Culture & Society


Diyarbakir's soccer team gets yellow card for winning

Diyarbakir's Amedspor soccer club is paying a heavy price for making its way to the Turkish Cup quarterfinals, defeating powerful rivals along the way.
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 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on February 5

Why some Israelis are taking to social media to expose sexual harassment

Israeli society is undergoing a transformation as women talk about sexual harassment on social media, which is becoming the public arena for exposing misconduct instead of filing a complaint with the police.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on February 5

Five years on, displaced Libyans languish in camps

As the fifth anniversary of Libya's revolution draws near, thousands of displaced Libyans are still living as refugees in their own country, with virtually no official recourse.
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 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on February 5

What happens when an anti-Zionist rabbi visits Israel

On a rare visit to Israel, the anti-Zionist Satmar Rabbi distributed money to ultra-Orthodox institutions that refuse to receive state funding.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on February 5

Egyptian cartoonist arrested for 'unauthorized' Facebook page

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Egyptian cartoonist Islam Gawish speaks about his brief detention and vows to continue with his work.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 5

Russian air raid hits Aleppo schools

A firsthand account of an airstrike on an Aleppo school.
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 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 4

Erdogan’s new Kurdish allies

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is gearing up to resume the Kurdish settlement process — but with new dialogue partners with Islamist inclinations.
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 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 4

Egypt fills its prisons, but don't worry, it'll make more

Egypt's human rights violations are flooding its prisons with more people than they can handle.
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 Albaraa Abdullah for Al-Monitor on February 3

UN arms Libyan women with gun-safety knowledge

Women are inordinately affected by gun violence in Libya, but UN officials hope to train them not only in firearm safety, but also to use their matriarchal positions to influence their families.
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 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on February 3

Why some Gazan professors are selling their homes

The financial crisis plaguing the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip forced some of its employees to seek the help of charitable institutions.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 3

New poll says Iranians like Zarif, dislike US

A University of Maryland telephone survey of Iranians finds they like their president and foreign minister and are hopeful that the nuclear deal will provide economic rewards.
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on February 3

Will 'girl zones' help Egyptian women?

A controversial new project started by young people aims to establish women-only zones in rural areas of Egypt to provide recreational and educational opportunities.
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 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 2

You won't believe what this Saudi blogger has to say about Iran

The Iranian-Saudi freeze claims collateral damage as a popular Saudi blogger studying in Tehran can’t go back to finish her degree.
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 Holly Dagres for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 2

The Ottoman legacy in Palestine

In the historical Old City of Nablus in the West Bank, buildings from the days of the Ottoman Empire stand tall.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 4

How one Syrian group is helping kids get back to school

The Olive Branch Organization is building schools in war-damaged areas of Syria, realizing that without education and psychological support, children might become "time bombs" destined to lives of anger, frustration and violence.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 2

Why one Israeli campaign is calling artists 'traitors'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have condemned the Im Tirtzu campaign labeling Israeli artists as traitors, but the group's activities against human rights activists continue unabated.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 2

Iraq's illegal hunting problem

Illegal hunting activities in Iraq are causing serious threats to the environment, while the law is not enforced and the government condones the practice by Iraqi and Gulf state hunters.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 2

Tunisia's single mothers still struggle to overcome stigma

Although Tunisia is in many ways a relatively liberated country, its legislation is slower to adapt than its gradually modernizing society and many conservative values still prevail.
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 Perrine Massy for Al-Monitor on February 2

The man behind the future of education in Palestine

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Education Minister Sabri Saidam discussed his efforts to move Palestinian students away from rote memorization and toward creative and analytical thinking in addition to modernizing the curriculum.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on February 2

Palestinians in Jordan outraged over new work permit requirements

Jordan’s decision to require work permits for Palestinians holding temporary passports on its territory will further add to their economic and social suffering.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 2

Lebanon holds breath for deal to export trash abroad

Although officials have announced that Lebanon will export its waste as a solution to the garbage crisis plaguing the country since July, the government has yet to sign contracts with any foreign companies.
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 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on February 1

How one messaging app is changing Iranian media

While news shared on Telegram allows Iranians to bypass restrictions and censorship faced by licensed Iranian media outlets, the impact of the smartphone app may not be entirely positive for Iranian society.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 1

Do Gaza’s melting-pot markets reflect identity crisis?

The Gaza Strip tries to maintain its own culture, even as the blockade forces it to embrace imports.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on February 1

Salt industry evaporating in Iraq

Poor Iraqis in search of income have turned to harvesting salt by hand, but face competition from imports.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 1

New transportation project aims to get the West Bank moving

The West Bank is preparing to carry out the ORIO project that aims to develop a fleet of public buses, which will be a quantum leap in Palestine’s public transportation system.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on January 29

Palestinian women increasingly targeted online

The rise in social media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been accompanied by an increase in cybercrime, but many women are reluctant to report it.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 29

How Palestinian media contributes to cycle of incitement

Young Palestinians are being influenced by misleading video clips aired on the PA's official TV network, presenting those who attack Israelis as victims.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 29

Cinema returns to Gaza after long absence

As film theaters have been closed in Gaza since the 1987 intifada, movie directors are launching personal initiatives to try and revive the film industry and cinema in the Gaza Strip.
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 Entsar Abu Jahal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 31

Iranians launch boycott of Saudi businesses

Following Saudi Arabia’s move to cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran, some Iranians have joined forces to launch a campaign against Saudi firms in the country — but is the boycott having any impact?
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 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 28

How fake news helps AKP propaganda

Turkey’s pro-AKP media is presenting a counterfactual world to its readers; the latest example is "news" about the "FBI arrest" of 9/11 deniers.
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on January 28

Israeli leftist artists, the enemy within

As far as Culture Minister Miri Regev is concerned, all intellectuals who do not agree with her right-wing agenda are enemies of the state.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 28

Meet one of Hezbollah's teen fighters

As more young Lebanese Hezbollah fighters travel to Syria, Al-Monitor spoke with one of these boys about their reasons for waging jihad and the training they go through before joining the fight.
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 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 28

Will Israeli Palestinians join their West Bank brethren?

Discrimination and the lack of any hope for a two-state solution could push Arab-Israelis to join the uprising in the West Bank, much like the battle in 1947.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 31

Israel support for yeshiva students up by 53%. Is it enough?

Once again, much is being made in the media about the state raising allocations for yeshiva students, but the ebb and flow of this funding is a perennial part of the coalition's wooing of the ultra-Orthodox.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 28

Iran is spending more money on culture, but where's the accountability?

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani is moving to increase spending allocated to administration-controlled cultural entities. Yet a vast portion of cultural spending continues to go to organizations that are not held accountable.
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 Arash Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 27

How new Egyptian parliament is empowering those with disabilities

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Khalid Hanafi, a visually impaired member of parliament, said that Egypt is still a very young democracy and the presence of people with disabilities in the legislature will help with addressing issues facing this group.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 27

Rome's nude cover-up remains mystery

At a press conference in Italy, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addressed the controversy over two nude statues covered in boxes.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 27

Turkey's military mules take their marching orders seriously

Modern armies spend millions of dollars to develop high-tech robotic systems, but none can replace mules as reliable carriers in bad weather over rough terrain.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 27

Want to call Erdogan a dictator? Get ready to hire some lawyers

The Turkish government has launched two court cases against the media for allegedly offending President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on January 27

Once-lively caravan stops crumble along abandoned Silk Road

Khan al-Noss, one of many caravanserais found along the Silk Road in Iraq and other neighboring countries, is yet another neglected and disappearing Iraqi heritage site.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 29

This is not your father's intifada

Israel's response to the current wave of terror attacks is based on the second intifada, but the opponent has changed.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 27

Local movie blockbusters break revenue records in Turkey

The path of democracy will influence the future of the Turkish film industry.
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 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 26

Can new food safety law stop Egypt's 'donkey slaughter mafia'?

Egypt is planning urgently needed legislation to protect its citizens’ food supply and prevent the spread of disease.
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Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 26

How one controversial Tel Aviv clinic is helping transgender youth

A special clinic in Tel Aviv has quietly treated transgender youths for the last three years while Israeli society gradually warms to the idea of gender reassignment.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 26

Israeli land grab threatens Palestinian church

Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land is in the spotlight once again, this time for annexing the Beit al-Baraka church to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank after a shady deal over its ownership.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 26

Israel's defense minister plays the moderate card

While Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is treated as a hero for his temporary refusal to let settlers invade two houses in Hebron, let's not forget his past and certain future support for the settlement enterprise.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 26

Are conditions right for Ocalan's return?

Some observers wonder whether negotiations between the Kurds and the Turkish government could restart with the involvement of the sidelined Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.
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Translated from Radikal (Turkey) on January 28

Turkey grants Syrians right to work, but is it too little, too late?

Ankara has finally granted Syrians the right to work in a belated move to stop more highly qualified refugees’ flight to Europe.
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 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 25

Five years on, why do Egyptian authorities still fear January 25?

Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, Egyptian authorities have taken tight security measures to deter any protests.
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 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 25

Arab restaurateurs feel bite of settlers' blacklist

The Samaria Settlers Committee, financed by Israeli taxpayers, has launched a defamatory campaign to boycott Arab-Israeli businesses they accuse of supporting terrorism.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 25

Is storm over settlements in Bibi’s coalition a sign of things to come?

Instead of supporting Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who ordered the evacuation of two buildings illegally seized by settlers, most Likud ministers have sided with the settlers or kept silent.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 25

Was Jan. 25, 2011, really a revolution?

Five years after the January 25 Revolution, members of the new parliament question whether the uprising was really a revolution. Meanwhile, the government is cracking down on activists to avoid imminent protests.
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 Shahira Amin for Al-Monitor on January 24

Are Shiites divided over what to do about Saudi Arabia?

Over the years, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq have encouraged Shiites to take opposing approaches toward Sunnis, with ramifications for Saudi Arabia.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 24

Why Israelis love their cars more than the environment

The government has committed to reducing private cars, but its scattered expansion of Israeli suburbs and haphazard public transportation planning continue.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 22

Bibi fools everyone...except his wife

Feeling that Israel is facing an ongoing existential threat, the public turns to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, mistakenly perceived as a security authority and a savior.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 21

Turkey breaks new ground in southeast reconstruction

Ankara will be entering potentially hazardous territory in its unprecedented plans for reconstruction in the Kurdish southeast.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 21

Turkey issues new Friday prayer directive

A government directive allowing public employees to take time off from work for Friday prayers has sparked questions about the future of Turkey’s secular system.
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 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 21

Who's winning in Iranian-Arab film festival battle?

Censorship and neglect are contributing to the decline of Iran's flagship Fajr Film Festival.
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 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 20

Will Turkey's government start paying priests and rabbis?

Non-Muslim religious leaders in Turkey cannot agree on whether to back efforts to get their personnel on the state payroll, which already supports the country's Muslim clergy.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 20

Looking to snitch on your neighbors? Turkey will pay you for the info

The Turkish government has hiked the pay of some elected leaders for providing intelligence about people in their neighborhoods.
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 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 20

Don't underestimate Iraqi nationalism

The anti-IS campaign in Iraq has deepened sectarian divisions between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions, but despite communal and political fractures, many communities remain loyal to the Iraqi state.
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 Denise Natali for Al-Monitor on January 20

Ramallah goes organic

A popular Tuesday health food market in Ramallah is helping marginalized women and young farmers sell organic produce.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 20

Can Iraq curb tribal disputes?

Tribal conflicts in Iraq are complicating the struggle against the Islamic State, threatening to thin the central government's security capacities.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 20

Will Renaissance Dam flood Egypt's Mediterranean coast?

