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Tag Archives: middle east

Responding to Failure: Reorganizing U.S. Policies in the Middle East


 By : Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)  Middle East Policy Council   I want to speak with you today about the Middle East. This is the region where Africa, Asia, and Europe come together. It is also the part of the world where we have been most compellingly reminded that some struggles cannot be won, but there are no …

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No ‘Crisis in Islam’: Just Apathy of So-called ‘Historians’


By Ramzy Baroud On the “BBC This Week” program, historian Tom Holland labored to counter the argument that the so-called Islamic State should not be labeled as such: “The Islamic State”. Holland’s logic in the program seemed more philosophical, concerned with dialectic and logic of language, and hardly situated in any proper historical context. His comments were in response to …

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 UNHCR : Syria is the world’s biggest source of refugees 

(info graph from UNHCR facebook page)

On Thursday, the UNHCR released its latest report ” The UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War”.  it said that worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded. And the number of people who forced to displaced at 2014 rose to 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier. It also showed that over half the world’s …

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Middle East reporting: The need for honest journalism 


By: Ramzy Baroud Writing about and reporting on the Middle East is not an easy task, especially during these years of turmoil and upheaval. But I cannot remember another time in recent history when we have needed journalists to shine in order to challenge conventional wisdom, to think in terms of contexts, motives, alliances, and not ideological, political or financial …

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First Palestinian embassy in W. Europe opens in Sweden

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C, right) speaks next to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom (C) during the inauguration of the Embassy of Palestine in central Stockholm February 10, 2015.

– Alray RT – The first-ever Palestinian embassy in Western Europe has opened in Sweden on Tuesday evening, the Swedish prime minister’s press service said. President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Stockholm for the event. “Your recognition…should push forward negotiations in the peace process,” Abbas said. Prime Minister Lofven has vowed aid to Palestine, but has also called on reforms. …

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Jordan: Reforms Fall Short

Syrian refugee children flash V-signs at

Restricted Space for Refugees- HRW (Amman) – Jordanian reform initiatives in 2014 failed to end long-term abuses, and authorities continued to detain and prosecute peaceful critics, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. A three-year deadline for lawmakers to bring domestic legislation into compliance with basic freedoms guaranteed by Jordan’s 2011 constitution passed in October 2014 without …

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War Begets War: It’s Not about Islam; It Never Was

photo by Gavin Lynn

By Ramzy Baroud It is still not about Islam, even if the media and militants attacking western targets say so. Actually, it never was. But it was important for many to conflate politics with religion; partly because it is convenient and self-validating. First, let’s be clear on some points. Islam has set in motion a system to abolish slavery over …

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Bahrain: rights activist jailed for “insulting” the king; “unwelcome” US envoy returns to embassy


A Bahraini court sentenced opposition figure Zainab al-Khawaja, daughter of eminent rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, to three years in jail for insulting King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa by tearing up his photograph. According to rights group Amnesty International, Zainab al-Khawaja, who is already serving a life term, was also fined around $8,000 (3,000 dinars) in addition to the sentence. …

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France: Parliament votes in favor of Palestine state


French lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favor of recognizing the state of Palestine, following similar moves made by Spanish and British parliaments, as European nations try and restart the stalled peace process in the Middle East. The vote in the lower house of France’s national assembly is a non-binding resolution and can’t effect French government policy, but is likely to …

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Syrian refugees to be hit hard this winter as World Food Program predicts shortage


Aid workers in the Middle East fear that they are on a verge of a major humanitarian crisis as millions of Syrian refugees will be cut off food assistance due to funding gaps. On Monday, the UN World Food Program said that it needed $64 million to fund its food voucher program for the month of December alone, and that …

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