Rebels against the Middle East's music business
"In this age we don't only need singers with polished voices, we need identity and content," says lead vocalist Muhammad Abdullah. Basically, he is calling for reform of an industry that really must offer more than a perfectly photoshopped face.
His fellow band members seem to share his understanding of how the Arab music business works; record labels in the region have no clue what to do with musicians who defend their own vision, adds guitarist Odai Shawagfeh. "No idea, no concept. Just the face that changes for every new CD," he says, while pointing at the glossy album covers in a local store.
Is Turkey's president profiting from escalating violence?
On average, up to three security personnel have been killed every day in Turkey since IS attacked the province of Suruç on July 22, killing 32 and wounding more than 100 people.
Before this point, a fragile peace process was making progress. Both the Turkish government and the Kurds appeared on the path to negotiating a settlement on the Kurdish issue.
That hope has been destroyed. Rather than achieving a resolution, Turkey is potentially heading towards a full-blown civil war. This could be avoided, but it may mean enabling Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to become the sole ruler of the country.
Pride murder may force Israel's ultra-Orthodox to face homophobia
In the summer of 2006 I first learned about gays, lesbians and the LGBT community, concepts that until then, as a 15-year-old haredi (ultra-Orthodox) yeshiva student, I was completely unfamiliar with. The haredi community made a colossal mistake that summer by launching a struggle against the international Pride Parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem that year. The result was catastrophic for haredis in Israel: within the span of a few weeks, every haredi child learned what LGBT and Pride were, and what it means to come out of the closet. It was possibly Israel’s most successful LGBT campaign ever.