Culture & Society

Culture & Society


Turkey takes on the Islamic State ... in 40-page report

Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs has issued a 40-page report that condemns not just the Islamic State, but also "political Salafism."
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on September 2

European countries to Turkey: We pay, you keep Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees are the new ping-pong between EU countries and Turkey.
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 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 2

Egypt earmarks $68 million to promote tourism

Egypt has awarded a major advertising agency a multimillion-dollar project to promote Egypt abroad in the hopes of boosting tourism following the security crises that have hurt the industry over the past few years.
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 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 2

Facebook users take aim at crime, security checkpoints, life in Syria

Syrians are using social media to share their experiences, including at regime-controlled checkpoints, in this case with the goal of reaching decision-makers and improving the treatment of those stopped at them.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on September 2

Iraq’s Bedouin forced to settle down

Although many Iraqi Bedouin tribes have had to give up their nomadic lifestyle and have settled, they do not have access to basic services such as health care and education due to the Iraqi government’s neglect.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 2

Palestinian archives remain scattered

The Palestinian Authority is unable to retrieve Palestinian archives from around the world and store them safely and accessibly, though items such as Jerusalem real estate records currently housed in Turkey would have helped the PA in its legal battle against Israeli settlers.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 2

You won't believe what's happening to these Israeli teachers

Motivated by populism and the political climate, the mayors of Ashkelon and Ramat Gan have been attacking left-wing educators for legal activities pursued in their free time.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 2

For Iranian teachers, another day, another rial

Iranian teachers face a crackdown in response to their protests for better conditions.
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 Mohammed Pourabdollah for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 1

Is it time to bring your bong to Baalbek?

While in the past the Lebanese government has made efforts to destroy some of the country’s illegal cannabis fields, this has yet to happen this year as the security services as preoccupied with more pressing threats.
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Translated from Al-Nahar (Lebanon) on September 1

Why Iraq needs a united Sunni authority to face extremism

Sunnis in Iraq ought to drop their differences and form a united institution, which would also be supported by Shiites, in order to confront religious extremism.
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 Hamdi Malik for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 1

Iranian clerics, filmmakers face off over religious movie

In Iran, controversy erupts as "Resurrection," an award-winning film about a Shiite imam, is banned over objections from senior clerics.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 31

Hoping to multiply long-term growth, Bennett looks to integrate more math studies into Israeli curriculum

Education Minister Naftali Bennett's decision to choose math studies as his prime reform plan could help him restore his original political image of being the startup entrepreneur who focuses on Israel's high-tech future.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 31

Controversy continues over how to cut up Kirkuk

The Turkmen, the third national component of Iraq, are demanding arms to fight against the Islamic State, just like the Arabs and Kurds, but territorial squabbles are keeping the various groups at arm's length.
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 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 31

Palestinian media, public turn to Israeli press for news

Palestinian media outlets mine Israeli media sources for material to translate and present to their Palestinian readers, often using it to bolster their position and stick it to their political opponents.
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 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 31

Yazidi students abandon Arabic script with eye toward Europe

Yazidi refugees in Turkey are struggling to restart their children’s education, and many are now learning the Latin alphabet with the hope of one day starting new lives in Europe.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 28

Death sentences passed on Turkey's hungry bears

Rather than feeding hungry wild bears, officials charged with preserving ecological life have decided to kill 15 of them.
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 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 30

Lebanon’s protesters shift focus from garbage crisis to cleaning up the government

The demonstrations held Aug. 22 by independent Lebanese activists against the government's mishandling of waste collection management are likely to continue, as people now shift their focus to corruption in the political class.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on August 28

Gaza's cybercriminals get rich hacking Internet-based phone lines

Cybercrime is on the rise in the Gaza Strip, where an absence of relevant legislation has facilitated criminals' efforts to intercept Internet-based phone lines and sell minutes.
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 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 28

Nablus library seeks to catch up with modern times

The Nablus Municipality Public Library is a Palestinian cultural landmark, but its current inability to keep up with technological advances has limited scholars' access to its holdings.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 30

Palestinians smuggle cheaper nicotine fix from Jordan

Smugglers are finding a profitable business in moving cigarettes into Palestine from Jordan and competing with locally made tobacco and more expensive imported cigarettes.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 30

Slim prospects in Gaza force college grads to work as deliverymen

The poor economic situation in the Gaza Strip has taken a toll on the opportunities available for holders of university degrees, some of whom are now working as deliverymen to get by.
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 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 27

Israeli-Palestinian bridges crumble under sorrow, anger over Douma murders

The female volunteers of the Israeli Machsom Watch activist group are supporting the Dawabsha family while Riham and Ahmad Dawabsha fight for their lives in the hospital, but some of their students are too hurt and angry to continue seeing them.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 27

Could Samarra become a city of Sunni-Shiite cooperation?

The city of Samarra, which holds many Islamic historical sites, has the potential to become a place for cooperation between Sunnis and Shiites, although both exchange accusations of destroying the city.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 27

Israeli minister pushes for improved gender equality

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Minister of Social Equality Gila Gamliel stresses the importance of reducing disparities between Arab and Jewish women: "I want to see more Arab women integrated into the labor force and more Arab women pursuing an education."
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 27

All Bibi all the time: How Netanyahu looks to find the media spotlight, not solutions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done nothing to seize the opportunities that he claimed Operation Protective Edge presented to Israel.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 27

Here comes the ... child bride? Despite legal restrictions, underage marriage persists in rural Egypt

Underage marriages are still widespread in some parts of Egypt as the judicial system has failed to prevent marriage officiants from taking bribes to perform illegal unions.
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 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 26

Born behind bars: What it’s like to raise a baby in Gaza’s prisons

Incarcerated women in Gaza, often ostracized by their families and communities, must relinquish their children to uncertain lives at 2 years of age.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on August 26

Iraqis protest corruption, lack of services while politicians blame everyone but themselves

Protests in Iraq demanding the implementation of reforms across the country have taken a political course and engendered sensitivities, especially at the sectarian level.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on August 25

Palestinian brothers look to tap into West Bank beer market

Despite the troubled economy and stout competition from an established brand, one young Palestinian businessman convinced his family to join him in opening a new brewery in Birzeit.
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Miriam Berger for Al-Monitor on August 27

More than a year on, who is to blame for the fall of Mosul?

An Iraqi parliamentary report has faulted high-ranking political officials and military personnel for the fall of Mosul to the Islamic State and could provide Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi the ammunition he needs to push through government reforms.
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 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 25

Gazans use WhatsApp to see what's up with the news

Virtual communication application WhatsApp has taken on a more media-oriented role in the Gaza Strip, whereby media outlets are now using it to send news to subscribers, but there are still things to be improved.
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 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 24

How one West Bank mosque is reconnecting with local Palestinians

By encouraging Hebron's Palestinian residents to hold weddings and other celebrations in the Ibrahimi Mosque, officials and activists hope to restore their connection to the sacred site.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on August 24

Kurdish fighters struggle to pay bills

Peshmerga fighters are committed to fighting the Islamic State, even though their salaries are not enough to make ends meet.
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 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor on August 24

Anti-harassment campaign stirs controversy in Egypt

Egyptians are outraged by alleged anti-harassment campaign "Mat3brhash," whose promoters hold women partially responsible for inviting harassment.
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 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 24

To veil or not to veil: Iraqi women face scrutiny over their choices

Iraq's religious parties are increasingly forcing women to wear the veil through intimidation and repressive policies, to the frustration of secular progressives.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 24

Egypt's Nubians refuse to allow heritage to fall through cracks of history

Faced with threats from damming projects, Arabization and marginalization, Nubian communities in Egypt and abroad are exerting efforts to preserve their language and unique cultural heritage.
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 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 30

Exploring the 'other Syria'

Syria’s regime-controlled cities defy the image that outside observers paint of the country and the Assad government.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on August 21

Israelis mesmerized by bridge demolition

The spectacle surrounding the demolition of the Maariv Bridge reflects Israeli society today: hedonistic, mesmerized by TV shows and hooked on grand media events, escaping the harsh realities of threats from Syria and Gaza.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 21

Bombings, terror threats don't keep Copts away from Egyptian churches

During the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Egyptian Copts and Muslims both visit churches across Egypt, ignoring the high temperatures and terror attacks sweeping the country.
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George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 21

Why are so many young Gazans jumping off roofs?

Despite the dangers, some Gazan youth are finding outlets for their energy by taking up sports like parkour and Okinawan kobudo.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 23

After Israeli settlers left, these Gazans planted more than eggplants

Since Israeli settlers withdrew in 2005 from south Gaza, the Palestinian government allowed investments in these lands that turned into crops that generate considerable profit despite the water crisis.
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 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 23

XXX trumps IS as Iraqi lawmakers focus on eradicating Internet porn

A number of Iraqi parliamentarians recently signed a draft bill to block pornographic sites in the country, an effort some call a narrow approach to a complex issue.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on August 20

Historic Yemeni city struggles to survive war, corruption

The ancient city of Zabid, located in Yemen’s western coastal plains, is threatened by the ongoing fighting in the country and the corruption of local officials.
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Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on September 2

Iraq's child soldiers

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units are following in the footsteps of Iran’s Basij in their recruitment and use of child soldiers.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor on August 20

Iraqi Christians take up arms to regain lost land

Iraq’s Christians are taking up arms to reclaim land now controlled by the Islamic State, but some worry their efforts could worsen the sectarian divide and further complicate the struggle against the terror group.
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 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 19

Egyptians are left in the dark about secret abduction cases

Secret abduction has been on the rise in Egypt since the June 30 Revolution, and families of the abducted are unable to find any information about their relatives.
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 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 19

Not one student in 349 Jordanian schools passed critical exam

The high failure rates of the General Secondary Educational Certification Exam, or Tawjihi, raised a debate in Jordan about the efficiency of the Education Ministry, the unqualified teachers and the high number of Syrian children attending Jordanian schools.
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 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on August 18

Turkey's Temple of Apollo may decode gray mysteries of antiquity

Recent restoration efforts at the Temple of Apollo in western Turkey seek to answer questions about the history of this ancient structure.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 28

In bid to foster Iranian nationalism, Tehran launches first-ever Kurdish language program

This fall, Kurdish language studies will officially be offered to university students in Iran, a move many see as the long overdue fulfillment of a constitutional right.
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Gelavizh Hemmat BolandPour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 18

Sisi sails into Suez on swanky yacht

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sailed al-Mahrousa to inaugurate the expansion of the Suez Canal, making the historic craft the first to officially cross the waterway.
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 Omar al-Naghy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 18

Yazidi infighting, disputes over Sinjar stall battle against Islamic State

Kurdish political parties have formed various armed forces that are fighting for control of Sinjar, which is still not out of danger from the Islamic State.
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 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 18

When does the concept of reality set in for Israeli children?

Israeli puppeteers are divided over when children understand the difference between reality and make-believe.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 18

'100 Works by 100 Artists' nurtures Tehran art scene

The Golestan Gallery in Tehran just celebrated its 23rd annual exhibition showcasing Iranian art of all styles and prices.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 1

Esfahan’s bridges to history threatened by development, neglect

The Iranian city of Esfahan is renowned for it centuries-old bridges, but these architectural marvels are under threat due to pollution, neglect and a governmental water diversion scheme.
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 Shiva Bakhtiari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 28

Israelis remember the past by singing along today

Israeli society has changed radically since the days of the country's establishment, but people of all ages cling to the sing-along tradition, which offers a sense of nostalgia and belonging.
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 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 27

Palestinians paint walls to show resilience

Two Palestinian men launched an initiative to paint the walls of al-Zaytoun neighborhood to show the world their ability to overcome wars and destruction.
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 Hamza Saftawi for Al-Monitor on September 2

Young women cooking up dreams in Gaza

Publishing one’s culinary creations online has been gaining popularity in Gaza, and it seems the activity could empower young women by helping them to develop their talent and earn money.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on August 17

Bathing in Ankara’s ancient history

An ancient Roman site in Ankara was occupied by brothels until recently, and though the brothels have been demolished, the remains still wait to be fully discovered.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 27

'Night guards' aim to deter settler attacks in West Bank

With attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian villages in the West Bank reaching 11,000 since 2004, the residents decided to form night guard committees to defend themselves.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 17

Zarif presses diplomacy on Syria

Iran brokers humanitarian cease-fires in Syria; Yair Lapid discusses “dreadful gamble” in US-Israel relations; Turkey’s Stone Age temple may predate Stonehenge and Egyptian pyramids by thousands of years.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on August 16

Tehran district grows by leaps and bounds

The Iranian capital's newest district presents plenty of opportunities, but also challenges.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 16

Coptic Church unhappy Egyptian Christians are joining Salafist-linked party

The Coptic Church in Egypt is not happy about some of its followers joining the Salafist Nour Party, whose platform it believes is sectarian and anti-Coptic.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 14

New conversion initiative splits Israel Orthodox rabbis

Modern Orthodox rabbis remain dedicated to implementing the conversion law adopted in 2014 — repealed by the current government — which aims to facilitate the process of converting minors.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 13

Turkey's baby boom sends many children into state care

The increasing number of children left to state care in Turkey raises fresh questions over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call on families to have at least three children.
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 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 13

Gaza's crumbling history

The lack of attention given by the government to monuments in the Gaza Strip coupled with the lack of awareness on the part of citizens are resulting in further neglect of an impressive collection that could put Palestine on the map.
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 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 26

Egypt and Israel: A lover and his mistress

Like a lover and his mistress, Egypt and Israel intimately collaborate on the security front, but their relations do not extend much beyond this.
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 Jacky Hugi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 14

Syrian refugees in Gaza face limited job opportunities

Syrian women who have fled the war in Syria to Gaza with their Palestinian husbands are denied institutional financial aid, under the pretext of being part of a Palestinian family not eligible to receive assistance dedicated to Syrian refugees.
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 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 13

Kuwait's Sunnis question fellow Shiites' loyalties

Kuwait is experiencing heightened Sunni-Shiite tensions, but the country's position in the region may make it difficult to address them should the situation worsen.
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 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on August 12

Egypt's prosecutors take aim at pop stars

In Egypt, where popular music videos are offending public morals, charges of indecency are being filed against a number of dancers.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 12

Is Palestinian soccer head playing a political game?

Palestinian Football Association Head Jibril Rajoub claimed that Israel prevented West Bank entry of Palestinian soccer players, but Israel argues that it was Rajoub who created an incident so he could score political points.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 12

Turkish men not so worried about worry beads

The traditional use of worry beads, or tesbih, thrives in modern times as a tool for personal therapy, a status symbol and a faithful companion.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on August 24

Is Turkey's 'emergency rule' back?

