UAE’s obsession with controlling Palestine transcends the Arab Spring

Diana Alghoul Middle East/North Africa

When the Arab Spring broke out in 2011, the UAE scrambled to contain the protests that shook the region. Many interpreted this as Abu Dhabi seeking to deter the contagious revolutionary sprit from reaching the Emirati people, whereas others saw it as a way of curbing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were clearly the electoral beneficiaries of the …

Understanding Erdogan’s Appeal

Sami Hamdi #TheOtherNarrative, Middle East/North Africa

A ‘firebrand’, ‘polarising’, ‘increasingly authoritarian’, and an ‘arrogant self-indulgent man pretending to be a Sultan’. These are some of the criticisms levied at Turkish president Receb Tayyeb Erdogan who has dominated the Turkish political scene since 2003, winning successive elections with his AK Parti, revamping the Turkish economy, overseeing a period of genuine prosperity, and has expanded Turkey’s international prowess. …

Iran’s Sadr problem

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Sadr’s resurgence complicates the dynamics of Iraqi politics not just for Iran, but also for the Iraqi religious establishment. For Iran, Sadr has always been a useful kingmaker. In 2006, Maliki was short of the required MPs to form a government and could not convince Sadr to back him following a brutal war between them that engulfed Sadr City in …

Palestine: What happens to the peace process now?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

The irony of the celebratory mood at the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem will not have been lost on most people as coinciding live images of protesters being massacred were broadcast on most television stations. If anything, such imagery served to demonstrate the grave imbalance that has obstructed any genuine pursuit for peace; Israel is strong, Palestine …

Director General of Insurance Authority (IA) inaugurates world’s largest Takaful forum

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

  Director General of Insurance Authority (IA) inaugurates world’s largest Takaful forum   -Over 300 Takaful and Technology Leaders converged at the 13th edition of the World Takaful Conference with the aim of fostering industry-wide collaboration.     Dubai, UAE – April 09, 2018: This morning, a packed audience of over 300 key industry leaders gathered from various MENASEA markets, witnessed …

US will bomb Syria…to achieve what?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Donald Trump is beating the war drums over Syria following reports of Assad using chemical weapons. Frustrated at Assad’s resurgence, however limited, and Russia and Iran’s unwavering support for the regime that has dented Washington’s carefully constructed image as an uncontestable superpower, the US has been re-assessing its options in Syria for some time. Chronic indecision First, Obama wrestled with …

Ghouta: The tragic price of indecision

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Haunted by Libya, Obama was reluctant to intervene directly. Wary of Islamism, Europe were keen to see the composition of the Syrian Opposition Council before committing any resources. Saudi Arabia and Qatar then engaged in an almighty feud over the Muslim Brotherhood that spilled over into the conflict while Erdogan wrangled over the breakdown of the peace talks brought about by the renewed vigour of the PKK and YPG in establishing a state brought about by the chaos in Syria.

Ghouta is but a symptom of a much deeper and complex disease that has plagued the Syria conflict from the outset.