Behind The News

April 6, 2014

Tunisia's former Islamist leadership stepped down late last year as part of the country's democratic transition process (File Archive/AFP)
08:22 GMT

Tunisia implemented major reforms in late 2013 to set the country on a path of a democratic transformation, but how-if at all-has Tunis progressed in the interim?

April 4, 2014

Tension in the Bahrain-Qatar relationship is rooted in part to tribal conflicts that have been developing for decades (Al Bawaba)
05:00 GMT

Most of the GCC rift conversation has focused on the tense Saudi Arabia-Qatar relationship, but little has been discussed over the Qatar-Bahrain rift.

April 2, 2014

A draft of the law to protest women from domestic violence was first submitted to Lebanon's parliament in 2010 (Joseph Eid/AFP)
08:42 GMT

While the passage of Lebanon's domestic violence protection law Tuesday represents a critical benchmark in the country's rights framework, activists say the new "weak" law that fails to address some key critical issues involved in the debate may add another layer of complication--and violence--to this sensitive topic.

March 31, 2014

Some male activists believe that the status of Palestinian and Lebanese women is regressing significantly with the rise of "religious fervor" growing among the respective populations (Shutterstock)
05:00 GMT

Women in the Arab world have been fighting for women's rights for decades, and now are increasingly joined by male allies who are also protesting for gender equity.

March 29, 2014

Both Beirut and Tripoli are known for their rich film culture. (AFP/File)
18:06 GMT

Since the Lebanese civil war, Tripoli has been besieged by violence. But many Tripoli residents remember fondly a more stable time when the cinema flourished.

March 27, 2014

Earlier this month, Egypt banned Hamas members and related activities from the country (Said Khatib/AFP)
10:27 GMT

The humiliating conditions facing Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing reflects how the rising tensions between Hamas and the Egyptian government are affecting the every-day lives of both Palestinians and Egyptians.

March 25, 2014

Many hoped Erdoğan would be the "next great Arab leader". (AFP/File)
12:50 GMT

Why are Arabs disappointed with Erdoğan?

March 23, 2014

Bahrain remains a major issue of contention between Saudi and Iranian leadership (Courtesy of Kyiv Post)
11:24 GMT

Today's context presents more challenges to the Iran-Saudi relationship than it perhaps did 20 or so years ago.

March 20, 2014

During Iran's 1979 revolution, BBC would not interview any Shah supporters, but did provide an extensive platform for the opposition to voice their opinions (Shutterstock)
07:26 GMT

BBC World Service has played a large role in Iran's politics since the second World War.

March 18, 2014

Syrian government forces captured Yabrud, one of the last rebel-stronghold areas near the Lebanese border, last week (SANA/AFP)
16:28 GMT

The fate of Qalamoun is critical for both regime and opposition forces due to its strategic placement, both physically and chronologically in Syria's ongoing civil war.

March 16, 2014

Iraq has been rocked by sectarian violence in recent months. (AFP)
11:54 GMT

Iraq can one day move away from Iran's powerful sphere of influence, Haider Saeed argues.

March 12, 2014

One of the problems plaguing Libya is its lack of reliable leadership since 2011 - current PM Ali Zeidan was ousted from power just last night, throwing the country into even more disarray. (AFP/File)
14:18 GMT

The partitioning of Libya is no longer the concern of pessimists alone but a tangible reality. Islamists are imposing their rule by force and the government and parliament are paralyzed. Is this the biggest mess Libya's been in living memory?

March 9, 2014

The now infamous occasion on which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought a cartoon drawing of Iran's bomb to the UN assembly. (AFP/File)
13:00 GMT

Iran and Israel, the best of enemies. Gareth Smyth delves into the relationship between these two foe states.

March 6, 2014

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE recalled their diplomatic envoys from Qatar Wednesday (File Archive)
09:10 GMT

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar Wednesday representing one of the first public splits between the Gulf Arab allies in recent years over the role of Islamists in the region.

March 4, 2014

Obama has been extremely critical publicly about Netanyahu's part in the ongoing peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian delegations (Saul Loeb/AFP)
15:38 GMT

Is the Israel-US and even the Obama-Netanyahu relationship on the rocks or launching into a renewed era of strong ties?