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Middle East

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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Ibadi Islam and Diplomacy.

Oman is distinctive in the Persian Gulf context because it has been traditionally ruled by an Imamate system based on the Ibadiya School. And, some 75% of all Omanis practice Ibadi Islam. The Ibadiya survives only in Oman and a few pockets in North Africa mostly Algeria. a man’s body identity is Central to the…

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Oman. The legacy of Sultan Qaboos.

The Sultanate of Oman is in the Middle East, on the south-eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Throughout its history, Oman, has experienced historical periods and events that have formed the character and shape of the current Arabian Peninsula. Oman is best characterized as having a unique Foreign Policy in the context of the Middle…

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How history shaped Oman.

During its history, Oman has been known by different names. Arab tribes, who emigrated from the territory of ‘Uman in Yemen for agriculture or fishing, which boasts an ancient civilization, are likely responsible for the current name of ‘Oman’. And Oman was well known in antiquity. Sumerian tablets describe a land like that of Magan,…

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Turkey & Russia Chessboard Power Play.

They share too many interests to engage in direct conflict over Syria. But there are many risks. After a six-hour long summit in Moscow last March 5, Presidents  Putin and Tayyip Erdogan adopted a joint document, reaffirming their commitment to the ‘Astana format’, announcing a ceasefire. The summit became necessary after Syrian government forces, fresh…

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Father Jacques Mourad held hostage by jihadists.

He was rector of the Mar Elian shrine and parish priest of the Syrian Catholic community of Qaryatayn in central Syria when, on 21 May, 2015, he was kidnapped by ISIS militants. Father Jacques Mourad tells us his story and also gives us a picture of the reality of life today in Syria. The sanctuary…

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The ‘Deal of the Century’ .

The latest ‘Peace’ plan, the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ by US President Donald Trump has added more pressure on King Abdullah. Jordan plays a crucial role in President Trump’s ‘project’, which at its essence implies the retirement of the two-state solution (Israel and a Palestinian State, entirely independent, comprising of the entire West Bank,…

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Advocacy

A Special Advocacy Action.

International organisms during this pandemic are under scrutiny and surely for many and good reasons. However, even in the weed fields some good wheat can…

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Baobab

Why the Bananas Belong to the Monkey.

Once upon a time when the world had just been made and there was only one kind of banana, but very many kinds of monkeys, there…

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Youth & Mission

Young People Fighting For Democracy.

From Bangkok to Lagos, from Harare to Hong Kong, from Lima to Santiago, young people are fighting for Democracy and Human Rights. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic…

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