Culture & Society

Amal Clooney attracts attention at Armenian genocide trial

The case before the European Court of Human Rights concerns the right of Dogu Perincek, the leader of the Turkish Workers Party, to deny that Armenians had suffered a genocide.
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 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on January 30

Moderate Islam pushes back extremism

Terrorist operations carried out by radical Islamic groups around the world and in the Middle East have had the unintended effect of promoting moderate Islam, particularly in Iran.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 30

Iraqi folk poets face criticism

Some Iraqi intellectuals say the the spread of folk poems butchers the classic Arabic language and serve the interests of political parties.
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 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 29

Al-Qassam youth training camps open again

The Vanguards of Liberation camps, previously organized under the supervision of the Education and Interior Ministries in Hamas-run Gaza, are now under the control of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which some think might be using the camps to recruit young men as fighters.
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 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 29

Algeria's Amazighs celebrate 3000 year old festival

The Amazighs' celebration of Yannayar links the group back to its origins through stories and rituals.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on January 30

Iran responds to caricatures with 'I love Muhammad' campaign

Iranians have rallied around the hashtag campaign "I love Muhammad" on social media following Charlie Hebdo's printing of another caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
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Rohollah Faghihi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 30

Beirut libraries struggle with funding

Beirut's public libraries are trying to draw in new clientele in an age where Lebanese social services are vanishing.
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 Melissa Tabeek for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on January 28

Mosul deteriorates under IS occupation

Mosul has become an impoverished, broken city whose residents face great risks when they try to contact their loved ones in other Iraqi cities, fearing their Islamic State occupiers' retaliation.
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 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 28

Israeli pollsters struggle to keep pace with social media

Following the unexpected results of the 2013 elections, can Israeli pollsters grasp the socio-economic concerns of young Israelis expressed online?
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 28

Austerity for Egypt's Internet?

As social media activists in Egypt rally to demand faster and cheaper Internet services, the government of Ibrahim Mehleb asks citizens to limit their Internet consumption, a move many see as one austerity step too far.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 27

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