Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
Protesters upset over an American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Libya, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo.
The idea of anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East and Northa Africa on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 was initially quite shocking. As always, a greater understanding of the cultural context and timing helps explain (not necessarily justify) the situation. The video that has sparked the controversy is truly reprehensible and as cultural insensitive as it gets. Still, the protests by blindly lashing out at the United States embassy only exacerbate the cultural problems.
Gaza’s problems in water and electricity, education and health will only get worse over the coming years unless remedial action is taken now, a senior United Nations official warned today.
The United Nations is playing a larger role in the reagion by asking for more humanitarian aid for Gaza and a change in the political status quo.
All over the world Muslims have begun their holiest month of the year by fasting from dawn until dusk each day, broken each evening by large, communal meals.
This photoessay is a visual and cultural delight. Pictured above is a Pakistani boy who prays next to plates of fruits donated to worshippers to break their fast (Karachi, July 21, 2012). On the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, we see the communal ethos of Ramadan.
Iran's supreme leader has repeatedly cited his own fatwa, or religious edict, that nuclear weapons are a sin and that Iran doesn't want them. Many in the West are skeptical, but U.S. officials are calling on Iran to live up to the fatwa.
The religious politics of Iran's theocratic lead to complex subtexts within religious pronouncements. How are we to understand these fatwas? Purely political? Religiously? As carefully worded strategy? Still it would be wise to not assume that the religious leaders and government of Iran don't speak for most citizens as evidence in this article: http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/2016574333/in-iran-they-want-fun-fun-fun
Alawites form only 12% of the population, but have a stranglehold on power and will fight to the end for the regime...
Syria's ethnic and religious geography, while sharing broader Middle Eastern patterns, is quite distinct and it is within those distinctions that the specific political situation.
The UAE oil reserves account for 8.5% of total world reserves, and house the Zakum oil field which is the third largest in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi is the most oil rich of the Emirates, followed by Dubai, which is no coincidence with their amazing prosperity.
John Oliver tries to understand why America has cut funding for UNESCO.
While the Daily Show is hardly "typical" news reporting with it's humorous, biting critique (warning: some strong language). This video very effectively highlights the hypocrisy of the United States' decision to cut on funding for UNESCO (after UNESCO voted to admit Palestine as a member state). To see part two of the video: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-15-2012/march-15--2012---pt--4 ;
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.
This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era. The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment.
Click on the link for a full Listing of The United States' Record of Veto Use at the UN* (1972-2011); below are a selected sampling:
Year ...UN resolution vetoed by the USA
1976 Afirms the rights of the Palestinians.
1979 Demands that Israel desist from human rights violations.
1979 For a United Nations Conference on Women.
1981 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights.
1982 Calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.
1984 International action to eliminate apartheid.
1987 Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of people from national liberation.
1989 Condemns USA invasion of Panama.
1999 Calls on the USA to end its trade embargo on Cuba.
2007 Calls for the protection of the Global Climate.
2008 Calls for a treaty on children's rights.
2008 Condemns Racial Descrimination.
2011 Calls for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.
An Israeli high court ruling has left at least one family angry, frustrated and in limbo because the husband, an Israeli citizen, will be forbidden legally from living with his Palestinian wife.
Legally stuck between a rock and a hard place. I fear that this couple is the living embodiement of some of the possible outcomes for peace talks and cooperation in the region.
While the two sects share the same basic beliefs, differences in hierarchy and doctrine make Catholics and Protestants an apt comparison.
Too often we categorize all Muslims together as though they all thought the same things and share the same beliefs. Although the divisions within the "House of Islam" run deeper that the Sunni/Shi'a split, it is the best starting place to get a nuances senses of regional differences among Islamic groups.
Mohammed Ayoob: Turkey, with a foot in both worlds, could be instrumental in preventing a catastrophe between the West and Iran.
The regional powers within the Middle East have undergone a transformation during the Arab Spring. In this new geopolitical context, Turkey (which luckily for them did NOT get accepted in the EU just before the Euro crisis) can play a more powerful role as a leader of the secular Islamic world and also as one of the more stable governments in the region.
Looking for an easy online method of sharing and using powerpoint presentations? Slideshare is made just for that. Here is one I made of Middle Eastern flags a while back, showing the cultural patterns and similarities among the flags. Students are quick to note that the Israeli flag sticks out and "doesn't fit in well visually."
David Cameron, the British prime minister, pledged full support for Turkish membership to the European Union during a visit to Ankara.
Turkey's application to the European Union challenges the very definition of "Europe" as various constituencies disagree on whether Turkey should be admitted in the E.U. or not.