Stories about Middle East & North Africa from May, 2023
Poet Galal El Beheiry’s poetic protest and the perils of expression in Egypt
Imprisoned Egyptian poet Galal El Beheiry, detained since March 2018 for a poem, smuggles a letter from prison, vowing to escalate his 81-day hunger strike with a water strike starting June 1.
Persecuted Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light minority denied asylum in Europe amidst escalating violence
Since its inception in 1999, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light minority has been subjected to systematic oppression based on a belief that they are heretics.
Interview with the author of “The Fugitive of Gezi Park”
Ten years ago, a group of environmentalists gathered at Istanbul's Gezi Park resisting the demolition of one of the remaining green spaces in the heart of this cosmopolitan city.
Sanctions against violators of women’s rights: A political lens
Emphasizing humanitarian aid and empowering women's self-determination and autonomy might be a better approach to creating meaningful change for women and girls than sanctions as a sole strategy.
Turkey heads to election run-off on May 28
These elections also showed how the main opposition coalition underestimated the societal split and the priorities that mattered — nationalism, big infrastructure projects, identity, and security to name a few
The Arab League dealt a painful blow to human rights by normalizing relations with the Assad regime
Diplomatic normalizing with the Assad regime sends a chilling message to tyrants worldwide, allowing human rights violations to go unpunished, particularly amid the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war on the global stage.
In Turkey, election manipulation abounds ahead of May 14 vote
Ahead of general elections on May 14, the ruling Justice and Development Party seem to have resorted to foul play and tricks to steer the votes in their favor.
The plight of Kurdish journalists in their struggle for free expression
Kurdish journalists lack a recognized nation state and political recognition. They face opposition from their host countries, which attempt to erase their identity and suppress their freedom of expression.
Shimaa Samy discusses the challenges of being a journalist in Egypt today: an interview
Egyptian laws limit freedom of expression, with charges of blasphemy, incitement, spreading false news, destabilizing the country. Even "protecting family values" is often used as a pretext to suppress journalists.
In Turkey, a raki commercial goes viral for its political undertones
As Turkey heads into general elections, it was not the 100th-anniversary that came to mind, but rather the celebrations that will take place if the ruling AKP loses.