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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

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.

‘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?

Afghan migrants continue to die in the hands of Iranian authorities

While millions of Afghans have found refuge in neighboring Iran, some of them also die in the hands of Iranian authorities as they cross the country to reach Europe.

Information warfare: COVID-19’s other battleground in the Middle East

As leaders vie to frame narratives and control public opinion on COVID-19, social media is a battlefield where influencers, trolls, bots, and commenter armies fight for influence and power.

The magic of paper and ink: A conversation with Iranian-American artist Hadieh Shafie

Born in Iran and raised in the US, Hadieh Shafie is fascinated with reimagining the book form, drawing textual forms and exploring color and its emotive power.

Silicon Valley tech giants race to build Africa's internet infrastructure. Should Africa worry?

Google and Facebook are building undersea internet cables for Africans with access to high-speed internet — but 33 nations in Africa still don't have comprehensive data privacy laws.

As COVID-19 accelerates digital transformation, is the internet safe for women in the Middle East?

Women activists and journalists experience are particularly targeted online in attempts to intimidate, sow disinformation and discredit their work. 

Global Voices (GV) is seeking a part-time bilingual Arabic/English Regional Editor for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa

Are you a writer and editor knowledgable and curious about all facets of the Middle East and North Africa?

Desecration of three religious sites in Iran signal the Islamic Republic's continued oppression of minorities

"Pressure on religious minorities has also taken the form of persecution of individuals by accusing them of promoting 'propaganda against the Islamic Republic or 'belonging to hostile groups.

Could COVID-19 help push peace forward in Yemen?

While leaders have stalled on a unified response to ending the violence to deal with the virus, several activist groups in Yemen are pushing forward a ceasefire agenda.

From counterterrorism to counter-COVID-19, governments use crises to impose continuous states of emergency in the Middle East

Fighting terrorism used to be the umbrella under which states of emergency were justified in the Middle East. Now, COVID-19 serves as a new justification for sweeping powers. 

In Tunisia, women stand on the frontlines of targeted hate speech online

In Tunisia, an uprising toppled leadership and lead to revolution in 2011. Since then, digital space has witnessed heated debates about politics and society — including attacks against women activists and...

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