The author of a current study says Ethiopia must agree to change the Renaissance Dam's design to prevent serious environmental repercussions for itself, Egypt and Sudan.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 19

Hamas stifles Gazans' giggles

The recent arrest of two satirists in Gaza points to increasing restrictions on freedom of expression due to Hamas' insecurity.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on January 19

What will happen to Iraq’s Mandaeans?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, the first Iraqi woman to head a religious endowment, Nadia F. Maghamiss, talks about her plan to empower women of all sects and about the future of the Mandaeans, one of Iraq’s many religious minorities.
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 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 19

Kurdish leader warns of civil war in Turkey

Turkey’s security crackdown in the Kurdish-majority southeast could spill over to the country’s west and eventually become a civil war, warns Kurdish politician Kamuran Yuksek in an interview with Al-Monitor.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 19

The black flag over Israel's democracy

Israelis are relinquishing their democracy through their silence and actions.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 19

Israelis open homes, kitchens for unique dining experience

The EatWith dining concept offers both tourists and local Israelis an intimate culinary experience in a variety of private homes.
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 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 19

Babylonian temple now Islamic healing shrine

The Mashhad al-Shams shrine, once a temple of the Babylonian sun god, has been turned into a mosque where the pious go in search of miracles.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 18

Fed-up Iranian women organize to take more seats in parliament

Only 3% of incumbent Iranian members of parliament are female, but Iranian women are campaigning to drastically change the parliament's huge gender imbalance through the ballot box.
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 Zahra Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 18

Popular Turkish TV host attacked for supporting Diyarbakir teacher

In an illustration of Turkey's increasing polarization amid ongoing clashes in the southeast, Turks are split over whether popular media personality Beyaz spread "terrorist propaganda" by encouraging applause for a concerned caller from Diyarbakir.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 18

Incest fatwa lands Turkish religious directorate in hot water

Turks expressed their outrage at a response by the Religious Affairs Directorate to a question involving incest.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on January 15

Is a witch hunt underway against Turkish intellectuals?

Following the arrests of Turkish academics who had signed a petition in support of the Kurds in southeastern Turkey, the country is facing an unprecedented 'civil war.'
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 15

22 years after corruption scandal, Deri returns to Israel’s Interior Ministry

Supporters of Shas leader Aryeh Deri are celebrating his appointment to once again head the Ministry of Interior, from which he was forced to resign in 1993.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 15

Can Egypt’s tourism industry get back on track after Sinai crash?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou expresses optimism that this vital sector of the country’s economy will recover.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 15

Terrorism tops Turkish citizens’ list of concerns in 2015

A recent survey polled Turks and found that they are not united in their perception of the identity of terror suspects in the country.
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 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 18

Syrian activists promote filmmaking, reading to ease daily suffering

In light of the ongoing violent war in Syria, local initiatives have been launched to encourage people to focus on their needs and concerns, away from politics.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on January 18

Arrest of Palestinian journalist reflection of ‘political chaos’

The arrest of Palestinian journalist Salim Sweidan and his detention for four days has exposed a broken legal system where understandings are replacing the rule of law.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on January 14

Can Abbas bring hope to desperate young Palestinians?

Demonstrating against the Israeli occupation, young Palestinians have also been pointing a finger at President Mahmoud Abbas, who has finally addressed them and their problems in his latest speeches.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 15

Israeli fashion gets tactical

Business is booming for Israeli clothes manufacturers that have developed bullet- and knife-resistant fabrics and apparel, though they may not all deliver what they promise.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 14

Was Zahran Alloush really a moderate leader?

Some have described the late Jaish al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush as a moderate leader, although his fiery anti-Shiite and anti-democracy statements indicate otherwise.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 14

Gaza scrap collectors finally back in business

Following years of interruption due to Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip, the scrap trade there has resumed, sparking economic hope.
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 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 17

Does Bibi limit rights to those who are 'Israeli all the way'?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tied "loyalty" to the state to budget allocations for improvements in minority communities.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 14

The dirty war between Israel’s right-wing and left-wing NGOs

Israeli human rights nongovernmental organizations object to an investigative report by Channel 2 that accuses an activist of plotting against Palestinian land owners selling their property to Jews but stained all the NGOs in the process.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 13

Will tables turn in favor of youth in Palestine?

The new Palestinian generation leading the intifada did not wait for instructions from political leaders, who may now have to look to the youth for direction.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 13

Egyptian calligrapher finds joy in making others happy

A Coptic Christian calligrapher in Upper Egypt is putting his artistic talent to use for all faiths.
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George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 13

Can new initiative put an end to abuse at Egyptian orphanages?

Amid mounting concerns over abuse and mistreatment, the Egyptian Social Solidarity Ministry has recently launched an initiative to end the violations committed at orphanages and other child care centers throughout the country.
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Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 12

Despite IS threat, Iraqi Kurdistan tries to lure tourists

After instability brought about by IS nearly destroyed tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan, the government still hopes to benefit from years of investment in the sector.
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 Rebecca Bradshaw for Al-Monitor on January 12

Ancient madrassa lies forgotten, neglected in Baghdad

Neglect has turned the centuries-old site of what was once Baghdad's most prestigious cultural and scientific institution into a dusty old building suffocated by piles of debris and street vendors’ trolleys.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 12

Have Israelis abandoned any hope for change?

A bitter fate awaits Israel's democracy unless the Israeli silent majority shakes off its learned helplessness.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 12

Israeli media veers right

Israeli media focused on the less significant details when covering the capture of the Tel Aviv gunman, instead of the main story concerning relations between Jews and Arabs in the country.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 11

How Bibi buried plan to develop Israeli Arab sector

Three days after its approval, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has killed a historic plan to invest in the Israeli-Arab sector by imposing three conditions that cannot be met.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 11

Palestinians create digital museum to promote their cause

A group of Palestinian youth and historians created a digital museum to prove the historical Palestinians’ right to the land of Palestine and to challenge the Israeli narrative.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 17

Arab MK says battle for equality, ending the occupation 'inseparable'

Aida Touma-Sliman, the only Arab committee chair in the Knesset, talks to Al-Monitor about the need for equality, ending the occupation and women's rights.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on January 11

Why so many Lebanese are looking abroad

As the economic and political situations in Lebanon worsen, more Lebanese seek to emigrate to the West and to Gulf countries for better job opportunities.
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 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on January 11

Was Abbas speech just attempt to dispel poor health rumors?

A recent speech by President Mahmoud Abbas was widely perceived by Palestinians as underwhelming, with some claiming its main goal was to assuage rumors that the leader suffers from failing health.
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 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 8

Egypt security forces raid art gallery, theater in lead-up to Jan. 25 anniversary

The recent closure of a number of cultural and youth oriented establishments in Egypt came just weeks before the January 25 Revolution anniversary, with the concerned ministries exchanging accusations of being behind the raids and closures.
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 Albaraa Abdullah for Al-Monitor on January 7

How do large ultra-Orthodox families afford so many weddings?

Charitable loan societies allow the ultra-Orthodox to marry off their numerous children by avoiding expensive bank loans.
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 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 8

Brother of executed Saudi cleric says Nimr is 'martyr against injustice'

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Mohammed al-Nimr, the brother of the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by Saudi Arabia, speaks about his family’s reaction, responses inside and outside Saudi Arabia and the fate of his brother’s body.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 8

Iraqis see fake Syrian passport as golden ticket to Europe

Iraqis are buying forged Syrian passports to try to increase their chances of winning asylum in European countries.
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 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 11

Why one Egyptian MP wants to send his colleagues back to school

MP Mohammed Anwar Sadat has called for the establishment of an academy to educate new legislators in a variety of fields, but not everyone is pleased with the proposal.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 6

'Normal' life under fire in Tel Aviv

Despite its security bluster, the Israeli leadership is increasingly leaving it to Israelis to defend themselves as the wave of violence penetrates the Tel Aviv "bubble."
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 6

Does draft Palestinian social security law really protect workers?

The draft social security law has been widely criticized for failing to provide workers sufficient retirement pensions or protection in cases of work-related disability.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 18

Women journalists raise their voices in Gaza

There is a dearth of women-focused media outlets in Gaza, where some female journalists are organizing their own platforms to promote women's issues and increase their presence in the sector.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 5

Why Palestinian housewives are taking lead in boycott campaigns

Palestinian women have recently been joining the global BDS movement by launching their own local campaigns to encourage people to refrain from buying Israeli goods.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 8

Protesters lock horns with government over crusader battlefield

History lovers and environmental activists are battling state plans to build a Druze settlement at the ancient battlefield Horns of Hattin, where crusaders confronted Saladin's army in 1187.
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 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 5

Local photographers provide snapshot of life in Gaza

Palestinian photographers reach world-class status for depicting the daily lives of Gazans and the beauty of Gaza’s nature, unlike the often-seen images of destruction.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 4

Israeli Arabs fear stigmatization following Tel Aviv shooting

The great majority of Israeli Arabs condemns and rejects terror acts, such as the shooting on Friday at a Tel Aviv pub, but this does not prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from blaming them all.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 4

Shin Bet uncovers Jewish extremist plot to destroy state

A lengthy investigation by the Shin Bet and Israeli Police has uncovered a plot to destroy the State of Israel and led to the indictment of two "hilltop youth" suspects in the murder of the Dawabsha family.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 4

NGO bill sparks controversy in Egypt

A new civil society organizations law may be passed in Egypt that will allow the state to impose restrictions on their funding and freeze their activities under the pretext of violation of public morals.
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Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 3

Thousands of Turks stranded at Iraqi border

Thousands of people were left stranded in Iraq when Turkey closed the Habur crossing following the imposition of curfews in the nearby towns of Cizre and Silopi.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 31

Diyarbakir's Christians suffer in margins of Turkey-PKK war

Diyarbakir's Christians, many of them ethnic Armenians, have been caught up in the violence between the Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on December 31

The rapid rise and fall of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party

Selahattin Demirtas, who led the Peoples’ Democratic Party to electoral success in Turkish politics, is now presiding over its downfall.
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on January 4

Rouhani faces pressure to address crippling smog in Tehran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani continues to take political pressure for being unable to address three weeks of smog that has shut down schools.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 30

Turkey-Israel dialogue works 'miracle' for Istanbul’s Jews

Turkey’s Jews hold an unprecedented public celebration of Hanukkah amid renewed efforts to normalize Turkish-Israeli ties.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 30

Despite strict alcohol regulations, taverna culture alive in Turkey

Despite increasing alcohol prices and draconian regulations for alcohol licenses, traditional and modern versions of meyhanes are flourishing, offering Turks a place to gather and share raki.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 30

Likud's first openly gay Knesset member finds mixed reception

Amir Ohana, the Likud's first openly gay Knesset member, won't be able to do much to advance LGBT rights in the ruling right-wing coalition, which depends on ultra-Orthodox support.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 30

Why Turkey’s beaches, hard liquor are losing allure among Iranians

The deteriorating security situation in eastern Turkey coupled with Ankara's hostile rhetoric toward Iran is decreasing the allure of Turkey's liberal beach resorts among Iranians.
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 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 29

Why Israeli Russians insist on celebrating Novy God

Many Israelis reject the Russian Novy God New Year's celebrations, mistakenly perceiving it to be a Christian holiday, but this year the Israeli-Russian community launches a campaign to celebrate it jointly with all Israelis.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 3

How these Israelis gave the biggest gift of all

The ultra-Orthodox organization Matnat Chaim (Gift of Life) encourages religious Jews to donate their kidneys to strangers.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 30

Cyberattacks reveal Turkey’s weaknesses

Computer servers in Turkey have been the targets of a major cyberattack for the past two weeks.
Read more»

 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 29

Can tourism be revived in ancient Iraqi city?

Iraqis living near the ancient city of Nuffar say the site should be developed to attract tourism after years of official neglect.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 29

Reading the Quran in Hebrew

The recently published fifth translation of the Quran into Hebrew is also the first one executed by a Muslim believer.
Read more»

 Jacky Hugi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 29

Will Egypt’s schools break sex education taboo?

