Middle East


Justice, the American way

January 2009 – Is there any chance that George W Bush will ever face indictment for his alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity? Read on


Profits of war

January 2009 – The economic rewards of peace are supposed to lure Israelis and Palestinians away from conflict. But what if war is its own reward? Read on


People of the border

Osama Diab

January 2009 – Rafah, a city divided between Gaza and Egypt, and between war and peace, prays for the opening of the border crossing. Read on


Shock and awe on a shoestring

January 2009 – An Iraqi journalist expressed his contempt for President Bush in a manner familiar in the Arab world: by throwing his shoes. Read on


Ramadan for drinkers

November 2008 – With booze in short supply, the month of fasting can be a thirsty wait for some Muslims. Read on


The God veto

November 2008 – Belief in the sacredness of the holy land has long bedevilled the quest for peace. It’s time to challenge the ‘God veto’. Read on


Forecast: dry, becoming drier

November 2008 – There’s more than enough fresh water in the world to sate our thirst. The problem is getting it to where it is desperately needed. Read on


What’s the difference between Obama and an Arab?

November 2008 – John McCain has furnished compelling proof that Barack Obama is not an Arab: the Democrat is a family man. Read on


The Middle East on Biden

September 2008 – Does Obama’s choice of running mate mean he’s shaping up to be just another establishment candidate for the White House? Read on


An untenable state of affairs

September 2008 – With neither a two-state or bi-national solution imminent, Palestinians and their Israeli allies should attend to civil rights. Read on


Bridging the road to Damascus

September 2008 – Israeli voters should give their next leader a clear mandate to negotiate an equitable peace with Syria. Read on


Wanted: a gesture from Syria

September 2008 – A return to the negotiating table is encouraging, but Syria will have to make a daring gesture to win Israeli public sympathy. Read on


Disarming the bomb in the basement

September 2008 – Israel’s weapons policy jeopardises the country’s own security and undermines efforts to create a nuclear-free Middle East. Read on


The human cost of cluster bombs

Katleen Maes

September 2008 – Cluster bombs continue to hurt people and their livelihoods years after they were dropped. Read on


The ICC and Darfur

Tom Kenis

September 2008 – The ICC indictment of Sudan’s leadership merits a balanced appraisal. Read on


Hawks, doves and lame ducks

August 2008 – In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the standoff between hawks and doves has long rendered the quest for peace a lame duck. Read on


Weapons of mass distrust

August 2008 – Will the conciliatory tones coming out of Washington and Tehran be enough to bring the Iran nuclear standoff to an end or do we need more to defuse the region’s toxic weapons of mass distrust? Read on


Imagine... if the kids took over

August 2008 – The future would look very different if we put the peace process in the hands of Palestinian and Israeli children. Read on


Mo-town record

August 2008 – Twenty thousand Muhammads in one place is not a world record, it is an everyday reality. Read on


Paved with good inventions

July 2008 – The bumpy road to innovation in the Arab world is paved with good inventions which never see the light of day. Read on


Enemy of the status quo

July 2008 – At a time when the only Arabs and Israelis who met were soldiers and spies, an intrepid Egyptian woman crossed enemy lines. Read on


The clash inside

July 2008 – The stubbornly persistent ‘clash of civilisations’ theory ignores the abundant clashes within ‘civilisations’ and the alliances that traverse them. Read on


Obama’s eastern promise

July 2008 – Barack Obama’s first name derives from the Arabic for ‘blessing’, but if he becomes president will he be a boon or a curse for the Middle East? Read on


The Mosaic Arabs

June 2008 – Not so long ago many prominent Jewish thinkers believed in a natural affinity between Judaism and Islam. Read on


Unfinished peace overtures

June 2008 – When an Egyptian police orchestra got hopelessly lost in Israel, they struck a personal chord with the locals, despite the political discord. Read on



2048: a peace odyssey

May 2008 – Israel is 60 years old and the conflict still rages on. Can we look forward to peace by the 100th anniversary? Read on


The man behind the prophet

April 2008 – Muhammad was one of the most influential figures in human history. But who was the man behind the icon? Read on


