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Middle East

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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The Opposition, Internal and External.

Iran does have a domestic and clandestine opposition, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The MEK combine Communist and Islamist ideas and they started challenging the Islamic Republic since its early days.  They set off a bomb in the Iranian Parliament in 1981, killing at least 70 people. Iraq exploited their services to target the Regime in…

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Iran And The Conflicts In The Middle East.

Nobody appears to have any clear plans for Syria. Indeed, the ignorance extends to the entirety of the Middle East. But, it’s clear that the reason why U.S. troops remain in Syria is Iran. The Americans have tried to justify their considerable effort to shape events in the Region since the end of World War…

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Syria. Sowing Seeds Of Hope.

The shooting has stopped in Aleppo. The city is totally destroyed.  The difficult process of reconstruction. The traumas of the children. The Church is involved helping people. “The children have felt the effects of this absurd war. Every day there is death and destruction before their eyes. They sleep very little at night. They still…

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Syria. Behind ‘Operation Olive Branch’.

Are Turkey and the United States on a collision course on operation Olive Branch? What consequences could we expect for the region? The Turkish raid in Afrin – Operation ‘Olive Branch’ – has put Turkey on a collision course with Washington. But, to a lesser extent, it has also put Turkey on a collision course…

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Advocacy

Women’s Resistance to Mining.

Throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there is no dearth of stories where communities have been forced to leave their lands to make way for…

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Baobab

The man with seven dogs

Once upon a time, there lived a man called John who was a hunter as well as a magician. John had seven dogs and seven large…

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Youth & Mission

The Future of the Natural World.

We humans, the species on this planet with the large brains, so-called intelligence and abilities and power to change the face of our planet, are doing…

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