Egyptian NGOs launch a series of campaigns to combat violence against women by including sex education in school curricula.
Read more»

 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 28

Iranian cleric calls out Egypt's Al-Azhar for anti-Shiite activities

An Iranian grand ayatollah wrote an open letter to Al-Azhar regarding the university's anti-Shiite essay competition.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 28

Young Israelis do whatever it takes to buy a home

In spite of promises by politicians and social activists, Israelis do not believe that housing prices are going to drop anytime soon — so they will do everything in their power just to buy a home.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 28

Why have the ultra-Orthodox turned their back on Rivlin?

Before being elected, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin nurtured close ties with the ultra-Orthodox community, but recently a rift has opened between the two sides.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 28

War-weary Kurds return to bunkers in Cizre

Kurdish residents of a town cut off from the outside world tell Al-Monitor of their "primitive" existence in basement shelters as Turkish soldiers and police battle Kurdish militants entrenched in residential areas.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 28

Turkey's religious conservatives bemoan 'dangers of Christmas'

Christmas and New Year's festivities have become an indication of hard-core religious conservatives’ fear of increasing secularization in Turkey.
Read more»

 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 28

'Hate wedding' video offers glimpse at Jewish terror

The viral video of the so-called hate wedding, at which guests dance with guns and stab a photo of a murdered baby, should serve as a wake-up call to the religious Zionist movement, which must confront dangerous trends in its own backyard.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 28

26-year-old female MP has big plans for Egypt’s new parliament

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Sarah Saleh, Egypt’s newest and youngest parliamentarian for South Sinai governorate, speaks about the challenges facing her constituency and her plans to address them.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 24

Slow food, ancient cooking win Gaziantep spot on UNESCO list

Gaziantep province has been recognized by UNESCO and the European Union for its culinary excellence and hopes to become a center for gastronomy tourism in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 24

Palestinians counter Israel's wrecking balls with fundraisers

Israel has been destroying the houses of the Palestinians who carried out armed attacks against Israelis to deter others from doing the same, but the families' friends and neighbors are reacting with even greater determination to rebuild.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 22

Gaza youth group spotlights Palestinian talent

A restaurant in Gaza is hosting a cultural center that allows young Palestinians to express their talent and use it to further the Palestinian cause.
Read more»

 Entsar Abu Jahal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 24

Are new provinces the key to a peaceful Iraq?

Turkmen politician Torhan al-Mufti spoke to Al-Monitor about Turkmen demands and political participation as well as the possible establishment of new provinces in Iraq.
Read more»

 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 22

Ethiopian-Israelis fed up with false promises

Ethiopian-Israeli activists argue that the numerous governmental plans to integrate the community into Israeli society do not address the specific needs of the community members and often only channel funding elsewhere.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 22

Who's to blame for deaths of children fighting in Palestine?

Palestinian children are dying in armed operations against Israeli settlers, despite calls to prevent them from getting involved in the violence.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 27

Iraqis dive deeper into sectarianism

Regional conflicts and shifting alliances since 2003 have led many Iraqis to view every development through a sectarian lens.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on December 24

Is BDS movement spreading across Europe?

Despite a lack of funding and solid organizational backing at home, the Palestinian diaspora in Europe has increased its activities and is winning ever stronger support, costing Israel more in economic losses and international status by the week.
Read more»

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

Looking for a better divorce settlement, Jordanian Christian men convert to Islam

Christian women in Jordan are at the mercy of Shariah courts over child custody when their husbands convert to Islam.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on December 21

Economic curtain closing on Iraqi theater

Theatrical productions are languishing in Iraq as austerity measures take center stage.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 21

Star Wars: How the force awakens Islamist fears

Seen by some as poison of Western cultural imperialism, Star Wars merchandise causes more controversy than the film in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 20

Social media fans flames of sexual harassment claims against Israeli minister

Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom believes that without any official complaint to the police, accusations of sexual harassment will just fade away, even in the era of social media backing the harassed women.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 18

Ongoing war silences Yemeni indie radio station

Tayramana FM, a product of the Arab Spring, is on indefinite hold, waiting for an end to the current war so it can re-establish the community it had built.
Read more»

 Nicole Lopez Del Carril for Al-Monitor on December 18

How kindergartens have become fertile recruiting ground for Hamas, Fatah

The Palestinian Education Ministry says there's no law against indoctrinating impressionable children.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 20

How sports programs let Syrian kids be kids

Several sports training centers have opened in Aleppo and Idlib to engage children in sports in an attempt to somewhat normalize their lives.
Read more»

 Orwoa Kanawati for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 18

Gazan poet faces death sentence in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi court has sentenced Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death on charges of spreading atheism and insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on December 18

How one Iranian TV show is breaking censorship boundaries

Sold in supermarkets, the private sector-produced "Shahrzad" TV series is turning out to be a serious rival of state-sponsored productions.
Read more»

 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 17

Israeli, Palestinian officials score a goal on FIFA agreement

While Israel has been allowing increased movement of Palestinian soccer players and teams and their opponents, Palestinian officials say more improvements need to be made.
Read more»

 Adam Rasgon for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 17

Five years on, have things changed in Tunisia?

Tunisia’s economy and working conditions remain gloomy for vendors who sell their goods on the same street where Mohamed Bouazizi lit himself on fire in 2010 to protest the situation.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on December 17

Turks equally pleased with first communist mayor

Fatih Mehmet Macoglu, the first and only communist mayor in Turkey, has impressed critics with his hard work and inclusive politics and seems ready to run for a second term.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 17

Turkey's unhealthy democracy

Turks stay away from politics except when it is time to go to the polls.
Read more»

 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 17

Artist paints scathing picture of Jordan rape law

In her most recent exhibition, Jordanian painter Rand Abdelnur condemns Article 308 of Jordan’s penal code, which offers rapists escape from punishment through marrying their victims.
Read more»

 Marta Bellingreri for Al-Monitor on December 18

Should Israelis fear biometric database?

The Israeli government is likely to soon decide whether to establish a biometric database of all citizens, a move strongly opposed by cybersecurity experts and civil rights groups.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 18

Has Israel's civil war already started?

The incitement campaign against Israel's right-wing President Reuven Rivlin, who dared expressing sympathy to Gazans' suffering, has broken all records of hatred and verbal violence.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 17

Why it's time to wake up to the occupation

The murder of the Dawabsha family was not the actual trigger of the current wave of violence, but another link in the long chain of incitement and hatred generated by the Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 17

The 'neo-Palestinians'

According to Israeli experts, the profile of the ''neo-Palestinian'' attacker is that of an unemployed university graduate in his or her 20s who has no hope of building a decent life.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 16

Iran concerned over Nigerian military attack on Shiite leader

Iranian officials have condemned the attack by Nigerian military forces on Shiite leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has strong ties to Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 15

What Iraq needs to do to protect minorities

The alliance of Iraq’s minorities is a step to prevent Iraq from being totally stripped of its minorities.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on December 15

Ocalan silent as Kurds' fight for self-rule rages on

The Kurds fighting in Diyarbakir may end their revolt if ordered to do so by Abdullah Ocalan, but the Turkish government has not allowed the imprisoned Kurdish leader any visitors since April, perhaps calculating that the endless self-sacrifice being demanded of ordinary Kurds will turn them against the PKK.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on December 15

Demand rises for traditional Gazan bread

Gazans continue to celebrate their ancient heritage by consuming traditional Palestinian breads.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 15

Calls for alimony reform shake up Israeli rabbinical courts

There are various proposals to amend Israel legal policies on divorce as citizens raise demands for greater nuance in child custody policies and alimony arrangements.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 15

Israel's patriotism police

The Israeli right has been busy turning every reasonable action by the Zionist left into yet another instance of treason against the homeland.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 15

Turkish Kurds flee 'self-rule' neighborhoods

Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast is sliding deeper into chaos as residents flee neighborhoods devastated from clashes between the security forces and Kurdish militants.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 14

Will election of women open door to reform in Saudi Arabia?

Now that women have been elected in Saudi Arabia, the United States should take advantage of this historic example and quietly encourage further reforms there.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on December 13

Egypt's public sculptures hit rock bottom

Egyptians have taken to social media to criticize and ridicule a number of newly erected public monuments, which they say are not up to professional artistic levels and disgrace the country’s prestigious history.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 13

Tunisia’s LGBT activists push forward

The LGBT community in Tunisia is seeking to abolish Article 230 — which bans sodomy and under which homosexuals are arrested — despite little support from the government and society.
Read more»

 Conor McCormick-Cavanagh for Al-Monitor on December 14

Turkey prepares for Trump presidency

Many Turks believe Donald Trump will become the next US president, and that his animosity toward Muslims and other minorities represents not just popular but also official American views.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 11

Why are Israeli ministers playing political games with poor children?

Instead of reflexively blaming cuts to child benefits during the last government for growing poverty in Israel, Ministers Aryeh Deri and Moshe Kahlon should propose constructive measures and follow up on recommendations made in 2014.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 11

East Jerusalem theater fights to keep doors open

The Palestinian theater El-Hakawati, the only cultural institution of its kind operating in East Jerusalem, is drowning in debt and faces closure yet another time.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 22

Former prisoners opening Palestinians' eyes onto Israel

Palestinians who learned Hebrew while in Israeli prisons have established research and language centers in Gaza for Palestinians to learn Hebrew and about Israeli affairs.
Read more»

 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 23

How one Egyptian plans to rev up tourism

Software engineer Ali Abdo decided to use his hobby to help his homeland, launching an initiative to encourage people to visit Egypt by riding his motorcycle across the country and taking pictures of touristic sites.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 10

More veils lift as topic loses political punch in Iran

In Iran, efforts to depoliticize the veil and criticism of the theological justifications for its coerced use are paving the ground for change.
Read more»

 Mahmoud Pargoo for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 10

Gazans explore Sufism

Sufism is found in several Gaza cities, but some claim the sect is not Muslim.
Read more»

 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 13

The Grinch who stole Palestinian Christmas

In light of the ongoing intifada, the municipality and Council of Churches of Ramallah decided to show solidarity by limiting manifestations of joy during the Christmas holiday season.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 10

Jerusalem Copts hope new bishop brings renewed support

The small Egyptian Christian community in Jerusalem was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by a visit from Pope Tawadros II.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on December 10

Food trucks idle in Israeli bureaucracy

The Israeli authorities are maintaining barricades on the route of businesses hoping to bring the trendy and profitable food trucks concept to Tel Aviv.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 10

Why are Egypt's advanced degree holders protesting?

While some believe that there is no need to appoint master’s and doctoral degree holders in Egypt’s state institutions, others argue the state must benefit from their academic education.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 9

Bloodshed stokes Kurdish separatist sentiment

Ankara’s draconian security crackdowns, marked by dozens of civilian deaths, have left many Kurds wondering whether they should give up their struggle for rights and seek independence.
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 9

Iraq's war of flags

A struggle over flags has emerged in Iraq, where the various forces fighting the Islamic State seek to promote their own identities and are desecrating the symbols of rival groups.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on December 9

Why some Syrian refugees see marriage as the only option

An increasing number of female Syrian refugees in Egypt are being pushed into marriage to survive harsh conditions.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 8

How Tunisia’s moderate imams are seeking to reclaim Islam from extremists

Tunisia is taking important steps to counter jihadism, but must also address the underlying causes of extremism.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on December 8

Egypt's revolutionary women get their own online museum

A new online museum showcases stories of Egyptian women from all walks of life who played a part in the January 25 Revolution.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 7

Will Qatar's investment in ancient pyramids bring tourists to Sudan?