In search of Arab authors

April 2008 – The Arab world is in desperate need of more novelists in the English language to bring home the realities of the region through fiction. Read on


Moroccan women in 3-D

April 2008 – My recent visit to Morocco helped to flesh out, in three dimensions, what it means to be a Moroccan and Arab woman today. Read on


Diversity, not adversity

March 2008 – Turks in Germany have found themselves at the centre of a squabble as Ankara and Berlin exchange blows over ‘integration’. Read on


Critical mess

March 2008 – Iran says its plans to enter the nuclear club are “responsible”. But with massive US opposition, it is playing its part in triggering a critical mess. Read on


Wisdom, not intelligence

February 2008 – Britain needs political wisdom more than the intelligence services to prevent terrorism on its shores. Read on


Glimmers of hope

February 2008 – Palestinian and Israeli peace activists have joined forces to demand the lifting of the Gaza blockade. Could such joint action offer a glimmer of hope for the future? Read on


A widening gulf

November 2007 – The controversial visit to Britain by the Saudi monarch highlighted the need for a more equitable alternative to the client state model. Read on


Perils of the moral high ground

November 2007 – The US Congress’s cynical manipulation of the Armenian genocide is hypocritical and a slur on the memories of those who perished. Read on


The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

November 2007 – This year’s debate will consider the question of whether Israeli intransigence is at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read on


Empowering the average Mo

November 2007 – In the traditional Arab mindset, men who do not fit the conventional ideal of manhood are regarded as inferior. Read on


Femme caramel

October 2007 – A film set in a Beirut beauty salon holds up a funny and endearing mirror to the love lives of a group of Lebanese women. Read on


Middle Eastern cult heroes

October 2007 – With political disillusionment at an all-time high, a certain brand of hardline Middle Eastern leader is being elevated to the status of cult hero. Read on


Ahmadinejad’s image problem

October 2007 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s unpolished US appearances demonstrate just how bad at modern diplomacy the regime in Tehran is. Read on


The art of peace (2)

September 2007 – Last week, I invited Arabs to come out of their trenches and explore the no-man’s-land of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Now it’s the turn of the Israelis. Read on


The art of peace

September 2007 – It is time for Arabs to come out of their trenches and explore the no-man's-land of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Read on


Castles made of sand

September 2007 – The spirit of the 1960s touched the Arab world too, but rapidly faded away. Read on


Darfur: fighting fire with water

September 2007 – There is no military solution for the Darfur conflict – but peace may be achieved by better management of the region's dwindling natural resources. Read on


Faith and punishment

August 2007 – In Islam, apostasy and faithlessness are sins, but they are not worldly crimes. Those who claim otherwise are making a mistake. Read on


A song for the deaf

August 2007 – I’m sick of hearing the same old tune about how Muslims are silent in their condemnation of terrorism. Time for a song. Read on


A Christian jihad?

August 2007 – Many in the West fear the threat posed by political Islam. But there is a more ominous menace closer to home. Read on


Uri Avnery v Khaled Diab

One state or two?

July 2007 – Could a ‘one-state’ solution end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Read on
The other right of return

July 2007 – Palestinians have not been the Middle East’s only victims. We Arabs should recall the many Jews who paid the price for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Read on


Sex and the medina
July 2007 – The time is ripe for a Middle Eastern sexual revolution and there are signs that a quiet one is in progress. But will young Arabs openly stand up for their right to get laid? Read on


The Muslim faithless

July 2007 – Ridiculing and questioning Islam, Muhammad, the Qur’an and religion in general is an ancient tradition in Muslim countries. Read on


A war on error

June 2007 – It is time to dispel the myths surrounding Muslims – namely, that we are all terrorist anti-feminist teetotallers. Read on


A war on error (2)

June 2007 – It is time to dispel the myths that conservative Muslims often propagate about 'the west'. Read on


Small bombs, big trouble

Katleen Maes

June 2007 – There are renewed hopes of an international treaty on cluster munitions – although the only way forward is to ban them. Read on


Without a road map

Travels in Israel and Palestine

May 2007 – Khaled Diab travelled through Israel and Palestine on his own personal peace mission. Read about his ‘Without a road map’ tour here.


