Editors Choice

Our favorites selections from the week’s most read and discussed news items.



Stephen Wicken
Written by :
on : Wednesday, 23 Apr, 2014

New War, Old Faces

Despite the pre-war strength—on paper—of the Syrian armed forces, the fighting in Syria has stretched the limits of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s military resources. Now in its fourth year, Assad’s fight against the forces of the Syrian revolution depends increasingly on support from Iran and its proxies. The role of Lebanon’s Hezbollah came to the fore at Al-Qusayr in June 2013, but Shi'a militias from Iraq have also played a key part in defending southern Damascus and augmen...

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Arash Karami
Written by :
on : Thursday, 13 Mar, 2014

Iran’s Fourth Estate

The state of the Iranian media can serve as a bellwether for understanding where the country is headed. In the past, the restrictions under which Iranian journalists had to operate fluctuated as the political fortunes of conservatives and reformists shifted. When reformist president Mohammad Khatami entered office in 1997 with a promise of “dialogue of civilizations,” journalists inside the country took advantage of the less restrictive environment to address new and controversial to...

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Judith Yaphe
Written by :
on : Thursday, 6 Feb, 2014

Maliki’s Last Stand?

Iraq is only months away from its quadrennial national election for its Council of Representatives, scheduled for April 30. As in most countries with relatively open elections,...

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Laurence Louër
Written by :
on : Tuesday, 5 Nov, 2013

The Myth of the Shi’a Crescent

The notion of “Shi’a crescent” was first articulated in late 2004 by King Abdullah of Jordan in an interview he gave a few weeks before the first parliamentary elections in I...

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Jacqueline Shoen
Written by :
on : Monday, 9 Sep, 2013

A House Divided

For a while, reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas resembled peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization: a perpetual re-enactment of similar sc...

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Raphaël Lefèvre
Written by :
on : Monday, 19 Aug, 2013

The Brotherhood Starts Anew in Syria

While the Egyptian Brotherhood makes global headlines and Tunisia's Ennahda Party struggles to remain in power, very little is publicly known about the state of Syria’s Muslim Br...

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Malik Al-Abdeh
Written by :
on : Friday, 28 Jun, 2013

Freedom, Then and Now

“Freedom for an Oxford don . . . is a very different thing from freedom for an Egyptian peasant,” said that most eminent of Oxford dons, Isaiah Berlin. Is he right? D...

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Political Editor: The Majalla
on : Wednesday, 19 Jun, 2013

In conversation with Hassan Rouhani

LONDON, Asharq Al-Awsat—After almost three decades at the top of Iran’s national security apparatus, including a stint as Iran’s representative in negotiations over Iran...

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Thomas Hegghammer
Written by :
on : Monday, 13 May, 2013

Ten Years, and Ten Lessons, Later

STANFORD, Asharq Al-Awsat—Ten years ago yesterday, the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was rocked by three near-simultaneous suicide bombings at housing compounds for expatriates. Ove...

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Nicholas Birch
Written by :
on : Monday, 25 Mar, 2013

Big Brother Erdoğan

Five years ago in Diyarbakır, a Kurdish city built on a volcanic outcrop over a bend in the River Tigris in southeast Turkey, I met a man who was famous for ending blood feu...

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