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Middle East

Lebanon. An Uncertain Future.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned and then he agreed to withhold his resignation. He has accused Tehran of interfering in Lebanese affairs. The role of Hezbollah, an ally of Shiite Iran. The games of the Saudis. The war in Syria might be winding down; leaving the Baathist regime of President Bashar al-Asad in power,…

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Syria. Hope In Flower.

At ‘Gospel House’ for the care of the elderly, Sister Valentina Sakker, 85, looks after her patients. During the conflict, the house was on the front line. Sister Valentina stayed with her charges to defend and protect them.   Those were seven years of hell. Before the war, Homs had a population of 800,000. The city…

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ISIS Might be Defeated but the Challenge for Iraq is Just Beginning.

The Iraqi army and the various militias that support it, have stormed the town of Ayadiya, about 15 kilometers north of Tel Afar. This is the last Islamic State (IS) stronghold in the governorate (province) of Nineveh. Nineveh province, whose capital is Mosul, was once best known for its Assyrian ruins, in the north of…

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Bahrain. A Pawn Between Saudi Arabia’s Insecurities and Iran’s Shiite.

Bahrain, known in Babylonian antiquity as Dilmun, is a small island Kingdom. It is in the Gulf between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5 interrupted relations with Qatar accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs. Later similar measures were taken by…

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Qatar Will Not Give in to Saudi Demands.

Qatar’s efforts to find a way to live in harmony with Iran was the drop that overflowed the pot of Persian Gulf geopolitics. The Gulf monarchies have rejected any rapprochement between Qatar and Iran. That is why they have imposed a blockade against Qatar. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and…

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Which Iran after Rouhani’s victory.

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani won with an unexpected landslide victory in a fiercely contested re-election bid. Donald Trump has clearly outlined his Iran policy. Lest there be any doubt, the president has aligned US foreign policy sharply alongside the Israeli and Saudi Arabian political agenda: the anti-Iranian axis in the region. Perhaps, feeling the…

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Syria. Giving communities a future.

Five years of war, which included the use of chemical weapons, have produced death and destruction. The Catholic Church continues to help both the Christian and Muslim communities. We spoke with Msgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo. What is the situation like for Christians in Syria today? Some fanatics  would like to expel Christians…

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Lebanon’s renewed and fragile stability must still face many threats.

The new president will face many challenges among others the repatriation of Syrian refugees. The role played by Hezbollah, supported by Iran. Israel has accused Hezbollah of having obtained strategic weapons. Trump’s stance on Iran could aggravate Lebanon’s already precarious politics and society. Michel Aoun, the former 81-year-old Christian general and protagonist of the Lebanese…

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Jordan. At a Crossroad

Like many political fruits of the Sykes-Picot agreement, Jordan is a relatively new State in an ancient land. It was created in 1950, evolving from ‘The Emirate of Transjordan’ (in Arabic: Imarat Sharq-Al-Urdun) – a British protectorate. Jordan is important for Christians. It is home to many Biblical places – including Mount Nebo – and…

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The Economy is Jordan’s Main Weakness and Source of Risk.

Yet, Islamist pressures exist in Jordan. Just as in the early 90’s, when Arab mujahedin fighters returned to their countries (Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) from the Afghan war, so too Islamist combatants have started to return from Syria, as government forces gradually retake the territory. In the past few years, Prince Rashid bin Hassan, head…

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The Islamists and ISIS

The Islamic Action Front, the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has grown in significance on the street. Yet, it defies the Jordanian approach to Islamists, which has been to allow them representation to better absorb their impact. It’s largely made up, and represents, Palestinians. But, it’s more moderate than Hamas, which is the main…

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Transjordan, Jordan and the Hashemite Monarchy

Despite Great Britain’s promises made to the Hashemites – who claim to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad like the al-Saud tribe – London stalled on the creation of an Arab kingdom. In 1920, the San Remo conference gave the former Ottoman territories of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq to the British (the British Mandate). The…

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Advocacy

The Fight of Larzac

Land grabbing is a phenomenon whose extent, rhythm, and continuity are becoming a threat: at least 50 million hectares of agricultural land was sold or…

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Baobab

Nigeria. The Mother’s Song

A long time ago, in the outskirts of Jago village, there lived a lioness and her cub, whose name was Kayo. The lioness was very fond…

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Youth & Mission

The Pope Announces A Meeting Of Young People Ahead Of…

The Pope announced that from 19 to 24 March 2018 - in view of the Synod of Bishops on young people in the following October -…

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