Following on from my report on the new Syria-Lebanon border militia outfit called Katibat Dir’ al-Watan, here is a nasheed from the group. The melody and performance are by Ghassan Ja’afar, whom I characterized in the original piece as a second deputy….
Archives for June 2017
This paper is based on reporting trips undertaken by the author in March and April 2017 to Mosul city in Iraq and some surrounding areas, in particular on the left bank of the Tigris River (i.e. east Mosul). These trips focused on the current situation in general as well as comparisons with life under the […]
Six years after protests toppled Husni Mubarak, Egypt is still struggling with the aftermath of the “Arab Spring” and the chaos it unleashed. The removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013 and Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi’s ascension to the presidency is sometimes seen as returning Egypt to its pre-2011 political landscape. Egypt is continually […]
Until the 1980s, Turkey’s long-standing parliamentarism had precluded debates about presidentialism. In the following decade, the two right-wing presidents, Ozal and Demirel, briefly promoted presidentialism but failed to initiate a system change. However, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 2002 electoral victory ushered in a new period; after over a decade of political dominance, the […]
The two coordinated Islamic State (IS) attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini are not only the first IS attacks in Iran, but also the first terror attacks of this kind in the country. These attacks are the realization of threats articulated by IS in late March to strike Iran. This […]
Besides the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces operations with U.S. coalition support to capture the Islamic State’s de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa, the other major hot-spot to watch at the moment in Syria is the Syrian desert border area between…