With funding from Qatar, archaeologists from around the world are gathering in Sudan to excavate the country's forgotten pyramids.
Read more»

 Rebecca Bradshaw for Al-Monitor on December 7

Is this Palestine's Arab Spring?

As the wide unrest continues in Palestine, many wonder if this uprising could be a belated Palestinian Arab Spring that will bring about change in the entire region.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on December 7

Is Gollum good? Turkish judge consults 'TV expert' to find out

A simple meme posted over social media has spawned an official Turkish investigation into the legendary fictional character "Gollum" from "The Lord of the Rings."
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 7

Palestinian peace activist speaks out on son's arrest

Palestinian peace activist Ziad Abed Sabateen recounts how his son was arrested by IDF soldiers in the middle of the night.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 9

What it takes to smuggle information out of IS strongholds in Syria

Media activists in Deir ez-Zor face daily death threats by the Islamic State, but the danger is not stopping many of them from documenting what is happening in the Syrian province.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 7

How to improve Egypt's media law

Abdel Latif El-Menawy, the former head of Egyptian state TV who now heads Al Ghad Al Arabi satellite TV, explained in an interview with Al-Monitor why the Egyptian media has deviated from its role, and what the field needs now.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 4

Why is Israel's culture minister cutting funding to culture?

Culture Minister Miri Regev threatens to withdraw funding of the 48 mm Tel Aviv film festival dedicated to the Nakba.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 4

Gazans' dark secret? They've become chocoholics

Chocolate used to be on the Israeli list of banned items, but not anymore, as chocolate shops have been proliferating in light of the increasing demand in Gaza.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 6

Will Iranians watch Saudi-financed Persian TV?

Hoping to reach an Iranian audience, Saudi Arabia is moving to focus more on Persian-language media, but the kingdom has little advantage in an already saturated market.
Read more»

 Mahmoud Pargoo for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 3

You won't believe how this Turkish village became rich overnight

Many impoverished villagers in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast have made a fortune selling chunks of a meteorite after one exploded in September, while tax inspectors gripe about not receiving their share.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 3

Stepping back 1,300 years into Iraq's Ukhaidir palace

The historical Fortress of Al-Ukhaidir is collapsing because of natural causes and the Iraqi state’s neglect.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 6

Gazans fight for their right to party

The Gaza Interior Ministry issued a ban on parties and events being held on main roads because of complaints about loud music and street closures.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 3

Why young Gazans need cement to get married

In an attempt to curb the use of cement in tunnels Hamas has been building to attack Israelis, Israel restricts the importation of cement to Gaza, limiting the possibilities for many young people in Gaza to build homes.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 3

Iranians tweet supreme leader's message, but Twitter thinks it's spam?

Iran's supreme leader has once again penned an open letter to the young people of the West; however, many of those sharing his message via Twitter had their accounts mysteriously suspended.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on December 2

Turkey’s Kurds shaken by killing of human rights lawyer

Turkey’s Kurds have united in grief over the perplexing killing of celebrated human rights lawyer Tahir Elci, whose loss some take as a sign that peace is further out of reach than ever.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 2

The radicalization of Israel

The extremist discourse between the political right and the left has drowned out the Israeli mainstream.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 2

Is UNHCR in Jordan discriminating against Sudanese refugees?

Sudanese refugees in Jordan have been protesting what they see as the UNHCR discriminating between them and Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
Read more»

 Adam Lucente for Al-Monitor on December 2

Are Egypt’s poor paying the price for Cairo development project?

Hundreds of riverboat owners and crew members have been rendered jobless during a project to regenerate downtown Cairo, but officials say the situation is temporary.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 1

What killing of Kurdish human rights lawyer means for Turkey

In turbulent Turkey, the voices of peace and coexistence speak out at the risk of violent retribution.
Read more»

Hande Yalnizoglu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 1

Baghdad Jewish cemetery reminds of bygone days

Jewish monuments in Iraq are numerous and make some Iraqis nostalgic for the time when Muslims and Jews were neighbors.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 1

Are Israelis ready to move to the center?

Public support for the establishment of a “new Kadima” suggests that a significant segment of the Israeli electorate would back a party with a clear diplomatic agenda for a two-state solution.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 1

How one Egyptian beauty queen lost her citizenship

The Egyptian minister of interior’s decision to withdraw citizenship from Naglaa Ahmad Abdel Ati Suleiman, who also holds Israeli citizenship, stirred mixed reactions in Egypt.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 30

Why some Turkish sports fans terrorize their opponents

Turkish sports fans' recent show of disrespect for moments of silence for victims of Islamic State terror and other occasions is not necessarily a show of support for the extremist group.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on November 30

Egypt is now publishing Friday sermons in English, but is anyone reading them?

The Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf has recently launched an English version of its official Friday sermon, although accessing it might be impossible for those who don’t read Arabic.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 25

Foodies invade ultra-Orthodox cuisine scene

In Bnei Brak, the popularity of food stalls offering Eastern European cuisine has ultra-Orthodox leaders scrambling to control the resulting "idleness" of youths and others sitting in cafes and enjoying themselves.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 27

Will Gaza’s public employees accept land in lieu of salaries?

Hamas resorted to drastic measures to cater to the employee salary crisis, as the consensus government has been neglecting this issue since it was formed in 2014.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 25

Who are 'Allah's lions'?

A mysterious security force has taken the lead in operations in Turkey’s Kurdish areas, raising alarm with its heavy-handed methods and seemingly religious motivation.
Read more»

 Orhan Kemal Cengiz for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 25

Turkey's embargo on YPG funerals

A family finally triumphs over Turkey's embargo on the bodies of its citizens who were killed fighting for the Kurdish YPG against the Islamic State.
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 24

How one Palestinian is racing to get to the Olympics

Palestinian fitness instructor hopes to make it to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, despite discouragement from the Palestinian Olympic Committee.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor on November 24

Palestinian film directors face social, political obstacles

Palestinian directors of documentary films hope to reach Arab and world film festivals, despite the political and social obstacles they face in Gaza.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 24

Pollard and Vanunu: A tale of two spies

While criticizing the restrictions the US has imposed on released spy Jonathan Pollard and attempting to legislate state allocations for him, Israeli politicians ignore their government's restrictions on nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 24

Will the building of a Third Temple destroy the Jewish state?

Talking to Al-Monitor, Israeli author Yishai Sarid argues that the people creating a Third Temple atmosphere believe they are avant-garde, above the people, but as a secular Jew, Sarid counters this and brings the debate to life in his recent book, "The Third."
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 24

How some southeast Turkey residents are struggling with mystery murders, urban warfare

Residents in the southeastern Turkish town of Silvan are angry with the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party for the destruction of their town.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 23

Women were big losers in Turkey's elections

The number of women elected to parliament reached a new high in Turkey's June elections, but dropped in the Nov. 1 snap elections, especially in the victorious Justice and Development Party.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on November 23

How Israeli far right uses news as a tool of incitement

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemns Palestinian incitement, he should be careful about far right news sites depicting a false picture of the reality, damaging the already fragile relationship between Jews and Palestinians in Israel.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 23

Hamas hands over Arafat’s house, minus some of its belongings

Hamas handed over the late President Arafat’s house to the Yasser Arafat Foundation, which some see as good step toward ending internal division, although some of the president’s belongings are missing.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 23

Surrounded by war, Yemen’s students suffer

As children pay the price of war in Yemen, there is an urgent need to quickly rebuild destroyed schools and find alternative safe havens for refugees.
Read more»

Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on November 20

Palestinian media treads fine line between empathy, support for attacks

Though the majority of Palestinians are weary of violence and concerned over a new and devastating confrontation, the general atmosphere is inching toward a full-blown intifada.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 20

Hamas-Fatah squabble puts future of 25,000 Gazan students at risk

As the Hamas-Fatah dispute over the chairmanship of Al-Aqsa University continues, the Education Ministry is threatening to revoke the school's accreditation.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 20

After KRG formally welcomes Jews back to Iraq, will their numbers increase?

The opening of a Jewish representation office in Iraqi Kurdistan gives exiled Iraqi Jews a glimmer of hope of returning to their homeland after fleeing persecution and dispossession.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 20

Why it pays to be a settler in Israel

The 2015-2016 state budget reflects well the priorities of the Netanyahu government, with generous funding and allocations to the settlers and religious parties, while neglecting the periphery, the Arabs and Israel's secular heritage.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 20

How the Palestinian diaspora is reacting to unrest in the West Bank

As Palestinians in the diaspora watch helplessly the current uprising in the Palestinian territories, they seek nonviolent ways to gather support to their cause.
Read more»

 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 23

After IS threat, Turkey’s Alevi community on alert

The Turkish police have disclosed intelligence of possible IS attacks on Alevi institutions but have yet to enforce protection measures.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 19

Veiled women detained, handcuffed spark public outcry in Turkey

The latest controversy in Turkish society places people either in favor of or against the Justice and Development Party, in the ongoing fight of the "parallel state."
Read more»

 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 19

Why cemetery-dwelling Gazans fear the living, not the dead

A cemetery in central Gaza City is home to dozens of families, who receive only minimal aid from the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 19

How Iraq just legalized discrimination of minorities

A new National Identity Card Law passed by the Iraqi parliament legalizes discrimination against non-Muslim minorities.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on November 19

Will Nidaa Tunis' troubles boost Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

The resignations of 32 Nidaa Tunis MPs makes Ennahda the largest parliamentary bloc, raising questions about a possible spillover effect for the Egyptian Brotherhood.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 18

Khamenei says Iran must go green

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has issued a list of policy directives regarding the environment.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 17

Gays seeking military exemption in Turkey no longer need to provide visual proof of their homosexuality

The Turkish army has amended the rules of pre-draft medical examinations, ending some practices that humiliated homosexual men and drew harsh criticism.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on November 17

Gaza's unemployed youth look online for work

Young professionals in the Gaza Strip use local and international online freelancing platforms to find job opportunities and a steady source of income.
Read more»

 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 17

Restaurants on the rise in Gaza

The number of restaurants are rapidly increasing in the Gaza Strip, as this industry is regarded as a safe investment in light of the siege and the ban on imports.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 17

Israel's Mr. Gaga

The Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, considered a symbol of Israeli liberalism, says his work is not confined by the boundaries of a state, but are personal and universal.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 17

Is promoting civil society key to combating radical groups?

Propping up oppressive dictators won’t stop violence in the Middle East and beyond, and a sophisticated approach is needed to address the complex origins of terror in the region.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on November 17

How one Lebanese woman is clowning around to bring laughter to refugees

The nonprofit organization Clowns Without Borders performed for two weeks to offer moments of laughter and levity.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on November 18

Israel needs calm, not action-movie operations

Israel's political and military establishments feel the need to "do something" to appease public opinion in the face of recent violence, but the situation calls for restraint, not excessive actions like the undercover operation at a Hebron hospital.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 16

Egypt rushes to bolster tourism after Sinai plane crash

Egyptian politicians and public figures have created dozens of initiatives to bring tourism back to Sharm el-Sheikh after Western countries decided to suspend their flights to Sinai in response to the Russian plane crash there.
Read more»

Hala Ali for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 16

How to defeat the Islamic State

To defeat the Islamic State, the world powers need a clear-cut, unified strategy to guide the war on terrorism.
Read more»

 Riad Kahwaji for Al-Monitor on November 16

Iran shifts approach to fight against alcohol

Faced with increasing rates of alcohol consumption, the Iranian authorities are beginning to treat the issue as a public health rather than religious concern.
Read more»

 Mahmoud Pargoo for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 13

Islamic State trained Yazidi children as soldiers

When Islamic State raided Sinjar in August 2014, it set about training and indoctrinating Yazidi boys as child soldiers to fight in its ranks.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on November 13

How to solve Lebanese civil war disappearances

The International Committee of the Red Cross has a plan to identify the remains of those who went missing during Lebanon’s civil war, but support from the government is agonizingly slow.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on November 15

As European dream fades, Iraqi Kurds return home

Thousands of Kurds who fled to Europe are now seeking to return to Iraq after facing an even harsher reality there.
Read more»

 Fazel Hawramy for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 12

Corruption becomes hallmark of Israel government

Israelis appear to be resigned in the face of a prime minister who dismisses Palestinian despair, Knesset members' involved in corruption and major companies gouging the public with the government's assistance.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 12

Qatar adopts cultural diplomacy to combat 'clash of ignorance'

Cultural diplomacy is a tool needed now more than ever to develop dialogue and respect among different peoples and nations, and Qatar is moving on several fronts in this regard.
Read more»

 Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari for Al-Monitor on November 11

Rising temperatures scorch Egypt’s rural poor

August brought a stifling heat wave to Egypt, where the short-staffed medical centers of small villages were overrun by patients and officials downplayed the number of deaths.
Read more»

 Emily Crane Linn for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 11

Despite ongoing war, is trade between Turkey, Syria rebounding?

