Putin is pursuing since the intervention in Ukraine.