Blogs

Unconventional – and sometimes provocative – insight from critical voices.



Thomas W. Lippman
Written by :
on : Wednesday, 23 Jul, 2014

Entering the Private Sector, But Where?

The most intriguing news stories to come out of Saudi Arabia in the past few weeks had nothing to do with oil or with any of the conflicts in the countries surrounding the Kingdom. They concerned two little-noticed developments that showed how far Saudi Arabia has come in its efforts to build an industrialized, private-sector economy outside the oil industry, and how far it still has to go to achieve that goal. First came an announcement from the US Department of Commerce that it would impose...

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Mehmet Solmaz
Written by :
on : Monday, 21 Jul, 2014

Turkey’s President: New and Improved?

The presidential elections on August 10 will be a crucial turning point in the history of Turkish democracy, as it marks the first time the president of the Republic will be directly elected by the people. After almost two years of tense discussions, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has managed to change the system to a semi-presidential one—although it has officially not been named as such—in which both the president and prime minister are chosen through popular electi...

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Peter Salisbury
Written by :
on : Sunday, 20 Jul, 2014

The Houthis’ Next Move

Fighting in Yemen between the Houthis, a Zaydi Shi'a rebel group, and tribal and Sunni Islamist militias has come within miles of Sana'a in recent weeks, sparking fears that th...

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Alex Vatanka
Written by :
on : Friday, 18 Jul, 2014

Another Headache for Tehran

The collapse of Baghdad’s authority in northern and western Iraq, together with the occupation of Kirkuk by Peshmerga fighters, has shortened the odds of Iraqi Kurdistan decl...

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Caryle Murphy
Written by :
on : Wednesday, 16 Jul, 2014

Fighting the Fires of Extremism

Some British media reports recently asserted that Saudi Arabia was funding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has declared a caliphate in the territory it holds ...

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Barçin Yinanç
Written by :
on : Monday, 14 Jul, 2014

Erdoğan vs. the Central Bank

The victory of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in three consecutive elections is usually attributed to the country’s impressive economic growth over the past decad...

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Sara Khorshid
Written by :
on : Sunday, 13 Jul, 2014

Match Made in Cairo

Three women huddle around the couple. Two of the women are likely to be their mothers; the third in this decisive meeting is the matchmaker, the middle-woman or the khatba. She...

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David Patrikarakos
Written by :
on : Friday, 11 Jul, 2014

Tehran Wades into Iraq’s Crisis

Qassem Suleimani was only a young soldier in the Iran–Iraq War when he led Iranian troops through Iraqi minefields, stealing the odd goat along the way, and earning the ...

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James Spencer
Written by :
on : Friday, 11 Jul, 2014

Nor Any Drop To Drink

In classical times, Yemen was called Eudaimon Arabia and Arabia Felix (meaning “fortunate”), thanks to the rains which fell on its mountains, almost unique in an otherwise arid...

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Hannah Lucinda Smith
Written by :
on : Thursday, 10 Jul, 2014

Dancing in Kirkuk

On a baking hot Monday afternoon just before the start of Ramadan, a group of teenagers filed into a dilapidated sports hall in Kirkuk. There was no air-conditioning and no...

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