As the number of Syrian companies set up in Turkey increases, the trade between the two countries is returning to prewar levels.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 11

Infighting overshadows Iran press exhibition

Boycotts and accusations against media close to the administration have overshadowed Iran's 21st Press Exhibition.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 10

Jerusalem and Hebron: A tale of two cities

East Jerusalem and Hebron are bound by familial ties and shared solidarity from their experiences under Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 10

How Egyptian revolutionaries rocked the vote

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Mohamed Badran, the young head of the Nation's Future Party, explains why his new party performed so strongly in the first round of Egypt’s legislative elections.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 10

Why the IDF is targeting yeshiva dropouts

Through Facebook and other means, the IDF is tracking ultra-Orthodox youths who lie about their enrollment in rabbinical colleges to avoid conscription.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 10

Is Congress paving the way for a Christian safe zone in Iraq?

A bipartisan effort to denounce an ongoing genocide is picking up steam. That's just the first step.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 9

Turkey's alcohol restrictions spark boost in bootleg booze

The Turkish government’s hefty taxes on alcohol have led to bootleg liquor production, which has claimed at least 26 lives over the past month.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 9

The child soldiers fighting to stop the Islamic State

Iraqis are divided between supporters and opponents of the participation of young people in the war against the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 9

Egypt electoral law a step toward justice for women

In an interview with Al-Monitor, veteran diplomat Mervat Tallawy talks about women in the Egyptian parliament and the long road that they still have ahead to reach equitable leadership positions.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 9

Russian involvement in Syria brings about another siege for Aleppo

The second siege of Aleppo was more than the sad tale of a once-proud Syrian city.
Read more»

Edward Dark for Al-Monitor on November 8

Turkey’s Armenian community gets back children’s camp

Turkish Armenians finally obtained the deed to Camp Armen, an orphanage and children’s camp in Istanbul.
Read more»

 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 8

Fears of government seizure spill over to Turkey's universities

Private universities in Turkey appear to be next in line in government crosshairs after a number of companies, newspapers and TV channels were taken over by pro-government trustees.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 6

Why Iraqi women are turning to the Internet to buy books

Iraqi women are ordering books from the comfort of their own homes, overcoming the crippling security conditions.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 6

New hotline offers support to Gaza’s blackmail victims

Gaza's all-female police unit has launched a campaign to offer women support and protection from emotional blackmail, a crime many are afraid to report.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 6

After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools

Schools in Syrian regions controlled by the Kurdish PYD and its allies are for the first time teaching the Kurdish language, a practice prohibited under Baathist rule.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on November 6

Will Egypt trash its latest waste-sorting initiative?

The latest initiative to encourage households to sort waste has been unsuccessful due to mismanagement at the government level.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 6

Lapid renews push to draft ultra-Orthodox, is it worth it?

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid has relaunched a campaign over ultra-Orthodox drafting that the Knesset is about to change.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 5

After failing to find work, many Gazan medical professionals 'lease' their degrees to others

Haunted by a skyrocketing unemployment rate, medical graduates in the Gaza Strip are leasing their degrees to businessmen to make a living.
Read more»

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

Palestinian olive oil sector squeezed by production shortfalls

Olive oil is the main source of income for 100,000 Palestinian families, yet authorities keep ignoring warning signs in the struggling sector.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 11

Take me back to Gaza!

The author visits Jerusalem for the second time in her life and shares her feelings when she sets foot in the city.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 5

After big win in June, why did HDP lose this time?

Voters held the pro-Kurdish party HDP responsible for the violence that affected thousands before the election, turning to the Justice and Development Party to restore order.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 5

Will religiously divided landfills solve Lebanon's trash crisis?

Garbage is piling ever higher across Lebanon as political parties refuse to allow waste from outside their areas to be disposed in their constituency.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on November 5

How Israeli right will be able to hide behind proposed 'transparency law'

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's proposed "transparency law" burdens NGOs receiving foreign government assistance, but allows politicians and parties unfettered money from foreign organizations and individuals, including evangelical groups and alleged criminals.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 5

Rouhani criticizes IRGC's arrest of journalists

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly voiced his objection to the recent arrest of journalists accused of being part of an "infiltration network."
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 4

Start studying, it takes more than just good looks to be a model in Iran

The Iranian authorities are set to regulate the country's nascent modeling industry.
Read more»

 Zahra Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 5

The rise of 'shahada'

The concept of shahid re-emerges in the Palestinian discourse.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 4

Why Gaza's grooms are looking for a career-focused bride

Gazan society’s outlook on women's employment changes amid crippling economic conditions.
Read more»

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

Why Syria's youngest refugees need more than just food aid

The Syrian refugee children spread in Syria’s neighboring countries are at risk of becoming isolated and violent and need extensive psychological rehabilitation.
Read more»

 Sarah Nasr for Al-Monitor on November 4

Iranian olive branch offers diplomatic paradigm shift

To resolve regional crises before they become even worse, Iran and its Arab neighbors must engage in dialogue based on a new paradigm for conflict resolution.
Read more»

 Hassan Ahmadian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 4

Why Iraqi Christians are against the establishment of their own autonomous region

The secretary-general of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and member of the Iraqi parliament, Yonadam Kanna, speaks to Al-Monitor about the Christians’ status in Iraq, while he denied claims that they are demanding an autonomous region of their own, saying these claims are racist.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 3

How to apply the lessons from protecting Hebron to Jerusalem

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron has failed to make a major change in relations between Israelis and Palestinians, as many argue that a similar force in Jerusalem will not work unless it is given clear mandate and power to hold any violators accountable.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 3

Will new Egyptian employment law help its women lean in?

Nearly five years after the revolution, Egyptian women still face much the same obstacles in the workforce as the economy continues to limp along without their full participation.
Read more»

 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 3

The struggle to be king of the Mount

Israel should be wary that events surrounding the Temple Mount are morphing into a battle between the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and Jordan.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 3

Why these ultra-Orthodox Jews support the Palestinian cause

The ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta faction would rather live under Palestinian rule, while the mainstream ultra-Orthodox community believes that the Zionist state is essential for the Jewish people’s survival.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 3

The Israeli justice minister's 'transparency law'

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's transparency bill is actually aimed at delegitimizing left-wing NGOs and damaging their ability to operate, and helps her score points with her supporters as well, as these NGOs by law already have to submit the requested data.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 2

Turks divided over plans to introduce Arabic-language teaching

Turkey's Ministry of National Education has announced that Arabic courses will be offered to students starting in second grade, prompting some to call this an attempt to "assassinate secularism."
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 2

Could desalination solve Gaza's water woes?

The Gaza Strip is in dire need of a seawater desalination project, in light of a severe water shortage and the depletion of the only freshwater source.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 2

Porn-watching Egyptian actress arouses passionate debate

The actress Entisar faces trial for allegedly encouraging young men to watch pornographic films to educate themselves before marriage about sex.
Read more»

 Mohamed Saied for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 2

How will relations between Jews and Palestinians in Israel be restored?

Israelis can't rely on politicians to help repair fraught relations between Jewish and Arab citizens, because they are in part responsible for the incitement highlighted by the recent wave of stabbing attacks.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 2

Lebanese activists raise a stink about trash crisis, government paralysis

Lebanese civil movements continue to call for democratic reform, but government officials protest that real change will be decided, as always, outside Lebanon.
Read more»

 Gaja Pellegrini-Bettoli for Al-Monitor on November 3

Forget online dating, now the Turkish government will find you a spouse

Struggling to recover decreasing youth support for the AKP, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gambles on the sexual frustration of bachelors by promising to play matchmaker for the desperate.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on November 1

What's happening in Gaza's detention centers?

Al-Monitor was given exclusive access to testimonies of former female detainees who were subjected to several forms of torture, which officials deny.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 1

Why Gaza's brides are getting married via Skype

In light of the ongoing closure of the Rafah crossing, Palestinian couples find themselves forced to get married via Skype in proxy weddings.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 1

Lebanon's schools do double-duty to educate both Syrian, Lebanese students

The Lebanese Ministry of Education is working with international donors to increase the country’s capacity to secure education for the large number of displaced Syrian children.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on October 30

When conflict arises, these Iraqis go to the madeef

Madeefs have become a popular alternative to the traditional legal system in Iraq, with Iraqis seeking the assistance of tribes to settle disputes and conflicts.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 30

Egypt’s industrial sector struggles with growing Chinese presence

Faced with various economic challenges, the Egyptian government now has to protect its national industry from Chinese goods, which are both cheaper and made to better suit the population’s needs.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 29

Turkey's peace pipe to Cyprus

The water pipeline slated to reunify Cyprus faces strong opposition on environmental, cultural and political fronts from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on October 29

Gaza's libraries struggle to attract readers

Children in Gaza rarely go to public libraries, a problem observers attribute to a combination of their academic schedules, the blockade and Palestinian society’s lack of emphasis on reading.
Read more»

 Entsar Abu Jahal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 29

You won't believe what some Iranians have found in their bottled water

Iran is being plagued by an increasing number of scandals involving violations of food safety standards.
Read more»

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

Is kibbutz lifestyle sustainable?

Israeli students who grew up in a kibbutz intend to leave their communities in favor of city life and a profitable career.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 29

Will Big Brother be able to bring peace to Temple Mount?

