13 essential podcasts to help you understand the Middle East

Trying to understand the Middle East is complicated at best and impossible at worst! News stories give conflicting views of developments on the ground and much of the mainstream media coverage is steeped in stereotypes and lacking in nuance. These 13 podcasts deconstruct Middle Eastern history, politics, culture and the economy to give you a … Continue reading 13 essential podcasts to help you understand the Middle East

Advertisements

Fauda: The Israeli Netflix drama that’s got the Middle East talking

A Netflix series focusing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is taking the Middle East by storm. Fauda follows the activities of the mista’arvim, an elite Israeli special forces unit who are trained and immersed in Palestinian culture in order to carry out undercover operations. The show has been praised and criticised by both sides for its … Continue reading Fauda: The Israeli Netflix drama that’s got the Middle East talking

‘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

“Let’s get one thing straight: in order to live in Tehran you have to lie.” 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 … Continue reading Iran’s city of lies – Extraordinary stories of love, sex and death in Tehran

Mohammed bin Salman: 5 things you need to know about the most powerful man in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (or MBS, as he has become known) has been making headlines around the world over the last few months, most recently for a crackdown on corruption that has seen hundreds of prominent Saudi princes, ministers and businessmen arrested and detained in Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carleton hotel. The five star … Continue reading Mohammed bin Salman: 5 things you need to know about the most powerful man in Saudi Arabia

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

Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

Last month, the Yezidis of northern Iraq marked the third anniversary of the attempted genocide of their people by the so-called Islamic State (ISIL). In August 2014, ISIL rampaged through their villages in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing the men en masse and taking the women and girls as slaves. These women and girls bore unimaginable suffering, … Continue reading Art as a means of recovery for the Yezidi women who escaped ISIL

“Driving while female”: Manal Al Sharif and the fight for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

“Rain begins with a single drop.” If you’re looking for some inspiration this week, look no further than Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif’s recent book, Daring to Drive. It tells the story of a fearless Saudi woman who went from living in a poverty, to being radicalised by her extremist education, to risking her life … Continue reading “Driving while female”: Manal Al Sharif and the fight for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia