Culture & Society

Iraqis wage new battle for freedoms

A controversial draft law that curbs freedoms of expression and assembly has been resubmitted to the Iraqi parliament, sparking a wave of criticism from activists and civil society organizations.
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 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 18

Lebanon signs agreement with Mercosur

Lebanon has signed a memorandum of understanding with the South American free trade organization Mercosur, whose member states host three times the number of Lebanese living in Lebanon.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on December 18

Nepotism flourishes under AKP

Turkey’s main opposition party has revealed a list of government workers who got public jobs through corrupt channels and created a website for citizens to report other cases.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 18

Egypt universities outsource security

Falcon Group International, a private contractor, is responsible for security in 12 Egyptian universities, but its presence has sparked controversy among students and administrators alike.
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 Amr Abdelatty for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 18

Are Israeli voters worried more about security or the economy?

Some Israeli left-wing politicians have hinted lately that the reported attack on Syria well serves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party ahead of the elections, shifting public focus away from an economic agenda back to security threats.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 18

How foreign imams radicalized Syria's war

When eastern Aleppo fell to rebel factions, radical preachers from abroad quickly moved in and began proselytizing extremist views to the local population, raising fears that such effects may linger for years to come.
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Edward Dark for Al-Monitor on December 17

Iran warned Australia about Sydney attacker

Sydney hostage-taker Man Haron Monis had long been wanted by Iran for fraud.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor on December 16

Mothers of missing Syrians look for answers

Thousands of Syrians remain missing, either abducted by armed groups or held in government prisons, leaving their anguished families distraught.
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Khaled Atallah for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 16

Sisi under fire over proposed defamation law

Even loyal followers of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are up in arms about the proposed defamation law criminalizing the January 25 and June 30 revolutions.
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 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 16

Erdogan showing his true, authoritarian colors

Turkey took a dangerous turn toward autocracy with the arrest of journalists critical of the government.
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on December 16

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