Entries by Sami Moubayed

Netanyahu continues to look the other way as pressure mounts

Thousands of young people marched in Tel Aviv over the weekend to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For the second week in a row, Israelis expressed their frustration with the mounting corruption charges being levied against their 68-year old premier, who has dominated the political scene, on and off, since 1996. Some […]

With his Jerusalem play, Trump grasps a nettle others feared

President Donald Trump made a historic announcement on Wednesday, recognizing Jerusalem — rather than Tel Aviv — as the “eternal capital” of the State of Israel. This will eventually mean transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem, an act that could take “at least three years,” according to Trump Administration officials. Arab leaders are furious, warning […]

Syria, the Saudis and Hariri’s resignation U-turn

fter a gripping three-week absence, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri returned to Lebanon last week to take part in his country’s 74th Independence Day. Many still believe he was being “held against his will” in Saudi Arabia, from where he delivered a stunning resignation speech on November 4. The speech was televised on a popular Saudi […]

Kurdistan searches for a new leader

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani — the last of senior war veterans in the Middle East — stepped down on November 1, 2017. One of his aides via Twitter on October 28, said that the 71-year old Kurdish warrior turned president would not be seeking re-election, one month after he championed a controversial […]

Historic moment as ‘Kurdish Mandela’ Barzani stands aside

Emotions are running high in Iraqi Kurdistan, as the region’s veteran leader Masoud Barzani ends his presidential term on November 1. Millions of Kurds have known no other leader in their lives, seeing him as a founding figure and symbol of their cause. He is to them what Nelson Mandela was to the people of […]

Doha’s downfall: Qatar frozen out in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon

At his landmark address to the UN General Assembly in September, the emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad, failed to mention either Palestine or Syria, two cornerstones of all his previous speeches since 2013. Tamim simply said: “Qatar will remain, as always, a safe haven for the oppressed and will continue its mediation efforts to […]

Freedom of the roads comes after long battle for Saudi women

King Salman issued a groundbreaking royal decree on September 26 that gives women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia. To a non-Saudi audience, this may sound comical, given that such gender inequality no longer exists in most countries across the world. The idea that – 132 years after the first automobile was created – women […]

التألم بصمت

انفجرت مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي غضباً في الأيام القليلة الماضية حول قضية المناهج التربوية الجديدة التي وضعها 400 «أكاديمي» سوري، كما قيل لنا مؤخراً. عثر على خريطة في طيات الكتاب لا تحتوي على اللواء السليب، وعلى تمارين وأمثلة بعيدة جداً عن مجتمعنا، وكأنها منسوخة نسخاً من الخارج. الكتب الجديدة، علم الأطفال، موسيقا الراب مثلاً، تحذرهم من […]

History, hope, heroes: the story of Syria’s World Cup dream

Syrians of all stripes, stamps and ages are poised with bated breath as the national football team heads into a contest that could, remarkably, see them qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia. At 6pm Damascus time, on Tuesday, the team will play against Iran at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. A win will make the World Cup […]

حارة الضبع أو دمشق ٢٠١٧

منذ سنوات كتبت مقالاً مطولاً بينت فيه الأخطاء التاريخية التي وقع فيها الجزء الأول من مسلسل «باب الحارة»، تحدث مثلاً عن موضوع «باب» الحارة نفسه، الذي أظهر العمل بأنه كان يُحرس ليلاً ولا يفتح بعد المغيب إلا لأهالي الحي. هذا الكلام لا ينطبق إلا في زمن الغزوات والحروب وليس في حالات السلم لأن دمشق كانت […]