The origins of the Maghreb
Was the Arab Maghreb a French invention?
The book "The Invention of the Maghreb: between Africa and the Middle East" prompts us to review basic terminology. This includes terms that we use almost every day as if they are definitive by virtue of geography, history and culture, such as "the Arab Maghreb", "North Africa", "the Middle East" and "sub-Saharan Africa". Shady Lewis Botros read the book
Syrian conflict's impact on international law
The future cost of normalising Assad
Recent efforts to rehabilitate Assad are setting a damaging precedent for accountability, just as the international community is expressing the need to hold Russia to account for similar human rights violations in Ukraine. By Burcu Ozcelik
Hieroglyphs exhibition at the British Museum
Museums with guilt complexes
To celebrate the bicentenary of the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone, the British Museum is running an exhibition entitled "Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt" until February 2023. While Shady Lewis Botros welcomes the museum's effort to broaden the Eurocentric focus of the exhibition, he says that it "lays bare a critical approach and a potential for revisionism" and remains largely decorative
Iran and global energy supplies
Covert conflict in the Gulf
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Europe has been trying to find alternatives to Russian gas, inevitably zeroing in on the Arab Gulf states. In his commentary, Yemeni politician Muammar al-Iryani proposes a simple way for the West to secure international shipping routes
Middle East literature
Al Saqi, Europe’s largest Middle Eastern bookseller, to close
London-based Al Saqi Books, Europe’s largest specialist bookseller for publications from the Middle East, has been forced to close because of the hike in prices of Arabic-language books and because Brexit has been "detrimental" to business
Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood
Who was the architect of Islamism?
Renowned scholar of Islamic Studies Gudrun Kramer has just published the first well-founded biography of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Joseph Croitoru read the book
Faith united at Sisterhood FC!
UN climate summit in Egypt
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's greenwashing fail
COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh is turning into a PR disaster for Egypt’s military regime. Instead of praise for the host, the news is full of solidarity for imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and criticism of the event’s grotesque surveillance measures. By Sofian Philip Naceur
Faith united at Sisterhood FC!
Playing football in a hijab: founded in 2018, the London-based football club Sisterhood FC offers Muslim women the opportunity to combine their sporting passion and their religious beliefs. By Claudia Dehn and Ayse Tasci-Steinbach
Hindu nationalism abroad
Fighting religious polarisation among India's diaspora
Indian Americans from diverse faith backgrounds have peacefully co-existed stateside for several decades. But events in the U.S. – and violent confrontations between some Hindus and Muslims last month in Leicester, England – have heightened concerns that stark political and religious polarisation in India is seeping into the diaspora
Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses"
The long road to German publication
Following the recent brutal attack on Salman Rushdie, famous writers have been reading passages from his works. Torsten Landsberg takes a look at the struggle in 1988 to publish "The Satanic Verses" in German
India's mixed feelings over the Queen's death
For some in India, the death of Queen Elizabeth II has provoked sympathies for a deeply respected figure – Narendra Modi called the queen "a stalwart of our times" – while for a few others, it jogged memories of a bloody history under the British crown. But among most regular Indians, the news was met with an indifferent shrug.