A better weapon

May 2007 – Palestinians are beginning to discover the value of non-violent resistance. Read on

Pint-sized peace

May 2007 – Boozing for a good cause in Jerusalem, that unholiest of holy cities, has a wonderful irony to it. Read on

Behind the ‘Zion curtain’

May 2007 – Just as Arabs do not realise just how 'Middle Eastern' Israelis are, Israelis don't realise how 'western' millions of Arabs are. Read on


Arab League should enter uncharted territory with Israel
April 2007 – The Arab League’s reaffirmation of the Saudi Peace Plan is a good step in the right direction, and the Israelis should seize the opportunity it offers. The Arabs can boost the prospect for peace by recognising Israel now. Read on and Readers’ reactions
The War on Error begins
April 2007 – The War on Error seeks to shatter the myths about ‘us’ and ‘them’ distorting the views of one another held by ‘Westerners’ and ‘Muslims’. This series takes a number of misconceptions on both sides and deconstructs them. Read on and Readers’ reactions
International Women’s Day –
A tale of two sisters

March 2007 – To mark International Women’s Day (8 March), Khaled Diab reflects on the status of women in Egypt. Read on

Madrid for the people

February 2007 – Some 15 years after the Madrid conference which launched the now defunct Israeli-Palestinian peace process, former statesmen and stateswomen from both sides got together to try to revive the quest for peace. What we now need is to complement this crème-de-la-crème peacemaking with a gritty ‘Madrid for the people’, Khaled Diab argues in a letter to former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, one of the figures who spearheaded the initiative. Read on


Arabs and Israelis held hostage by a common enemy

February 2007 – Salom Now! And METalks are two experimental initiatives which sought to rewrite the script of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and give ordinary people a starring role in the quest for peace. Those involved experienced profound changes to their outlook and took the first steps towards forging a new, more inclusive narrative for the Middle East. However, such popular, grassroots action is held hostage by some common enemies: despair, hatred, antipathy and distrust.


Part I – War and elusive peace

Part II – Talking under fire

Part III – Dangerous liaisons

Part IV – Constructive ideas

Part V – Let’s talk about you and ME

Part VI – Terrorised by a common enemy

Part VII – Existential angst

Part VIII – Moving forward


Exchange of friendly fire

February 2007 – Anat el-Hashahar, an Israeli and founder of METalks, debates the Arab-Israeli conflict – from Oslo to Lebanon – with Khaled Diab, an Egyptian journalist and writer. Read on


No defeating hate

February 2007 – Marina Werbeloff gives her opinion on the METalks experiment. Read on


Saddam Hussein:

In desperate pursuit of a hero

January 2007 – The US-UK occupation of Iraq is succeeding in achieving the once implausible feat of turning a reviled dictator into something of a cult hero. This demonstrates the utter failure of the Anglo-Saxon military adventure there. It also reveals the desperate need in some Arab quarters to find a hero amongst the villains who pass for leaders in the region and to salvage some pride amidst all the humiliation and defeat.


Part I – Anti-heroics and wishful thinking

Part II – Champion or villain of the Arab cause?

Part III – The dead don’t talk

Part IV – Emulating history


Under the veil of sexuality

December 2006 – In modern-day Muslim societies, the struggle for greater sexual liberty is hampered by social taboo. Two recent titles attempt to remove the veil of modesty and secrecy surrounding homosexuality and the oft-neglected issue of female sexuality. They deliver surprises both to critics and defenders of Islam. Read on


Lebanon: The aftermath

View photo essay by Katleen Maes


A letter to the Israeli premier

December 2006 – Tom Kenis urges the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to soften his government’s toughening policy towards ‘family unification’ in the Palestinian territories. Read on