Instead of installing cameras at the Temple Mount compound to discourage security violations, religious leaders should advocate turning the place into a global center of peace and human solidarity.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 29

Syria's 'holy war'

The Russian Orthodox Church's description of Moscow's intervention in Syria as a "holy war" has created a buzz among Lebanese Christians.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on October 28

Self-immolation spreads in Middle East

Self-immolation is becoming tragically more common in the Middle East, including Lebanon, where Syrian refugees are not the only ones setting themselves on fire in acts of desperation and despair.
Read more»

 Ash Gallagher for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on October 29

Why some Palestinian journalists struggle with when to put down the camera

Palestinian journalists covering the current events in Jerusalem and the West Bank are torn between the professionalism their jobs require and their sense of nationalism, often conveying a subjective image of the news.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 28

Even fatwas don't bring Egyptians out to vote

Religion has become an easily wielded political tool in Egypt, and the country's highest religious institution is now using it to fight low voter turnout in the parliamentary elections.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 28

Remembering Rabin's road

On this year's anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, Israelis should rethink their national priorities going forward.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 28

Some Iranians still dream of citizenship

Up to a million people born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers continue to be deprived of Iranian citizenship.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 27

Music lessons bring art, hope to refugee camps

A Palestinian music association runs schools offering musical skills and life lessons to refugee children in Lebanon and the West Bank.
Read more»

 Gaja Pellegrini-Bettoli for Al-Monitor on October 27

Egypt authorities blame destroyed archaeological sites on citizens' 'lack of cultural awareness'

The Arab Al Hosn area in Greater Cairo, known for its history and ancient relics, is being subjected to vandalism and theft by the area’s residents while authorities stand idly by.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 27

Yemen's decaying religious history

Historic sites are being destroyed by the civil war in Yemen’s once-peaceful city of Aden, known for its history of diversity and coexistence.
Read more»

Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on October 27

As popularity rises, Iran tries to control Telegram messaging app

Iranian authorities have asked Telegram messaging service to block "immoral" content.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 26

Jewish-Muslim couples tell their stories

Two mixed Jewish-Muslim couples, one residing in Jaffa and another in Umm al-Fahm, talk to Al-Monitor about how the current unrest is complicating their already cautious lives.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 26

Legendary Cairo cafe reopens

Four months after it closed following the death of its owner, downtown Cairo's Café Riche has become home again to the Arab intellectuals, revolutionaries and politicians who have frequented it since its inception in 1908.
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 26

How Palestinian factions are capitalizing on the unrest

Palestinian factions are taking advantage of the popular uprising to restore some of their dwindling popularity on the Palestinian street by diplomatically refusing to take a leadership role.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 26

The death of Yitzhak Rabin's legacy

Shimon Peres was not invited to the rally commemorating the 20th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, a sign of the rise of the right-wing camp and that the vision of peace shared by the two men no longer exists in Israel.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 26

Jerusalem's Orient House a symbol of Palestinian struggle

Reopening the historic Orient House in Jerusalem — which served as the PLO headquarters until 2001, when Israel closed it — would have the potential to show Israel's willingness to give the Palestinians more control in their struggle for self-determination.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 25

Will Black Sea cuisine be Erdogan's lasting legacy?

Once looked down on as bland and basic, Black Sea cuisine flourishes in Istanbul as a nutritional and exotic option.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on October 25

Schools in crisis in Turkey’s southeast

Violent unrest in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast has disrupted schools and education.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 23

Stateless in Gaza

Israel has yet to transfer civil and social powers to the Palestinian Authority, thus leaving 40,000-50,000 Palestinians in Gaza stateless and without legal status.
Read more»

 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 23

Why Lebanon's 'You Stink' movement lost momentum

The Lebanese popular movement to fight corruption in the political class has faced a number of setbacks.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on October 23

Religious events in Iraq become show of force

Religious events in Iraq have come to serve as opportunities for sects to make a show of force, as tensions persist in the country.
Read more»

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

Palestinians fired in retaliation for protests

Israeli employers are dismissing Palestinian workers in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a trend with dire consequences for Israel's economy.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 23

Israel, Palestine both stand to lose by cutting economic ties

If President Mahmoud Abbas follows through with threats to end the Palestinian Authority's economic cooperation with Israel, there will be wide economic repercussions for both sides.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 23

Tehran tries to make its addicts go to rehab

Iran's policy of forcibly transferring street addicts to government-run rehabilitation camps appears to falter.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 22

Who is spreading rumors about a coup in Iraq?

A rumor about an imminent coup spread in Baghdad at the end of September, which the Iraqi government rushed to deny.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 22

The renewed blood pact between Israeli, Palestinian extremists

Israelis are reacting with hatred and racism to the current spate of violence, ignoring the destructive ramifications of the endless cycle of occupation, humiliation, hatred and violence on their own security.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 22

What drove one young Israeli Bedouin man to attack?

Bedouin leaders in Israel fear that the attack by a young Bedouin man will stigmatize the whole community and further destabilize Bedouin-Jewish relations.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 21

Gazans find money in rubble of destroyed houses

Even university graduates have taken on the arduous work of extracting concrete and iron from the rubble of houses destroyed during last year's war in Gaza's stricken economy.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 21

At a cost of $500 million each month, Turkey staggers under growing refugee burden

Turkey’s spending on refugees has soared by an astonishing $1.5 billion in three months, and that figure doesn't include many other related costs.
Read more»

 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 20

Syrian Christian militias liberate Hasakah

Syrian Christian militia leader Ahiqar Issa talks to Al-Monitor about the reasons why Christians have taken up arms against terrorist groups in Syria.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on October 20

Will uprising bring Hamas, Fatah closer?

The unity shown by the Palestinian people on the ground in their uprising against Israeli practices can be reflected on the political scene; but will Fatah and Hamas take this opportunity to end the division?
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 20

Feeling targeted, ultra-Orthodox take up arms

As the wave of violence continues, many ultra-Orthodox Jews are acquiring weapons for self-defense, and the country’s firing ranges and security-guard training courses are reporting a significant uptick in ultra-Orthodox participants.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 20

Turkish religious scholar says 'masturbation is imperative and necessary'

A conference on religious healing, often known as prophetic medicine, held under the auspices of the Turkish premier’s wife, discussed the incorporation of Islamic teachings into the medical field and sexual proclivities.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 19

The danger of Iraq's informants

Thousands of Iraqis were arrested based on information provided by informants and turned out to be innocent, thus raising questions about Iraq’s judiciary system and human rights policies.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 19

Gaza's driving schools take students for a ride

Schools and instructors with dubious ties to driving examiners are taking financial advantage of students in Gaza.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 19

Egypt holds its breath for development of underwater museum

The project to build an underwater museum in Alexandria has been revived after years of having been stalled.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 19

As unrest expands, Gaza's women rise up

Women are joining the protests against Israeli soldiers on the eastern border of Gaza City.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on October 19

Iran's $40 million movie, is anyone watching it?

The most costly film in the history of Iran's cinema has been on the silver screen for just over a month, but what do Iranian viewers think of it?
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 19

The rise of Persian-Arab racial tensions

The recent spate of deadly incidents involving Iranians during the hajj leads to ballooning Persian-Arab racism on the Web.
Read more»

 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 16

Is Ankara putting out false information about peace rally bombings?

Despite ample intelligence warnings, the bombers of the Ankara peace rally were able to accomplish their mission, assisted not only by security failures and negligence but also by the political climate.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 16

Meet the man out to save Gaza's antiquities

Nafez Abed, one of Gaza’s most prolific sculptors, has been restoring Palestinian artifacts for almost 35 years, but his work receives limited recognition in the funding-deprived Gaza Strip, where tourists are rare.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 19

Will Rouhani end the $15 monthly handout to citizens?

Five years after its initiation, monthly cash handouts to citizens continue to burden the Iranian government. Will Rouhani finally end this program?
Read more»

 Alireza Ramezani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 15

Is Israel violating the Geneva Convention?

In light of the recent security escalation in Jerusalem, Israel has resumed its house demolition policy, violating international law.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 15

Israelis fear violence on soccer fields

Despite much-publicized attacks on soccer fields, experts insist that the number of such incidents has actually diminished to the point that more women and children are attending matches.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 16

Why some in Egypt are banning campaign photos of female candidates

The Nour Party is being criticized for banning campaign photos of female Coptic candidates running on its parliamentary electoral lists.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 16

The failure of Palestinian leadership in Israel

Once the rising star of Arab politics in Israel, over the past few days Knesset member Ayman Odeh has shown that he lacks real leadership, choosing to follow the voices that call for violence.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 15

Neglect eats away historical Iraqi city of Uruk

The historical city of Uruk in Iraq has been neglected by the government, as its monuments and artifacts are threatened by thieves and looting activities.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 15

Why some Israeli parents want to push back summer vacation

Some parents are calling for the Israeli school year's summer vacation to be moved from July-August to August-September, to include more of the Jewish high holidays.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 14

The high price for neglecting Palestinians in Israel

Growing frustration after years of discrimination and neglect is leading Israeli Arabs to identify with their West Bank brothers even as they attack their countrymen.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 13

Cairo University bans veil for instructors

The president of Cairo University has declared that faculty may not teach while wearing the veil, a move that many call unconstitutional and fear will create more problems.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 14

British film tells a Syrian love story

‘A Syrian Love Story,' an acclaimed documentary by Sean McAllister, takes a unique look at the personal cost of the ongoing Syrian civil war away from the battlefield.
Read more»

 Joseph Fahim for Al-Monitor on October 14

The 'smartphone intifada'

Social media is playing a vital role in the current Palestinian protests.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 13

Meet Palestine's first female marriage officiant

The appointment of Tahrir Hamad as Palestine’s first female Sharia marriage judge has been met with minimal objections.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 13

Arrest of Iranian teachers tests Iran-UAE relations

The arrest of Iranian teachers working in the UAE has prompted some Iranian officials to call for firmer measures against the UAE.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 12

Egypt's Nubians continue to demand right of return

Plans to build and expand dams have not, for years, taken the Nubians’ land, heritage and culture into consideration, but is there still hope for the cultural minority?
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 12

Will social media spark a third intifada?

Social media campaigns encourage and intensify the recent Palestinian outbreak that no party can control unless one "thinks differently," suggests media analyst Orit Perlov.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 12

Gaza tunnels, how did it all start?

The division of Rafah led to the creation of the tunnels, which are still being used to smuggle goods from Egypt to the Gaza Strip despite Egyptian authorities’ efforts to the contrary.
Read more»

 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 13

Egyptians face religious extremism with song

Singers shake things up by combining Christian and Muslim praise to stress the importance of unity and coexistence regardless of religious affiliations.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 11

Grew up Kurdish, forced to be Turkish, now called Armenian

When loose-talking Turkish officials toss around the word "Armenian" like it's a slur, they incite further hatred toward minorities.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on October 11

Descendants of Iraqi Jews preserve memories

An unidentified bride and groom in a photo displayed at an Iraqi Jewish exhibit has been identified by the couple's son, explaining how their wedding photo ended up in Saddam Hussein’s cellar in Baghdad.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 9

Could climate change send Egypt 'sinking into the sea'?

Although officials show interest in the issue of climate change and its impact on Egypt’s water and food security, the government has yet to take practical measures to address potential repercussions.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 11

Facts mingle with political fantasy in Ankara's Gulenist indictments

An indictment alleging an attempted coup against Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party government follows the party's narrative of a sinister parallel state and its imperialist collaborators.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on October 8

Will Saudi Arabia give up hajj management?

The harsh criticism by various Muslim countries and other parties of Saudi Arabia over the most recent hajj tragedy may prompt the kingdom to take drastic steps to protect its reputation.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on October 8

How a small Libyan town insulated itself from surrounding chaos

The town of Bani Walid is leading Libyans by example, practicing self-governance and avoiding the armed conflicts that have become common elsewhere in the country.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on October 7

Gaza's women-only cafe offers more than just coffee

Three sisters from Gaza decided to open an all-female cafe that they say allows patrons to be more comfortable and can serve as a venue for cultural events.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on October 7

Tunisia looks to welcome refugees, migrants with new asylum law

Rather than an accidental stopping point for refugees and migrants, Tunisia, with new asylum legislation, can become a destination country.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on October 6

Did Iranian TV censor Rafsanjani?

Iran's national media has been accused of editing out coverage of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from a commemoration for the hajj stampede victims.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 6

Egypt's secular culture minister ruffles Salafi feathers

Comments by new Egyptian Culture Minister Hilmi al-Namnam have sparked criticism from local Salafis as well as Saudi Wahhabis.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 6

An immigrant himself, Chobani yogurt founder becomes icon for refugees

A Kurdish immigrant from Turkey, Hamdi Ulukaya became the founder and CEO of the top-selling Greek yogurt in the United States and has now pledged to donate much of his wealth to refugees.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on October 5

Palestinian soccer scores goal in venue dispute

Following popular anger from Palestinian fans, a decision to relocate a soccer match between the Palestinian and Saudi teams outside of Palestine has been revoked.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 7

Saudis investigate Mina stampede

Since the deadly Mina incident, Iranian officials have been criticizing Saudi Arabia for its mismanagement of hajj affairs and its approach that seems focused on containing Muslim anger and avoiding a direct confrontation with Iran.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on October 5

Egyptian women take to streets to fight stereotypes … by directing traffic

The Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Interior Ministry and Giza governorate are collaborating to recruit young women to help direct traffic.
Read more»

Hala Ali for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 5

Israel finally agrees to increase support for Christian schools, but is it enough?

