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€900 million refugee crisis package

The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD),  is joining international efforts to tackle the refugee crisis caused by the civil…

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Current Affairs


Increasing numbers of Syrians seek sanctuary at Turkish border


Tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a Russian-backed government advance on Aleppo have remained stranded near the Turkish border over the…

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Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algerian reform package meets with mixed reception

Algeria’s parliament have adopted a package of constitutional reforms  that authorities say will strengthen democracy. However, opponents of the…

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Yemen: “a forgotten crisis”, say U.N.

Some 14.4 million Yemenis, more than half of the population of Yemen, are food insecure, an increase of 12 per cent in just the last eight months, as…

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The beginning of the end of the ‘Caliphate’?

Two months into the most sustained air campaign against Islamic State oil production in Syria and Iraq, US officials say air strikes have inflicted…

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Regional round-up


Bahrain: Hopes for justice and reform fading say Amnesty International

Five years after a wave of protests demanding widespread reform rocked Bahrain, hopes for progress on human rights and accountability for past and…

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Barzani takes a risk


The  call made by Masoud Barzani (right), President of Iraqi Kurdistan, for a referendum on independence for the autonomous region makes…

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‘I Wish I Could Die': Meeting the Man Who Helped Trigger the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring began five years ago when two men set themselves on fire in Tunisia. One of them survived his self-immolation — and now wishes he…

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Bahrain – Saudi causeway expansion plan revealed

The King Fahd causeway, which connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is set to undergo a major expansion to meet growing traffic on the route. The…

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Egypt set to boost energy security facilities

A $341 million facility to Sonker, an Egyptian company providing hydrocarbon storage and bunkering, will support a significant upgrade of the…

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New Kuwait Fund will manage $100m in local assets

Kuwait plans a new state-owned fund to manage as much as $100 billion in local assets with the goal of selling them to private investors in five to…

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News and Views


Book review – The Syrian Jihad

The Syrian Jihad 
Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the evolution of an insurgency
By Charles Lister
Published by Hurst
ISBN 978184905902

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Crossing the Empty Quarter 10

British and Omani explorers complete desert expedition

By Rhona Wells

British explorer Mark Evans and his two Omani companions Mohammed Zadjali and Amer al Wahaibi, reached their final goal on 27…

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Turkey faces growing terrorist backlash

Istanbul’s historic peninsula, whose skyline is dotted with Ottoman and Byzantine architecture and which encompasses both the Blue Mosque and Hagia…

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Still picking up the pieces . . .

The Middle East is still rocking from first world war pacts made 100 years ago. The agreements that shaped the region may be forgotten in the West,…

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The Hunger Wars

In the fall of 2012, fighters from the Free Syrian Army took over Eastern Ghouta, a semi-agricultural area about eight miles northeast of Damascus.…

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Image of opened magic book with magic lights

Shotlist for annual Arabic Fiction prize announced

From a Syrian novel about Islamic State’s occupation of Raqqa to an Egyptian dystopian thriller, six books that “address the tragedy of the…

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$ultan's world

Book review – The sultan’s world

The Sultan’s world -the Ottoman Orient in renaissance art
By Robert Born, Michael Dziewulski, Guido Messling
Published by Hatje Cantz

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Mosaic Video Arts

Movers and Sheikhas

Sylvia Smith

The meteoric rise of ‘girl power’ in the Gulf coincides with plummeting oil revenues, and its trickle-down effect on already reduced…

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