Behind The News

January 5, 2014

A woman holds her ears while fleeing one of the many car bomb atacks that have targeted Middle East countries over the past year (AFP)
09:47 GMT

The series of car bombs throughout the Middle East in recent weeks are just not independent, random acts. Rather, the increase in violent chaos throughout the region may imply a weakening or shift away from meaningful diplomacy to resolve conflicts nationally, regionally, and internationally.

January 2, 2014

Al Azhar has been one of the key sites of pro-Morsi protests since the former Islamist president's oust in July (Courtesy of Voice of America)
10:39 GMT

With all the protests and violent crackdowns reported around Egypt's Al Azhar University, we take a look at what's really going on among the walls of the the world's oldest Islamic learning institution.

December 31, 2013

With Chatah’s killing, the possibility of a peaceful resolution has been dealt a serious blow. Today, there is no other figure on the Lebanese political scene with the stature and credibility to bring several battling factions to the negotiating table (AFP)
08:17 GMT

Irrespective of the strife and conflict they have been through, most Lebanese people desperately want to believe the famed signer Fairuz when she sings: Even in your madness I love you (Lebanon)/because your love /gathers us together /when we are dispersed. However, following the bombing of Mohamad Chatah on December 27, one wonders if their faith in a unified Lebanon will survive yet another round of violence.

December 27, 2013

Former Finance Minister Mohammad Shatah []
12:59 GMT

The assassination of former Finance Minister and advisor to Hariri Mohammed Chatah drew widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum on Friday as officials and politicians mourned the loss of a “moderate” voice.

December 26, 2013

Syrian civilians were evacuated from a besieged town near Damascus earlier this year in a rare truce agreement that suspended rebel-regime fighting to allow Syrians to flee to safety (File Archive/AFP)
13:41 GMT

Syrian and Egyptian turmoil have developed to new devastating levels throughout 2013, and recent tensions between regime and opposition groups suggest ending the turmoil in both countries is not necessarily in the near future. Is the end therefore closer-or further away than before?

December 24, 2013

Have Barack Obama's policies ruined the Middle East? (AFP/File)
16:52 GMT

James Zumwalt argues that Barack Obama's Middle Eastern policies are making the already unstable region come undone.

December 22, 2013

Jordan's King Abdullah and its monarchy may be in jeopardy due to the "alienation" of its traditional power base (Courtesy of Jordan Times)
10:09 GMT

Jordan may have weathered the Arab Spring, but the linkages between a growing economic crisis are undermining the Kingdom's political stability.

December 19, 2013

Security forces who have violently cracked down on opposition activists rarely are charged or even tried for their crimes (File Archive/AFP)
08:42 GMT

Many Bahraini opposition activists have been detained, tortured or killed since the 2011 uprisings. For those still on the streets, time--and resources--are running out to stop government forces from dooming them to similar fates. We take a look at the growing movement of Bahraini activist asylum-seekers who are starting to flee the Gulf Island for protection elsewhere.

December 17, 2013

Fighters from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement carry the coffin of Ali Bazzi, a Hezbollah commander who was killed in battle in Syria the previous day during his funeral in a Shiite district of the Lebanese southern port of Sidon on December 9, 2013. [AFP]
15:46 GMT

After being ready for confrontation with Hezbollah, why doesn't Israel's army engage?

December 15, 2013

Tunisia's UGTT labor union leader, Houcine Abbassi, announced Saturday that Mehdi Jomaa will serve as the interim Prime Minister for the country's government transition (Salah Habibi/AFP)
08:48 GMT

Tunisia and the MENA region could learn a lot from South Africa's transition from an apartheid state to a multicultural society for its own political-and economic-future.

December 12, 2013

Syrian opposition fighters take a deserved break in Aleppo earlier this year. Saudi-backed rebel fighters - who are quickly overtaking the influence of the FSA - have failed to make major gains in Damascus. (AFP/File)
09:18 GMT

The Saudi Arabian-backed Syrian opposition has been waging wars against Assad's regime in Damascus - but isn't making any gains.

December 10, 2013

Mandela's politics of compromise and forgiveness is what the Middle East needs more than ever. Here,  a tribute to Nelson Mandela is pictured on a wall of Johannesburg on December 8, 2013. (AFP/Alexander Joe)
04:00 GMT

The Middle East needs their very own Nelson Mandela - someone who recognizes that forgiveness and compromise are sometimes needed to move politics forward.

December 8, 2013

Mandela, pictured second from left, received his fist military training in Algeria with rebels from the National Liberation Front (Courtesy of Pretoria News Library)
06:47 GMT

The late Mandela's military training in Algeria during the 1960s with the rebels of the National Liberation Front played a critical role in shaping and influencing the late leader's formation and ideology of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and the country's African National Congress.

December 5, 2013

Breaking the taboo of boycotting Israel, the American Studies Association has launched a massive initiative boycotting Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in the occupation. (Image courtesy of
06:24 GMT

Breaking the taboo of boycotting Israel, the American Studies Association has launched a massive initiative boycotting Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in the occupation.

December 3, 2013

Egypt riot police officials approach protestors outside of a court in Alexandria. The new military trial article that allows civilians to be tried in front of a military court has elicited criticism and protest from many Egyptians as well as regional and international human rights groups (AFP)
11:55 GMT

Egypt's 2013 constitution includes article 174 that allows civilians to be tried in front of military courts. Though this idea is not new for Egyptians, the article's tension with demands from the 2011 revolution may put Egypt's political development and future in dire positions.