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INSIGHT: Kuwait Stuck in Political Quagmire

Kuwait’s long-running series of political crises show no sign of abating. Twelve months after the Constitutional Court cited technical irregularities in the electoral decree paving the way for the opposition-dominated February 2012 election, the same court has ordered the re-running of the December 2012 election; the latter was won by pro-government supporters in the More »

INSIGHT: Women in the Workforce in the Arab World

A great debate has been raging over whether the so-called Arab Spring has been good or bad for the women of the region. Some argue that the rise of Islamist governments in places like Egypt and Tunisia has led to a stark reversal of women’s rights. Others believe that the vibrant social and political More »

‘Harlem Shaking’ It Up Across the Middle East

Just when the Gangnam Style craze began to fizzle, and we thought that the world would be spared another viral dance phenomenon, enter the Harlem Shake.   It began as a 2012 heavy bass instrumental music track produced by Baauer, the stage name of American music producer Harry Rodrigues,  uploaded to YouTube in August 2012.  More »

INSIGHT: The ‘Chicken and Egg’ of Skills, Jobs in the Arab World

A new report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Rethinking Economic Growth: Towards Productive and Inclusive Arab Societies – examines employment issues, the relative lack of dynamic private sectors, broken social contracts, and more in the Arab world. The chapter on education is particularly interesting. The report More »

INSIGHT: Bolstering Education and Science in the Arab World

A decade ago, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shone a spotlight on the sorry state of education in the Arab world with its inaugural Arab Human Development Report in 2002, and its 2003 follow-on report, “Building a Knowledge Society.” The reports’ statistics still shock: in one year, Spain translates the same number of More »

INSIGHT: Malala Yousafzai and the Role of Women in Muslim History

As someone who writes and lectures about women and gender in Islam, I am often asked if women had any role in the making of the Islamic tradition. Happily, the answer is always yes. There were in fact many prominent women in the early history of Islam. At the top of the list would have More »

Arab Women Launch Online Uprising

On October 1st, 2012, women organizers launched a Facebook page, “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World,” to highlight the discrimination against them which they don’t feel comfortable – or safe – enough to protest in the streets.  In just ten days, the page has generated nearly 35,000 “likes” and conversation among more More »

Clinton Calls on Middle East Activists to Assess US Support

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Middle East democracy activists to the State Department on Tuesday, asking for their input on how the United States can help advance freedom and human rights in the region. Greeting the activists before the meeting, Clinton called on them to give their “honest assessments” of the best ways More »

Samsung, iPhone, Nokia and the Next Arab Spring

FILE - A Saudi woman is seen using an iPhone at a festival on the outskirts of Riyadh. (Reuters)

If there is to be another Arab Spring in the next few years, it will look markedly different from what has transpired in 2011-12. Social media and mobile phones clearly played a role. But satellite television was deemed the amplifier that took self-organizing groups on Twitter and Facebook and turned them into million-man (and More »

Modern Slaves: Domestic Migrant Workers in Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia

The newspaper stories are shocking: Man stapled maid several times and left her disfigured…Heated nails hammered into Sri Lankan maid…Housemaid plunges to her death from Sharjah tower…Ethiopian domestic worker beaten on camera commits suicide… Open any newspaper in Lebanon or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and you will likely find similar stories More »

Without iTunes in Middle East, Music Piracy on the Rise

If you want to buy a CD in the Arab world – legally, that is – you can’t go online and simply download it.  You either have to resort to piracy or hope that the local music shop sells the artist you are looking for.  iTunes, the world’s biggest music store, is available in More »

Syria Revolution Highlights Saudi-Iran Tensions

The unrest in Syria highlights a larger struggle for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  The tensions have been building as uprisings in the Arab world have pit the two on opposite sides of the conflicts. Arab, Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and mainly Persian, Shi’ite Iran would seem destined to be at odds, facing off More »

FILL THE BLANK: My Life In #Kuwait Would Be Better If _______

Middle East Voices is trying a new approach to engage Kuwaitis and help shape our future coverage of issues that matter to Kuwaitis. We have a simple approach: FILL THE BLANK. Today’s question: My Life In #Kuwait Would Be Better If _______ Here’s how it works: - By using the Disqus comment fields below, type in your thoughts on More »

Arab World Experiences Serious Poverty, Food Security Challenges

International Food Policy Research Institute says situation worse than had been reported More »

Hit Film ‘Zenne Dancer’ Explores Turkish Gay Community

Movie based on true story of homosexual man who police suspect was murdered by his father in honor killing More »

POLL: What Arabs Really Think About Turkey

A newly-released survey finds that majorities across the Middle East have positive views about Turkey and its role in the region.  This according to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), which yesterday released its third annual Perception of Turkey in the Middle East survey. Out of more than 2,300 respondents  TESEV surveyed across More »

In Kuwait’s Arab Spring, Bidun Fight for Citizenship

It is an Arab Spring uprising that did not make it into the headlines. Last February, inspired by Tunisians and Egyptians, a few hundred of Kuwait’s stateless people also took to the streets. Unlike the other Arab Spring protesters, they weren’t looking to topple the government. Instead, they were demanding a basic right that More »

Five Political Arab Spring Music Bands You Need To Watch

Arab Spring was a revolution of the arts as well as the politics of many Middle Eastern countries.  One form of artistic expression that became integral to the demonstrations on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the region was music.  Witness the rise of Ramy Essam, an architecture student in Mansoura who grabbed his More »