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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

A new ‘cyber defence’ system in Oman raises human rights concerns

The Omani Sultanate passed a new decree giving security authorities further control over the internet.

Surveillance in Lebanon: A crisis of privacy

Intrusions on citizens’ privacy in Lebanon are pervasive and often conducted without proper judicial oversight.

Abused and infected with COVID-19, Nigerian domestic workers are stranded in Beirut

African governments must press on their Lebanese counterpart to grant amnesty to all migrant domestic workers to be repatriated to their home countries and abolish the slave-like Kafala labour laws. 

‘Wiki Loves Africa’ 2020 features images of a continent on the move

"Wiki Loves Africa," encourages people to contribute Africa-relevant media to Wikimedia annually around a particular theme to fundamentally change how people both within and outside Africa see the continent.

‘Shadow Means Strength, Shadow is Invincible': A conversation with Turkish artist Selma Gurbuz

"That which is real does not change, but its shadow can change. Shadow is a two-dimensional representation. It shows us ourselves."

Moderate globally, impact locally: A series on content moderation in the Global South

''Even as the platforms have grown and spread around the world, the center of gravity of these debates continues to revolve around D.C. and San Francisco.''

Melbourne academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert remains a ‘political hostage’ inside Iran’s Qarchak prison

"Whatever the governments of #Australia and the #UK are doing to free their citizen, Kylie Moore-Gilbert from prison in #Iran, it’s failing miserably. This innocent woman should be free."

In northern Syria, COVID-19 worsens an already dramatic humanitarian crisis

Despite the looming threat of COVID-19, military escalation has re-started in the form of a proxy war in Idlib, leaving peaceful civilians in ever-greater danger.

COVID-19 has accelerated digitalization but will Tunisia log on?

COVID-19 accelerated digitalization in Tunisia like no previous government could achieve, gaining more digital momentum in a single month than it had in prior decades due to corruption and inaction.

Iranians and Hongkongers connect through online campaign against China-Iran deal

Despite language and cultural barriers, Hong Kong and Iranian activists share similar views when it comes to speaking out against China's proposed 25-year partnership agreement with Iran.

Female genital mutilation likely to rise in the Middle East amid COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic disrupted FGM prevention measures in the Middle East, where the practice is widely underreported.

‘Invisible hands': How millions of domestic workers fare under COVID-19

"We are the invisible hands. Our work is not valued. We don’t exist for the families we serve nor do we exist for the state."

In Turkey, 2.5m students sit university entry exam despite COVID-19 outbreak

This year's exam was embroiled in controversy -- and not just because of the pandemic.

In Assad-controlled Syria, the official narrative is ‘no COVID-19 cases’

In order to maintain a facade of control, the Assad regime does whatever it takes to deny the presence of COVID-19 in the territories it controls.

Through the Orientalist looking-glass: An interview with Moroccan artist Lalla Essaydi

"In my photography, I explore this [Orientalist] space, whether mental or physical, and interrogate its role in gender identity-making, while engaging with centuries of cultural heritage and artistic practices."

‘African art has nourished all civilizations': A Conversation with Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi

"We owe thanks to this wonderful continent that allows us not only to exist but also to give lessons, even if some people want to push us into the corner."

Protest art in the streets of Tripoli: An interview with Lebanese artist Batool Jacob

Batool Jacob paints on topics related to the Lebanese protests through a feminist and libertarian lens.

Harrowing tales from African domestic workers in Lebanon 

African domestic workers are essentially slaves in the Gulf and Arab countries, under the Kafala sponsorship system that allows this exploitation and abuse to continue. 

Migrant workers face racism and rampant human rights violations across the Gulf

Migrant workers in the Gulf region are being subjected to a fierce campaign calling for their deportation that is riddled with racist speeches and hatred.

Impoverished youth in the Middle East turn to cheap — sometimes deadly — alcohol

When large-scale alcohol poisoning outbreaks occur, they make the news in the Middle East, but where is the political will to tackle this sensitive and controversial issue?

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