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Middle East

Which Kurdish populations?

There has never been a Kurdish State. But, there has been and still exists a Kurdish nation. The Kurds have occupied the mountains that extend from western Iran to eastern Turkey through Iraq and Syria for centuries.  because political boundaries have worked that way, and there is no Kurdish nation, as such, although they have…

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The Shi’a Movement.

There has been a tendency on the side of the mainstream media to describe this movement as a monolithic entity, and interested in adopting the model of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, the Shi’a movement in Iraq is more complex, having responded almost exclusively to specific indigenous socio-economic Iraqi mechanisms. While, one of…

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Ba’ath Party Dominance and Mistakes.

As the Ba’ath increasingly dominated the State, the Communists faced greater restrictions on their activities. By the early 1980’s they had been virtually silenced. Indeed, the Ba’ath Party suppressed all secular opposition. The effect was that all political grievances were increasingly channelled through the Shiite Islamic movement. The Shi’a were poor, but well represented politically…

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Iraq. A Fragile Country.

Iraq, the country established on the land of the Assyrians and Babylonians of ancient Mesopotamia, is one of the most bitter fruits of the Franco-British imperialist nation-building efforts in the post-WW1 scenario that was the ‘Sykes-Picot’ Accord, signed on May 16, 1916. British, French and, to a lesser extent, Russian diplomats decided how the former…

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Middle East 2019. Another Uncertain Year Ahead.

The Return of Palestine and A Deepening of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide. One of the clearest lenses through which to gaze into the scenarios that could develop in the Middle East in 2019 is the next Israeli legislative election. It is scheduled to take place on November 5, 2019. But Israeli officials may move the vote…

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The Khashoggi Murder Has Shaken the Very Foundations of the House of Saud.

The now confirmed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of a Saudi ‘investigation team’ on October 2, 2018 after visiting consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul has attracted international interest. It has also raised concerns about the future of Saudi Arabia, as the murder should not be examined in isolation. Rather, it will…

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Israel, Palestine And The Impossible Deal.

What is the so-called ‘Middle East Peace Plan’ ? What this means, in practical terms ? What can the Palestinians Expect from the Deal ?  Seventy years have passed since the foundation of the State of Israel. Less remembered in the West is the flip side of that coin; the ‘Nakba’, meaning the ‘Catastrophe’, which…

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Has the Countdown to the End of the Syrian War Began?

The cards suggest that the final showdown in Syria is approaching. Daraa, the city where the anti-Asad revolt – or, better, the proxy war – broke out has been disputed between the Syrian army and the Islamist forces since March 2011. After the liberation of Damascus and surroundings, including Ghouta – that ended just after…

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Middle East Under Pressure.

The Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, and its Political Context, Has Ended the Middle East Peace Process. One might be forgiven for thinking that far from shunning an interventionist foreign policy, as he promised during the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been conducting someone else’s ‘diplomacy’. Since his election, Trump has offered important…

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Protests, Not Like The Arab Spring.

Unlike the protests of the ‘Arab Spring’, moreover, the recent protests in Iran have a political connection. President Rohani publicly declared they had valid reason to protest and the right to do so. The revolts began in Mashhad, a spiritual centre noted for its sympathies with the conservatives – as well as the shrine of…

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Syria. All The Games.

Whatever tensions exist between Israel, the USA and Iran, they will play out in Syria first. The strategy will focus on preventing Iran from deploying of missiles in Syria and  Lebanon, aimed against Israel. In effect, Israel will consider any provocation, real or fabricated arising from Syria as being directed from Tehran. In turn, Tel…

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Advocacy

Emigration and the Young African.

Advocacy is about politics and change, values and beliefs, consciousness and knowledge. It is about building democratic organizations and expanding citizens’ skills to understand how…

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Baobab

Hare and the Corn Bins.

In the old days, all the animals used to make farms like men do today. They hoed the ground, planted the seed, harvested the grain and…

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Youth & Mission

Five Ways To Reduce Our Reliance On Plastic.

Plastic is so prevalent in our lives that we don’t even notice it anymore. It is convenient. It is cheap. It is ubiquitous. The unfortunate truth…

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