With increasing tensions in the region, declaring 37 areas "provisional security zones" off-limits to civilians is seen by some as a resurrection of Turkey's emergency rule.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 12

Islamic State tightens grip on Libya

An Al-Monitor correspondent recently visited Libya and found his homeland sinking deeper into despair and dysfunction and possibly sliding toward disintegration.
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 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on August 12

Egypt’s state-owned media ripe for restructuring

The Egyptian Radio and Television Union has had major financial losses, mainly due to its $2.8 billion debt to National Investment Bank, which is why the government launched a restructuring plan.
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 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 11

Iraq's disabled lack basic help

The number of Iraqis with special needs is growing in light of ongoing wars and sectarian conflicts, while they face a lack of adequate physical and psychological rehab centers.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 11

Brutalism in Beersheeba

Israeli architects formed a nonprofit association to promote Brutalist architecture in Israel and have submitted a request to UNESCO to recognize Beersheba as a World Heritage Site, representing this particular movement in architecture.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 21

One man’s mission to preserve Palestinian heritage

Palestinian Saeed al-Ashkar interviews the elderly to reconstruct history and preserve Palestinian heritage.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on August 16

Iraqi dates shrivel awaiting production means

Poor management of agricultural lands and a lack of planning and support by the government for farmers have whittled down Iraq’s production of dates.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 10

After 500 years, Turkish coffee percolates in popularity

On the brink of oblivion about a decade ago, Turkey’s ancient coffee culture is revived by a vibrant new generation of entrepreneurs and young consumers.
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 Sibel Utku Bila for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 20

West Bank violence rises sharply

Spiking rates of societal violence among Palestinians reflect harsh social, economic and political conditions, the spread of a culture that uses weapons, a slow judicial process and an absence of strict measures taken by authorities.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 10

Bibi, king of the Jews

In opposing the Iranian nuclear deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees himself as the savior of the Jews, a perception that leads him to view the American Jewish community as within his jurisdiction, rather than as US citizens with an understandable loyalty to their country and president.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on August 10

Will Israel's force-feeding law turn doctors into political tools?

The controversial force-feeding law passed in July will soon be tested by the case of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan as the Israel Medical Association stands firm against a practice it considers unethical.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 10

Syrian online satirical show gains popularity

A group of Syrian opposition activists has made an online satirical show criticizing well-known figures of the Syrian political scene and mainly focusing on President Bashar al-Assad.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on August 10

US wins support from GCC, Asian allies for Iran nuclear deal

Israel is outlier on nuclear deal; Rafsanjani tells Al-Monitor that Iran “does not inherently have any issues with Saudi Arabia”; Zarif proposes civil nuclear cooperation with Arab states; Syrian, Iranian and Russian officials meet in Tehran; Al-Monitor’s second annual Middle East lobbying investigation and cultural heritage series.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on August 9

Unlicensed rehab clinics prey on Egypt's most vulnerable citizens

A large number of unlicensed addiction treatment centers in Egypt are luring desperate clients by promising to treat them in as little as 10 days.
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Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 7

Historic Iraqi homes, buildings fall to wrecking ball

As urbanization is expanding in Iraq, construction companies are not taking into account the country's rich heritage and archaeological history, as historical landmarks are destroyed and replaced by modern buildings.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 23

Incitement against Rivlin based in his own Likud Party

Despite his indisputable credentials on the Israeli right, President Reuven Rivlin now finds himself the target of an incitement campaign from within his own Likud Party following statements against Jewish terrorism and efforts to build bridges between Israel’s Jewish and Arab societies.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 7

NGO finds work for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Rizk, a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the Syrian Forum, has been able to secure jobs for many Syrian refugees in Turkey and now hopes to equip Syrians with the skills to rebuild their country when the war is over.
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 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on August 7

Outgoing UN envoy to Lebanon optimistic despite crises

As the mission of UN Deputy Special Coordinator in Lebanon Ross Mountain comes to an end, he praises Lebanon’s ability to recover despite the crises it is facing.
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Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on August 9

Palestinians married to traditional wedding dresses

Palestinians are launching initiatives to keep the henna dress, and its link to Palestinian identity and heritage, alive around the world.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 25

Egyptians throng theaters despite terror risk

The severe security situation in Egypt seems to have had little effect on movie theaters, which have enjoyed high turnout this summer in spite of spiking rates of terror attacks.
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George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 9

Former Rabin associate says incitement in Israel now worse than lead-up to assassination

Shimon Sheves, a close associate of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, tells Al-Monitor that incitement, hatred and lack of rule of law in Israel nowadays are even worse than in the days before the assassination of Rabin.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 6

One year later, struggle continues for Yazidis

Displacement has left Iraq’s Yazidis with very little, driving some to seek to leave the country and others to despair.
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 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 5

For one Palestinian, no money can compensate for lost land

A Palestinian man is celebrating his victory in Israel's Supreme Court after a three-decade battle for land he still can't use — and won't sell.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 5

Sisi dusts off uniform for Sinai visit

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s trip to North Sinai wearing his military uniform was viewed as support for the armed forces by some in Egypt, but others saw the outfit as a symbol of military rule.
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 Amr Abdelatty for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 5

American Palestinians speak out about denied entry to Israel

American Palestinians traveling to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport are increasingly detained and sent back, and told they should contact the Palestinian Authority to have their Palestinian IDs revoked, which would allow them entry to Israel.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on August 5

Ultra-Orthodox grapple over response to parade attack

The majority of Israel's ultra-Orthodox community appears to hold Yishai Schlissel alone responsible for the death of Shira Banki, who was stabbed at a gay pride parade, claiming it is not the fault of his religion.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 5

Has Israel returned to days of Jewish Underground?

Ex-Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter tells Al-Monitor that despite the tragic consequences of the attack in Douma, this current manifestation of Jewish terrorism is not as well armed or well organized as that of the 1980s at the time of the Jewish Underground.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 5

Mystery surrounds Iraqi statue's missing glass of wine

The latest vandalism of a Baghdad statue underlines the cultural and political strife dividing Iraqis.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 21

Palestine not equipped to face possible earthquakes

Palestine is situated near geological fault lines, and a lack of planning and proper infrastructure means that a large earthquake could have disastrous results.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 9

Sporadic violence follows killing of Palestinian toddler

Though a popular uprising is unlikely, isolated clashes are breaking out in the West Bank as Palestinians continue to watch in vain for signs of justice and political progress at the international level.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 4

Who killed Turkey-PKK peace process?

The peace process between Turkey and the Kurdish group is on hold now, thanks to a perfect storm blown by the Kurdistan Workers Party's militancy, the toxic impact of the Syrian civil war and grand political ambitions in Ankara.
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on August 4

You won't believe what these Israeli hikers find on their 1,000 kilometer journey

Israelis and tourists are captivated by the 1,000-kilometer Israel National Trail, which National Geographic selected as one of the world's 20 most highly recommended treks.
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 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 19

Israel shouldn't turn battle for gay rights into right-left conflict

The LGBT battle for an equal society crosses the Israeli political spectrum, which is why its members should not have alienated right-wing politicians who wished to participate at the rally commemorating the murder of a teenager at the gay pride parade.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 3

Egypt plans to raise crops in sub-Saharan Africa

Egypt plans to agriculturally integrate with a number of water-rich countries in Africa to address the worsening food shortages in Egypt and the country’s inability to increase the size of agricultural land because of a lack of water.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 3

Scholarship scandal strains PA's ties with Venezuela

The recent furor over mismanaged scholarships to a Venezuelan medical school is further evidence that the Palestinian Authority takes advantage of foreign aid and grants while ignoring Palestinians’ needs.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 3

Family members deny Gaza women their inheritances

Women in Gaza are often denied their inheritance rights, which is why the Women's Affairs Center launched a project to raise awareness among women and empower them to claim their rights.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 3

Israel faces rise in Jewish terrorism

Israeli security branches have been given approval to use a wider range of methods to curb violence by extremist settlers responsible for price tag attacks and the recent murder of a Palestinian baby.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on August 3

Why are Israelis turning a blind eye to settler violence?

The murders of a Palestinian toddler and a teenage girl have shaken Israelis from a willful blindness toward an already deteriorating situation that must be addressed to prevent a slide toward even more violence.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 3

Iranian hard-liners take aim at culture minister

Already holding two "yellow cards" from parliament, Iran's culture minister may be on the verge of impeachment as conservatives ramp up criticism.
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 Arash Bahmani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 2

Politics keep Lebanon from taking out the trash

The Lebanese Cabinet failed to reach solutions to the waste crisis in Lebanon, mainly in Mount Lebanon, where garbage is threatening to contaminate underground water.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on July 31

Gaza money traders profit from dollar-shekel exchange rate manipulations

Gazans are calling for tighter monitoring by the authorities over money traders, who they believe are manipulating dollar-shekel exchange rates to their advantage.
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 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 31

Pink taxis seek to put brakes on harassment of women

One Egyptian is bringing the "pink taxi" initiative to his country, a project to offer women safer and more comfortable public transportation.
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 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 31

Few dengbejs remain to sing Kurdish stories

In the old city of Diyarbakir, a dengbej house was established for the few remaining Kurdish storytellers to gather and try to keep their tradition alive, although younger generations are resorting to pop culture to convey the people’s suffering.
Read more»

 Mat Nashed for Al-Monitor on August 14

Ein Karem: One village, three religions

Jews, Christians and Muslims have all made Jerusalem's Ein Karem neighborhood their home over the centuries.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 12

Is Islamic State threatening Jerusalem’s Christians?

Although raising initial concerns among Jerusalem's Palestinian Christian community, an alleged threat by the Islamic State fell largely on defiant ears.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on July 31

As terror attacks continue, Iraqi government prioritizes nightclub raids

The ongoing attacks against nightclubs and liquor stores in Baghdad suggest an alliance between religious currents and the Iraqi government.
Read more»

 Mushreq Abbas for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on July 31

Israeli-Arab pharmacists offer doses of understanding

The possibility to study in Jordan has opened the way for Israeli Arabs to become pharmacists and to integrate into the Israeli work market.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 31

Despite paying taxes, many Jerusalemites still without basic services

The Jerusalemites residing in the areas outside the Israeli West Bank barrier suffer from a lack of basic services, which the Jerusalem municipality is supposed to offer in return for the taxes residents pay.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 2

Depressed in Istanbul: Why are Turkey's young Islamist men feeling so blue?

Senior Islamist pundits have highlighted painful challenges young Islamist men face in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on July 30

Iran's Basij lash out at nuclear deal

While President Rouhani has not faced severe criticism over the nuclear deal from Principlists and even IRGC commanders, some members of the Basij are voicing their opposition
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 30

Perpetual neglect jeopardizes Gaza’s archaeological sites

Successive governments have failed to attend to Gaza’s heritage, often neglecting it and effacing the country’s archaeological history.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 11

Assyrian Christian woman shares story of captivity by Islamic State

In this interview with Al-Monitor, a Christian Assyrian woman recounts her experience of being kidnapped by Islamic State militants.
Read more»

 Gaja Pellegrini-Bettoli for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on July 30

Israel's hair-raising history

The Jewish experience involving hair, inundated with symbols from the biblical Samson to the trauma of the Holocaust and including young men's tradition of shaving their heads upon recruitment to the IDF, is now moving toward an Israeli-global trend when it comes to the matter.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 5

Tobacco eats away West Bank agricultural lands

Tobacco cultivation is expanding rapidly in the West Bank without regulation, threatening the Palestinian economy and agriculture.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 30

Family feud: Bibi's brother-in-law slams current government

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Hagai Ben-Artzi, the brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, dismissed the current Israeli government as insufficiently right.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on July 30

Excavations reveal destruction of Second Temple

For archaeologists excavating near Temple Mount, every find helps to clear the mystery surrounding what happened at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 31

Netanyahu, Bennett square off over settlers

Recent protests by settlers have pitted Education Minister Naftali Bennett against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a fight over right-wing support.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on July 29

Lapid, Herzog veer right

Israeli center-left leaders' adoption of rhetoric to appeal to the right instead of crafting credible policy alternatives indicates that they have not learned the lessons from their March electoral loss and will be unprepared for early elections.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on July 29

Saving Middle East relics needs less talk, more action

International action is required to stop the plundering of Middle Eastern treasures and the devastation of historic sites.
Read more»

 Vitaly Naumkin for Al-Monitor on August 6

Despite fame, Gazan painter struggles to make living

Renowned Gaza artist Fathi Ghaben has suffered from poverty and feels cheated, but still believes he will be rewarded for his work someday.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on August 18

Has Turkey found world's oldest temple?

A 12,000-year-old Stone Age temple discovered in southern Turkey is challenging conventional views on the rise of civilization.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 10

Dabke troupes dance on in Gaza

Traditional dance groups are the pride of Palestinians, and unemployed young people in the Gaza Strip are joining these groups to make a living.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 13

Egypt’s education woes drive families to home schooling

The increasing frustration of students and parents with Egypt's public education system is leading some families to adopt home schooling as an alternative educational approach.
Read more»

 Sarah Nasr for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 3

Egyptian police launch campaign to improve image

Egypt's police force and Interior Ministry are trying to build goodwill among the populace through charity, a move some critics say is politically motivated.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 28

Israel's community gardens bloom

In Tel Aviv and across Israel, residents join communities that cultivate community vegetable gardens, enjoying the once lost sense of sharing between neighbors while developing a more sustainable approach to life.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 28

Israelis reflect on dangers of 'unjustified hatred'

On Tisha B'av, religious and secular Jews gather to debate the issue of bigotry and the often difficult relations between the many diverse sectors of Israeli society.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 28

Lebanon sees green future in ecotourism

Ecotourism could potentially turn into a sustainable source of income for Lebanon, and some organizations have been coordinating efforts to develop the field.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on August 7

Egypt’s journalists worry new anti-terror law could send them to jail

Egypt’s new draft anti-terrorism law is not sitting well with journalists, who claim the law is unnecessary and violates the rights of the Egyptian people.
Read more»

 Mohamed Saied for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 27

Arab Knesset leader: Don't call me 'a demographic problem'

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Joint List Chair Ayman Odeh argues that calling for the preservation of a Jewish majority in Israel excludes Arabs from public discourse.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 27

Travel permits aim to manage, not solve, Palestine-Israel conflict

Palestinians were granted permits to travel to Israel for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, but larger issues remain.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on July 27

Gazan society comes together on stage

A recent play in Gaza, produced by a liberal director of modern works and the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Artists Association, gives hope for a revival of an inclusive theater scene in the Gaza Strip.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on July 27

Syrian refugees in Armenia 'stumble from one crisis to another'

Syrians of Armenian origin who fled Aleppo are finding it difficult to cope with their new situation in Armenia.
Read more»

 Peter Schwartzstein for Al-Monitor on July 27

Rape of young girl in Iran met with muted response

The incident is raising questions of a double standard media censorship in Iran.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 24

Gaza universities now more accessible, for all the wrong reasons

Universities in Gaza are lowering their admissions standards in what appears to be a way to realize profit while disregarding the needs of the market.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 26

Does Turkey care about cultural diversity?

More than 100 countries have endorsed a UN convention on protecting cultural diversity, but a decade after its inception, the convention still awaits ratification by the Turkish parliament.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 17

Why are Turkey's televangelists talking about oral sex?

