Arab Revolution


 Photo Credit: Systemic Capital

An Egyptian court sentenced 23 pro-democracy activists who were arrested this summer for participating in unauthorized demonstrations to three years in prison. The activists’ defense lawyer Ahmed Ezat called the verdict “legally flawed.” Before the sentence was announced, Amnesty International issued a press release condemning the case Continue →


Photo Credit: BBC News

A court in Bahrain banned leading Shia opposition group Al-Wefaq, a month before the parliamentary elections are due. The group’s defence lawyer, Abdullah al-Shamlawi told the Associated Press that al-Wefaq’s activities would be frozen for three months. The group “condemned the suspension as ‘irrational and irresponsible’ and said Continue →


A Visit to the Tomb of Hafez al-Asad

by Christian Sahner on October 29, 2014

Christian Sahner

The following is an excerpt from “Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present,” just out from Oxford University Press/ C. Hurst & Co. For further information on the book and the history of Syria, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

The road from Latakia to Qardaha wound gently along the Continue →


The Stimson Center’s Middle East Program hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. at the Stimson Center office in Washington on the role of state actors in creating, perpetuating, and exacerbating underlying causes of sectarianism between Shi’a and Sunni populations in the Middle East and Continue →

Egypt - AFP-Getty Images

 Photo credit: AFP – Getty Images

On Monday, Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi expanded the powers of the country’s armed forces to enable the prosecution of civilians in military courts. Egypt’s constitution already grants the army the ability to try cases that directly involve a military officer or an Continue →


 Photo Credit: Reuters

The leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi called Nidaa Tounes leader, Beji Caid Essebsi, yesterday to congratulate him on his party’s victory in Tunisia’s national parliamentary elections on Sunday. Official and unofficial counts indicate that Nidaa Tounes won 83 parliamentary seats, about 10 seats ahead of Ennahda, which is Continue →


by Kate Aronoff

In September, the Sea Change Flotilla blew up a 30-foot carbon bomb in the airspace over the Hudson River in front of West Point Military Academy. (Tools for Action/Ellen Davidson)

On October 13, in Peru, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the U.S. military would begin treating Continue →

Algeria Police Protest

 Photo credit: Fox News

Over the past few days, hundreds of Algerian police officers have been staging a sit-in on the presidential palace grounds, demanding higher pay and better benefits. The police demonstrations began on October 13 in the town of Ghardaia and quickly spread to Algiers, where local Continue →

Libya Chess - Gulf News

 Photo credit: Gulf News

Heavy fighting flared on Sunday between Libya’s army and al-Ansar Sharia as the ultra-conservative militia group tried to retake one of their largest camps in the eastern city of Benghazi. Last week the renegade general Khalifa Haftar had launched an assault supported by the army Continue →


 Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Three Saudi lawyers, previously punished with steep fines and media bans, have now been sentenced to up to eight years in Prison for criticizing the Ministry of Justice on Twitter. Last Novemeber, the lawyers, Abdulrahman al-Rumaih, Abdulrahman al-Sobaihi, and Bander Alnogaithan, were fined 1 million Saudi riyals and banned from Continue →


Ebola — a health worker crisis

by Kate Aronoff on October 27, 2014

Members of National Nurses United (Facebook / NNU)

by Kate Aronoff

Members of National Nurses United held rallies in several cities last week in support of nurses treating Ebola patients. (Facebook / NNU)

Ebola has captivated newsfeeds worldwide over the last several weeks. Now with a confirmed case in New York City, news cycles are more stoked than ever Continue →


 Photo Credit: AP

Tunisians took to the polls Sunday to vote in the country’s first full legislative elections since the revolution in 2011. Voter turnout was high at about 61.8%. Parliamentary tallies showed Nidaa Tounes, Tunisia’s leading secular party, won 83 of the country’s 217 seat parliament. Ennahda, the Islamist party, won 68 Continue →


 Photo credit: The Independent

On Saturday, Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged in Iran after being convicted of murder for killing a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security whom she claimed had sexually assaulted her. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani failed to get the sentence repealed in a last-ditch Continue →


Ferguson organizers carry momentum into the fall

by Kate Aronoff on October 26, 2014


by Kate Aronoff

A march against police violence in downtown St. Louis on October 9. (Flickr/Bob Simpson)

Michael Brown’s murder this summer prompted a new wave of popular interest in state violence against communities of color. In mid-October, organizers from around the country gathered outside of St. Louis for the kick-off Continue →

Palestinian Art

by Mariam Elba

Painting by Palestinian artist Tayseer Barakat.

As the Israeli war against Gaza unfolded last summer, I wrote about a particular artist who has turned pictures of Israeli bombs falling on Gaza into graphic art of people mourning the destruction below them. Now the destruction caused by the Continue →


Occupy Democracy brings London a blast from its past

by Kate Aronoff on October 25, 2014

A protester involved with Occupy Democracy outside of parliament in London. (Twitter/JJ Wyatt)

by Kate Aronoff

A protester involved with Occupy Democracy outside of parliament in London. (Twitter/JJ Wyatt)

Inspired partially by Occupy Central in Hong Kong, London’s newly formed Occupy Democracy is being called a revival of Occupy London, which for a brief time in 2011 served as a major center of the Continue →

Al Wefaq

 Photo credit: Al-Alam

Al-Wefaq member Majeed Milad released a report today, which declares that the new distribution of electoral constituencies in Bahrain is worse than it was in the 2010 elections. Comparing stats from 2010 to the current distribution revealed that 13,600 votes won by the opposition in 2010 Continue →

Saudi Arabia - Hasan Jamali

 Photo credit: Hasan Jamali

Today Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry issued a warning to women not to drive after a renewed social media campaign urged women to challenge the men-only road rules. The announcement comes just ahead of the one-year anniversary of a demonstration in which dozens of Saudi women Continue →


Photo Credit: Al-Ahram

Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali urged civil society groups a not to “prejudge” a new draft law governing civil society and NGO activist activity. Activists fear that, if enacted into law, the bill would impose crippling restrictions on the freedoms Egyptians feel they “won” in the 2011 Continue →


Jabhat Ansar al-Din: Analysis and Interview

by Aymenn Al-Tamimi on October 23, 2014


By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Logo of Jabhat Ansar al-Din

Jabhat Ansar al-Din [Supporters/Partisans of the Religion Front] is a coalition of four groups originally set up in July of this year, comprising Harakat Sham al-Islam, Jaysh al-Muhajireen wa al-Ansar, The Green Battalion and Harakat Fajr al-Sham al-Islamiya. Of these groups, Harakat Sham Continue →