A historical agreement has been reached to rectify the discriminatory discrepancy in state subsidies to Jewish and Christian schools in Israel.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 5

Ultra-Orthodox fight to restrict Christian missions in Israel

Ultra-Orthodox and other Jewish organizations are pushing for an amendment to the Israeli law against proselytizing that they say is currently unenforced.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 5

Bon Jovi rocks Tel Aviv, dedicating 'We don’t run' to their fight

In a seemingly normal evening, Israelis enjoyed a rock show by Bon Jovi, while the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank keeps escalating, with dramatic stabbing incidents.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 5

For Turkey’s Greek minority, an island school provides fresh hope

A Greek school on an Aegean island in Turkey has reopened after half a century, raising hopes that Turkey’s dwindling Greek minority will escape extinction.
Read more»

 Kursat Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 2

Headscarves in schools: On or off? Policies vary

Measures to force female students to wear — or not wear — the hijab seem to be erratic between state schools in Gaza and the West Bank.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on October 4

Executive branch in Palestine muzzles peaceful activists

In the West Bank, the executive power is arresting political activists and bloggers on charges of inciting sectarian strife, based on legal texts experts argue are outdated.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 4

Aleppo residents celebrate Eid al-Adha, despite war

Syrians in Aleppo celebrate Eid al-Adha, despite the constant shelling by the regime forces.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 2

Will struggle over Jerusalem transform into regional religious war?

Israel, the Palestinians and the United States underestimate the emotional impact of the struggle over Jerusalem on Arab public opinion, thus leaving the gate open for it to escalate to a wide-scale conflict.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 4

Egyptian activists target corruption but should they be focused on political issues?

Egyptian youths are focusing their efforts to unveil corruption cases, as a recent study revealed the squandering of about $100 billion per year.
Read more»

 Reham Mokbel for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 1

Why have PKK cemeteries become a target?

Kurdish militants in Turkey are accused of using cemeteries as military bases and ammunition depots.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 30

Al-Aqsa tensions straining Palestinian solidarity

The Palestinian Authority's repressive approach to recent demonstrations is leading some to wonder whether popular anger against Israel might soon be turned against Palestinian security forces.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 30

Tunisia groaning under weight of unemployment

A recent study proposes measures to reduce Tunisia's unemployment rate, especially among women and youths.
Read more»

Translated from Business News (Tunisia) on October 2

Death of Egyptian author who drove across Israel leaves void in Israeli-Egyptian relations

The Egyptian satirist Ali Salem was more than just a true friend to a number of Israelis — he was the apostle of a warm peace.
Read more»

 Jacky Hugi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 30

Pedal power gets Turkish makeover

Turkish activists put heels on wheels to encourage women to ride bicycles for transportation, health, empowerment and a cleaner environment.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 29

Electricity crisis tests right to protest in Gaza

Palestinians disgruntled by ongoing power outages have expressed their frustration through street demonstrations, but the police have not been accommodating.
Read more»

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

Who are Egypt’s Amazighs?

The marginalization of Egypt’s Amazighs throughout history may have come to their advantage, as the community has been able to preserve its traditions and unique identity.
Read more»

 Omar al-Naghy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 29

Turkey’s non-Muslims demand apology from Ankara

On the 60th anniversary of the Istanbul pogroms, Turkey’s exiled minorities and their descendants are demanding acknowledgment and restitution from the Turkish state.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 28

23 years and millions of dollars later, will the Grand Egyptian Museum ever open?

The Grand Egyptian Museum project has been stalled since its announcement in 1992, although the Egyptian authorities believe the museum will boost tourism.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 28

Israeli culture minister decries Western culture

Culture Minister Miri Regev belittled Western education to appeal to her constituency, but these populist declarations contradict the social mobility achieved by Mizrahi women through university studies, including her own.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 28

Iranian officials call for change in hajj administration

After a stampede that killed at least 131 Iranians and with more than 300 still missing, Iranian officials have called for a review to change the administration of hajj pilgrimages for it to be put under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 25

Turkey major conduit for Syrian 'blood antiquities'

Turkey is a major transit country used by the Islamic State for trafficking looted antiquities, but authorities have not been forthcoming about their seizures.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 25

Khamenei condemns Saudi Arabia for hajj stampede

Iranian officials have blamed Saudi management of the hajj for the stampede that left at least 125 Iranians dead.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 24

Ultra-Orthodox war against Jews ascending Temple Mount

Ultra-Orthodox leaders generally agree that Jews should not ascend the Temple Mount, but a growing number of Orthodox-Zionist rabbis support Temple Mount activists in their campaign to ascend, for nationalist reasons.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 24

West Bank wall threatens Palestine’s flora, fauna

The wall Israel is building in the West Bank is taking a toll on nature and animals.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 27

Gazans consider the Strip 'unhabitable' now

A UN report has warned that Gaza may become uninhabitable by 2020, yet according to some Gazans the precarious security and living conditions make the coastal strip already unlivable.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 24

Tourists drawn to hot springs, natural beauty of Egypt's remote Siwa Oasis

Located near Egypt's western border with Libya, the Siwa Oasis offers visitors everything from healing hot springs and a nature preserve to archaeological treasures.
Read more»

 Omar al-Naghy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 24

Gaza pharmacists survive by 'lending' diplomas to investors

The dire economic situation in Gaza has driven pharmacology graduates to charge investors a fee for the use of their degrees to obtain pharmacy licenses.
Read more»

 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 24

Palestinians search for better life in Israel

The Gaza blockade has been in place for about eight years now and it does not seem like the living conditions are going to improve soon, so some Palestinians try to infiltrate Israel to find better opportunities.
Read more»

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

Iraq’s ancient Kish City lies buried in sand

Iraq’s Kish City has managed to overcome many natural disasters and neglect on the part of its residents and the government, but it has now been turned into a desolate site covered in sand.
Read more»

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

Rafah farmers watch in horror as Egypt floods Gaza tunnels

Experts say the effects of the Egyptian army pumping seawater into the tunnels under Rafah will be disastrous for the Palestinian economy and agriculture.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 25

Are reforms in Arab banking sector key to fighting terrorism?

The latest Union of Arab Banks conference discussed ways to integrate all citizens in the banking sector’s database, to be able to fight money laundering and terrorism.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on September 24

Egyptian protesters thwarted once again

The Egyptian security forces were able to oppose the protests that trade unions called for against the Civil Service Law, deemed unfair to state employees.
Read more»

 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 23

Gaza City workers make rounds by bicycle

In one municipality in the Gaza Strip, where municipal services suffer from a lack of vehicles, sanitation inspectors are getting around on bicycles in an already popular project that is likely to spread.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 23

Israel attempts to redefine terrorism, but is its definition too broad?

Some observers are concerned that a draft Israeli law's wide-ranging definition of what constitutes terrorism could outlaw opposition to the occupation and suppress political opposition in Israel.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on September 23

Beyond glass ceiling, Iranian women face iron fence

The Iranian Ministry of Education's decision to impose gender quotas raises bewilderment, disappointment.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 22

Why Israelis are happier than ever

Recent surveys indicate that the average Israeli is happy, optimistic and likes having children despite existential security threats from near and far.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on September 23

Iraq's Kakai minority joins fight against Islamic State

Some in Iraq’s Kakai minority group have claimed to be Muslim to avoid persecution, while others are working to form a militia to protect themselves.
Read more»

 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 22

Palestinians learning Hebrew for strategic advantage

Increasing numbers of Palestinians in Gaza are studying Hebrew so they can follow Israeli media, understand Israeli thinking and, therefore, better manage the conflict between the two sides.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 22

Egypt's Coptic cinema on brink of extinction

The Coptic film industry in Egypt, where production has dwindled to nearly nothing, is trying to protect what little revenue remains by targeting illegal downloads.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 22

Glick continues his campaign to bring Jews to Temple Mount

Talking to Al-Monitor, activist Yehuda Glick, who preaches for Jews to ascend the Temple Mount, says that following his yearslong activity, thousands of Jews have visited the compound and many rabbis have stopped being opposed to it.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 23

Why more and more secular Israelis are fasting on Yom Kippur

Recent studies show that more Israelis are fasting on Yom Kippur not so much as a religious ritual, but as a way to reconnect with their Jewish identity or create their own spiritual space.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 22

After escaping Holocaust, thousands of Israeli survivors struggle with poverty, loneliness

Reports indicate that many Holocaust survivors not only live in poverty, but also suffer from loneliness.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 21

Female athletes keep ball rolling in Palestine

Many female soccer players in Palestine are fighting an uphill battle given their towns’ traditions, which discourage women from participating in athletics.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 21

Iraq tries to help shake stigma of orphans

The Iraqi government and society must do more to end "honor killings" of women who give birth out of wedlock and to provide care and compassion for the children left behind.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 21

Israeli journalist archives lives of Palestinian citizens

Jewish Israeli photojournalist Miki Kratsman has been posting photos of Palestinians he took while covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over 30 years, and asking about what happened to them.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 21

Is this the next movie to be banned by Egypt?

Al-Azhar says it opposes the Iranian movie “Muhammad: The Messenger of God” because of representations of the prophet, but some suspect political motives behind its reaction.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 21

Will Rouhani end jamming of satellite TV signals?

In Iran, controversy continues over the hotly debated issue of the jamming of signals from foreign-based satellite channels.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 20

Is this Israeli banking's next 'iron lady'?

Bank Leumi CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach was named one of Fortune Magazine's powerful women of 2015, though in Israel she is perceived as insensitive to social justice issues.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 18

'Ghost apartments' haunt Jerusalem

Foreigners from around the globe are buying luxury apartments in Jerusalem to spend the holidays there, and the effect on the local housing market is hard to deny.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 21

Who are Temple Mount's Mourabitoun?

In an Al-Monitor interview, a female Muslim activist discusses her organization's perspective on defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound against what it views as encroaching Jewish pilgrims and activists.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 18

Villages abandoned as Syrians flee northern Aleppo

The northern countryside of Aleppo has been emptied as thousands fled to surrounding areas following the intensification of the Islamic State attacks in August.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on September 18

Egyptian women urged to 'put on your dress'

An Egyptian activist has called for women to fight sexual harassment on Egypt's streets by ditching the hijab and dressing as they please.
Read more»

Hala Ali for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 18

If you’re using iMessage, here’s why the Turkish government might think you’re a spy

The latest arrest and deportation of foreign journalists reveals how misunderstood encryption technology is in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 17

Alexandria's urban heritage threatened by developers

Egyptian activists are trying to reach out to people to stop the destruction of this historical city.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor on September 20

Nile river boat tours often sail Egyptians toward death

Boats offering rides on the Nile River are a popular but dangerous attraction due to many security breaches and lax enforcement.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 20

Iraq sees exodus of minorities

Large waves of emigration are dramatically depleting Iraq’s minority populations, especially Christians, with dire consequences for the country's future diversity.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on September 17

How one of the smallest religious communities in the world is struggling to sustain its community

The Samaritans are desperately trying to sustain their lineage in their West Bank enclave on Mount Gerizim.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 20

How feminist groups are taking on post-revolution Egypt

Egyptian activists have been establishing groups and campaigns to raise awareness and fight sexual harassment since the revolutions erupted in Egypt.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor on September 17

Tightened security backfires at Al-Aqsa

Israel has taken measures to limit the number of Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque so that Jewish visitors can pray there, but the steps seem to be increasing rather than soothing tensions.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on September 18

Reform Judaism grows in Israel

Though the pushback from some ultra-Orthodox politicians and others is still harsh, the leaders of the Israel movement for Reform and progressive Judaism feel that more Israelis are opening up to them and supporting their vision of Judaism and solidarity.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 17

Egyptian Coptic Church tapped to play the role of mediator in Nile River dispute

Egypt is looking to capitalize on the Coptic Church’s disputed influence to affect relations between Ethiopia and Egypt on the Nile water-sharing and Renaissance Dam dossier.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 16

Khamenei asks IRGC to prevent 'enemy’s influence'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders, asking them to protect the country from foreign influence.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 16

Is Saudi Arabia up to the task of protecting the 'House of God'?