Madrid II: towards a civil peace in the Middle East

November 2006 – Prompted by the dire situation in Gaza, Spain, France and Italy have floated an unexpected Middle East peace drive. This initiative will almost certainly join other similar aborted road maps and peace plans slowly decaying in the graveyard of international diplomacy. What the EU needs to do is to abandon the deadlocked political level and organise a high-profile Madrid II conference targeted at civil society to set in motion a ‘people’s peace process’. Read on

How I learned to start worrying and hate the bomb

November 2006 – With North Korea’s recent nuclear test and Iran’s suspected nuclear designs, Khaled Diab explains why he learned to start worrying and hate the bomb and suggests how the proliferation of nuclear weapons can best be arrested – and reversed. Read on


Pitch gender battles in Iran

October 2006 – Jafar Panahi’s Offside is a football film that is about almost everything but the beautiful game. It is onside and on target when it comes to providing a farcical and perceptive insight into the position of women in contemporary Iranian society. Read on

Het stadium is geen plaats voor vrouwen!

Offside’ van de regisseur Jafar Panahi is een voetbalfilm die bijna alle onderwerpen behandelt behalve het spel. De film biedt een lachwekkend en diepgaand inzicht, een schot op doel, in de positie van de vrouw in de hedendaagse Iraanse samenleving. Lees meer


Give ‘salom’ a chance

September 2006 – The best lessons to draw from Lebanon and Gaza are that all sides lost the battle and the only way for everyone to win the war is through peaceful means. Politicians have shown a lack of imagination and willpower and so it is up to ordinary Arabs and Israelis to lead them down the path to salam/shalom (peace). It is high time to demand Salom Now! Read on


Talking settlements


By Katleen Maes


After decades of war and confrontation and years of trying to reach a lasting peace, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a very complex issue to solve and one in which it is virtually impossible to deal with each of the problems separately. Nevertheless, windows of opportunity to ease the tension can be found. This study explores how the partial resolution of certain complex issues can provide the momentum for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Read on


Salom now!

Reaching out for a people’s peace in the Middle East

Peace is so important to Arabs and Israelis that they use it to greet friends and strangers a like – ‘salam’/’shalom’, they say. Despite this, the Middle East appears to be increasingly falling prey to new conflicts. Perhaps the oldest and most intractable of these is the Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly its Israeli-Palestinian component. Read on and readers’ comments


Using a carrot and stick for peace

September 2006 – Given the fragile situation in Lebanon, the pledge by EU member states to provide troops to police the UN-backed ceasefire was well-timed. However, to avoid a fresh crisis from erupting, Europe will have to aid efforts to forge lasting peace in the Middle East. Read on


Salom now!

Mobilising the untapped power of Arab and Israeli peaceniks

August 2006 – Arabs and Israelis have a common way of greeting people and it is to wish them ‘peace’. As advocates of violent solutions chalk up another victory in the Middle East and the international community fails the test again in Lebanon and Gaza, the time has come for Arab and Israeli citizens to join forces in a broad-based regional coalition to work towards salam/shalom… now.

Part I – Silent world

Part II – Peace begins at home


Crisis in Lebanon and Gaza

From complete failure to comprehensive solutions

July 2006 – Israel’s massive onslaught against Lebanon – and before that Gaza – reveals a monumental failure on the part of the international community to prevent an avoidable tragedy. Now it is up to the European Union to avoid a replay of 1982 and revive the idea of a comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Read on


Intolerant cruelty

May 2006 – Five years after the tide turned against homosexuals in Egypt with the infamous Queen Boat trial, Unspeakable love: gay and lesbian life in the Middle East by Brian Whitaker delves into the underground and taboo world occupied by homosexuals in the Middle East. Read on and readers’ comments


Talking about ‘unspeakable love’
May 2006 – Brian Whitaker talks to Khaled Diab about his new book Unspeakable love. Read on and readers’ comments


Rivers of deceit

May 2006 – On 11 May 2001, 52 men were arrested in and around the Queen Boat floating nightclub in Zamalek, Cairo. About half of them eventually wound up serving prison sentences of up to five years. Read on


Cultural rainbows
May 2006 – As Hollywood does gay in a big way, the issue of homosexuality in the Arab World is slowly coming out of the cultural and media closet. Read on



Getting to the grassroots of the Middle East conflict

By Khaled Diab and Katleen Maes

April 2006 – The new Kadima party’s election victory in Israel looks set to continue the comatose Ariel Sharon’s bid to impose a unilateral solution on the Palestinians. The evacuation of settlements is setting in motion a new and potentially positive dynamic, but continued one-sidedness could cause the situation to slip back into deadlock as usual. Israelis and Palestinians need to recognise that they have no political shepherds to guide them through the valley of the shadow of conflict. Ordinary people must seize the initiative from the political classes who lack the imagination and courage to make peace.