Turkish imams and televangelists are becoming increasingly outspoken in their commentary and debates on permitted sexual practices.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on July 24

Israelis lack compassion for Gazans' suffering

The recent cancellations of screenings of a documentary on Gaza makes it seem that Israelis are incapable of acknowledging the trauma of war when those suffering are Palestinians.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 24

Camp for handicapped youth seeks to overcome differences

Residents of the Rosh Tzurim settlement have been supporting and operating a summer camp for special needs children for many years now, welcoming Israelis and Palestinians.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 24

One coastal town's groundbreaking approach to local governance in Turkey

A municipality in southern Turkey has introduced an unprecedented multi-religious, multi-cultural approach to local administration.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 23

What Iraq needs to survive

Social disintegration and other issues facing Iraq require a nationwide reform campaign.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on July 23

Egypt's ailing health care system

After some 30 years of governmental neglect, the Egyptian health care system is riddled with unsafe practices and a lack of personnel and facilities.
Read more»

 Lorena Rios for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 23

Hamas, Salafists try to move beyond bumpy history

Serious efforts are being made toward a reconciliation between Hamas and the Salafists.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 23

Tourists seek spiritual high in Israel’s Safed

The combination of Jewish heritage, Kabbalah, old synagogues and mountain views have made Safed a pilgrimage destination for spiritual seekers from Israel and around the world.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 23

Turkey's Constitutional Court stands up to Erdogan

The Turkish Constitutional Court has shown its independence in issuing recent decisions despite the condemnations of the AKP and its propaganda machine.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on July 22

Egypt's draft dodgers

With Egypt ramping up the fight against armed extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian youth are coming up with new ways to avoid military conscription.
Read more»

 Emir Nader for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 22

Palestine's accidental gay rights activists

Some Palestinian Facebook users' unwitting application of a rainbow filter celebrating gays' right to marry in the United States has raised heated debates around the taboo subject of homosexuality and the appropriateness of the rainbow symbol.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on July 22

Israeli superfood research could help Rwanda

Rwandan agronomists are studying techniques developed by Israeli students for fast, cheap and simple cultivation of the superfood algae spirulina.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 22

Archaeological excavations in Iraq continue despite security chaos

In spite of the precarious situation in Iraq, a series of excavations is still uncovering the buried historical ruins in Iraq, where the ruins of Ur are only a sample of the landmarks that are yet to be unveiled.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 3

Champions to the rescue! Superheroes roam the streets of Egypt

Since the revolution, Egyptians have been hoping a hero would come and save them from their daily problems, giving rise to projects launched by artists and citizens about superheroes roaming the streets of Egypt.
Read more»

 Omar al-Naghy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 21

Lebanese, UN fallout over refugee registration

Lebanese officials have criticized UNHCR efforts to register Syrian refugee births, arguing that the country is at capacity.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on July 21

Ankara's response to forest fires ignites Kurdish anger

Kurds in southeastern Turkey believe the government was intentionally lax in combating a series of local forest fires, which residents think were intentionally set to destroy areas where fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party had been known to operate in the past.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 21

Israeli left needs to face defeat, move on

By lashing out instead of accepting its electoral defeat and rehabilitating itself, the Israeli left stands to alienate even more Israelis.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 21

West Bank villagers deliver final plea to save homes from destruction

Residents of the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya say that their repeated requests for construction permits were rejected by Israel, which has instead decided to demolish their homes.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 20

Syrian refugees in Lebanon face mental health crisis

Syrian refugees in Lebanon who suffer from mental disorders often go without treatment, but some nongovernmental organizations are working to change this.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on July 21

Turkish artisans keep ceramic craft alight

In the Turkish city of Kutahya, ceramic artisans preserve a centuries-old craft, looking both for foreign markets and interaction with fellow craftsmen across the world.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on August 4

Attacks on Chinese escalate in Turkey

Turkish anger over Chinese policies has led to attacks and racist protests.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on July 20

When children have to provide: Syrian refugees struggle in Jordan

A lack of schools and teachers in Jordan along with hurdles preventing Syrian adults from working have led to Syrian refugee children increasingly working illegally to support their families.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on July 20

English study an escape for Gazans

Attendance in English teaching centers in Gaza is on the rise, with the youth increasingly aware that learning the language increases their chances of finding better jobs and studying abroad.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 20

Jurassic world comes to Gaza

Gazans are thrilled about the new theme park, Dinosaur City, as they lack educational and entertainment opportunities that allow them to forget about their harsh living conditions.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 20

The secret world of Baghdad's sex toy shops

Iraqi citizens and the central government are outraged by the spread of sexual products in popular markets across the country.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on July 20

Israeli play about French prostitute premieres in Turkey

Actor Zion Ashkenazi tells Al-Monitor about the warm welcome he and his one-man play based on the life of French playwright Jean Genet received at a Turkish theater festival.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 17

Druze caught up in 'game of nations'

The Syrian Druze, staunch allies of the Assad regime, face an existential threat from opposition forces, which is why Druze leaders in neighboring countries have been calling for arming them and for better relations with the Sunni community.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on July 17

PKK, Turkey squabble over same dam issue

Turkey's extensive dam construction projects are threatened with attacks by the Kurdistan Workers Party, which sees the projects as destructive and only serving military objectives.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 17

A year later, Gazans face war losses, attempt to move on

Sadness and feelings of loneliness and great loss are sweeping across the Gaza Strip, where people still mourn the loss of their loved ones.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on July 17

Ultra-Orthodox Knesset members shy away from minister title

For many years, Israel's ultra-Orthodox politicians preferred to be nominated deputy ministers and not ministers, shrugging off official responsibility for a Jewish state run differently than their understanding of Jewish-religious rules.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 16

Iraqi writer brings Persian literature to Arab world

Ghassan Hamdan bridges the Iranian-Arab divide with his translations of Persian literature into Arabic.
Read more»

Farahmand Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 16

The end of 'Death to America'?

Iranian media outlets have largely supported the nuclear deal between Iran and the UN Security Council, with one writer suggesting it is such a turning point in relations with the West that the chant "Death to America" will soon end.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 15

Syria’s opposition plans to replace Syrian pound with Turkish lira

The Syrian opposition forces in rebel-held northern areas hope a change in currency will put pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime on the economic level.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on July 15

Sisi Sinai slam gets Egyptian soccer star a red card

Harsh criticism has been leveled against soccer player Ahmed Marghany, who publicly blamed President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the violence in Sinai, in what some see as a violation of the freedom of expression.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 16

Iranian rapper drops bomb with pro-nuke video

An underground Iranian rapper who had previously been in trouble with the law sparks an online backlash after making a pro-government video.
Read more»

 Hanif Kashani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 15

Zarif's domestic popularity soars with nuclear deal

The popularity of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has peaked on social and Reformist traditional media with the announcement of the nuclear deal.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 14

Prisoner scores small victory in struggle for Alevi rights in Turkey

An Alevi religious figure was for the first time allowed to pay a counseling visit to an Alevi prisoner in Turkey.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 14

Israeli beer company to consumers: 'Be thankful you're a man, and have yourself a drink'

Organizations for gender equality call for the boycott of Israeli companies that feature chauvinist ads and commercials, but the public uproar actually generates interest in these products and ultimately increases their sales.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 14

Terrorists turn month of peace into time for war

The holy month of Ramadan is considered a month of martyrdom and jihad for extremist organizations such as the Islamic State, which during this time recall the battles fought by Muslims throughout history.
Read more»

 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on July 14

Hamas hopes military muscle will be Ramadan must-see TV

Palestinian TV productions have embarked on glorifying armed struggle against the Israelis in an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of carrying out military operations against them.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 13

Why is Israel trying to shut down this Palestinian TV station?

For years, Palestine TV has dedicated some programming to their Palestinian brethren in Israel, and it was well-received.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on July 13

Turkey's brides-to-be flock to vintage look

The old dowry chests of middle-aged Turkish women are full with precious, handmade embroideries, some of which are now re-emerging and making their way to luxury stores.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 13

Al-Azhar rethinks primary school teaching to encourage moderation

After having reviewed and updated its religious curricula, Al-Azhar is now modernizing the katateeb, its well-known Quranic schools, but many question the institution’s ability to succeed in the endeavor.
Read more»

 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 14

Israel releases Khader Adnan, for now

Palestinian Khader Adnan, released from prison after 54 days of hunger strike, tells Al-Monitor that the Israeli press ignored his latest battle, trying to silence his fight against administrative detention.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 14

Israel slow to rescue captured citizen. Is it because of his race?

Israeli politicians were quick to turn the affair of Avera Mengistu's release from Gaza into an issue of government discrimination against the Ethiopian-Israeli community.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on July 13

Istanbul’s Disneyfication

State-led gentrification of Istanbul might be the most important and irreversible legacy of the conservative Islamist AKP government.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on July 10

Gaza’s drama series hopes to compete in pan-Arab market

During the month of Ramadan, Arab channels screen several TV series, and the Gaza Strip hopes to take part in this regional field by producing comedy and drama shows.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 12

Negev Bedouin await forced evictions

The residents of unrecognized Negev villages have for years suffered discrimination and neglect by the Israeli government, which is now threatening them with mass forced evictions and relocation under the Prawer Plan.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor on July 15

PA tightens purse strings on Hamas

In a report by the Palestinian Legislative Council’s Oversight and Human Rights Committee, the Palestinian Authority is accused of neglecting Gaza’s financial needs, while it is witnessing the deterioration of its people’s living conditions.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 10

Iran, P5+1 face Security Council conundrum

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will have problems if Iranian expectations regarding the timing of lifting sanctions are not managed.
Read more»

 Mohammad Ali Shabani for Al-Monitor on July 9

The world fails Yemen

As Yemen languishes in the highest-level humanitarian crisis the UN recognizes, the situation is not helped by an unbalanced and ineffectual Security Council resolution.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on July 9

Gaza's Ramadan drummers

The dire economic situation in the Gaza Strip is making the monthlong job of the musaharati, who wakes people before dawn to break the Ramadan fast, one of the most dependable sources of income all year.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on July 9

CHP leader predicts early elections in Turkey

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Turkey’s main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said it is unlikely the AKP will be able to form a coalition government and expressed the urgent need to turn the economy around.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 9

Shimon Peres outlines his vision for Israel, the region in 2048

Former President Shimon Peres argues that despite the current dire situation, Israel's future is not bleak.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 12

Iran MP defends trip to Finland to 'promote Islam'

Conservative Iranian MP Hamid Rasaei has been criticized for once again traveling to Europe.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 8

Sunnis, Shiites show unity in Najaf

While the news headlines scream of sectarian violence, many everyday Iraqis tell a different story of cohesion and solidarity in cities where the displaced have gathered.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on July 8

Turkey shuts down smugglers by shooting mules

The tension in villages of Uludere in Turkey that lost 34 people in an airstrike by the Turkish air force three years ago persists and frequently develops into confrontations with Turkish soldiers.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 9

Turkey’s lively Ramadan tables

The fast-breaking Ramadan dinner in Turkey is a crowded affair where people come together to share and socialize, entertain themselves and even make political statements.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 10

Mixed reviews for TV show on Egyptian Jews

A period TV series set in a historic multicultural neighborhood in Cairo is a departure for Ramadan television programming in the country.
Read more»

 Ismael El-Kholy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 7

Forget Uber, Iraqis strap into satoutas

Struggling to make ends meet, Iraqis have innovated a new means to transport goods and people for little money, which has been competing with taxi drivers.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on July 7

Why is Israel turning a blind eye to South Sudan arms sales?

Meretz Knesset member Tamar Zandberg accuses Israel of facilitating the sales of weapons to countries at war with an army accused of perpetrating war crimes, such as South Sudan.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 7

The Ponzi scheme that's trapping Israel’s ultra-Orthodox

The ultra-Orthodox, often hesitant to approach the police out of fear of their name being tarnished, are being fleeced by their own community members.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 7

Iranians look to post-deal economic, political challenges

As Iran moves toward a final nuclear deal, the national media is buzzing with the domestic political and economic issues to be addressed the day after.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 6

Lebanon to poll Christians on choice for president

The leaders of Lebanon's main Christian factions have agreed on a proposal by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to poll Lebanese Christians on their favored presidential candidate.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on July 6

Egypt clamps down on religious ritual

The Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf has imposed a series of strict conditions on religious retreats held in mosques during Ramadan.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 6

West Bank women look to divorce marital status from IDs

Although President Mahmoud Abbas approved the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Palestinian women still face discrimination concerning their marital status.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 6

Netanyahu backslides on religious reforms

By caving in to ultra-Orthodox demands to cancel religious reforms, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disregards most of the Israeli public, focusing solely on his political survival.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on July 6

The Middle East's Internet revolution

Internet and social networks bridge Middle East societies and the rest of the world, advance values of coexistence and tolerance, and could become an answer to Islamic fundamentalism.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor on July 5

Turkey's Ramadan treats

Despite the opulent dinners making the headlines, Turkey's traditional Ramadan foods and rituals are simple, nutritious and versatile.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on July 2

Gaza’s racing club hits speed bump

A group of amateur auto racers created a club for sports car racing in the Gaza Strip, but they lack safe cars and adequate roads to drive on without causing safety concerns for the public and themselves.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 2

Israelis give ballroom dancing a spin

The southern city of Ashdod, home to many immigrants from Russia, is becoming a ballroom dancing center as more Israelis join dancing schools for fun and even participate in international events.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on July 2

Few solutions to Arab world’s power outages

Blackouts in the region have causes beyond current wars and armed conflicts.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on July 1

Ocalan niece's swearing-in ceremony marks milestone for Kurds

The niece of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan made her debut in parliament last week in a striking illustration of how the Kurdish struggle has progressed and transformed Turkey over the years.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 1

Radical groups lure Tripoli youths

Leaked videos showing Lebanese security forces torturing Islamist prisoners in Roumieh prison have stirred the anger of Tripoli’s disaffected youths, pushing them further toward extremism.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on July 1

Tehran art auction attracts buyers, controversy

Tehran's biggest art auction attracted accusations of money laundering as well as record bids.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on July 1

Palestinians pay high cost to conceive

Infertility and delayed childbearing seem to be on the rise in the Gaza Strip, so families struggle to get expensive treatment while they can barely acquire their most basic needs.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 30

New report outlines Al-Aqsa Mosque recommendations

The International Crisis Group report on Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem tackles this controversial issue for Muslim Palestinians and Israeli Jews, and proposes recommendations to de-escalate the tension between all concerned parties, including Jordan.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on June 30

Israel the final frontier for science fiction

Israeli science fiction fans are persuaded that the traditional low interest of Israelis in science fiction arts is about to be replaced by stronger involvement in the genre, especially in the sphere of science fiction cinema.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 30

Copts flee North Sinai

As threats from terrorist groups escalate, Copts in Egypt's North Sinai governorate are fleeing their homes for fear of being killed or kidnapped.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on July 1

New developments grow where Tehran's historic sycamore trees used to stand

Tehran's sycamore trees on Valiasr Street are being cut down to make room for businesses and developers; because the trees have a protected status of sorts, it is believed that some are being intentionally dried out in order to kill them.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 25

Jerusalem youth chorus bridges Israeli-Palestinian divide

A rare group of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers brings a mixture of musical styles and political grievances to a 3-year-old choir that is just completing its first tour in the United States.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on July 2