With construction issues at the Grand Mosque and the threat of Islamist militants, the hajj presents a unique challenge to Saudi organizers every year.
Read more»

Fahad Nazer for Al-Monitor on September 16

Libyan locals give 'dignified end' to unidentified refugee victims

Many of those attempting to reach Europe from Africa or the Middle East by sea drown en route, with their bodies washing ashore on the Libyan coast, far away from their loved ones.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on September 16

Refugees risk it all

Even daily tragedies at sea don’t stop Syrian refugees from risking their lives and those of their families trying to get to Europe from Turkey.
Read more»

 Kursat Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 16

Right-wing cyber 'soldiers' take on Israeli human rights organization

The Israeli conservative organization My Israel has rallied its members to vote for human rights activists from around the world in a campaign to sabotage the candidacy of B'Tselem, currently a finalist for the Human Rights Tulip award.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 16

Hamas shifts public relations strategy

It seems that Hamas' military wing is now handling the movement's recruitment efforts among Gaza's youth, replacing the previous management by Hamas' political wing.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 16

Displaced Yazidis in Georgia find respite, but little else

A small number of Iraqi Yazidis fleeing Islamic State attacks in 2014 headed for economically struggling Georgia, where the existing Yazidi community, itself formed by refugees escaping persecution, has been trying to assist them.
Read more»

 Maxim Edwards for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 22

Iranian authorities scramble to stop 'Beat the Arab'

An online game targeting Arabs and hosted on Iranian websites is prompting authorities to take action.
Read more»

 Zahra Alipour for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 16

Ongoing violence, curfews keep doctors from tending to sick in southeast Turkey

Alarm bells are ringing for the health sector in Turkey’s conflict-ridden southeast as draconian security measures and simmering violence disrupt medical services and lead to civilian deaths.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 15

One migrant’s encounter with death

As people in Libya try to make their way out of the country, mainly through illegal means, they are realizing the danger involved in the smuggling operations.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on September 15

Double victory for Palestine in FIFA qualifying match

The qualifying soccer match between Palestine and the United Arab Emirates ended in a draw; both sides considered it a victory for Palestine for being able to host a home game on Palestinian territory.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on September 15

'Guests of God' pay high price

Has the commercialization of the pilgrimage to Mecca overshadowed the Saudi leadership’s goal of serving Muslims?
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on September 14

Is Turkey ignoring Islamic State threats against Christians?

Turkey’s tiny Protestant community has received recent threats believed to be from the Islamic State, but as in the past, state authorities have failed to take measures to protect the community.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 14

Syria's new capital … Istanbul

While Europe panics over 224,000 refugees, displaced Syrians have reached 330,000 in Istanbul alone.
Read more»

 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 14

Algeria's language war

A proposal to use colloquial dialect, as opposed to formal Arabic, in Algerian primary schools has reignited the debate over the place of standard Arabic and French in Algeria's educational system.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on September 15

Iraq’s government, society struggle with widespread bribery

Although Iraqis have recently taken to the street in protest of the rampant corruption among government officials, it seems that eliminating bribery is far-fetched as it is rooted in government officials as well as employees.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 14

Livestock prices soar in Gaza

Each year around Eid al-Adha, the demand for sacrificial animals rises simultaneously with their prices, but more Gazans than ever are left unable to buy them as the already difficult economic situation worsens.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 14

Is Turkey heading toward civil war?

Following the deaths of 30 soldiers and police in PKK operations, a nationwide wave of attacks on Kurds has increased the risk of deepening ethnic strife and stoking renewed separatist sentiment.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on September 13

Defying Palestinian law, many still seek work in West Bank settlements

Palestinian workers are forced to seek employment, and accept harsh working conditions, in Israeli settlements, as the Palestinian Authority has failed to create viable alternatives.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 14

Israeli, Palestinian women weave peace through fashion

American psychologist Whit Jones has brought together Israeli and Palestinian women to jointly create a fashion brand featuring Israeli design and Palestinian embroidery.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 11

Thousands of years later, Egyptian passion for stargazing still burns bright

Though the ancient Egyptians made significant achievements in astronomy, the field is languishing today, prompting one Egyptian scientist to lead popular field trips encouraging interest in space.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 11

Catholic Democrats leverage pope's visit to push for admitting more Syrian refugees

Lawmakers hope pontiff's moral authority will overcome growing anti-Muslim sentiment.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on September 10

Iraqi political cartoonist draws trouble

Iraqi cartoonists are targeted for their drawings that criticize corruption and Islamic political parties in the country.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 11

Protesters destroy Hafez al-Assad statue in Suwayda

The residents of the Syrian city of Suwayda took to the street in peaceful demonstrations in early September to voice their opposition to the rampant corruption and bad living conditions in the city.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on September 10

Religious leaders divided over proposal to add movie theaters to mosques

The head of an international association for Islamic preaching has proposed an initiative to annex theater halls to mosques in Egypt, stirring controversy among the country's religious institutions.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 10

Struggling to keep up, conflict causes major economic setback in Turkey's poorest region

After several years of revival, the struggling economy of Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern region faces collapse.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 9

Soap is slippery business in Nablus

Nablus has been historically known for pioneering soap-making in Palestine, but the once-booming industry there is now facing some hurdles.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 9

Is Israel discriminating against Christian schools?

Christian schools in Israel have not started the new school year, claiming that they are discriminated against and receive much smaller budgets than Jewish schools.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 9

After mass rape by the Islamic State, Yazidi women still struggle to break the silence

Some of the Yazidi women sold and enslaved by Islamic State militants told Al-Monitor about their horrific experiences, including repeated rapes, but others claimed they were only forced to cook and clean for fear of being stigmatized by their conservative community.
Read more»

 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor on September 9

Christians demonstrate against wall in Beit Jala

The fight over land in the predominantly Christian Palestinian town of Beit Jala has been fought on the ground and in the Israeli courts for years, with Christian leaders at the head of Palestinian efforts.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on September 9

Syrians turn to virtual health clinic for medical help

An online clinic founded by Syrian activists provides diagnoses and advice to Syrians unable to access medical assistance because of the war.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on September 9

Palestinian women up in arms against Israeli soldiers

Palestinian women are trying everything in their power to protest land confiscations and other Israeli measures, and it seems they have no problem resorting to fistfights when children are at risk.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 8

Egypt begins rounding up dissidents under new terror law

Under the new anti-terror law issued by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, several young Egyptians have already been arrested and could face sentences of 10 years in prison or even death.
Read more»

 Emily Crane Linn for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 8

Israelis forgo homemade wedding foods in favor of gourmet hummus, Galilean artisanal cheese

Young Israeli newlyweds have moved on from the homemade wedding food of the '60s, the pastries of the '70s, and the glittery presentation of the '80s in favor of a fusion of world and local cuisines.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on September 15

Gaza’s children meet sad fate at amusement parks

Children are falling victim to the lack of safety measures in amusement parks in the Gaza Strip.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 8

Israel's opposition politicians head to 'political wilderness'

The decline of the big political parties and the rise of personality driven parties are harming Israeli politics by devaluing being in the opposition, where accomplishing change for the public good requires determination.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 8

The untold story of how Congress is helping save a Lebanese cultural jewel

A US senator created the American Committee for Tyre 35 years ago, and now former Hill staffers are bringing it back to life.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on September 7

Twenty years later, Turkey's Kurds still search for their missing

The clock has run out on Kurds' decadeslong efforts to resolve cases of kidnapping and murder from the 1990s, leaving hundreds of Kurdish families distraught.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 4

Iraqis look to gemstones for psychological, physical treatment

Iraqis are increasingly buying precious stones, which they believe have therapeutic capacities, can give energy and strength, protect them from envy and fend off dangers.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 7

Are Turkey's AKP Twitter trolls heading for unemployment?

If the AKP fails to decisively win the upcoming elections, one can expect a thorough liquidation not only of its questionable social media organization, but also its radio and television operations.
Read more»

 Emre Kizilkaya for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 4

Egypt's battle against Facebook continues

Calls for blocking Facebook in Egypt will not yield the desired results, according to some experts, as terrorist ideas and rumors can continue to spread on other websites.
Read more»

Hala Ali for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 7

Small quakes shake loose big fears in Tehran

A recent series of small quakes near Tehran revives fears of the consequences of a major tremor striking the Iranian capital.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 3

Is Turkey driving down road to environmental disaster?

The Turkish government’s Green Road Project has turned the quiet residents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s home region into feisty street protesters as they struggle to protect the environment on which their livelihoods and traditions rely.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 3

Egypt limits ability of imams to run for office

A few Ministry of Awqaf-affiliated officials announced their intention to run for election, which brought about criticism by religious and political authorities about the extent to which the executive and legislative powers can mix.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 6

Shopping in Gaza's flea market

Gaza’s markets offering secondhand goods are frequented by the poor and rich who are searching for high-quality goods at reduced prices.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 3

New Istanbul bookstore-cafe focuses on Arab culture, refugee experience

A small group of Syrian intellectuals has founded a bookstore-cafe in Istanbul, hoping to bridge cultures and promote Arab refugees' rich literary and cultural heritage.
Read more»

 Sarah Nasr for Al-Monitor on September 3

What's next for Abadi?

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's moderate path in implementing government reforms has kept the peace among the governing political parties.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on September 3

Hunger-striking women's group hopes to bring peace to Israel

Members of the Women Wage Peace movement — a group of women from all sectors, ages and communities — hope that their recent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will add another layer to the public movement they are building for peace with the Palestinians.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 3

Destroying Alexandria

The author describes the environmental mistreatment of Alexandria that has been ongoing for decades.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on September 4

Gaza's blind karate team dreams big

A group of blind youths recently received their yellow belts in karate after only 21 days of training, and their concerned club is hoping to get enough funding to help the children eventually reach Arab and international levels.
Read more»

 Huda Baroud for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 6

Cairo tuk-tuk ban could leave commuters stuck-stuck

Though millions of Egyptians rely on cheap and versatile auto rickshaws to get around, the government has banned the mini taxis in several Cairo neighborhoods after efforts to regulate them failed.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 3

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."
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 Tulay Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on August 30

Lebanon protesters shift focus from garbage crisis to cleaning up 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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."
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on August 21

Weak security plagues Egypt’s archaeological sites

Security is tight in Egypt’s state institutions, but neglect is slowly destroying the country’s rich heritage as archaeological sites lack trained and armed security guards to protect them from terrorists and looting.
Read more»

Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 7

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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 19

Egyptians left in 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on August 18

Khuzestan tells story of Persia’s rise, fall

Iran's Khuzestan province, with its many ancient sites and artifacts, tells the story of Persia’s rise and fall.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 4

'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.
Read more»

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

Which ancient leader is really buried in colossal Tower of Tughrul?

Controversy surrounds a 12th-century tomb tower carrying the name of the founder of the Seljuk dynasty, Tughrul Beg.
Read more»

 Enis Erdem Aydin for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 7

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on August 14

Weaving through Turkey's history of kilims

Hand-woven kilims are inspired by a rich culture, but are also gaining global popularity among rich, modern-day nomads.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 3

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
Read more»

 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.