Part I: Getting to the grassroots of the Middle East conflict

Part II: The end of the road for unilateralism?

Readers’ comments


The EU’s new Palestine dilemma

February 2006 – It may be better for the EU to provide more carrots and fewer sticks for Hamas, writes Khaled Diab. Read on


Graven images and poor reflections

February 2006 – It is perplexing that a few crude cartoons can spark an international crisis overshadowing war, political oppression and economic and social injustice. It has hurt the image of Muslims and reflects poorly on their tolerance, while unmasking the uglier face of western prejudice. Read on and readers’ comments


Abuse freedoms and we all lose
February 2006 – It is not freedom of expression that is under threat, but the right to human dignity, argues Tom Kenis. Read on


Extraordinary renditions –
The playwright and the president

January 2006 – Jeff Sommers, Khaled Diab and Charles Woolfson explore the dynamics between playwright and president as American foreign policy stands in the dock. Read on


Extended analysis

Dressed to kill –

Under the cloak of Bush’s foreign policy

December 2005 – Jeff Sommers, Khaled Diab and Charles Woolfson expose what lies beneath the cloak of US President George W Bush’s foreign policy. Read on


Conversion is not a crime
December 2005 – Muriel Degauque has the dubious distinction of being the first white European female suicide bomber. Shocking as this is, suggestions that we have reached a dangerous turning point and that converts are brainwashed fanatics and their partners are comic-book villains are unfair to the vast majority of converts and to non-converts married to Muslims.. Read on


Walk first, then surf
December 2005 – Trying to level the cyberspace playing field without addressing poverty, illiteracy, disease and unfair trade practices is an exercise in futility. Read on


A revision of Salman Rushdie’s vision –
We need ijtihadis, not jihadis

September 2005 – Salman Rushdie’s proposed Islamic Reformation touches on the urgent need for reform in most Muslim societies. But his vision needs serious revision if it is to work. Read on


Turkey and Europe must get ready to go back to the future

April 2005 – Turkey’s rich history is no bar to its EU membership bid, argue Katleen Maes and Khaled Diab. Read on


Islam and Europe: Clash and mash

April 2005 – Khaled Diab and Katleen Maes examine the myths driving anti-Islamic fervour in the EU. Read on


Time to rethink the EU’s role in the Middle East

January 2005 – If Yasser Arafat’s death is to signify anything more than the symbolic start of a new era, the European Union must radically rethink its role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to persuade the two peoples to work towards a new dawn. Read on


Commission wants closer EU-Israeli ties

January 2005 – The European Commission and the EU’s former envoy to the Middle East have both come out in favour of enhancing economic and political ties with Israel. But critics question the wisdom of extending a policy of good neighbourhood to a country that has done little to make the neighbourhood a safer place to live. Read on


Remembering the Sultan of Style

December 2004 – Ziryab is a name you’re unlikely to have come across. One sensible reason for this is that the guy died over a millennium ago. But his single-handed moulding of modern tastes should earn him a place in fashion’s Hall of Fame. Read on


Raising a new olive branch

December 2004 – Following the loss of Yasser Arafat – for decades, the international face of the Palestinian struggle for statehood – it is time for the Palestinians to rethink radically how they defend their cause. Read on


Taking up peace, putting down arms

September 2004 – Sistani won his peaceful protest in Najaf. But Gandhian methods in the Middle East must substitute rather than supplement violence, writes Brian Whitaker. Read on


