Summary: the people of Lebanon have somehow made it through another summer despite being hobbled by a greedy and incompetent caretaker government, ever present sectarian divisions and a compromised judiciary.
Summary: child abuse is a huge problem but social taboos and government indifference means little action is taken; in war zones such as Syria physical and sexual abuse is a deliberate regime weapon; breaking the taboos, providing sanctuary and support for survivors and arresting, convicting and jailing perpetrators is urgently required.
Summary: our second instalment of great summer reads offers an indepth analysis of the weaponisation of the information space, a powerful personal memoir, an insightful study of how a decade of violence has scarred Libya, a delightful children’s book, a new edition of Helen Lackner’s seminal study of the Yemen war and the republished Sahar Khalifeh classic Wild Thorns.
Summary: the ever-increasing danger of dust storms, Iraq’s marshlands dying, a Lebanese journalist jailed, Foreign Office fall-out from a piece of anti-BDS legislation, a Palestinian family evicted from their East Jerusalem home and Black African migrants targeted in Tunisia.
Summary: ISIS strikes in Syria, MbS leaves Paris smiling, a “bad bill” comes before the UK parliament, the cycle of violence in the Occupied West Bank intensifies and a great chef passes away in Lebanon.
Summary: the digital transition is causing major changes across the world, from the adoption of AI chatbots like ChatGPT to major investments in IT infrastructure and fibre-optic cables. The Middle East is scrambling to keep up with the latest developments.
Summary: while Syria’s Bashar al-Assad basks in the mostly friendly embrace of his Arab counterparts, Canada and the Netherlands are taking the dictator and his regime to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Summary: a red notice may prove of little real consequence for the Governor of the Bank of Lebanon who continues to avoid justice for actions that have helped to wreck the Lebanese economy.
Summary: COP28, scheduled to take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, has invited the Syrian president to attend as the Arab world continues its rehabilitation of a leader once reviled as a pariah.
Summary: as his allies and former Arab critics rally around the Syrian president he is using the lure of lucrative reconstruction contracts to strengthen his position.