Like an Occupying Army, Egypt Battles its Own Citizens in the Sinai

In the satellite pictures, it looks as if someone has taken an eraser to the lines of houses and farms, smearing them over the arid landscape. But it is Egyptian army bulldozers that are blotting Rafah away, block by block. It is the desolation of Sisi, the most shocking and lurid of the many ways that Egypt’s military has gotten everything wrong in Sinai, behaving like an occupying army on its own land, fighting a terrorist insurgency in the most inept way possible.

The last time I visited Northern Sinai, it was a windy winter week in 2008, under a morose sky.

The Prince Who Only Charms Journalists

Though they are one of the world’s most authoritarian and dangerous regimes, the family that rules the self-titled Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gets a remarkably free pass from the international media. In this close look at the scheming of the kingdom’s deputy crown prince, who is angling to jump the line of succession and succeed his aging father, Al-Akhbar’s Sabah Ayyoub shows how the millions of dollars the kingdom’s rulers spend on American public relations firms every year bend the western press to serve their interests.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman regularly invites western journalists to visit him in his Riyadh office

Invasion as Investment Opportunity: Emirati Capital Follows Its Troops into Yemen

For the clever Sheikhs who run the United Arab Emirates, jumping headfirst into Saudi Arabia’s ill-considered invasion of Yemen was clearly a business decision, writes Abdelhadi Khalaf. Once they had secured their hold on a few ports, airports, and developable tourist destinations, they stopped participating in the military operations and got down to the business of securing their new assets.

When Saudi Arabia launched an attack on Yemen in March 2015,

How Erdogan Lost the Referendum by Winning

By narrowly supporting Tayyip Erdogan’s presidential power referendum, Turks this month voted away their own democracy: that was the consensus of opinion on April 16. But International Boulevard’s Baris Altintas finds paradoxical hope in how excruciatingly close was Erdogan’s victory, in the many violent and authoritarian measures he took to achieve even that, and in the hypothesis that accounting for widespread fraud, Erdogan actually lost the referendum.

Inside Turkey and abroad, many are describing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s slim referendum victory on April 16, 2017 as a “Pyrrhic victory,”

On a Trickle of Midnight Electricity, Syria’s Refugees See Home Receding

In a blaze of publicity, the Jordanian government and the UN announced last summer that the largest camp for refugees of Syria’s civil war would at last get legal electricity to replace its dangerous hodgepodge of illicit hookups. But in the precarious life of a refugee camp, even apparent improvements have their pitfalls, writes Dana Jebril.

“A grandmother will no longer tell stories to her grand children in the dark and children can now study in the evenings..."

In Egypt, a Parallel Justice System to Further Oppress Copts

Periodic outbreaks of mob violence against Egypt’s small Coptic Christian minority have long been an ugly feature of life along the Nile, particularly in the villages and towns in rural upper Egypt. Since the earthquake that was the Arab Spring rolled through Egypt in 2011, writes Ahmed Abdel Alim, Copts seeking justice for murder, arson, and beatings are increasingly forced to accept non-judicial mediation sessions, instead of the prosecution of their attackers.

In rural Egypt, traditional ‘Urfi courts are an ancient way of resolving disputes

The Hero of Fort Apache

There is an extraordinary moment in a television interview with Carlos Tevez from a couple of years ago. It was 2015 and the Argentine striker had recently returned to Boca Juniors, the most celebrated club in arguably the world’s most soccer-crazed nation. The precocious Tevez had risen from abject poverty to land a spot at Boca at just 16 years old.

In the 2015 interview, the commentator, Alejandro Fantino, is peppering Tevez with questions about his neighborhood

We Are Niggers in Algiers

There is a kind of synchronicity to Bongani Ncube-Zikhali’s experience of racist discrimination as a black African at the hands of official Algeria. A parallel to what Algerians themselves face on the other side of the Mediterranean, and a melancholic coda to Algeria’s once-proud role in the Pan-African and non-aligned world of the 1970s.

It is night time as the bus speeds through the Maghrebi countryside on its way to Algiers.

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