Archive

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,”

Confronting Goliath, a Yemeni David

Saudi Arabia’s bloody intervention in Yemen has not merely bogged down, writes Yahya al-Shami, Al Akhbar’s correspondent in northern Yemen: it has induced the ruling princes to pursue such questionable strategies as recruiting vast numbers of religious extremists into the armed forces.

For two years, Saudi Arabia has been trying with little success to take back a vast strip of its own territory, comprising dozens of military outposts and Saudi towns

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.

How to Succeed in the Business of Ruling by Not Trying to Educate Anyone

From within the strange kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an impassioned critique of a public education system so afraid of dissent that it stuffs the kingdom’s young minds with religion and grammar to crowd out any other knowledge. Dissent of any kind, from imported liberality to the self-reinforcing growth of ‘salafi’ fundamentalists, is at the root of the fear, writes Jamal Mohamed Taqqi:

A public attack by Saudi Arabia’s previous education minister on the very system of instruction he oversaw until not long ago:

The Goldman Murders

Environmental activism in Latin America very frequently pits indigenous local leaders against rapacious companies backed by foreign money and the full military weight of the state. As IB’s Brian Hagenbuch writes here, the separate murders of two recent winners of the prestigious Goldman Prize over the past year, in Mexico and Honduras, threw a spotlight on a much larger pattern of violence and intimidation that claimed dozens of lives in the region.

Mark Baumer’s final blog post on January 21, 2017 was morbidly prophetic.

A Stranger in the Family Tomb

When Dresden journalist Heidrun Hannusch, organizer of her city’s annual peace prize, traveled to meet the mayor of the small southern Italian town receiving this year’s award for its years of welcoming and integrating refugees, she happened to meet the Gelardi family of nearby Agrigento. Here, the story of her moving encounter with a family who welcomed an African refugee into perhaps the most private place of all:

The Last Supper as a grave ornament:

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