Iran is one of the countries hardest-hit by COVID-19 in the Middle East. Iran’s regional neighbours, including its supposed competitors and adversaries in the Gulf, have quickly stepped up to provide aid to Iran. Is an end to the regional rivalry between Iran and its neighbours in sight?
Here's an update on the coronavirus situation in the Middle East, with everything you need to know about which Middle Eastern countries have been affected, how governments have responded, and what the crisis could mean for the future of the region.
Yemen: The poorest country in the Middle East; The corner of the Arabian Peninsula widely ignored as the oil monarchies of the Gulf rose to riches and global prominence; And now, embroiled in a deadly civil war protracted by the interference of external powers, further destabilising an already war-torn region. Yemeni politics can be highly confusing for outsiders. These 10 books will help you understand this complex country and the ongoing conflict.
Iran, once home to one of the most impressive and world-shaping empires in history, is today among the most culturally rich countries in the modern Middle East. The ancient ruins, spectacular architecture, cosmopolitan cities and stunning mosques dotted across Iran today are like a canvas of this country's unique and rich history. Here are a … Continue reading 5 spectacular cultural sites in Iran
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
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
The Middle East and North Africa are home to some of the world’s best natural beauty recipes and rituals. These seven beauty secrets have been used across the region for centuries by the likes of original beauty queens Cleopatra and the Queen of Sheba. They are now being bottled and sold by some of the … Continue reading 7 natural beauty secrets from the Middle East and 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
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
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