Turkey's 100th and contemporary art
What's left of the 'Republican woman'?
The modern, well-educated, progressive woman was a key pillar of the Turkish Republic's social project when it was founded a hundred years ago. How have female visual artists engaged with this ideal and its reality?
Human rights and Islamism in the Gulf
This Barbie can't go to Kuwait
The recent ban of the Barbie film is part of a growing crackdown on feminism and freedom of expression in Kuwait. Hind Al Ansari argues that instead of tightening controls, the government should focus on developing spaces for open dialogue
Music festivals in Turkey
Only "halal" festivals acceptable?
In Turkey, concerts and festivals by artists at odds with the government line are being cancelled with increasing frequency. Islamist and nationalist groups are often responsible. Elmas Topcu and Aynur Tekin report
LGBTQ+ rights in Turkey
Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric intensifies
During this year's election campaigns, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vilified the LGBTQ+ community in an attempt to strengthen his support among conservative voters and drive a wedge between the parties of the opposition alliance. Now the government wants to introduce constitutional amendments that rights groups fear would further marginalise LGBTQ+ people. By Ayşe Karabat
"Something Strange, Like Hunger" by Malika Moustadraf
Feminist and literary activist
The Moroccan author Malika Moustadraf (1969 - 2006) wrote about sexuality, patriarchy and women's rights in her texts. When she died from chronic kidney disease aged just 37, she left behind an exciting, little-known literary legacy. By Melanie Christina Mohr
More than 5 million young Turks to vote for the first time
Some 5.2 million young Turks will vote for the first time in the May 14 presidential and legislative elections, and they could be key to deciding the country’s future
Freedom of speech in Lebanon
Jail? Don't make me laugh!
In June 2022, Lebanese comedian Shaden Fakih was court-martialled for allegedly humiliating the security forces. She talked to Lena Bopp about coming out on live television, sexism on the comedy scene and the changes in her country
FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022
Did LGBTQ rights campaigns in Qatar help or hinder?
Protests by Western activists at the FIFA World Cup may have backfired and sparked a backlash against gay, lesbian and queer communities in Qatar, critics say. By Cathrin Schaer
Arab world on tenterhooks
World Cup semi-final – "We are all Moroccans"
Morocco has taken the 2022 World Cup by storm, with the northwest Africans reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their soccer history. As the knockout match approaches, Birgit Svensson's public viewing report from Baghdad throws a different light on Morocco's recent victories in Qatar
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Football fans see double standard in stadium politics ban
When is it and when is it not acceptable to display a political banner at the World Cup in Qatar? The answer seems to depend largely on the political message, with fans criticising what they see as inconsistent enforcement of FIFA rules by the host country.
Politics, Qatar and FIFA
Is criticism of Qatar's World Cup racist?
Locals in the Middle East have said European critics are showing bias and hypocrisy when they condemn Qatar. Observers agree that Qatar has had to deal with more criticism than usual for a World Cup host. Cathrin Schaer and Emad Hassan ask why
Qatar 2022 and the Arab world
"It’s our World Cup"
In Doha, Arabs from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria are gathering to celebrate the first ever FIFA World Cup to be held on Arab soil. The criticism from Europe? Over the top, they say. Dunja Ramadan reports from Doha