Gaza for the Gazans

August 2004 – The latest Egyptian diplomatic initiative to revive the peace process is sustained by a belief that the art of the possible will pave the way for the wishful. However, an Egyptian presence in the Gaza Strip will not expedite peace and may have dire long-term consequences. Read on


Libya’s rocky road to reconciliation

May 2004 – Spectacular diplomatic coups have been flying out of Tripoli in recent months, leading some to call it Muammar Gaddafi’s own ‘perestroika’. Read on


Why set menus for Middle East peace do not work

By Katleen Maes

May 2004 – “Why all the fuss?” was the question recently asked on the pages of the Globe and Mail, a liberal Canadian daily, regarding US President George Bush’s support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s latest unilateral blow to prospects for peace in the Middle East. Read on


Behind the gates of hell

April 2004 – The mayhem and anarchy gripping Iraq lend a deadly ring of truth to early Arab warnings that the US-led invasion would “open the gates of hell”.  Khaled Diab visits a photo exhibition in Brussels that puts a human face on the suffering beyond that infernal doorway. Read on


Arab world and African nations both struggle for EU-style unity

March 2004 – As the European Union prepares to expand eastwards, it success in achieving security and prosperity through economic integration has become an example for the rest of the world, yet Arabs and Africans are finding it tough to forge their own regional blocs. Read on


Alternative peace plan for Middle East ‘should be put to the people’

Katleen Maes and Khaled Diab

February 2004 – THE Middle East peace juggernaut stalled before taking the first turn along the EU-backed road-map. But prominent European politicians came out recently in favour of an alternative peace plan. Despite the ongoing cycle of violence and political inertia, Israelis and Palestinians are embracing other avenues to peace – and the EU should aid them in their quest. Read on


Peace and its alternatives

Katleen Maes and Khaled Diab

February 2004 – As prominent European politicians come out in favour of an alternative Middle East peace plan, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has embarked on a European tour to jumpstart the ailing Quartet-backed Road Map. Read on


A state of conscience

Khaled Diab and Katleen Maes

November 2003 – Building a single homeland for Israelis and Palestinians may be the only viable solution to the decades-old conflict in the long-term. Read on


Joy and fury at Belgium’s revised genocide law

February 2003 – As a global army of millions of peace protesters attempts to stop the march towards a US-led war in Iraq, Belgium’s legal system has put heads of state and political leaders on notice that they run the risk of being held personally accountable for their actions once they leave office. Read on


Murder prompts riots

December 2002 – Antwerp Arab leader arrested after unrest following “racist” killing. Read on


Arab pride on the streets of Antwerp

November 2002 – An Arab community group has organised patrols on Antwerp streets to counter what it calls a 'manhunt' by police of Moroccan youths. Found out about what has been criticised as a 'private militia'. Read on


Arab panthers and Flemish lions

November 2002 – A new wave of Arab activism is taking hold in Antwerp. Khaled Diab meets its leader. Read on


EU sticks with Middle East road map amid uncertainty

November 2002 – The collapse of Israel’s ‘national unity’ government, following the exit of the Labour Party, has sparked fears in EU corridors that a hardening of Israeli politics could further endanger the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the two-year-old bloody conflict with the Palestinians. Read on


€500 million Euro-Med project 'does not go far enough'

October 2002 – A €500 million-per-year initiative to boost development in the EU’s 12 Mediterranean partner countries has been welcomed, but experts fear it does not go far enough to prepare the Union’s volatile southern flank to become a free trade area by 2010. Read on


The price of war

October 2002 – Whether or not Iraq, after more than a decade of ‘containment’ and sanctions, poses a threat to the United States and its allies, any military action would most likely have serious economic and political ramifications for Europe. Read on


Leaps of faith

July 2002 – My arm hung sheepishly in mid-air and my confident smile faltered momentarily when Rita Walravens politely declined to shake my hand. Despite the fleeting sense of awkwardness and my hasty withdrawal of the offending limb, I comforted myself that I had not irreparably put my foot in it and that she bore me no ill feelings. Read on


