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In Depth

Battle of Karbalā and Martyrdom of Imam Hussein

WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica Battle of Karbalāʾ, (October 10, 680 [10th of Muharram, AH 61]), brief military engagement in which a small party led by al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of ʿAlī, the fourth caliph, was defeated and massacred by an army sent by the Umayyad caliph Yazīd I. …

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Why Do Revolutions Erupt?

    by: Abir Bassam* — The question was raised by Dr. Haytham Mouzahem in his Arab book “Why Do Revolutions Erupt?”(2017), coincided with the eruptions or so-called revolutions in the Arab states under the title: “the Arab Spring”.  However, the question was answered in reference to several historians’ and …

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The Lie of a Century

By Mohamed Mohamed November 2, 1917 marks an infamous chapter of Palestinian history, when the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued a statement declaring British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Coming from the most powerful empire of the time, the Balfour Declaration provided a major endorsement and propaganda …

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The Israel Lobby

By John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has …

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Who Gets to Have a State?

By Graham E. Fuller The past two weeks have seen two referendums vote for national self-determination. The Iraqi Kurds voted for independence but the referendum was rejected by the central government in Baghdad. Then Catalans in Spain voted for their own independent state in a referendum similarly rejected by Madrid. …

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The Future of the Kurds

By Graham Fuller Of all the peoples of the Middle East who have suffered through  various wars and manipulations by the US and other foreign powers over the past century, the Kurds are probably the only people whose national cause has actually improved during the more recent geopolitical turmoil. On …

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North Korea—the Deeper Issues

By Graham Fuller It’s hard to make up a character like Kim Jong Un—his demeanor that reeks callow youth, corpulent self-indulgence, bathing in the adulation of his attendant military brass who sport the highest crowned military visors in the business, the adoring public applause as he presides over another reckless …

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American sanctions: A war strategy

By Sara Safa “International sanctions” is a new term in international politics and a new strategy or political instrument that came more operational in the early 1970’s after US withdrawal from the Vietnam war amid several challenges and a real economic pressure that the US had to face especially after …

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Dark Signs in the Persian Gulf

By Graham Fuller* — The political and economic assault against Qatar by a Saudi-led coalition so far shows no signs of succeeding in bending Qatar to its will. More seriously, it raises ominous signals for the future of geopolitics in the Arabian Peninsula. That future may have less to do …

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Trump Pulls the Plug in Syria

By Graham E. Fuller Every once in a while President Trump manages to get something right. This time it is the decision to call off the broad US covert assistance to the Syrian opposition forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. Asad has been notoriously brutal in putting down the …

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The Summer of Our Discontent: Sects and Citizens in Lebanon and Iraq

MAHA YAHYA for CARNEGIE — Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, …

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