West Bank charity still fills ancient duty, hungry stomachs

For a millennium, an almshouse in Hebron has offered food for the needy all year round, and its activities become all the more vital during the holy month of Ramadan.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 29

Gaza’s landfills threaten citizens' health

Amid a lack of an advanced system to sort out hazardous household waste, experts deem Gaza’s current waste disposal operations unhealthy, causing a serious threat to public health.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 29

Al-Azhar rewrites curricula

Based on recommendations by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Al-Azhar University in Cairo is taking steps toward updating the religious discourse it teaches to its students through revising curricula and minimizing references to distorted concepts of jihad and extremism.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 29

Ultra-Orthodox now willing to wait tables

After years of shunning jobs like waiting tables and sales, traditionally viewed as "undignified" by the ultra-Orthodox in Israel, many members of the community who recently entered the labor market have joined the service industry.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 29

Yazidis dream of Europe

About 20,000 Yazidis who have fled from the Islamic State and became refugees in Turkey are now hoping, perhaps in vain, to reach Europe.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 29

Lebanese art program empowers Tripoli girls

The girls at a Catholic school in Tripoli are gaining confidence through the Cross Arts program to express themselves with graffiti and other forms of art.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 29

Syrian refugee influx leaves host countries vulnerable

Local Lebanese activists as well as the United Nations are working to improve living conditions and opportunities for Syrian refugees.
Read more»

 Tara Kangarlou for Al-Monitor on June 26

3-D animation comes to Gaza

Producing 3-D animated films is not easy in Gaza City, where there is a scarcity of advanced technology and funding, but some young artists are going above and beyond to follow their passion.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on June 26

Al-Azhar goes online to fight extremism

As terrorist groups mobilize young Muslims in cyberspace, religious institutions in Egypt are reviving religious discourse and recruiting technology to counter extremist ideas.
Read more»

 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 26

Iran's tea tradition

Though tea came late to Iran, it has become ubiquitous in daily life in the country.
Read more»

 Angela Corrias for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 28

Poor services in Egypt public hospitals come to light

The decision of Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb to transfer negligent physicians from hospitals in Cairo governorates to Upper Egypt has raised the ire of the public, which demands hospital reform.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 29

Iraqi children use art to confront trauma

Militarization continues to sweep over Iraqi society and has had a profound impact on children, whose artistic creations are now imbued with images of war and violence.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 25

Israeli archaeology unearths controversy

The discovery of an ancient architectural structure from the Hasmonean era in Jerusalem, the latest in a series of archaeological findings that connects the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, has become an ideological tool for Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, among others.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 25

Israeli doctors against 'force-feeding' Palestinian prisoners

Israeli medical associations claim that the "force-feeding" bill promoted by the government is unethical, but the authorities are still pushing the proposal forward to avoid image-damaging Palestinian prisoner deaths.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 25

Sense of belonging draws Palestinians to West Bank

Growing numbers of Palestinians living in Israel prefer shopping and conducting other business in the West Bank because of a sense of belonging and to bolster the economy.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 25

Lebanon looks to sustainable agriculture

A Lebanese association, SOILS, is working to implement permaculture to help farmers develop sustainable, diversified and environmentally friendly long-term production.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on July 10

Children's fashion show takes the runway in Gaza

A children's fashion show, only the second of its kind in Gaza’s history, divided members of the civil society and religious hard-liners, who deemed the event non-reflective of Gazan society and culture.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 25

Middle-class Syrian refugees forced to live in tents

The situation of Syrian refugees is going from bad to worse, as they use up their last savings and move into tents.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Nahar (Lebanon) on June 25

Turkish judiciary halts school firings

Turkey’s top administrative court has canceled provisions that laid the ground for the purge of some 8,000 principals in public schools and their replacement with government partisans.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 24

Displaced Iraqis still wait to return home

Amid accusations of affiliation with the Islamic State and an uncompleted demining process in the liberated areas, most of Iraq's displaced have yet to return to their cities.
Read more»

 Mushreq Abbas for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 24

'Bogus Muslims' exposed for 'fake it 'til you make it' attitude

Muslims faking sudden commitments to a religious lifestyle for political and financial gain are facing backlash from pious Muslims as well as criticism from secularists.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 23

Gazans' inability to buy gifts affects social relationships

Gazans are facing harsh living conditions with little money to spend, which is increasingly affecting social relationships in a society where buying gifts for family and friends when visiting their homes is part of the culture.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 23

Palestinians stand their ground in Wadi Fukin

Palestinian residents in the town of Wadi Fukin close to Bethlehem invest in their land by cultivating it and raising livestock in a way to stop, or at least delay, Israeli expropriation plans.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 22

Local tourism in Gaza witnesses cautious growth

Local tourism in Gaza is still dependent on the worsening economic and political situation, which explains the cautious attendance at resorts.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 22

How Israel balances cyber security, privacy

In an interview with Al-Monitor, cyber security specialist Major Gen. (Res.) Isaac Ben-Israel explains that security must be balanced with civilians' right to privacy, which is why the new National Cyber Bureau will be independent and not under Shin Bet control.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on June 22

Lebanon’s first free fashion school

Creative Space Beirut is Lebanon’s first free fashion school that offers courses to underprivileged aspiring designers.
Read more»

 Sophie Chamas for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 22

Erbil refugee camp prioritizes education

As more than 1.5 million internally displaced people and refugees fled to the more secure regions of Iraqi Kurdistan, Father Douglas al-Bazi established a refugee camp focusing on the education and cultural development of children.
Read more»

 Wilson Fache for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 22

Death penalty divides Egyptians

Despite recent calls for Egypt to abolish capital punishment, getting rid of the death penalty is no simple matter.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 19

Gazans tune into airwaves to cut through static of war

Because of electrical outages, radio remains the most reliable way for Gazans to follow the news.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 19

Amid crackdown, tunnel smuggling is risky business in Gaza

As the Egyptian army intensifies its campaign to destroy the border tunnels from southern Gaza, many still rely on smuggling goods for work, as no better jobs are available.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 19

Cairo's heritage sites threatened with demolition

Restoration projects and demolitions are not only threatening the historical character of Old Cairo, but also causing forced displacements and anger among residents.
Read more»

 Omar al-Naghy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 23

Egypt launches new programs to address poverty

The Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity has started two programs to help alleviate poverty and encourage education among Egypt's most disadvantaged families.
Read more»

 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 25

Activists claim forgery in Beirut beach development plan

The planned development of the Dalieh of Raouche threatens to prevent public access to one of two remaining natural areas along Beirut's coastline.
Read more»

 Muneira Hoballah for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 23

Helicopters, scanners no match for Egypt's exam cheats

With students becoming more defiant and social media savvy, the leaking of exam questions is becoming increasingly difficult to curb.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 18

The 'environmental disaster' Lebanon can't afford to fix

The Zouk Mikael power station is choking the region around it with pollution, but sky-high energy demands and political crises are blocking solutions.
Read more»

 Martin Armstrong for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 18

Blood money marriage makes comeback in Iraq

Despite protests, and being banned since the 1950s, fasliya marriage has re-emerged among Iraqi tribes.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 18

Displacement of Copts raises persecution fears in Egypt

The forced displacement of five Christian families from the Beni Suef governorate in Egypt brought back the debate of the struggle between Muslims and Copts in Egypt.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 18

How Morocco plans to contain its Salafists

Several prominent Salafists in Morocco have surprised the nation by joining mainstream political parties.
Read more»

 Imad Stitou for Al-Monitor on June 18

Will PKK let Kurdish politics move away from violence?

With the success of the pro-Kurdish HDP in the recent elections, the time has come for Turkey's Kurds to rethink civilian-military relations in Kurdish politics.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 18

Opposition battles collection of medical records in Turkey

Turkey's Ministry of Health has embarked on a controversial effort to collect the names, addresses and diagnoses of psychiatric patients.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 19

El Al's high heel directive kicks up storm

El Al Israel Airlines' new policy requiring female flight attendants to wear high heels until all passengers have boarded has generated a wave of protest, mobilizing leading public and political figures.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on June 18

Turkey's rule of law on slippery slope

The World Justice Project’s 2015 Rule of Law Index reveals striking evidence of rising authoritarianism in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 17

Gaza doctors find jobs in German clinics

Amid the worsening living conditions and employment opportunities, doctors in the Gaza Strip take German classes to apply for jobs in Germany, which provides many incentives for medical practitioners.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 17

Egypt 'tourism rebound' slow to reach South Sinai

Egypt’s tourism sector has been slowly growing as people do not differentiate between South Sinai and North Sinai, where the fighting is ongoing between the Egyptian army and the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Joel Gulhane for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 17

From Omar to Hussain: Why Iraqis are changing their names

Intensification of Iraq's sectarian divide is forcing increasing numbers of people to change their names to avoid harassment and death.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 17

Palestinians see no reason to negotiate as Israeli settlements continue

As international efforts intensify to resume the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians feel that discussions will go nowhere as long as the Israeli government sticks to its policy of settlement expansion.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 17

Iran’s Basij concedes confiscating satellite dishes not working

The head of Iran's Basij organization said that instead of confiscating satellite dishes from homes, authorities should speak to homeowners to persuade them to give up the satellite dishes, which he believes are part of a cultural invasion of Iran's enemies.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 16

MK Frej hopes to build bridges through Arabic prose

Arab-Israeli Knesset member Issawi Frej aspires to make Arabic literature accessible to the Israeli public and promotes an initiative for an annual public prize, to be given to Israeli authors writing in Arabic.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 17

US ambassador’s visit to LGBT event sparks outrage in Jordan

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Jordan has been trying to speak up, but it looks like their efforts are not sitting well with those less sympathetic to the cause.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on June 16

Extremist groups transform concept of jihad

Extremist Islamic groups have transformed the spiritual concept of jihad, including turning it into a military instrument for implementing political agendas.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on June 16

Pan-Islamic movement becomes political player in Palestine

Hizb ut-Tahrir in the Palestinian territories emerged as a political party that seeks the return of the Islamic caliphate, unlike Hamas and other Islamic parties that focus on the resistance against Israel.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 19

Wrestling’s Curby Cup next move in US-Iran sports diplomacy

An event founded in the memory of a young American wrestler provides a new pathway for advancing people-to-people ties between the United States and Iran.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on June 15

Egyptian lawyer interrogated for drafting anti-torture law

Negad El Borai might face jail time for drafting a law that counters police abuse and torture, which shows the restriction of freedoms in Egypt.
Read more»

 Marwa Al-A’sar for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 15

The fight goes on for Lebanon's LGBT community

Despite a few modest achievements, the Lebanese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community still struggles for acceptance and basic rights.
Read more»

 Sophie Chamas for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 15

Overhauling Iraq’s intelligence services

The political quota system and subsequent appointment of incompetent intelligence services leaders have severely hampered Iraq's ability to fight terrorist forces despite an abundance of confrontations and episodes from which to learn.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on June 15

How security forces keep critics quiet in 'progressive' UAE

The enigmatic UAE security forces have perfected the art of silencing critics and created an environment in which nearly everyone is afraid to say anything remotely resembling criticism of the government.
Read more»

 Matt J. Duffy for Al-Monitor on June 15

Turkish TV channels compete for Ramadan viewers

Turkey's TV channels promote their shows and entertainment programs in the runup to Ramadan, revealing rifts among moderate and more pious Muslims, as well as the battle between the Justice and Development Party and the Gulen movement.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 14

Turkish court makes landmark ruling on women’s murders

In a first for Turkey, a court has penalized the state for failing to protect a woman who was killed by her husband.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 12

Lebanese turn to faith to break political stalemate

The statue of Portugal's Our Lady Fatima will visit several regions in Lebanon in a convoy of Christian leaders, many of whom believe that the tour will help Lebanon elect a president.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on June 12

Is Israel's culture minister drunk with power?

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev is fond of reminding artists and cultural institutions that she has the power to determine their fate, including withholding funds if they fail to meet her standards of patriotism.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on June 12

Gaza soccer players work hard for little pay

Professional Palestinian soccer players, especially those in the Gaza Strip, are bound by restrictive contracts and low pay.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 14

The Islamic State's scorched earth policy in Kobani

Since the Islamic State was defeated in Kobani in January, the group has been setting ablaze the crops of the residents there.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 12

Arabs divided on visiting Jerusalem

Political and religious authorities in Palestine continue to disagree on visits by Arabs and Muslims from around the world to Jerusalem, split between seeing such trips as defiant support of Palestine and as normalizing relations with Israel.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 12

Gaza's ice cream industry melts

Although ice cream is popular among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, local ice cream shops struggle to sustain themselves under Israel's blockade and Hamas' law on imported goods.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 11

Artists help Syrian refugee women tell their stories

Several artists have developed projects to highlight the lives of Syrian women in refugee camps, moving beyond the image of victimhood, as they are largely portrayed in the media.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 14

Egypt demolishes Mubarak’s party headquarters

The Egyptian government ordered the demolition of the National Democratic Party’s headquarters in the center of Cairo, despite criticism as the building is considered part of Egypt’s architectural history.
Read more»

Ahmed Ateyya for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 11

Iraqis demand better security for religious pilgrimages

After vandals attacked Sunni properties in Adhamiya, Iraqis are calling for official regulation and organization of religious events to avoid sectarian violence.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 12

Khomeini's supporters defend extravagant shrine

Critics have assailed the apparent lavishness of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's shrine, saying he would have opposed the "palace-like" building.
Read more»

 Maysam Bizær for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 10

Iran MP emerges as Instagram rabble-rouser

Conservative Iranian parliament member Mehdi Koochakzadeh has taken to Instagram to attack his political rivals, attracting over 2,000 followers in just over a month.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 10

Lebanese surfers catch waves

A small surfer community south of Beirut, Lebanon, not only has dreams of seeing Lebanon represented in international competition, but is also interested in preserving the environment.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on June 12

Egypt’s Copts dig heels in over right to remarry

Christian Copts are protesting, calling for their religious right to remarry and the necessity to expand the spectrum of the grounds for divorce that they believe the church should recognize.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 12

Palestinian dance group keeps folk art alive

El-Funoun is a dance troupe whose performances underscore the importance of Palestinian folk art while combining cultural authenticity and modernity — with the idea that art is a part of the revolutionary and popular movement against the occupation.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 10

Lebanese Christian leaders focus on need for president

The visit of the Vatican's envoy to Lebanon coincided with a meeting between the country's top Christian leaders, Gen. Michel Aoun and Samir Geagea, who revealed a joint statement that could pave the way for a president to finally be elected.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on June 10

The last of Iraq's hand-woven carpets

Once an Iraqi trademark and a sought-after speciality, it seems like the handmade carpet industry in Iraq is drawing its last breath.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 9

Diyarbakir celebrates after HDP election breakthrough

The historic Kurdish breakthrough in Turkey’s parliamentary elections sparks boisterous celebrations across the southeast and boosts hopes for a negotiated settlement of Kurdish grievances.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 9

Will Israel’s Erez crossing supersede Rafah?

