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

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Middle East Monthly Roundup: October

From now on, we're going to be publishing a monthly summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East, explaining why they matter and what they mean for the region. Here are two important developments that took place during October: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul What happened On October 2nd … Continue reading Middle East Monthly Roundup: October

From rocks to agriculture – the ingenuity of the Omani Aflaj system

By Tone Delin Indrelid I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like in an inland Omani village, before tourists and resident expats arrived on weekend day trips, before all the comforts and amenities of modern society were available. At a time where some seem to think we can simply take whatever we … Continue reading From rocks to agriculture – the ingenuity of the Omani Aflaj system

Misfat Al Abriyeen: A peaceful oasis in Oman’s Hajar Mountains

Nestled in the foothills of Oman’s Hajar mountain range overlooking a steep valley is the village of Misfat Al Abriyeen. 1,000 meters above sea level, this tiny, traditional village built into the rocky mountain is an agricultural sweet spot and a lush oasis of calm in a region characterised by hot, dry desert. It’s truly … Continue reading Misfat Al Abriyeen: A peaceful oasis in Oman’s Hajar Mountains

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

The Omani village that’s empowering women through entrepreneurship

By Tone Delin Indrelid Just across the road from the serene looking green domed mosque on Sidab Road, there is a quaint little house. Its door is painted a calm blue and a blue sign indicates that you have reached the community centre of ‘Sidab Women.’ Sidab Women’s Sewing Group was founded in 2004 by … Continue reading The Omani village that’s empowering women through entrepreneurship

The painful truth about FGM in the Middle East

One of the greatest obstacles standing in the way of the pursuit of gender equality in the Middle East is the continued practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in many regional countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM across 30 countries, and that … Continue reading The painful truth about FGM in the Middle East

The Daymaniyats: Arabian island paradise

With its sprawling deserts of burnt orange sand, towering rocky mountain ranges and pristine white beaches, Oman is becoming a top pick for travellers from around the world thanks to its dramatic scenery and seemingly endless sunshine. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman (image: Travel and Leisure) The Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve, located just … Continue reading The Daymaniyats: Arabian island paradise