Behind The News

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 nyusjp.files.wordpress.com)
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.

December 1, 2013

Syrian Kurds hold their rifles, as they flash the sign for victory, in the Kurdish town of Jinderes, near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)
06:14 GMT

The Kurds of Syria have a slightly distinct identity from their Syrian countrymen, and are stuck somewhere between secession and integration with the Syrian state. Growing tired of the civil war's bloodshed, there is growing tension in Damascus.

November 28, 2013

Many youth in the Middle East are losing hope as they face unemployment and corruption on a daily basis. The 2020 expo may serve as a gateway to curb unemployment rates and transform the region into a hub of innovation for the next generation (Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters)
12:53 GMT

Dubai' recent bid win to host the 2020 World Expo has the potential to give Arab youth a brighter future by transforming the Middle East into a global hub of innovation.

November 26, 2013

Regime forces have kept the city of Homs under siege for nearly 600 days (AFP)
11:02 GMT

Young civilian journalists from the group called Lens Young Homsi have been documenting Syria's war through their cameras in the besieged town of Homs since 2011. As the group continues to gain worldwide attention, the founders emphasize that their pictures are "writing the real history of our people, our struggle, our resistance, and our victories."

November 24, 2013

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran's priorities in terms of foreign relations is with the Gulf. Will Sunday's nuclear deal provide Iran with the upper hand in the Middle East to pursue its visions accordingly? (Shutterstock)
12:06 GMT

Al-Arabiya's director Abdulrahman al-Rashed weighs in on Middle East power politics and Iran following Sunday's historic nuclear deal in Geneva.

November 21, 2013

Flames rise from the site of a blast in Bir Hassan neighbourhood in the southern Beirut on November 19, 2013. At least 22 people were killed in a double bomb attack outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Is Lebanon turning into the new Iraq? (AFP)
08:26 GMT

In the wake of the twin suicide blasts that ripped through the Iranian embassy in Beirut on Tuesday, has Lebanon entered a new era of suicide bombings, Iraq-style?

November 19, 2013

Israel has often relied on the US' influence in the Middle East to secure its interests, but with more countries accusing America of "turning its back" on them, how will Israel's security-if at all-be affected? (Shutterstock)
10:15 GMT

Israel has often used its US ally to secure its regional interests, but with countries in the Middle East accusing America of "turning its back on them," what will happen to Israel, and are calls that Russia's influence in the region will return to its glory days premature?

November 17, 2013

Hezbollah's focus and involvement with issues outside of Lebanon may be slowly alienating its own domestic base of supporters at home (Jamal Saidi/Reuters)
12:35 GMT

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's speeches in Beirut this week seem to be signs that the Shiite group may not be so powerful as it once was, with its popularity and political clout on the decline domestically and regionally.

November 15, 2013

The sword is historically used for beheading in Saudi although there are considerations to move to a firing squad due to lack of proper swordsmen. [pmgmt]
03:00 GMT

Still showing up in frequent news reports in the Middle East, beheading is not out of season yet. Take a look at the origins, religious defense and current use of beheading as a trend setting way to get your radical message to the masses.

November 12, 2013

Yemen is considering adding more "rehabilitation" facilities in the country for returning detainees from Guantanamo (Reuters)
16:30 GMT

The Obama administration is holding discussions with Yemeni officials about establishing new detention and rehabilatory facilities in Yemen for remaining Guantanamo inmates, but Garret Pustay shows that this "quick-fix" will not do much to prevent the growth of jihadist organizations in the Gulf country if other social and economic factors in the country are not taken into account.

04:00 GMT

The Obama administration is holding discussions with Yemeni officials about establishing new detention and rehabilatory facilities in Yemen for remaining Guantanamo inmates, but Garret Pustay shows that this "quick-fix" will not do much to prevent the growth of jihadist organizations in the Gulf country if other social and economic factors in the country are not taken into account.