It looks like Israel is allowing more people to cross into the West Bank from Gaza through the Erez crossing, which has raised questions about the possibility of the Erez crossing replacing the Rafah crossing.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on June 9

Street vendors expelled from downtown Cairo

Authorities in Egypt are clamping down on street vendors, imposing fines and expelling them to spaces outside the main commercial areas in cities.
Read more»

 Lorena Rios for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 9

Ultra-Orthodox protest businesses open on Sabbath

The ultra-Orthodox sector is rallying thousands of consumers in its battle against businesses that operate on Saturdays.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 12

South African Jews, not Israel, suffer from boycott

The BDS movement has been active in South Africa for years, but it's the local Jewish community, not Israel-South Africa bilateral trade relations, that are paying the price of the boycott calls.
Read more»

 Rina Bassist for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 10

Former Iran ambassador: Saudis must accept Houthis

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Seyed Ali Asghar Ghoreishi, former Iranian ambassador to Yemen, discussed the nature of Iran's support for the Houthis, elements necessary to end the fighting in Yemen and the possibility of extremist groups seizing large sections of territory in Yemen.
Read more»

 Rohollah Faghihi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 9

Egyptian prisoner renounces his nationality to escape sentence

Prisoner Mohammed Sultan renounced his Egyptian nationality to escape a jail sentence, which stirred many questions about the law on the extradition of prisoners.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 8

Eastern patriarchs meet in Damascus

The Eastern patriarchs met in Damascus on June 8 to discuss the Christians’ situation in the region, following coordinating efforts between Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai and the Vatican, and Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi and Moscow.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on June 9

Catwalk becomes catfight on Turkish TV

A fashion-themed reality show, marked by shouting matches between contestants and jury members, has broken rating records in Turkey.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 11

Islamic State releases first Turkish publication

Pro-Islamic State groups ramp up their propaganda in Turkey and issue their first online periodical.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 8

Hezbollah's media machine changes gears

The media has always been a focus for Hezbollah, but the group has recently changed its message.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on June 5

Al-Azhar controversy leads to curriculum updates

Al-Azhar curricula is being updated following accusations of extremism, which has caused controversy among religious thinkers and authorities.
Read more»

 Ismael El-Kholy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 5

Gazans nervous as next freedom flotilla nears

After successive failed attempts, a third freedom flotilla will set sail to the Gaza Strip, though many activists expect Israeli opposition.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 8

Khomeini was no liberal, says Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned Iranians about distorting the character of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 4

Is there hope for Egypt’s first space odyssey?

The establishment of an Egyptian space agency is not too distant a dream, as several scientists and politicians are promoting an Egyptian law to promote such an agency.
Read more»

 Mohamed Saied for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 4

Life as a Gaza street vendor

Owners of small businesses in Gaza are already struggling to make ends meet, and the fines and taxes they are required to pay are adding to their difficulties.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 4

Bedouin face expulsion as Israel builds Greater Jerusalem

Bedouin communities in the highlands of Jerusalem are facing evacuation threats by Israeli authorities who purportedly plan to use the land to expand the settlements.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 4

The Islamization of Turkey

Two remarkable developments in Turkey on May 29 have increased concern of growing Islamization in the economy and society.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 4

Israelis travel under radar to tour Jericho, Bethlehem

Hundreds of Israelis are discreetly visiting Jericho and Bethlehem to see archaeological marvels and enjoy local hospitality.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 8

Iraq's security for Shiites causes controversy

Iraq’s commitment to provide security services to religious visitors is regarded by some as resources that ought to be used to fight terrorism instead.
Read more»

 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 5

Foreign, local workers at odds in Jordan's labor market

The unemployment rate among Jordanians is increasing, as Syrian refugees in Jordan are willing to work for longer hours and lower wages.
Read more»

 Elisa Oddone for Al-Monitor on June 3

Turkish cleric U-turns on million dollar Mercedes

Turkey’s top official Islamic cleric has found himself in a tight spot after his decision to give up a flashy Mercedes under public criticism prompted a defiant Erdogan to send him an even more expensive car, complete with a pledge for a private jet.
Read more»

 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 3

Congress deals blow to IS looting in Syria

The House passed legislation that would make it illegal to import stolen artifacts.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on June 1

Why are young Iranians losing interest in marriage?

Societal and economic factors have led to a decline in marriage rates, despite the government's desire to see an increase in population.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 2

Iraq's growing grave market

As death has become even more a part of daily life in Iraq with the increasing violence and terrorist attacks, people started marketing plots at Al-Salam Valley cemetery, which holds religious significance.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 2

Turkish court stirs marriage debate

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that a civil marriage is no longer compulsory for religiously married citizens, worrying civil groups about the implications for women's rights.
Read more»

 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 1

How some Armenians are reclaiming their Christian faith

Armenians in Turkey, who for a century have been forced to conceal their identities, are trying to return to their roots.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 1

Lebanese director wins short-film prize at Cannes

Ely Dagher made history by winning at the Cannes Film Festival for his movie "Waves ‘98."
Read more»

Translated from Al-Nahar (Lebanon) on May 29

Erdogan tries to rewrite history

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent decision to change the date commemorating the conquest of Istanbul from May 29 to May 30 seems to fall into a pattern of altering dates of public holidays to correspond with important political dates — in this case, the June 7 elections.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on May 29

Unlicensed cosmetic surgery on rise in Iran

As the popularity of cosmetic surgery increases in Iran, low-cost, unlicensed clinics have increased as well.
Read more»

Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 29

The West Bank's drug problem

Drug trafficking, dealing and consumption have quickly spread in the West Bank, where security is loose.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 31

Egyptian antiquities chief: Historic legacy is under attack

Mamdouh al-Damaty talks to Al-Monitor about the recent controversy surrounding King Tut's broken beard and reports of a pornographic film being shot in the Giza Pyramid.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 29

Al-Qaeda theorist calls for infiltrating political systems

Abdullah bin Mohammed, an al-Qaeda theorist, believes jihadists need to adopt a new strategy of attaining legitimacy by rebranding themselves and working from within political systems, an idea that might already have taken root in Syria.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on May 29

Gaza’s high population strains water supply

Gaza authorities are establishing water desalination plants to meet the demands of the increasing population.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 31

Bank of Palestine ends international money transfers

International transfers to charitable organizations in Palestine have been halted on charges of ties with Hamas, affecting the orphans who are reportedly the main beneficiaries.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 1

Israel's Christian schools demand equality with Jewish schools

Christian schools in Israel do not receive the same financial support as their Jewish counterparts, burdening parents with higher tuition costs.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on June 1

Persecution of Egypt's Shiites continues

Egypt’s Shiites are being discriminated against through a number of means that are causing the religious minority to be further marginalized.
Read more»

 Marwa Al-A’sar for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 29

Modern Turkish baths not just for scrubbing

Turkish baths are enjoying a revival among trendy urbanites with modern amenities and services.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 28

Hamas seeks reconciliation with Salafists

Faced with numerous security challenges, Hamas leaders appear to have settled on reconciliation with Salafists in Gaza rather than force of arms.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 29

Palestinian prisoners resort to hunger strikes

Hunger strikes by Palestinian detainees are sweeping Israeli prisons in protest of what looks like a pattern of abusive administrative detention rulings.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 2

Existential threats don't diminish Israeli happiness

Although confronted with security threats, unemployment, high cost of living, discrimination against minorities and increased crime, Israelis' warm family and social ties make them feel happy.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 29

Reformist media welcomes rare appearance of Hajjarian

The presence of Saeed Hajjarian, the main Reformist theoretician, has energized Reformist media.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 27

Turkey restricts academic research on Syrian refugees

Turkey's Interior Ministry now requires academics to get prior approval before conducting research on the country's 2 million Syrian refugees.
Read more»

 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 27

Center trains Ethiopian-Israelis for high-tech careers

A technology training center for Ethiopian-Israelis trains dozens of students every year for high-tech professions, but many graduates feel disappointed in a state that still sees them as manual laborers.
Read more»

 Doron Peskin for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 1

Egypt’s disabled seek fair representation in parliament

In accordance with the 2014 constitution, the disabled in Egypt are granted representation in parliament, which the Egyptian movement to empower people with disabilities is seeking to achieve through its We love Egypt list.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 28

Hamas struggling with emerging Islamist parties

Hamas has allowed some Salafist organizations to openly carry out their activities while trying to shut down others.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 28

Reassessing consequences of occupation in Iraq

According to interviews conducted by Al-Monitor, the British and US occupations of Iraq might, arguably, have positive repercussions on the country.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 27

Egypt names hard-core soccer fans as terror group

In an arguably unconstitutional ruling, an Egyptian court has banned the Ultras soccer fan clubs as terrorist organizations.
Read more»

 Emily Crane for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 27

Israelis use technology to battle government corruption

On the backdrop of the recent exposure of several serious alleged corruption affairs, former minister Michael Eitan argues that social networks and technology are changing public norms and pressuring elected officials to respect the rule of law.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 26

AKP claims God is on its side

Liberals and others should be concerned about AKP rhetoric proclaiming that God, the nation and history is on its side and that a vote for an opposing party is the mark of an infidel.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on May 26

What happened to the Abu Dhabi Film Festival?

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival has been unexpectedly canceled, begging questions about the reasons behind the decision and its impact on the film industry in the region.
Read more»

 Joseph Fahim for Al-Monitor on May 27

Is Islamic State 'secondary priority' for Saudi Arabia?

Riyadh is preoccupied with the military campaign in Yemen; Velayati tells Lebanese officials there will be no deal on Assad; the Turkish opposition party is under attack ahead of June 7 elections.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 24

Secular Jews rediscover Jewish heritage

Tel Aviv council member Mickey Gitzin explains how secular Jews have created their own narratives and celebrations in regard to the Feast of Weeks celebration on May 23-24.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 24

Egypt Nile water pollution on the rise

Egypt’s Nile water pollution rates are alarming, and people and natural life are being affected, while the efforts on the part of the government to fix the situation remain questionable.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 22

Jibril Rajoub confident FIFA will vote on expelling Israel

FIFA’s general assembly will convene on May 29 and may vote on removing Israel from the world soccer association, in a step Palestinians see as a major progress in the nonviolent efforts to call out Israel for its ongoing violations against Palestinian sports.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 22

Return of 175 Iranian bodies from Iraq stirs painful memories

Iranians shared pictures of Iranian divers from the Iran-Iraq War after Iranian officials reported that the bodies of 175 divers who were reportedly buried alive in the war were returned to Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 21

Turkish NGO helps mothers return to work

Turkish women are poorly represented in the workforce, but a new foundation aims to change that.
Read more»

 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 24

Media mogul declares his 'masculine love' to Erdogan

Stiff competition among AKP partisans for extreme manifestations of adoration for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are rewarded in pre-election season.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 22

Turkey can’t part with currency zeroes

Though Turkey wiped off six zeroes from its currency a decade ago, politicians stick to old figures, hoping for a stronger propaganda impact in the run-up to general elections.
Read more»

 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 21

Sisi's call for religious tolerance divides Muslims

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's call for religious tolerance has been interpreted differently by Salafists, Al-Azhar scholars and secular critics.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 26

New museum to honor Palestinian history, culture

The new Palestinian Museum under construction in the West Bank will honor the country’s heritage through history and art exhibits.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 25

Draft law pushes equal opportunity in Egypt

Social status and upbringing trump qualifications in obtaining positions in the Egyptian judiciary, Foreign Ministry, and police force.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 26

Damaged gas cylinders become another threat to Gazans

In addition to other hardships suffered by Palestinians, damaged gas cylinder explosions are claiming the lives of citizens in Gaza who are unaware of their risks.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 24

Arab Israeli coed marathon canceled after threats

The struggle to hold a coed marathon in Tira exposed the clash in Arab Israeli society between increasing liberalization and traditional religiosity.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 21

Kurds abandon AKP

Thousands of pious Kurds, including entire tribes, have parted ways with the AKP, convinced that it has no real intention of reconciling with the Kurds.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on May 20

Attacks on Syrians in Turkey increasing

Increasing numbers of Turks are angered over the social and economic consequence of Turkey hosting some 2 million Syrian refugees.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on May 20

Khamenei orders schooling for all Afghan children in Iran

Iran's supreme leader has ordered that all Afghan children in Iran, regardless of their residency status, be schooled.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 19

Censorship issues raised at Tehran book fair

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has harshly criticized book censorship in Iran, but existing laws confine his administration.
Read more»

 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 19

Israel debates ethics of IDF during Gaza war

An NGO report has stirred controversy in Israel over the behavior of IDF soldiers during the Gaza war and the policies of the military forces.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 19

Are European nations discriminating against Syrian refugees?

During a meeting between Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Bassil mentioned that some European countries are selecting Syrian refugees to move from Lebanon to Europe based on educational and religious standards.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on May 19

Palestinians work to keep Nakba memory alive

Few Palestinian institutions and individuals are working on preserving the memories and stories of refugees who lived through the Nakba in 1948, in the absence of an official national project.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 19

Film festival opens amid Gaza's ruins

Children and residents from the Shajaiyah neighborhood in Gaza, which suffered mass destruction and massacres during the 2014 war, attended the Karama Human Rights Film Festival, featuring poignant movies about the tragedies.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on May 19

Iran women's magazine forced to close

A prominent Iranian magazine dedicated to women's issues has been suspended over accusations that it promotes unmarried cohabitation.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 18

Struggle of Negev region against layoffs

The well-connected employees of Israel Chemicals have succeeded in making waves against a layoff plan, but there's little correlation between their struggle and the socio-economic problems of the Negev residents.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 18

Iraqis use social media to pressure government

Iraqis are making sure social networking sites can be used to mobilize the public and express opinions against political events and decisions.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 19

Morocco’s Amazighs still feel marginalized

It has been four years since the Amazigh language was officially recognized by the Moroccan Constitution, but there is still no law in place to guarantee the cultural minority’s rights.
Read more»

 Imad Stitou for Al-Monitor on May 18

Egyptian atheists launch web video series

An Egyptian couple regularly transform their bedroom into a studio to produce an online TV program on atheism.
Read more»

Ahmed Ateyya for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 18

Semolina halva unites Turks in times of joy, sorrow

Semolina halva, a centuries-old dessert of the Levant, serves a social function that brings together families, friends and neighbors in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 18

The story behind Palestine's canonized nuns

The Vatican has lifted Palestinian spirits with its recognition of the state of Palestine, canonization of two Palestinian nuns and reference to President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace.”
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 18

Egypt struggles to prevent animal cruelty

The torture and killing of animals by residents and security forces are widespread in Egypt, but animal rights associations have insufficient funding to spread awareness about the importance of animals and how to deal with them.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 21

Iranian dissident praises Rouhani's health care reform

Dr. Mehdi Khazali, an Iranian political dissident, says that health care reform is the one place that the Hassan Rouhani administration has made improvements.
Read more»

 Behdad Bordbar for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 21

Gaza writers lose out as culture becomes afterthought

Difficult living conditions and lack of funding or royalties have discouraged Gaza's novelists.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 15

Lebanon's last synagogue

A small community of around 200 Jews remain in Lebanon but feel increasingly isolated.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on May 15

