Middle East


The Rojava revolution was made by a struggling people, not American bombs

24 December 2018 Matt Broomfield reports from Rojava

US sanctions have caused a crisis for Iranian Kurds

12 December 2018 An economic recession and a brutal government crackdown have put the people of Rojhilat in a precarious situation, writes Douglas Gerrard

Our bodies are a battleground

28 November 2018 Annahita Moradi reports on women fighting back against Iran's morality laws

Building a revolution in Jerusalem?

11 September 2018 Tom Anderson and Eliza Egret talk to Sahar Vardi from Imbala collective, who have set up a grassroots organising space in the heart of West Jerusalem.

By withdrawing from the Iran Deal, Trump is gambling with the future of the planet

10 May 2018 Jettisoning the deal risks nuclear escalation at a delicate time in Middle East relations, writes Kate Hudson from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Forget spies and bots – Russia’s real crimes are against the people of Syria

1 April 2018 Tony McKenna writes that Russia is supporting Assad's murderous dictatorship to secure territorial power

Don’t look away: The fight for Afrin is a struggle for radical democracy

22 March 2018 Under fire from the forces of reaction, Afrin is the frontline in the fight for democracy. We cannot afford to ignore or abandon the revolutionaries there, write Amber Huff, Patrick Huff and Salima Tasdemir

Flooding the cradle of civilisation: A 12,000 year old town in Kurdistan battles for survival

22 September 2017 It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth, but a new dam has put Hasankeyf under threat, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson

Despite Erdogan, Turkey is still alive

19 July 2017 With this year's referendum consolidating President Erdogan’s autocracy in Turkey, Nazim A argues that the way forward for democrats lies in a more radical approach

The feminist army leading the fight against ISIS

11 July 2017 Dilar Dirik salutes militant women-organised democracy in action in Rojava

Fighting Isis on the frontline with the YPJ

21 March 2017 Rahila Gupta talks to Kimmie Taylor about life on the frontline in Rojava

The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava

13 December 2016 Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.

Turkey wages war on its Kurdish population

16 February 2016 Turkey is conducting the greatest massacre and displacement of Kurds since the 1990s, write Tom Anderson and Eliza Egret

The Egyptians by Jack Shenker

12 February 2016 Laleh Khalili reviews Jack Shenker's new book and finds it strikes an unexpectedly optimistic note about the after-echoes of the Egyptian uprisings

In Egypt, a second life for independent trade unions

7 February 2016 Union members in a crowded assembly hall lashed out against the Egyptian regime’s latest efforts to suppress workers, writes Giulio Regeni

Rebuilding Kobanê

11 January 2016 Tom Anderson and Eliza Egret report from the war-torn city of Kobanê and meet those trying to rebuild what Daesh and US bombs have destroyed

Solidarity with Rojava: 3K in 31 Days

3 December 2015 Plan C are fundraising £3000 to help rebuild Kobane after ISIS attacks and to support the political revolution in Rojava, writes Paul Higgins

Liberated learning in Rojava

25 August 2015 Janet Biehl reports on the new women’s science of jineolojî and the revolutionary transformation of education in Rojava, western Kurdistan

Revolutionary resistance in Kobane

1 December 2014 The fight against ISIS in Kobane has been based on the Kurdish defenders’ deep-seated belief in their model of participatory democracy, writes Yvo Fitzherbert

Delist the PKK

1 December 2014 The ‘terror’ ban on support for the Kurdish struggle must be lifted, writes the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s Melanie Sirinathsingh

Free Mahienour! Egyptian revolutionary and climate activist

22 July 2014 In May Egyptian revolutionary, climate activist and lawyer Mahienour El-Massry was unjustly jailed. Just before she was imprisoned she spoke to Mika Minio about her amazing work.

Tunisia: Families of martyrs and wounded on hunger strike against impunity

30 April 2014 Isabelle Merminod and Tim Baster report on the lack of justice three years after the fall of Ben Ali

Egypt’s still-unfinished revolution: celebration and danger

4 July 2013 Whether or not the events in Egypt constitute a military coup, Morsi’s fall portends great excitement but even greater dangers, writes Phyllis Bennis

Syria: We need to stop a new war in the Middle East

4 June 2013 The Syrian civil war is spreading, writes Phyllis Bennis – but US military action is the last thing the country needs

World Social Forum: A new turn in Tunis

28 May 2013 The World Social Forum in Tunisia was framed as the alter-globalisation movement meets the ‘Arab spring’. James O’Nions reports back from Tunis on how both sides of that equation are faring

Tunis: A tale of two World Social Forums

31 March 2013 The WSF needs updating for a post-Arab Spring, post-Indignado world, writes Nick Dearden. The problems and the possibilities were both on show in Tunisia

Egypt: The revolution is alive

15 February 2013 Just before the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, Emma Hughes spoke to Ola Shahba, an activist who has spent 15 years organising in Egypt

Syria: Which road for Damascus?

