Turkey’s Safe Zone in Northern Syria and International Law

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* Abstract: Mere hours before Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visits with his Russian counterpart in Sochi, his government clarified the purpose of its invasion of Northern Syrian. The Turkish government frames its intervention as partly humanitarian, partly security missions. Considering that Erdoğan has called for such a “safe zone” as early […]

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US is already fighting a conflict with Iran – an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

by David Cortright* Many are worried about the risk of war with Iran after the Trump administration leaked discussions of a troop deployment in response to claimed threats to U.S. warships in the region. And in recent days, the rhetoric has only gotten more heated, with President Donald Trump saying a war would be “the […]

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Songs of freedom: the soundtracks of political change in Sudan

by Mohamed A. Satti * The uprising in Sudan has been vocal – and musical. “Tasqut bas!” – just fall, that’s all – was a commonly-used slogan by Sudanese as they revolted against military dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule. The uprising, which began in December 2018, intensified over the following weeks, forcing Al-Bashir to step […]

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Some of the ways Algeria’s past is shaping its future

by Dounia Mahlouly* Bouteflika steps aside as Algerians push to reclaim and own their history Algeria’s long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has agreed to step down following a series of mass protests against his original plan to bid for a fifth term. After weeks of uncertainty, the country’s military chief Ahmed Gaed Salah declared the 82-year-old […]

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Elections in Libya: the difficult way ahead

by Amal Obeidi* Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has had three distinct electoral experiences, which have in turn given birth to three political institutions: the General National Congress (GNC), the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) and the House of Representatives (HoR). However, neither the elections themselves nor the institutions that they created […]

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Jamal Khashoggi: Casualty of the Trump administration’s disregard for democracy and civil rights in the Middle East?

by David Mednicoff* The international crisis over whether top Saudi Arabian leadership murdered U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a striking example of the consequences of Donald Trump’s blanket disregard for democratic politics and human rights in other countries. This departure from decades of American foreign policy rhetoric remains comparatively undiscussed. However, in the Middle East, […]

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Hajj: how globalisation transformed the market for pilgrimage to Mecca

by Seán McLoughlin* More than 2m Muslims are currently gathering in Mecca ahead of the annual Hajj, which begins on August 19. As long as they are fit and financially able, the pilgrimage is an obligatory act of worship that followers of Islam owe to God once in their lifetime. Reenacting the faith-testing ordeals of […]

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