Palestinian youths speak out on occupation, corruption

Palestinian university students express their despair over a life of humiliation at checkpoints and a lack of credible leadership at home, warning that many of their colleagues are already preparing for an uprising.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 17

Iraq tries to improve human rights through education

Although the Ministry of Education and the Commission on Human Rights in Qadisiyah province are working to introduce human rights principles in schools, the project lacks much-needed support from the state.
Read more»

 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 17

First street protest by Turkey's Armenians

Armenians in Turkey are becoming increasingly politicized, as shown in recent protests over the demolition of Armenian orphanage Camp Armen, which housed slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 17

Turkey's poverty figures look bad for ruling AKP

Turkey’s ruling party, under opposition fire for failing to combat poverty, took a fresh blow in the run-up to elections as official statistics put 22.4% of Turkish households below the poverty line.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 15

Pro-AKP TV shows face dwindling audiences

Pro-AKP dramas are failing miserably in cinemas and on TV.
Read more»

 Emre Kizilkaya for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 17

Freezing of soccer star's funds unites Egyptians in protest

The decision to freeze the funds of Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Aboutrika for his alleged affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood has raised the ire of Egyptians regardless of political leaning.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 15

Secular Jews launch Sabbath bus service in Jerusalem

Young residents of Jerusalem have created a solution to the lack of public transportation in the city on Saturdays by establishing a private cooperative bus system.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 15

Turkey's election system becomes graveyard for political parties

More than 90 political parties are currently active in Turkey, but the 10% electoral threshold means that the upcoming parliamentary polls will be a race between four of them.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 14

Egypt sets tourism target for 2020

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism is seeking to attract 20 million tourists by 2020 following setbacks in the sector due to security and political instability.
Read more»

 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 19

Egyptian law could imprison refugees, asylum seekers

Egypt is in close coordination with Europe and is moving in the direction to clamp down on irregular migrants and human smugglers who would be criminalized for the first time in Egyptian law should the said migration law be implemented.
Read more»

 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 14

Hamas-Fatah divide cripples Palestine’s judiciary

Efforts to reach a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah have failed, and the dichotomy separating judiciaries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is growing.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 14

Babil’s Jewish shrine, mosque share space

The tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel, located next to a mosque in Kifl, Babil, is a site of both controversy and religious coexistence.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 14

Holocaust's use as political tool divides Israelis

Alongside a serious discourse in Israel on the Holocaust, there also exists a populist discourse that makes use of the Holocaust to the point of seeming contempt.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 13

Services improve under IS in Mosul

Some say there is a silver lining to the Islamic State’s takeover of Mosul in Iraq, namely an improvement in services, in an apparent attempt by the group to gain legitimacy and garner the support of Mosul residents.
Read more»

 Saleh Elias for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 13

Muslims, Christians clash over 'Martyrs' Church' construction

Pending an official ruling on laws governing the building of churches in Egypt, local religious communities have taken matters into their own hands, underscoring tensions between Christians and Muslims in the country.
Read more»

 Muhammad Ghamrawy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 13

Israeli High Court authorizes Jerusalem Day march

Despite objections, the Israeli High Court has authorized right-wing activists to hold the annual Jerusalem Day Flag Parade.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 13

Gazans scavenge for food, recyclables

In light of the dire economic conditions generated by the Israeli siege, Gazans search for food to eat and recyclables to sell.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 13

Ultra-Orthodox returning to higher education

Over the past few years, young ultra-Orthodox Jews have been entering academia in large numbers, a phenomenon that is transforming the ultra-Orthodox community and its relations with Israeli society at large.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 12

Netanyahu, Herzog battle over Israeli press

Netanyahu's schedule, as well as newly revealed sections of the coalition agreements, attest to the fact that the prime minister attributes paramount importance to his control of the media.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 11

Erdogan spins Kurdish Quran as political tool

The first Kurdish-language Quran published by Turkey’s state-run Religious Affairs Directorate has provoked a political outcry ahead of general elections in June.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 8

Egypt’s Tamarod outlives its purpose

The legitimacy and relevance of Egypt’s Tamarod movement are being called into question now that the movement seems to have achieved its goals, mainly the overthrow of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 8

Gaza's youth protesters remain divided

Young people in the Gaza Strip have long struggled to coalesce around one central demand in their protests against the dire living conditions since Hamas took over.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on May 8

Classical singer claims performance ban in Iran

Iran’s most famous classical singer says he was banned from performing in Iran over his criticism of the 2009 protest crackdown.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 7

Doner kebab: late-night snack becomes haute cuisine

More commonly encountered at a corner stand after a night out, doner kebab is now served with new condiments at fine-dining restaurants in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 7

Haifa's Arab theater shocked by uproar over play

“A Parallel Time,” at Al-Midan Theater in Haifa, has sparked an outcry amid allegations that the play glorifies an alleged terrorist.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 7

Egypt's independent media outlets face closures

A dip in profits is pushing Egyptian media institutions to become government mouthpieces, negatively impacting their content.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 7

Syria's last bookstores

Amid increasingly difficult conditions in war-ridden Syria, bookstores are a dying breed.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on May 10

Gaza's honey production slows to a drizzle

Beekeepers in Gaza are currently experiencing a low in honey production due to the latest Israeli war on Gaza, during which the Israeli army destroyed vast agricultural lands.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 11

Babylon awaits tourists' return

Cultural authorities are trying to revive tourism to Iraq's Babil, historic Babylon, after years of neglect and destruction in the area.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 8

Islamic loans give Gaza's women chance to survive poverty

Poverty and unemployment have pushed many women to become the source of income to their families, thus seeking to open their own enterprises through Islamic loans.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 7

Ultra-Orthodox start to join 'startup nation'

Six high-tech startups by ultra-Orthodox Israelis, some of them women, were selected by the Kamatech accelerator project for mentorship and funding assistance.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 7

Restrictions on Iraq's displaced people worsen Shiite-Sunni divide

Discrimination against Sunnis by Shiites is rampant in Iraq, raising distrust between Sunni and Shiite communities and aggravating the situation of internally displaced people.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on May 6

Gaza movie theaters remain shuttered

Movie experts and officials are calling on the Gaza Ministry of Culture to reopen the movie theaters that were closed down during the first intifada.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 6

Restricted by Israeli boats, Gaza resorts to fish farms

Israel prevents Gaza’s fishermen from going too far from shore to fish pushing consumers to buy from fish farms at lower prices.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 5

Ultra-Orthodox celebrate Lapid's defeat

The ultra-Orthodox hope that joining the government will restore the funding stripped from the budget and annul military reforms introduced by former Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 5

Who is bombing Egypt's electricity towers?

The recurrent targeting of electricity towers in Egypt has increased accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood, which has wide control within the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, as some claim that they are working with terrorist groups against the current regime.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 5

Saudi re-reshuffle turning point for relations with Tehran

King Salman's recent reshuffling of key positions and statements by the grand mufti and Iran's supreme leader point to strife between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on May 5

'Lost generation' of Ethiopian-Israelis protest in Tel Aviv

The violent demonstrations of Ethiopian-Israelis is a signal to the leadership that the community will not take any more discrimination or abuse.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 4

Palestinian soccer chairman asks FIFA to suspend Israel

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Palestinian Soccer Association Chairman Jibril Rajoub accuses Israel of harassing Palestinian soccer by preventing the free movement of players and the importation of equipment.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 4

Switch to digital television faces bumpy road in Palestine

As the date to move Palestinian TV frequencies from analogue to digital is approaching, concerned parties and ministries are worried about potential issues including interference by Israeli authorities and costs for poorer families.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 4

Iran cancels popular sitcom for mocking country's hospitals

A TV comedy highlighting and mocking many of the problems of Iranian health care has been canceled after complaints from a medical association.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 6

Bennett to advance Judaism, not democracy, in education system

Future Education Minister Naftali Bennett is likely to advance his own ultra-Orthodox perceptions of Jewish heritage at the expense of democratic values and pluralism in Judaism.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 4

Armenians refocus on reparations after genocide anniversary

Turkey’s Armenian issue will grow even more complicated with the anticipated demands from Yerevan and the Armenian diaspora for compensation and restitution of property.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on May 4

PA isolates West Bank camps

The PA’s crackdown on West Bank refugee camps and withholding of aid is adding to the marginalization of the youth.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 4

Iran's water crisis reaches critical levels

Iran's political leadership must move quickly, and non-ideologically, to resolve the current water use crisis and avoid the possibility of mass migrations.
Read more»

 Bijan Khajehpour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 1

Anbar’s displaced Sunnis not safe from sectarianism

The wars in Iraq and the policies adopted after 2003 imposed new sectarian borders on the citizens, which are difficult to overcome in times of humanitarian crises.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 1

Palestinian women sew to survive

Struggling to make ends meet, the women of Gaza sew painstakingly detailed embroidery work for small profits.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on May 3

Settlements threaten Palestine’s historic sites

Violations carried out by Israeli settlers are destroying historic sites in Palestine in what many see as an attempt to bury Palestinian historic and cultural heritage.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 3

Gaza university launches programs for hearing-impaired

The Islamic University in Gaza has introduced two diploma programs for hearing-impaired students, a first in the territory.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 30

Ancient market at heart of modern Baghdad

The Iraqi capital's ancient and well-preserved Shorja market has long been a meeting point for Iraqis and a barometer of the political and economic situation in the country.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 30

Start with Libya to combat illegal migration

Following the tragic drowning of Libyans trying to flee the country, efforts by the international community to curb this phenomenon in Libya seems to have become indispensable.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on April 30

Fast food booms in Gaza

Gaza's restaurant sector is thriving as residents flock to one of the few available diversions.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 1

Iran targets 'MI6 Shiites'

The Iranian government is engaged in a media offensive against the Shiite Shirazi movement, which runs a broadcasting network to spread its message.
Read more»

 Arash Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 4

Is Erdogan signaling end of secularism in Turkey?

The Religious Affairs Directorate has become the center of the election campaign in Turkey, causing further social discord.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 29

Self-proclaimed Liberland attracts Egyptian youth

Egypt’s young generation is hanging by a thread, but Liberland has given the youth some hope amid mounting instability and high unemployment rates in the country.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 29

Beirut House, a Lebanese heritage symbol

The Barakat house, a residential structure first constructed in the 1920s, is being restored as Beit Beirut, a cultural center that will honor the city's heritage.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on May 5

Saving Israeli vultures

Vultures have existed in the Holy Land since biblical times, and Israel is investing considerable resources to save the local population from extinction due to urban development, hunting and poisoning.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 29

Israel's spy recruitment puts Gazans in tough spot

Gaza security services have been receiving complaints submitted by citizens who have been blackmailed or threatened by Israeli security and intelligence officers to work for them as informants.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 29

Arab youth use social media to send message of peace to Israel

Youths from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other Arab countries are sending messages via Facebook declaring that they do not hate Israel and expressing hope for better relations.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 29

Iran's tourism industry scrambles to catch up with demand

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani improves relations with the West, Iranian officials announce they will build more hotels to meet the expected demand of foreign tourists.
Read more»

Farahmand Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 1

Saudi Arabia’s Islamist-liberal divide

The Saudi regime needs to tend to internal divisions in the kingdom and scale back its interventionism in the region to improve its prospects for long-term stability.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on April 28

Iran official warns water crisis could lead to mass migration

The adviser for water, agricultural and environment to Iran’s vice president warns that if Iran doesn't cut its water exploitation in half, the country could see a mass exodus.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 28

Salma Hayek's Lebanese dream comes true

In an interview with An-Nahar, Salma Hayek talks about her excitement in coming to Lebanon, the country of her ancestors, and the movie that she produced, “Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet.”
Read more»

Translated from Al-Nahar (Lebanon) on April 30

Israel airlifts surrogates, babies from Nepal

Israel is scrambling to bring home babies born to surrogate mothers in disaster-stricken Nepal, while its LGBT citizens are calling for surrogacy options in their own country.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 28

PLO fails to address Yarmouk crisis

The crisis in the Yarmouk refugee camp, which emerged after the Islamic State took control of the camp, reveals the weakness of the PLO, as the responsible party to handle the situation of Palestinian refugees around the world.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 28

After 15 years some Palestinian doctors now drive into Israel

An Israeli decision permitting Palestinian doctors to drive across checkpoints and enter Israel comes as part of a series of Israeli moves to ease the travel restrictions.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 28

Egypt struggles to cope with bird flu

The current number of reported H5N1 cases in Egypt bode ill, given the government's less than stellar track record of dealing with previous outbreaks.
Read more»

 Alexander Liddington-Cox for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 29

Hamas sweeps student council elections in West Bank

The victory of Hamas in the West Bank university elections seems to indicate that support there is waning for the Palestinian Authority and Fatah.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 28

Rouhani: Police should not enforce Islam

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized by conservative clerics for saying the police should enforce the law rather than Islam.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 27

Turks protest prison term for woman who killed her rapist

A Turkish woman who murdered and beheaded her rapist has been sentenced to life in prison, prompting activists to decry the Turkish justice system, which so often offers leniency to men and harshly punishes women for the same crimes.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 27

Kurds pay respects to Armenians

Most of the massacres during the Armenian genocide were carried out in today's southeastern Turkey, often by Kurdish militias, but today Kurds commemorate the genocide in Diyarbakir.
Read more»

Fréderike Geerdink for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 27

Fewer flags fly on Israel's Independence Day

The Israeli left is divided over whether to display flags on Independence Day, with some feeling that this national symbol has been commandeered by the right and no longer stands for what they believe in.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 27

Israeli High Court upholds anti-boycott law

By defending a law sanctioning calls for economic, cultural or academic boycotts involving Israel, the Israeli High Court endorsed extending Israeli law over the West Bank while also damaging freedom of speech.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 27

Iraq's Gypsy communities face discrimination

Iraq’s Gypsy communities must lead clandestine lives to avoid persecution by the wider society in Iraq, particularly at the hands of religious extremists and conservatives.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 27

Protest law stops Cairo band from playing free shows in metro

Egyptian transit officials have made it difficult for the student band Metro Tune to brighten train riders’ days with performances of popular folk songs.
Read more»

Miriam Berger for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 27

Divorced women in Gaza denied custody rights

Divorcees in Gaza face social marginalization when they refuse to relinquish their children to fathers they deem unfit to raise them.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 27

Should Saudi Arabia test Iran’s offer of diplomacy on Yemen?

