The Iranian women’s movement is seeing a slow revolution

It’s hard to imagine a society that prohibits the participation and viewing of sports based on gender. Unfortunately, this is the case in Iran. There was a brief period in 2006 when then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that women would be allowed to attend football matches, until Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei intervened and reinstated the ban. … Continue reading The Iranian women’s movement is seeing a slow revolution

The Middle East in London: November events calendar

If you’re based in London, there are plenty of Middle East-focused events going on throughout November to keep you busy! Top picks: Levison Wood’s speaking tour on 11th – I caught his talk in Manchester and it was fascinating. Don’t miss his brand new book, Arabia! Jon Snow’s talk at UCL on 14th comes at a … Continue reading The Middle East in London: November events calendar

6 photos showcasing the stunning natural beauty of the Middle East & North Africa

Happy World Environment Day! To celebrate, today we’re sharing these 6 photos that showcase the incredible natural beauty and geographical diversity of the Middle East & North Africa. 1. The Sahara desert, Morocco The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world with an area of 9.2 million square kilometres - comparable to … Continue reading 6 photos showcasing the stunning natural beauty of the Middle East & North Africa

‘Dancing on the heads of snakes’: Yemen after Ali Abdullah Saleh

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the Yemeni uprising that unseated the country’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh craftily played tribes, Islamist groups and foreign governments off against one another throughout his 33-year rule and he continued to do so after he was ousted from power in 2011. But his most recent … Continue reading ‘Dancing on the heads of snakes’: Yemen after Ali Abdullah Saleh

Iran’s city of lies – Extraordinary stories of love, sex and death in Tehran

The Islamic Republic of Iran stumbled into 2018 making headlines around the world. Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the country’s staggering economy, corruption and rising prices. It is the first widespread opposition movement the Islamic Republic has seen since 2009, but this time, something’s different. In 2009, … Continue reading Iran’s city of lies – Extraordinary stories of love, sex and death in Tehran

5 things you need to know to understand the Kurdish independence referendum

Today, millions of Iraqi Kurds will go to the polls to vote on whether they believe Iraqi Kurdistan should become an independent state, in a controversial referendum that could have far reaching implications for Iraq and the Middle East as a whole. Here are 5 things you need to know to understand the “Kexit”: 1. … Continue reading 5 things you need to know to understand the Kurdish independence referendum

4 photographers who will change your perception of Iran

An air of mystery seems to shroud the Islamic Republic of Iran. The country has frequently been the subject of negative press, which highlights tense relations with the West and other Middle Eastern countries, dubious links with militant groups in Syria and Iraq, and reports of human rights abuses in the country. Simply put, in … Continue reading 4 photographers who will change your perception of Iran

Saudi Arabia, sectarianism and the battle for the Twittersphere

Two people have been killed in the Shia-majority Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, sparking violence between citizens and the state and a sectarian war of words online. A two-year-old boy and a Pakistani expatriate were shot dead on Friday during clashes between gunmen and security services in Qatif in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. … Continue reading Saudi Arabia, sectarianism and the battle for the Twittersphere

Yemeni town awaits an offensive that could turn the tide of the war – but at a cost

International eyes have, for once, been on Yemen in recent weeks, as the catastrophic humanitarian situation has brought the country to the brink of famine. The men, women and children who have survived the brutal conflict thus far are currently facing starvation, as military blockades prevent aid from reaching those in dire need. One such … Continue reading Yemeni town awaits an offensive that could turn the tide of the war – but at a cost