Revolution for Dummies: The Egyptian heart surgeon exiled for making jokes

Bassem Youssef, a heart surgeon living with his wife and baby daughter in Cairo, was one of millions of Egyptians whose lives were changed forever by the Arab Spring. His story, however, is unique. Nicknamed ‘the Jon Stewart of Egypt’, Bassem shot to fame for uploading political satire videos to YouTube from his laundry room, … Continue reading Revolution for Dummies: The Egyptian heart surgeon exiled for making jokes

Middle East Monthly Roundup: November

It’s time for our monthly summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East over the last month, where we explain why they matter and what they mean for the region. Here’s the biggest story from November: British academic Matthew Hedges was sentenced then pardoned by the UAE for spying What happened British academic Matthew … Continue reading Middle East Monthly Roundup: November

Freedom Is an Inside Job: Iraqi Activist Zainab Salbi on how to heal the world

Zainab Salbi is an Iraqi humanitarian, author and activist who founded Women for Women International – a not-for-profit organisation supporting women in conflict-afflicted areas. Growing up in Baghdad, her parents’ reluctant friendship with Saddam Hussein cast a dark and repressive shadow over her childhood. Today, Salbi is telling her remarkable story in a brave and … Continue reading Freedom Is an Inside Job: Iraqi Activist Zainab Salbi on how to heal the world

13 essential blogs and websites to help you understand the Middle East

The Middle East is one of the world’s most complex regions. Media reports struggle to get across the context and nuance needed to get a clear understanding of events on the ground. Meanwhile, books and academic works often seem stuck in time and can be rendered irrelevant overnight in the face of rapid developments. These … Continue reading 13 essential blogs and websites to help you understand the Middle East

Stronger Than Bullets: Music on the Frontlines of Libya’s Revolution

“Music gives me power, it gives me hope. It moves hearts… Strings have more power than bullets, stronger than bullets” – Masoud Buisir, the Troubadour of the Libyan revolution. You wouldn’t necessarily expect this statement to come out of Libya, a country that has been torn apart by revolution, counter-revolution, extremism and warring factions since … Continue reading Stronger Than Bullets: Music on the Frontlines of Libya’s Revolution

5 initiatives using food to support Syrian refugees

Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, more than half of the country’s 21 million strong population has been displaced. Around 5 million of these people are living as refugees outside of Syria. While the civil war and the refugee ‘crisis’ have been met with feelings of hopelessness and despair around the world, a number … Continue reading 5 initiatives using food to support Syrian refugees