Why Safar al-Hawali’s arrest in Saudi Arabia matters

Sami Hamdi Insights

Safar Al-Hawali has been arrested for allegedly writing a book entitled ‘Muslims and Western Civilisation’ which contains a chapter that lists a number of advises for the ruling Al-Saud family, clearly intended for Mohamed Bin Salman and implying he is on course for disaster. Al-Hawali is the de facto leader of the Sahwa movment, and islamist-leaning group famous for the …

US strategy in Syria: What you need to know

Sami Hamdi Insights

May 2018 US unsure over its role in Syria since the early days of conflict Haunted by Libya aftermath Unilateral action by Gulf states to support Syrian movements resulted in strengthened extremist entities Tentatively supported Free Syria Army, however concerns over its loose structure   Following Russian intervention and Assad resurgence, US sought to provide greater support for the Kurdish …

Lebanon Government Negotiations: What you need to know

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  Lebanon’s elections saw Hariri suffer losses with Hezbollah making gains. A consensus among analysts indicates that Hezbollah is the de facto winner of the elections and is now in a much stronger position to exert influence over Lebanon’s domestic and foreign policy. Below are some of the key dynamics to be aware of as the negotiations over a new …

Mohamed Bin Salman’s Foreign Policy So Far: What you need to know

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman’s foreign policy has caused a splash with a number of foreign policy decisions that have ranged from detaining a sitting prime minister, going to war with a militia, and embarking on a three week tour of the united States lobbying fiercely against the Iran Deal and for wider American institutional support. Nevertheless, far from …

Tunisia Municipality Elections 2018: What you need to know

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Low turnout of 33.7% suggests widespread apathy.   Nahda were, and remain, the biggest advocates of local elections as they are the most organised at grassroots level with very little competition from other, more nascent, parties.   Calls for a boycott of the elections on the grounds of an absence of a clear election law by parties such as Tayyar …

Turkey Snap Elections 2018: What you need to know

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  What you need to know about the snap Turkish elections   Attempts have been made to encourage former President Abdullah Gul to run against President Erdogan. The aim behind these attempts is to split the Islamist vote. Although Gul appears to have rejected the opportunity to run, his silence has been noted by AK Parti supporters as a sign …

Iraq Elections 2018: What you need to know

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Sadr’s victory is more fanfare than substance. His Sa’iroon coalition only secured 54 seats while his nearest rival Hadi al-Amiri secured 47. Even if he allies with third-placed outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi who has 42 seats, he is well short of the numbers required to significantly influence policy.   Sadr’s 54 seats is a loose coalition with secular/communist elements. …