Category Archives: Uncategorized

As Iran looks to 2016, cracks begin to show


  “Without the Reformists’ support, Mr. Rouhani would have gotten less than 2 million votes,” said Sadegh Zibakalam, professor of political science at the University of Tehran, speaking about the June 2013 presidential elections. Zibakalam played an active role in Hassan … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

Saudi Arabia’s stock market prepares for take-off


  If Saudi Arabia’s intention to open up its stock market to foreign institutions has been well flagged in recent months, the only outstanding issues needing confirmation have been when and to what degree the doors would be opened up … Continue reading

Category: Business, Uncategorized

Time to kill off the Quartet

1d kindergarten

  At the end of June Tony Blair will no longer be the Quartet representative. Eight years of inspiration for the comedians and satirists are over – they will now engage in their last final pot shots at the failed … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

Kurdish Muslims abandoning Islam for Zoroastrianism


The small, ancient religion of Zoroastrianism is being revived in northern Iraq. Followers say locals should join because it’s a truly Kurdish belief. Others say the revival is a reaction to extremist Islam. One of the smallest and oldest religions … Continue reading

Category: Interviews, Uncategorized

West Bank: segregated bus scheme hits the skids


A decision by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to segregate buses in the occupied West Bank has backfired after causing an uproar in Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, and political damage on the international stage. This came as Israel faces mounting … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

REFUGEES: record 38 million displaced worldwide


A record-breaking 38 million people have been displaced within their own country by conflict or violence. This is the equivalent of the total populations of London, New York  and Beijing combined. “These are the worst figures for forced displacement in … Continue reading

Category: Letter from The Editor, Uncategorized

Exclusive to The Middle East Online. . . SHARJAH BIENNIAL 2015

Part of a series of art works made from chicken bones set in glass by the late Turkish artist Fahrelnissa Zeid

Words by Sylvia Smith Photographs by Richard Duebel As a group of Congolese “sapeurs” or sharp dressers makes their way through the crowded streets of Sharjah (below) accompanied by a local, traditional band, the art crowd who are attending the … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

AFGHANISTAN: Will the shame of Farkhunda’s murder be a turning point?


Memorial services are being held for Farkhunda, the Afghan woman brutally killed by a mob in late March. The 27-year-old was beaten to death by a crowd of men near a Kabul shrine after being falsely accused of burning the … Continue reading

Category: Uncategorized

IRAN – PAKISTAN: No showdown, for now


Pakistan’s parliament has unanimously passed a resolution affirming the country’s neutrality in the Yemen conflict, rebuffing a Saudi Arabian request for fighter jets, ground troops and warships to join the Saudi-led Operation Deci­sive Storm against Houthi rebels, who are aided … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

IRAQ: Looking to the long term


As news came through of the re-capture of the Baiji oil refinery from ISIS, the campaign to drive ISIS from Iraq seems to be in the ascendency. During Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s recent trip to the US, he proclaimed that … Continue reading

Category: Interviews, Uncategorized