Beirut Explosion One Year On: Are Israel and Hezbollah Responsible?

August 04, 2021

August 4 marks the one-year anniversary of the explosion that rocked the port of Beirut. Today, thousands of Beirutis are marching to the site in memory of the victims and in peaceful protest at continued government inaction. As Lebanon wrestles with political paralysis, a rampant pandemic and a...

Arrest of Migrant Activist Puts Qatar in the Spotlight

May 31, 2021

Amnesty International recently called for the authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan national who worked as a security guard in Qatar. According to Amnesty, he was “forcibly disappeared since 4 May, when he was taken from his labour accommodation for questioning...

Is There New Hope for Human Rights in Bahrain?

February 09, 2021

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist, was arrested on the night of April 9, 2011. During the arrest at his family home in Bahrain, he was brutally assaulted and his jaw broken in four places. On June 22, barely two months after his arrest, he was sentenced to life in prison after...

JCPOA 2.0: A Pinch of Hope and a Dose of Reality

January 28, 2021

On January 18, in an interview with Bloomberg, Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, speaking in the wake of the settlement of the Gulf feud, took the opportunity to argue that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should sit down with Tehran. “The...

The Line: Mohammed bin Salman’s Green Blockbuster

January 14, 2021

It’s called The Line, a spanking new AI city to be built in the northwest of Saudi Arabia as part of the kingdom’s $500-billion NEOM project. The Line will be a “carbon-positive” community “powered by 100 per cent clean energy” strung, yes in a line, from the Red Sea coast into the...

Washington’s Sanctions on Turkey Are Another Gift to Putin

December 18, 2020

The latest sanctions against Turkey introduced by Washington on December 13 were invoked under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a US federal law that imposes economic sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The act came into effect in August 2017. This is the first...

Saudi Arabia’s Mission to Correct “Distorted Narrative”

November 23, 2020

The virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia this past weekend was intended to be a moment of triumph for Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It was the first time an Arab state has hosted the gathering, which represented a golden opportunity to flaunt on the global stage the...

When It Comes to Israel, Saudi Arabia Is Playing an Astute Game

October 21, 2020

The lengthy interview that Prince Bandar bin Sultan gave to Al Arabiya English has been the subject of much commentary. On October 9, the BBC weighed in with an article headlined “Signs Saudis Edging Toward Historic Peace Deal.” Analysis by security correspondent Frank...

Is Assad Gearing Up for a Final Push in Syria?

September 24, 2020

Ceasefires in Syria come and go, and so do the meetings between the outside players who hold it in their hands to determine if an end to the country’s 9-year civil war is in sight. The most recent meeting in Ankara between Turkish and Russian military officers was intended to discuss...

Opposing Repressive Regimes in the Middle East Is a Death Sentence

July 22, 2020

The ruling by Bahrain’s top judicial body, the court of cassation, on July 13 to uphold the death sentences of Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa has been decried by human rights organizations, condemned in the UK House of Lords and questioned in the British Parliament. Whether...

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