Middle East

Israel. Nevé Shalom – Wahat al-Salam. An Oasis of Peace.

On a hill between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem stands a village that is an oasis of peace. Its dual name Nevé Shalom – Wahat al-Salam respects the two communities that live there, one Hebrew and one Arabic, in a land where peace has been wanting for more than seventy years. The name Nevé Shalom– Wahat…

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Israel. Kuchinate, let’s all crochet.

Kuchinate is the name chosen by a group of African women seeking asylum in Israel. They have organised a project for themselves which will guarantee them a steady income and daily assistance. Two Comboni Sisters are helping them. Sister Azezet Habtezghi, known by all as Sister Aziza, and Sister Agnese are Comboni Missionaries and members…

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The Syrian War. Ten Years Later.

March 2021 will mark the tenth anniversary of the Syrian war. The bulk of the fighting ended in 2017, but Syria continues to suffer. The people, those outside Damascus and Latakia especially, live on the edge of famine, and the country is completely devastated. No reconstruction has occurred, and half the population has been displaced.…

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The Regional and International Proxy Battleground.

The definition of civil war has never quite applied in the case of Syria. Ever since the armed insurrection against the Assad government began in 2011, it has never been a clear case of insurgents fighting against the ‘regime’. Rather, the war quickly degenerated into a series of ethnic, confessional and national conflicts of which…

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What Next ?

The Russians are the ones who, having taken a direct military role alongside Damascus in 2015, have done most to defeat ISIS and perhaps, more importantly, the other rebel forces. The Turks will want to ensure that they can maintain a military presence in northern Syria to watch over Kurdish separatist ambitions. Israel keeps the…

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The War and its Protagonists.

On 6 March 2011, a group of teenagers wrote anti-government graffiti on a school wall in Dara’a, a Sunni-majority city in the south of the country, suffering from a long drought and poor harvests. During the following days, the regime reacted with arrests and one of the students was found dead. But instead of fear,…

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Middle East and North Africa 2021. COVID-19 and Oil.

Socio-economic tensions rise but the COVID Pandemic buys time for governments under pressure. Tension between Ankara and Cairo. There are two lenses through which to frame prospects for the Middle East in 2021: the results of the U.S. election and the Abraham Accords that established the framework for diplomatic relations between Israel and the Persian…

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China Ventures into the Middle East.

Mainly for reasons of energy sources, the last decade has seen China investing heavily in the Middle East and North Africa. The Silk Roads have sought the improvement of ports and other regional infrastructure, rendering the countries of the Gulf, Egypt and Iran the main destinations of Chinese investment. Despite all this, the premises for…

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Special Report/Iraq. Cultural Heritage in Peril.

The wars in Syria and Iraq are (mostly) over, but the region’s rich cultural heritage remains at risk. Mosul, Aleppo, Baghdad – whose Iraqi Museum was looted after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 – Damascus and Palmyra are some of the oldest cities in the world. Life and civilization have continued and evolved…

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The Dhofar Rebellion and Oman’s Modernity.

Clearly, Great Britain has played a fundamental role in the emergence of modern Oman, considering it a priority because of its oil and its geographic location in the middle of the some of the world’s most important trade routes. Their relationship dates back to the mid-17th century when the East India Company established a base…

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Chokepoints: the vulnerable doors of the Middle East.

Chokepoints are of huge geostrategic importance to the Middle East, where there are three of the most important maritime straits: the Suez Canal, the strait of Hormuz and the strait of Bal el-Mandeb. Strong economic, political, and military interests are at stake. Main facilitators of international freight transport activities, and therefore vulnerable to various factors,…

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Actions cannot miss ethics.

Advocacy is also defense when it acts to preserve the initial aims and values of modern discoveries. According to legend, when Vladimir Lenin was asked how…

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The man-in-the-moon and his wife.

Long, long ago, the man-in-the-moon and his wife Atai, had a quarrel which led to very strange results. These two were the royalty of the skies…

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Youth & Mission

The Burning And Flooding Of The Planet.

Anyone watching on television the images of burning forests, the raging floods destroying lands and villages, massive landslides burying homes and people have no reason to…

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