Iranian officials offer diplomatic initiative and warnings on Yemen; book burning in Giza; Kremlin ignored Israeli objections on missile system sale to Iran; Russian "soft power" in the Middle East.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on April 26

'Unnatural' porn becomes ticket to jail in Turkey

The Constitutional Court’s decision to ban pornography featuring “unnatural sexual behavior” has confounded Turkey and provoked average people to speak out about sex.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 24

Turkish pilgrims to Jerusalem face backlash

Turkey’s Department of Religious Affairs elicited protests from an unexpected quarter when it added Jerusalem to its Umrah pilgrimage.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 24

Beirut's little Armenia keeps tradition alive

People of Armenian descent living in Lebanon strive to preserve their culture, working in traditional sectors and passing down their heritage to the younger generations.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on April 24

Morocco's disappearing movie theaters

Despite booming movie production, action is needed to save what is left of the Morocco's old movie palaces.
Read more»

Translated from TelQuel (Morocco) on April 24

Ultra-Orthodox oppose conscription, not the IDF

Despite the wide ultra-Orthodox objection to their conscription into military service, attitudes vary within the sector, ranging from total rejection to support and appreciation for the IDF.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 24

Armenian genocide anniversary divides Lebanese Cabinet

Sunni and Christian factions in Lebanon are unable to agree on whether to observe the centennial of the Armenian genocide.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on April 24

Syriacs urge Turkey to recognize massacres

Turkey’s Syriacs are for the first time holding protests to urge Ankara to acknowledge the massacres of Syriacs in 1915, which proceeded along with the mass killings of Armenians.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 23

White House omits 'G-word'

The Obama administration speaks obliquely of the “1915 atrocities” that “extinguished” 1.5 million lives — without saying who was responsible for the killing.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on April 23

How the AKP subdues Turkey's universities

The new dictum in Turkish universities is not “publish or perish,” as at US universities, but “be pro-AKP or perish.”
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on April 23

Bedouin honor IDF service, mourn fallen soldiers

Bedouin youths continue to demonstrate their commitment to Israel by enlisting, despite growing tensions with Jewish society as the demolition of Bedouin homes continues.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 23

Egyptians confront cyber sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in Egypt has moved from the streets to the Internet, as more women and men are being harassed online.
Read more»

 Amr Abdelatty for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 26

Gaza's dying bamboo crafts industry

Handmade bamboo furniture, which is part of the Palestinian identity, is endangered as the financial crisis is worsening in Gaza.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 26

Gaza women shed veil, spark conversation

Journalist Razan Madhoon has stirred debate about religiosity in the Gaza Strip by posting pictures of herself unveiled on Facebook.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on April 23

Controversy surrounds alleged violations by Shiite forces in Tikrit

Contradictory assertions have Iraqis divided on whether members of the Popular Mobilization Units are guilty of allegations that they looted and destroyed property in Tikrit during and after the city's liberation from the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 23

Social divide widens between West Bank, Gaza Strip

The inequitable distribution of resources and political and social opportunities between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is deepening the rift between the two territories, feeding people’s growing dissatisfaction on each side.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 22

Egypt's religious book burning backfires

The Ministry of Education official responsible for burning several books in the yard of a Giza school defended herself to Al-Monitor and asserted that she operated under the direction of the ministry and security agencies.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 22

Shiite militias' role in Anbar fight unclear

Although Shiite militia forces were withdrawn from the fight for Ramadi, they remain present and active in other areas of Anbar province.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on April 22

Erdogan's carefully crafted 'authenticity'

After a short film promoting the commemoration of the Battle of Gallipoli was broadcast across Turkey, the Turkish media is buzzing with discussion, with many upset over what they see as the president’s blatant manipulation of military history for political gain.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 22

Turkey’s Circassians in uproar over alphabet

Turkey’s largest Circassian organization is infuriated by a government decision to introduce the Latin alphabet in Circassian language courses in public schools, alongside the Cyrillic one.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 22

Israelis use social media to show solidarity with bereaved families

Social networks have enhanced within Israeli society's expressions of solidarity with bereaved families, but could also create space for those who wish to undermine the hegemony of national bereavement and national remembrance.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 23

Do Israeli national symbols sideline Arab citizens?

Arab Israeli TV host Lucy Aharish will light Israel's Independence Day beacon, a move some see as honoring the spirit of Israel's founding but others consider a fiction or an affront.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 22

Iranian women campaign for entry to sporting events

While there was conflicting news that Iran is considering passing a law to allow women into sporting events, there has long been objection to women in stadiums by conservatives.
Read more»

 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 21

Facebook group shares checkpoint wait in real time

Thousands of Palestinians are using Facebook to share traffic updates to help each other avoid spending hours every day waiting to drive through Israeli checkpoints.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 21

Gaza’s bookstores struggle

With the purchasing power of Gazans on the skids, people are reading less, and some libraries and book shops are barely scraping by and others are closing down.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 22

Saudi elites divided on Yemen war

A brief survey of Saudi opinion reveals that many elites consider Operation Decisive Storm a legitimate attempt to halt Iranian expansionism, while some view the intervention in Yemen as a sectarian war.
Read more»

 Bader al-Rashed for Al-Monitor on April 21

Israelis devastated by each soldier's death

Israelis have accepted to a certain degree the fact that they are in constant war, with civilians often paying the price, but find it difficult to come to terms with soldiers being killed.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 21

Israelis mark Independence, Nakba Day

While the initiative to jointly mark both Israeli Independence Day and Nakba Day has been maintained for several years now, it remains confined to a small segment of the public, with the Arab sector feeling increasingly alienated by the Jewish population.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 20

Iranians protest killing of stray dogs

After a video surfaced online showing the killing of stray dogs using cruel methods, Iranians held protests across various cities.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 20

Istanbul Film Festival rejects PKK documentary

The Turkish Ministry of Culture is facing strong protests from the film industry over its censorship of Kurdish themes.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 20

KRG looks to enhance protection of women, children

Kurdish activists and government agencies have submitted draft laws to amend the law on domestic violence but critics question whether it will be enforced.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 20

Palestine’s empty breadbasket

The Jordan Valley, once considered Palestine’s most fertile area, has been taken over by Israeli settlers who have barred Palestinians from using the land.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 20

Restitution of Armenian property remains unresolved

Some Turkish scholars have documented that the expropriation of Armenian property was a systematic and integral part of the genocide that began in 1915.
Read more»

 Susanne Güsten for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 20

Tainted Russian wheat resurfaces in Egypt

The dangerously low-quality wheat imported from Russia that plagued Egypt during the Mubarak era has returned to the country, which recently identified 25,000 tons destined for Egyptian bread.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 20

Iran's housing bubble

Housing prices in Iran have significantly dropped since mid-2013, most notably in Tehran, where pollution and traffic cause families to move to the suburbs and countryside, while young urbanites seek smaller housing units.
Read more»

 Bijan Khajehpour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 19

What does Armenian diaspora want?

Portrayed as a unified obstruction group by Turkey, the diverse Armenian diaspora is eager to keep communication channels open with Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 17

Iraqi teachers resort to abuse of students

With poor to absent government supervision and education policies, Iraq’s educational system seems to be stuck in the past.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 17

New Arab MK jockeys for influence on women's issues, budget

Aida Tuma, one of two Arab women newly elected to the Knesset, told Al-Monitor that her bloc is striving to effect change by securing influential seats on major committees.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 17

'Ugly Israeli' goes viral

A series of videos recently spreading in the media show aggressive and rude Israelis on flights, in shops and at hotels.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 17

Soleimani emerges as unifying figure for Iranians

While Iran's religious and nationalist groups have been at odds over various issues since the 1979 revolution, increasing tensions with Saudi Arabia and wide adoration for Quds Force Cmdr. Qasem Soleimani have largely united the two camps.
Read more»

Farahmand Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 17

AKP readies diversion as genocide anniversary nears

Under the Justice and Development Party, Turkey has refused to face the Armenian question and is instead working to redirect the world's attention.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on April 16

Disabled Turks protest benefit cuts

A legal amendment cutting financial support for people with disabilities has sparked a wave of protests in Turkey, with a big demonstration scheduled for May outside parliament.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 16

Housing shortage and demolitions push Israeli Arabs to brink

Following the destruction of homes built illegally in Arab settlements, some Israeli Arabs are threatening a general strike.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 16

Qaradaghi: We support action against Houthis

In this interview with Al-Monitor, the secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Ali Mohiuddin Al Qaradaghi, shares the union’s relations to Hamas, views on Operation Decisive Storm and other Muslim affairs.
Read more»

 Hassan Obeid for Al-Monitor on April 19

Lebanese driver shares story of his Nusra captivity

Fifty Lebanese truck drivers found themselves stuck in the middle of the firing range between the FSA and Jabhat al-Nusra on the one hand, and the regime forces on the other on the Jordanian-Syrian border, as eight of them were taken by Jabhat al-Nusra and one of them was able to convey their story to An-Nahar.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Nahar (Lebanon) on April 16

Iraq's brain drain continues

The lack of security and the poor economy are forcing many young Iraqis to think about emigrating to the West, even if illegally.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 19

Egypt strikes Islamic texts from schools, angering Salafists

The Egyptian Ministry of Education has decided to remove some Islamic texts that it says incite violence and extremism from school curricula in a move Salafists decry as an attempt to distort history.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 16

Turkey commemorates Holocaust, ignores Armenian issue

Istanbul commemorated Jewish musicians who continued to create even when persecuted by the Nazis, in a ceremony reflecting the Turkish policy line of tolerance vis-a-vis minorities, as long as the question of Armenian genocide is not raised.
Read more»

 Arad Nir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 16

Saudi airport incident incites social media outrage in Iran

Iranian social media users have erupted in anger over the two Iranian pilgrims allegedly assaulted in Saudi Arabia, prompting calls for calm from journalists.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 15

Turkish soldiers target villagers' mules

Mules belonging to villagers living in the sensitive Uludere area have been shot by the Turkish military in its fight against what the state defines as smuggling and the locals see as legitimate trade over the Iraqi border.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 15

Gaza play reflects humanitarian, social impact of latest war

The play "Al-Qafas," which addresses the humanitarian crisis after the war in 2014 and exposes the parties that took advantage of the people’s suffering for their own interests, is playing in Gaza and has gained popularity.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on April 15

Christian evacuees mourn Idlib

Idlib’s Christians have been the target of mounting attacks as Jabhat al-Nusra eyes their cities for its Islamic emirate, killing and expelling minorities to realize its goals.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on April 17

Soleimani: No more selfies

Commander of Iran's Quds Force Qasem Soleimani has written an open letter asking that a film about him not be produced and for officials to stop the "exaggeration" about him on social media.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 14

AKP's stance on Armenians worries Christians

The AKP's initial attempts to normalize with Armenia had melted some of the frost with the region's Christians. But Arab uprisings where Christians were targeted by radical groups supported by Turkey shattered that positive atmosphere.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 14

Seeking Internet access, Syrians turn to Turkey's wireless network

Wireless networks from Turkey are spreading in opposition-controlled neighborhoods in Aleppo, with cheap prices compared with local Internet services that are regularly disrupted.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 14

Aleppo's Christians face rising violence

The recent happenings in Syria are far from promising as conflicts intensify and fighting increases.
Read more»

Edward Dark for Al-Monitor on April 15

Belgian delegation expresses support for Assad

A Belgian parliamentary delegation, which met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on March 24, said that Assad is "protecting Christian cities and Christians from fundamentalist attacks."
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on April 17

Turkey angered by pope's use of 'G-word’

Turkey also now worries that US President Barack Obama will follow Pope Francis and address the issue of the Armenian genocide 100 years ago.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on April 13

Iran suspends Saudi pilgrimages over youth assault allegations

After assault accusations of Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, Iran has suspended umrah pilgrimages.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 13

Turkish students' Jedi temple protest

Students in Turkey are mobilizing anonymously by using clever online petition tools to advocate for the construction of Buddhist and Jedi temples on campus.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 14

Public transport on Shabbat becomes political dispute

Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz is catering to right-wing religious voters by opposing a bill allowing public transportation on Saturdays, ignoring the poor people who depend on such services.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 13

Syriacs commemorate their massacre

While the world prepares to commemorate what has become known as the Armenian genocide, the Syriacs are still struggling for international recognition of the massacre of members of their community in 1915.
Read more»

 Susanne Güsten for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 12

Two trampled at massive ultra-Orthodox funeral

Ultra-Orthodox are eager to fulfill the spiritual act of accompanying the deceased on his last journey, but the massively attended funeral of Rabbi Halevi-Wosner entailed the trampling to death of two students in attendance.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 10

Egyptian activist accuses Sisi of following in Mubarak’s footsteps

Human rights activist and lawyer Khalid Ali tells Al-Monitor that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime is bowing to the conditions of global financial institutions to shore up his own position.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 10

Smuggled Palestinian prison literature gains outside audience

Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons go to great lengths to pass on their artistic work to the outside, with some prisoners' work gaining widespread attention.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on April 12

Divorce in Gaza comes at steep price

In Gaza, a woman can opt to divorce by khula, whereby she financially compensates the husband.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 13

Israel literature prize stirs debate over Mizrahi discrimination

The announcement that Erez Biton was to be awarded the Israel Prize for Literature and Poetry generated a debate over his Mizrahi (Sephardic) origins rather than his poetry.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 9

Gazans' unpaid salaries cause rise in social tensions

The continuing Gaza government employee salary crisis is causing increased social issues for those affected, with debts accumulating fast and heads of households suffering socially.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 10

Egypt’s antiquities under constant threat

Archaeologists complain of a devastating and ongoing security failure as violations of Egypt’s most famous sites continue.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 10

Radicalized Western mothers lead children into Islamic State

Many Western women have joined the Islamic State, often bringing their children along with them to Syria, where they train and go to school.
Read more»

 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 13

West Bank boycotts six Israeli companies

The Palestinian boycott of Israeli products sold in the West Bank might help strengthen the Palestinian economy, and draw the world’s attention to the Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 9

Palestinian Christians resist Israeli conscription

Efforts by the Israel Defense Forces to recruit Christian Palestinian youths have raised the ire of Palestinians, who accuse the Orthodox Patriarchate of cooperating with Israel.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 9

Lebanon's first sexologist

Sandrine Atallah is working to raise awareness of sexuality and sexual health in a country that often shies away from such topics.
Read more»

 Sophie Chamas for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on April 9

New Joint List MK: Israel discriminates against Arabs

In an interview with Al-Monitor, newly elected Knesset member Yousef Jabareen says that the State of Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens in regard to religious and educational services, land allocation and development budgets.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 8

Syrian radio station examines role of women in war

With a series of special programming, Radio Souriat has focused its listeners on UN Resolution 1325, which advocates for empowering women.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 8

Hungry bears threaten Turkey's villages

Starving bears have been ravaging cemeteries in Turkey, digging up and devouring the dead and forcing villagers to place barbed wire around tombs.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 10

What is behind UAE deportation of Lebanese nationals?

