The paradoxical nature of religious and ethnic states and the genocidal impulses

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* The Arab Spring that freed some of the peoples of the Middle East from state imposed fear produced an existential challenge for increasingly heterogeneous communities, forcing people to define the nature of the state and the character of the country where they live. It is true that self-rule and self-determination require […]

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Syria’s Kurds, hopes and fears: The civil war in Syria has put great strains on the country’s Kurdish population. The Syrian Kurds’ most powerful politician, Saleh Muslim Mohammad, talks to Vicken Cheterian about their position and future

by Vicken Cheterian* Saleh Muslim Mohammad is the head of the Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party / PYD) and the most powerful politician among the Syrian Kurds. The party – founded in 2003, and closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a longstanding armed campaign in the Kurdish-majority regions of […]

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Harsh Qatari Labor Conditions Move Center Stage As FIFA Debates World Cup

By James M. Dorsey* Controversy over conditions for unskilled and semi-skilled workers in Qatar involved in the construction of World Cup-related infrastructure as well as for flight attendants of Qatar Airways, the 2022 tournament’s likely official carrier, has moved center stage as world soccer body FIFA prepares to debate next week the Gulf state’s hosting […]

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Doha debate reveals gulf between locals, its elite and expatriates

by Sarah El-Richani* Recent commentaries by Qatari citizens and journalists both in the local and social media reveal a polity eager to engage critically and openly on the manner in which its ruling elite are managing the country’s immense oil and gas revenues. Concerns voiced reveal a divide between the largely conservative population and the […]

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Mass slaughter of civilian Kurds in Syria ignites heavy clashes and mass exodus

by Rozh Ahmad*   Kurdish civilians escaping for their lives in Syria The al-Qaeda linked “Jabhat al-Nusra” (al-Nusra Front) in Syria, has been held responsible for having instigated a sectarian racist war against civilian Kurds in Syria’s northern Kurdish region, the outcomes of which recently led to the massacre of hundreds of Kurdish women and […]

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On the need to balance endowments and academic integrity

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* The article in The Atlantic, The Emir of NYU (MAR 13, 2013), touched on a very important issue: academic integrity. It came on the heels of the no-confidence vote NYU’s faculty in the College of Arts and Science delivered against the president, John Sexton. Sexton is renowned for creating satellite research […]

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Leaders of the Islamic world are finally talking about minority rights and healthy dissent, kinda!

 by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Representatives of 57 states, members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), convened for their regular summit in Cairo this week. Among the notable attendees is the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The latter received a red-carpet welcome as Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, greeted him on the tarmac at […]

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Free Syrian Army may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Armed opposition groups operating inside Syria may have violated international humanitarian law by committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Arguably, some members of the Syrian troops may also have committed similar violations. However, the self-incriminating evidence released by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups is simply overwhelming. The evidence used […]

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Burdening the victims: impact of US sanctions on human rights at home and abroad

The case for peoples’ diplomacy by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* On the occasion of the start of the Persian New Year (Nowrūz), President Obama delivered a recorded video message to the Iranian people. In it, he highlighted the many ways the Iranian government denies its citizens access to information, including censoring media outlets and filtering the […]

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