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In Depth

President Abbas at the Helm again: A Way Forward for Palestinians

by Munshi Zubaer Haque, Intern, Beirut Center for Middle East Studies President of Palestinian Authority (PA) and Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Mahmoud Abbas has been re-elected as head or chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a move that clearly seems to be a further consolidation of his authority …

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Jerusalem is a Red Line

By: Wasan Abu Baker*   Ben Gurion in 1948 said, “We must do everything to insure the Palestinians never do return. The old will die and the young will forget”. In a recent interview with Helena Cobban hosted by the Institute for Palestine Studies, Dr. Rashid Khalidi, the founder of …

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Korea: The Kim Jong Un Phenomenon

by Graham E. Fuller*  —   I may be naive but I get the feeling that something possibly profound is underway with the recent dramatic flurry of diplomatic activity surrounding the once reclusive leader Kim Jong Un; it could represent a turning point in the geopolitics of East Asia. In …

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A Tunisian fugitive from ISIS tells his story

Mohammed Fahem

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — Tunisian writer Hadi Yahmad recently published a book in Arabic about Tunisian jihadi Mohammed Al-Fahem. Born in 1990, Fahem traveled to Syria in late 2014 to join the “The Islamic State”(ISIS) — for him and his extremist cohorts, a dream come true. Fahem fled ISIS …

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Syria: bottom line questions

Graham E. Fuller — The Trump administration has just delivered several dozen military strikes against Syria purportedly aimed at chemical production and storage facilities. It was an act the international community feared might lead to overt war in Syria between the US, Iran and Russia, but it came off a bit …

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The Return of Sufism to the UAE

By Haytham Mouzahem* The past two decades have witnessed a reemergence of Sufism in the Gulf states. The phenomenon may be understood, in part, as a reaction to the extremism of “Salafi jihadism”: Gulf states opposed to the extremist strand have begun to welcome Sufi scholars from other Muslim countries …

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In Wake of Gaza Massacre, Israeli Leaders Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes

By Marjorie Cohn On March 30, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers shot 773 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, killing 17 and wounding 1,400. Twenty remain in critical condition. The protesters were marching to demand the internationally mandated right of return of refugees to their cities and villages in what now constitutes Israel. …

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My New Novel, BEAR

by Graham E. Fuller (grahamefuller.com), 2 April 2018   I am happy to announce to interested readers the publication of my new novel, BEAR. Some may recall from my blog a few years back the publication of my first novel: “Breaking Faith: a novel of espionage and an American’s crisis …

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Sufi Followers of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – This article first appeared on the Mesbar Studies and Research Centre — A few years ago, Al-Mesbar Center published a book entitled “Sufism in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” I found the publication remarkable in its context, in light of Saudi Arabia’s adoptions of a Salafi doctrine …

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Flexing your Intellectual Muscles: Indo-Pacific Conflict Scenarios, in Fact and Fiction!

By Emad El-Din Aysha, PhD*   Attended a very interesting lecture the other day with a deceptively simple title: “The Dynamics of the Indo-Pacific Region: The Challenges and Opportunities for Japan”, by Professor Satoru Mori from the Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan. (Faculty of Law, Department of Global Politics; little …

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The rapprochement between India and Israel

By Geoffrey Cook*   The friendly ties between India and Israel are only about twenty years old whereas rapprochement  started haltingly five years earlier in 1992.  They have become most friendly with the rise of the Narendra Modi and his Islamophobic BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) during 2014. Today their ties …

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The development of religious authority in Iran

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – first appeared on Almesbar site – After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Empire, many Persians converted to Islam and, over time, came to embrace its tenets. An outsize number became prominent scholars and eventually drivers in all fields of Islamic knowledge, including theology, philosophy, …

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Valentine’s Day and the Need for Sufism

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — Last week, on Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia, prominent cleric Ahmed Qasim al-Ghamdi — a former director-general of the “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the kingdom’s “religious police” — made a remarkable statement. He opined that Valentine’s Day is a …

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Who is containing whom?

by Graham E. Fuller Over the years “containment” has been a key US political instrument by which it has sought to isolate, starve out, or excommunicate from the “international community” regimes unwilling to accept the US-dominated world order. Yet the great irony today is that this very US policy of …

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Saudi Women and the Economy

by Mohammad Zayed* — In a historic step towards economic and social reforms following the falling of oil prices by more than 50%, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has recently declared the lifting of the long-standing ban on women driving in the kingdom (the only country in the world that …

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Iran—On the Brink?

by Graham E. Fuller* — With the emergence of demonstrations and rioting in various Iranian cities earlier this month, Washington’s neoconservatives and interventionist/ imperial-minded “liberals” have been given a new lease on life in promoting their aspirations for “regime change” in Tehran. Indeed, of the three current potential global flashpoints—North …

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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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