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Middle East

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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Iraq. Looking to the future, no matter what.

More than two years under ISIS rule. Destruction and death. The desire to start over. The commitment of the Catholic Church. “Christianity has been present in Iraq for two millennia, it cannot simply be swept aside. We are committed to creating the necessary conditions to enable families to stay in this land”. These words, which…

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The Middle East and North Africa in 2017.

Predicting what might happen in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has become particularly difficult in the past few years. The upheavals of the last five years, much more than to transforming society and dictatorial political systems, have contributed, especially, to fueling uncertainty. While in the West the stock exchanges, the markets and the…

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The Solution to Syria’s War is Political and its Model is Algeria

Syria must borrow from Algeria to end its brutal internal war. Throughout the 1990’s (1992-2002), Algeria also experienced an internal war. It was not as brutal in numbers of people killed or cities destroyed, but it was also self-contained. Unlike Syria, moreover, Algeria’s war was truly ‘civil’ in the sense that the warring factions and…

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Lebanon. Bitter Cedars

The internal security is at high risk. The central institutions are moving towards extinction. Lebanon continues to remain without a president of the republic. Millions of refugees old and new. The Lebanese security situation is becoming more and more dangerous. There are almost daily signals confirming that the country is heading into a very dangerous…

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Syria: ‘Stealing our future’ …

Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria is almost completely destroyed. People live in fear. Many migrate in search of a future. Father Ibrahim Sabbagh, the parish priest of the Church of Saint Francis in Aleppo has sent to us his testimony. Syria is experiencing a tragic present and is losing its future. This is…

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. BEYOND THE MIDDLE EAST

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia’s ally against Shiite Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, is increasing its interests and investments in the Balkans and Ukraine. Over recent years the UAE and Serbia have strengthened ties, despite the UAE’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Serbia has become the UAE’s strategic partner in the Balkan region. The…

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Syria. Four years later. A world of refugees.

From youth protests to all-out civil war. A destroyed country with more than 220,000 deaths. President Assad is firmly in power. An uncertain future. From a slogan painted on the wall of a high school to a civil war with 220,000 deaths. Three million 800 thousand refugees from Syria to neighbouring countries, nearly 8 million…

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EU looks for alternatives in Africa and the Middle-East

The halt of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the possible complications that may follow are prompting the EU to diversify its alternative supplies, namely in Africa and the Middle East. The halt of Gazprom’s supplies to Ukraine on the last 16 June, in the context of the political crisis with Russia has encouraged the…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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