Although UAE authorities maintain that the recent decision to deport dozens of Lebanese nationals was made over security concerns, others believe that political alignments may have played a role.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on April 7

Turkish justice 'sledgehammered'

The Sledgehammer coup case, which has ended with the acquittal of all defendants, inflicted enormous damage on Turkey’s justice system, judiciary and military, while failing to eliminate the danger of military coups.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on April 6

Armenian singer Hayko Cepkin climbs to fame in Turkey

The generation growing up in the “New Turkey” has found in a Turkish Armenian rock musician the minstrel of their existential malaise.
Read more»

 Piero Castellano for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 6

The Islamic State's child soldiers

The Islamic State has been recruiting child soldiers for quite some time now, and the world is finally taking notice.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on April 3

New Ethiopian Knesset member prioritizes immigrant community

Likud's Avraham Negusie, newly sworn in to the Knesset, promises in an interview with Al-Monitor to fight for Jews from Ethiopia, saying, “There shouldn’t be economic considerations of who is more expensive than the other. That’s not the Zionist ideal.”
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 3

Iraqi cinema finds new direction

Iraq’s film industry has long been stunted by a lack of funding and governmental restrictions, but young and energetic directors and producers are working to turn it around.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 3

Iraqi residents denied return to town seized from IS

Some four months after being retaken from Islamic State fighters, Jalawla, in the Kurdistan region, remains uninhabited and divided among peshmerga, Shiite militias and Asayish, with residents awaiting resolution of who will ultimately control it.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on April 2

The Erdogans' lavish lifestyle

Attempts to alter the image of lavish spending at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace backfired when the unprecedented high price of the white tea consumed at the palace was revealed.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 2

Iraqis turn to social media for IS coverage

Iraqis are shunning broadcast and print media in favor of social networking sites to spread and follow news about the fighting against the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 2

Turkish military calls off war on headscarves, beards

Following a landmark court ruling, Turkey's military leaders have eased the strict rules governing the appearance of civilians entering military bases and other areas.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 1

Ninevah monastery hopes for liberation

Past regular visitors to St. George's Monastery, north of Mosul, have been saddened and horrified by the acts of destruction by Islamic State members at the site.
Read more»

 Saleh Elias for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 3

Iraq's Rambo fights against IS

An Iraqi fighter who goes by the name "Abu Azrael" has been made into a legendary, fierce Shiite fighter by the Iraqi media in its coverage of the battle against the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 31

Is 'Erdoganism' threat to Turkey's Islamism?

Some commentators in Turkey’s Islamist movement are increasingly worried by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ongoing accumulation of power and the fervor of his followers.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on March 30

Turkey's Ottoman-era aphrodisiacs

The all-natural "Turkish Viagra" and other love potions found in Istanbul's markets are now an international commodity.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on March 30

Turkish-Armenian conflict rears its head in Lebanon

Lebanon has been invited to the Armenian Genocide Centennial in Yerevan, as well as to the commemoration of the Battle of Gallipoli in Ankara, which will both be held on the same day, thus raising questions about Lebanon’s stance regarding the 1915 Armenian massacres.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on March 30

Rafah in dire need of central hospital

Activists have begun a campaign calling for construction of a bigger hospital in Gaza's Rafah, where the only hospital has been unable to meet the needs of the residents in times of peace and war.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 30

Al-Monitor highlights diversity of Islamic feminism

Al-Monitor’s monthlong series on women concludes; Lebanese foreign minister appeals to UN Security Council for protection of Christians; members of Congress seek "formal dialogue" on future of Turkish democracy; the fault lines in Aleppo; have Israeli elections sparked long-stalled Palestinian reconciliation?; Ali Hashem profiles self-proclaimed Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on March 29

Lebanese foreign minister: UN needs to show its political will

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil asked for the international community to stop the flight of Christians and minorities from the region.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 27

Gallipoli centenary marks another snub for Turkish minorities

Hundreds of non-Muslim soldiers killed in the Gallipoli campaign 100 years ago were ignored in elaborate centenary observances.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 27

Egypt imposes new restrictions on tourist visas

Citing national security, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry will no longer issue visas to individual travelers at ports of entry alarming Egypt's tourism sector.
Read more»

 Enas Hamed for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 29

Saddam Hussein's tomb haunts Tikrit residents

Iraqis have been obsessing about Saddam Hussein’s body and the fate of his legacy.
Read more»

 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 2

Are Turkey's young IS recruits now a domestic threat?

Young Turks are increasingly attracted to the Islamic State's radical doctrines, believing their own country's brand of political Islam to be superficial, yet the Turkish government remains unconcerned with the increasing radicalization.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 26

No 'deal' for Lebanese singer turned militant

Amid the speculation, public resentment and mixed views that have been surrounding the case of Fadel Shaker, will the former singer, now militant, manage to find a way out?
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 27

Sneaking across Israeli border last resort for desperate Gazans

Illegal crossings by Gaza's youths have been increasing despite the fact that those who cross are almost always detained by Israeli forces.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 29

Revisiting the ‘clash of civilizations’ theory

The grand mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Abdul-Latif Derian, sees moderation as the best solution to unite Muslims and non-Muslims under the banner of coexistence and countering terrorism.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on March 25

Imported goods crowd out local production in Iraq

Flooded with imported goods, the Iraqi market is grappling with a serious lack of local products, due to the displacement of farmers, lack in government control and almost absent support for the domestic industry.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 25

Lebanese domestic workers to unionize

Domestic workers in Lebanon are working together to create a union to push for their rights and thwart potential abuses.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 25

Growing mushrooms in Gaza

Many families of the Gaza Strip have lost their conventional breadwinners, pushing women to tap into mushroom cultivation as a vital alternative.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 24

Big love in Turkey

The approval of applications to run in the June elections by three polygamous candidates of the Turkish People's Democracy Party indicates that while the practice is illegal, the idea of marrying multiple wives could be acceptable by society.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on March 24

Israeli ultra-Orthodox parties may tip the balance

Demographic tendencies indicate there will be a continuing growth of the Israeli Arab and ultra-Orthodox populations, thus guaranteeing their sectorial parties more political power in next elections.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on March 23

Aleppo's Christians see regime as last hope

Five years into the Syrian conflict, Syria's Christians continue to fight for their existence, turning to the regime as a last resort.
Read more»

Edward Dark for Al-Monitor on March 23

The many names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Al-Monitor traces the journey that led an unremarkable religious student to become head of the Islamic State and self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on March 23

Iranian VP works for change from within

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Shahindokht Molaverdi, vice president for Women and Family Affairs, talks about her role advocating for women's rights and the importance of working from within the administration for change.
Read more»

 Sahar Namazikhah for Al-Monitor on March 30

Kuwaiti activists targeted under GCC security pact

Following the signing of the GCC Internal Security Pact, the recent detention of opposition activists in Kuwait highlight a worsening plight for social dissidents across the region.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on March 20

Number of working Orthodox women on the rise

Over the past few years more and more ultra-Orthodox women are seeking work in the secular Israeli labor market, though not everyone in ultra-Orthodox society accepts this.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 22

Israel's cellphone addiction

Studies indicate that Israelis are adepts of cellphones and the WhatsApp application, which enable them to receive constant updates on the security situation and reconnect with family members at any given moment.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 19

Israeli Arabs disappointed by election results

Despite the electoral achievement of the Joint List becoming the Knesset's third-largest party, its supporters felt defeated as the the Israeli majority voted for the right.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 19

Gaza's weight-loss centers

Obesity in the Gaza Strip has increased as of late, with many Palestinians in Gaza seeking to shed pounds with the help of weight-loss centers.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 22

Lebanese church struggles to support Iraqi refugees

The Chaldean church in Hazmiyeh, Lebanon, is doing all it can to help Iraqi Christian refugees flooding into the country.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 19

Inside the West Bank's homemade cigarette industry

Palestinians increasingly smoke locally produced tobacco at cheap rates, causing a challenging situation for cigarette companies, tobacco growers and the Palestinian government.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 19

Gaza's unhappy sister wives

Polygamy is on the rise in Gaza despite the dire economic straits of the Strip's residents.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on March 18

Lebanon schools struggle to integrate Syrian children

UN agencies struggle to meet the education needs of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.
Read more»

 Tara Kangarlou for Al-Monitor on March 20

Women face setbacks in new Libya

Women in Libya seem to have been better off under Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, when they had better access to education and work and polygamy was virtually obsolete.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on March 23

Iraqis struggle to maintain architectural heritage

Iraq’s historical landmarks are being destroyed and replaced by modern structures, as the government and municipalities fail to adopt measures that protect the country’s architectural heritage.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 18

Kurdish women’s movement reshapes Turkish politics

A Turkish Sunni woman in her early 40s rises to the top of Kurdish and oppressed people’s political movement.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on March 25

Israeli Arab party poised to reshape country's politics

Many Israeli Arabs believe that the unification of the Arab parties into one joint list and the momentum this move has generated will be translated into high voter turnout in the Arab sector and real change.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 17

Ancient, modern Iran clash over fire festival

Iranians will take to the streets to celebrate an ancient Iranian holiday, despite warnings by officials who are uncomfortable with this pre-Islamic holiday.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 16

Many Gazans are turning to fraud to obtain assistance

Harsh economic conditions are forcing many Gazans to use deceptive methods to obtain aid, otherwise reserved for pregnant women, unemployed breadwinners and refugees.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 17

Islamic State erases centuries of history

According to a sociology professor, extremist groups such as the Islamic State seek to return society to the early Middle Ages, when little to no art, science and culture existed.
Read more»

 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 16

With men out of work, Syrian women become sole providers

Syrian women have had to find a way to face the hardships of being refugees and still find a way to provide for their families.
Read more»

 Alice Su for Al-Monitor on March 29

Turkish independent women don't need to put a ring on it

The stigma of being an old maid is slowly fading in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on March 27

Canal project from Dead Sea to Red Sea makes waves

The Bahrain canal project to link the Dead Sea to the Red Sea seems to be of great benefit to Israel, while Palestinians will mostly be affected negatively, politically and environmentally.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 16

Mazal Mualem on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Mazal Mualem shares her thoughts on journalism.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 15

Iran's female MPs show mixed record

Iran's female members of parliament have been few in number but have had a large impact on national policies.
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 Arash Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 15

Walaa Hussein on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Walaa Hussein shares her thoughts on journalism.
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 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 15

Contemporary Islamic views support reform in favor of women

The religious feminist movement has succeeded in improving the status of women in some parts of the Muslim world, while in others, there is resistance to any change regarding women’s rights.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on March 15

Female artisans carry on family tradition

Craftswomen in Lebanon are eager to carry on family traditions, although they lack government support.
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 Melissa Tabeek for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 20

Ambitious solar project promises more electricity for Lebanon

A large-scale project in the Beirut district of Bourj Hammoud is set to use solar energy to produce electricity and fulfill the needs of the country, and beyond.
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Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on March 15

'Big Brother' to move into Erdogan’s palace

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is setting up a massive electronic surveillance center in his palace to monitor the entire county.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on March 13

Iranian singers push boundaries, face restrictions

Iranian authorities have begun to crack down on female singers and musicians, despite attempts by the culture minister to issue more licenses for performances.
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 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 13

Maysaa Shuja al-Deen on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Maysaa Shuja al-Deen shares her thoughts on journalism.
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 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 23

Tulay Cetingulec on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Tulay Cetingulec shares her thoughts on journalism.
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 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 13

Ayah Aman on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Ayah Aman shares her thoughts on journalism.
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 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 13

Lebanon's creative entrepreneurs

Many Lebanese female entrepreneurs and designers have made it internationally, revolutionizing the perception of Lebanon’s fashion.
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 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on March 24

Kuwait's economic development

Despite serious efforts to address development issues in Kuwait, various barriers still stand in the way, including local companies' lack of operational capabilities, the private sector's lagging contribution to economic activity and dependence on foreign workers.
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Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on March 13

Female DJs find the beat in Beirut

Beirut's female DJs are multiplying in the city's clubs, bringing their own unique sounds to a scene once dominated by males.
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 Melissa Tabeek for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 26

Palestinian women demand quota increase

Palestinian feminist movements are discussing with PLO factions the possibility of increasing the female quota system, while women’s representation within Hamas remains timid.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on March 13

Iraq's illegal employment agencies

Unregistered recruitment agencies in Iraq bring Asian laborers to work long hours and for wages lower than what Iraqis demand.
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 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 13

Gazans build temporary houses while awaiting reconstruction

In the absence of funds and construction materials, which delayed the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are resorting to relief associations that provide them with temporary wooden houses.
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 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 16

Palestine's first female governor recounts her struggle

Palestine's first female governor, Laila Ghannam, talks to Al-Monitor about her journey in politics and stresses that she owes her success to her supportive family.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on March 19

Israel's female filmmakers move to center stage

The year 2014 reflected the changes that the Israeli film industry has been undergoing for the last few years, with many more female filmmakers, complex leading women's roles and an unprecedented number of awards.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 12

Turkish MP overcomes tragedy

Safak Pavey, who lost a leg and an arm in a train accident, spent years working on humanitarian missions in conflict zones and is now fast rising in politics as an active female member of Turkey’s parliament.
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 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 12

Can you be an Islamist and a feminist?

Feminists and others in the West intent on "liberating" the women of the Muslim world fail to recognize a brand of Islamist feminism demanding public and private space for women to contribute to society.
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 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on March 12

Kurdish refugees reject government-run camp in Turkey

Kurdish refugees from Kobani are shunning the well-funded and staffed AFAD Suruc camp to stay in nearby municipal-run camps with fewer facilities.
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Jasper Mortimer for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 13

Tel Aviv campaigns against harassment

Tel Aviv nightclub owners have joined clubgoers in an initiative to stop sexual harassment with a social network campaign to raise public awareness of the problem.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 13

Iranian Jewish MP dismissive of Netanyahu, senators' letter

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, Siamak Moreh Sedgh shares his thoughts on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress and the letter sent by US senators to the Iranian leadership.
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 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 12

One woman's journey from prisoner to mayor

Diyarbakir Mayor Gultan Kisanak is among thousands of activists who served time in Diyarbakir prison after the coup in 1980, and like many she was tortured for refusing to renounce her Kurdish identity.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 23

Lebanese women feel inner beauty not enough

Beauty standards in Lebanon have increased pressure on women and men alike, from all ages, to undergo cosmetic surgeries and other forms of enhancement.
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 Melissa Tabeek for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 12

Belly dancer runs for Egyptian parliament seat

Egyptian belly dancer Sama El Masry is an official candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, stirring outrage among conservative Egyptians who find her art offensive.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 12

Will Sistani be able to control popular mobilization forces?

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has distanced himself from politics, while stressing the need for the Iraqi government to build a strong state in which all sects feel equal.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on March 12

Turkey's soaring sculptress

Turkish Jewish sculptor Nadia Arditti has emerged as one of Turkey’s leading artistic voices abroad since she returned home after pogroms forced her family to flee the country in the 1950s.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 11

Hana Salah on why she writes

Al-Monitor contributor Hana Salah shares her thoughts on journalism.
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 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on March 11

How Iranian women are using Sharia to their benefit

Given the important role that religion plays in Iran, Iranian women are working within the system to gain rights and achieve equality.
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Leila Alikarami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 11

Financial burden, risk of violence pressure Syrian girls to marry

Syrian refugee girls in Jordan are being forced to get married at a young age, either to escape sexual violence that is widely spread in refugee camps or to ease the financial troubles of their families.
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 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 17

Why is Israel still blind to settler violence against Palestinians?

Despite resolutions by Israeli administrations to adopt the 2003 Road map for Peace and the Sason report on illegal West Bank outposts, settler violence against Palestinians continues unabated.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 11

Gazan women surge ahead with startups

Young, educated women in the Gaza Strip are among the most likely to be unemployed in an area where nearly half of people are out of work, as many of these women are now turning to business incubators to find funding and support to build their own businesses.
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 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 10