22 July 2012 The pressure to ‘do something’ about the killings and repression in Syria is immense. Phyllis Bennis cautions against simplistic answers

Broken Spring?

22 April 2012 Sami Ramadani argues that counter‑revolution has gained the upper hand in Syria and across the Arab world

Iran in the crosshairs again

2 March 2012 Sabre rattling against Iran is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean the threat of war isn’t real. Phyllis Bennis analyses the situation in the wider Middle East

Cairo: ‘After seeing friends carried away with blood streaming from their lids, you stop trusting the goggles’

23 February 2012 Mika Minio-Paluello gives an eyewitness account of the street battles in Egypt late last year

An Israeli spring?

28 November 2011 Miri Weingarten asks if Israel’s surge of social activism heralds a new dawn

The people are strong

14 August 2011 Michael Pooler reports from Israel on Bedouin efforts to resist eviction in the Negev Desert

After the spring

1 June 2011 Sami Ramadani considers the response to the popular uprisings from the region’s dictators and other reactionary forces, as well as the role of imperialism

Uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan

20 April 2011 Dashty Jamal on the fight for freedom in Kurdistan.

Home-grown in Lebanon

6 December 2009 Responding to the discussion on political Islam begun in the previous issue of Red Pepper, Bilal El-Amine considers the experience of Hizbullah in Lebanon

Essay: Red Shi’ism, Iran and the Islamist revolution

17 October 2009 From the Iranian revolution to the Palestinian struggle, it has often been Islamic ideas that have inspired resistance to imperialism. Here, Alastair Crooke argues that the left needs a more complex understanding of the thinking, critical forms of political Islam

Essay response: How not to understand Islamist politics

17 October 2009 Saeed Rahnema argues that Alistair Crooke's understanding of the Iranian revolution and recent events is deeply flawed

Essay response: Which side are you on?

17 October 2009 Alastair Crooke's glorification of the Islamist movement is based on distortions and falsification, says Azar Majedi

The people reloaded

14 September 2009 Misguided western leftists may have their doubts about the Iranian mass movement against President Ahmadinejad's disputed election 'victory'. They should put them aside in the face of the new politics of revolt, write Morad Farhadpour and Omid Mehrgan

20 June

20 June 2009 'I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'

Playing the Great Game

3 June 2009 The Tricycle Theatre's production of The Great Game - 12 plays on the history and contemporary realities of the struggle for control over Afghanistan - brings to the fore what will be one of the central political issues in the coming years. Co-director Indhu Rubasingham reflects on the project

Afghanistan: a brief history

24 May 2009 Understanding Afghanistan today is only possible by looking at it in the context of the part played by the competing imperial powers in its past. Jane Shallice offers a guide

Beyond the Taliban: the roots of Pashtun resistance

24 May 2009 Mohammad Asif looks at the real background to the resistance groups

Support the Iranian people, oppose Tehran’s clerical fascism

9 February 2009 Peter Tatchell says solidarity with the Iranian freedom struggle is non-negotiable, no matter how much the US threatens a military strike

The ones that stayed behind

7 February 2009 Stefan Simanowitz on the untold story of human shields in Iraq

Women of the revolution

30 January 2009 Thirty years after the toppling of the Shah in Iran, Azar Sheibani looks at how Iranian women have defied the reign of misogynist terror

Drawing back the curtain

14 October 2008 Wherever he has found himself - with the freedom fighters in the mountains of northern Iraq, as a prisoner in an Iranian jail, and now filling a whole room at the Imperial War Museum - Osman Ahmed has always gone on drawing. He spoke to Amanda Sebestyen about his passionate journey to make his art bear witness for the hidden people of Kurdistan

Attack Iran? Yes they can

4 August 2008 With US threats, Israeli military exercises and Iranian missile tests, it seems like a carefully choreographed build up to the next Middle East conflagration is under way. But can the US really risk a strike on Iran? Phyllis Bennis weighs up the evidence in conversation with Oscar Reyes

A different picture

1 June 2008 An American soldier walks into a mosque, aims at an injured civilian and shoots, killing the man instantly. This is television news report number one. In the second report a military unit enters a mosque and patches up the wounded. Then a second unit arrives and speaks to the civilians. One man isn't responding and fearing the man's booby-trapped body will explode if he touches it, the soldier shoots the man in self defence. You don't have to be an expert in media studies to recognise the handiwork of networks with irreconcilable editorial positions in the presentation of this news item. The first was broadcast by Al-Jazeera Arabic, the second by the American Fox News Channel. How do we know which one is 'true'? And how should journalists go about their job of reporting in a situation such as Iraq? Claire Davenport spoke to western and Iraqi journalists to gauge some of their views on how the media is reporting the Iraq war and occupation



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