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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

Syrian humanitarian aid: It’s time to shift from assistance to long-term sustainable programs

The US and its allies refuse to engage in reconstruction that may end up benefiting the Bashar al-Assad regime.

What International Women's Day looked like around the world in 2021

"Although COVID-19 dampened participation in many countries, women still raised their voices on the streets on different continents, especially as the pandemic has worsened inequalities faced by women."

Egypt's 2011 revolt barely exists in school textbooks

Throughout the last decade, pages on Egypt's 2011 uprising in school syllabi have massively shrunk since 2012. Some blame lack of official documents. Others say it's purely political.

Online rape threats connect Lebanese activist to ‘thousands of other women’ facing abuse

Maya El-Ammar: "Thanks to our experiences with gender-based violence in the offline world, we have rationalized the reality that our virtual world would naturally mirror our off-screen existence."

Baloch protests in Iran underscore repression against the ethnic minority

Sandwiched between borders of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the Baloch population is a disenfranchised minority relegated to the fringes of society, provided little economic opportunity, and systematically targeted by state violence.

Oman detains activists over online posts criticizing projects that could destroy Dhofar Plain

Activists and environmentalists took to social media platforms to criticize Omani government's decision to allow construction of housing units over Dhofar Plain, which threatens camel grazers' livelihoods and centuries-old traditions.

Iran's oppression of its Christians tears daughter from convert parents

The court ruling denying Sam Khosravi and his wife custody of their adopted daughter after converting to Christianity is one way the state's utilizes the judiciary to clampdown on minorities.

Are Istanbul's Boğaziçi University protests an expression of exceptionalism? 

“What would make Erdoğan's life increasingly difficult would be for academia as a whole in Turkey to unify around a single platform and pursue vociferously a rigorous set of demands...

Algeria releases dozens of pro-democracy prisoners ahead of Hirak anniversary

Rachid Nekkaz and Khalid Drareni are among Hirak-linked prisoners pardoned by the president, who also ordered a cabinet reshuffle and dissolved parliament as protests resumed over unmet demands of 2019...

Algerian activist Rachid Nekkaz's failing health raises calls for his release

Two years after Algeria's Hirak Movement, calls are being made to free from prison a man who is associated with it, and who has been in jail without trial since...

Saudi women's activist Loujain al-Hathloul released and tweeting

The 31-year-old women's rights campaigner was abducted in 2018 in the UAE and found guilty of a set of charges, with the prosecutor demanding a maximum jail term of up...

Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouthi's death mourned by many

Mourid wrote: "It’s fine to die, once, our hands crossed on our chests, empty and pale, with no scratches, no chains, no banners, and no petitions."

Saudi court reduces sentence of prominent doctor held since 2017

Unfamiliar pressure from the U.S. is seen to drive a breakthrough in the case of Dr Fitaihi, who was arrested, tortured, and banned from travel since 2017.

Protests rock Istanbul's most prestigious university over appointment of new rector

In 2016, President Erdoğan secured the right to appoint universities' rectors who previously were elected by the academic body.

Nearly a hundred Kurdish activists detained by Iran's security forces in 2021

An interview with Switzerland-based KMMG’s director reveals how recent arbitrary detentions of Kurds and other minorities coincides with the regime’s bid to fortify its rule amidst piling internal challenges.

Google’s plans for Saudi-based Cloud is ‘dangerous,’ says digital rights advocacy group

"With data stored in Saudi Arabia, Google and Snap will find themselves with little ability to resist government demands for users’ personal information."

Settlement pacts in Syria's Daraa: A hunt for dissidents

"Regime violations are not new...People of Dara'a were killed by air shelling and internationally-banned weapons. Thousands have been arrested. What is new is their silent death; death licensed by treaties."

Protests mount over Israeli medical apartheid during pandemic

Israel completely leaves out Palestinians under its occupation in its highly successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, already covering over a quarter of its population since mid-December.

Sudan-Ethiopia border tensions mount in conflicted al-Fashqa region

Continual clashes between Ethiopian militia groups and Sudanese farmers in Sudan’s al-Fashqa region have put the Sudanese Army on the defense.

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.  

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