Sharon court ruling clears the way for possible Brussels invitation

June 2002 – A war crimes case against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon alleging his complicity in the 1982 massacre of around 1,000 Palestinians in Beirut has been thrown out by a Belgian appeals court, opening a possible new window for an EU peace drive. Read on


Peace activists to join forces

June 2002 – Israeli and Palestinian civil society should not count on their deadlocked politicians to deliver peace and must join forces to mobilise grassroots support for a peaceful resolution to the violent conflict in the Middle East, peace activists from both sides agreed at a meeting in Brussels this week. Read on


Israel may seek extradition of Palestinian militants in 2003

May 2002 – Israel may seek the extradition of 13 Palestinian militants exiled to Europe in an EU-brokered deal once their initial year-long period of asylum expires, according to high-level Israeli diplomatic sources. Read on


Palestinian militant’s whereabouts a secret

May 2002 – The whereabouts of an exiled Palestinian, Khalil Mohammed Abdullah Nawareh, who arrived in Belgium last week remain shrouded in secrecy owing to government concerns for his safety and public order. Read on


Barcelona limps on despite Middle East crisis

April 2002 – Eleventh-hour diplomacy salvaged this week’s gathering in Valencia of European and Mediterranean foreign ministers, seeking to ensure that economic and political cooperation is not derailed by the Middle East crisis. Read on


Plea for more help in Middle East

April 2002 – Israeli human rights groups have voiced grave concerns to the European Union over the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Occupied Territories. Read on


Pro-Palestinian groups take demonstration to streets of Brussels

April 2002 – Thousands of protesters descended upon Brussels' EU district on Sunday to show solidarity with Palestinians as Israel's military crackdown in the occupied territories raged into its second week. Read on


The gains and pains of free trade

April 2002 – The successful launch of the physical Euro has fleshed out Europe’s aspirations for economic integration and many hope it will pave the road towards political integration. Meanwhile an increasingly divided Middle East slips a notch closer to war as one “bloodiest week” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict replaces another. Read on


EU and Syria trade pact delayed

March 2002 – A dispute over trade barriers has resulted in this week’s scheduled talks on the association pact between the European Union and Syria being postponed until mid-April. Read on


EU needs ‘resolute’ Middle East stance

March 2002 – Europe must have a clear position on the Middle East and use its political and economic clout to help the region out of its current impasse as Israeli-Palestinian violence escalates, say academic experts from Europe and the United States. Read on


Attack the machinery, not the machinations

March 2002 – MEPs and some of the UK’s top stars have petitioned Egypt’s president to pardon 23 men allegedly jailed for their sexual orientation. For the sake of even-handedness and to garner public support, the campaign must call for the release of all political prisoners and the dismantling of Egypt’s two-decade-old emergency laws. Read on


Reinventing the Arab media

March 2002 – Few would have expected tiny Qatar, a sleepy gulf state once known for little more than its oil and its ancient tradition of trading, to be at the forefront of what has been dubbed as nothing less than an Arab media revolution by many and dismissed as nothing more than a sophisticated propaganda tool by others. Read on


Pilgrims’ progress

February 2002 – As Muslims the world over head for Mecca, Khaled Diab looks at festivities closer to home. Read on


Sporting an Afro

December 2001 – If I were to let my hair grow, I’d be sporting quite a respectable Afro within a matter of months. Not so my wallet, however. While Africa seethes in an explosive brew of poverty, war, oppression and disease that threatens to drag it ever downwards, the dream of unity – even humble monetary unity – being touted by several of the continent’s leaders seems a distant and dim prospect. Read on


Libyan oil fails to grease the wheels of normalisation with the US

August 2001 – The United States is having trouble whipping up support amongst even its allies for its unilateral sanctions against Libya after the United Nations suspended embargoes against the oil rich North African state when it handed over two Libyan suspected of involvement in the 1988 bombing of an American airliner. Read on


Beware the Arab?

April 2000 – Khaled Diab looks at the Arab stereotypes that are terrorising people’s common sense. Read on



ã2008 – Khaled Diab. Unless otherwise stated, all the content on this website is the copyright of Khaled Diab.

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