Editorial note – August 2013

Over the past year, Asfar’s Editors, Writers, Photographers and Volunteers, have been considering methods of developing Asfar and its’ reach to new participants and audiences in a variety of different ways. And the results of this activity, can be no better seen than in the August 2013 edition of the e-Journal. From a fascinating rhetoric … Continued

Women’s rights in the Gulf, an illusion?

I am currently studying on my LLM in International and European Business at the French-Romanian Juridical College in Bucharest, preparing for admission to the Bar. I have a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Bucharest too. I lived and worked in Lebanon in 2012. I am a Romanian married to a Lebanese. I am … Continued

Healing Through Diversity

Ten years on from the invasion, what has changed for ordinary Iraqis? In this double feature, we share the perspectives of two writers on what it means to live in modern-day Iraq. “Akhooya! My brother! Your little girl doesn’t seem comfortable in her shoes. I think they’re too big for her.” – “Don’t worry, we’ll … Continued

Become What You Eat: The Development of an Israeli National Identity Expressed Through It’s Culinary Tradition

Elsien van Pinxteren finished her Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies with Hebrew and Arabic at the University of Cambridge. She is starting her Masters in these studies at Harvard University from September 2013. Elsien is mostly interested in the development of identities and group behaviour in conflict areas. This leads her to focus her studies … Continued

The special Morocco-US relationship

The United States (US) over the last century has developed diplomatic relationships with many nations spanning from the Middle East to Europe. Some relationships are even deemed as ‘special’ in the cases of the Anglo-US or Israeli-US relation. However, it is overlooked by many that Morocco and the United States have had diplomatic relations since … Continued

Nefarious Fallouts of Iran Sanctions: Time for Abandoning Coercive Diplomacy

The article1 demonstrates that on various grounds (socio-economic, politico-diplomatic, geopolitical and geo-economic) that the sanctions regime against Iran has been counterproductive. Crucially for Western policymakers and contrary to officially stated goals, the rapid escalation of economic sanctions during the past few years has been accompanied by the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program. The article concludes … Continued

The struggle for security in the post-Gaddafi Libya

The Arab Spring has set fire to most of the Arab countries and motivated more and more people to take to the streets demanding the fall of the regime, democracy and change. Following the same pattern drawn by Tunisia, Libya has been deeply shaken by a popular uprising that soon created a security vacuum. Although … Continued

Appreciating Arab Etiquette And Attitudes:

Definition One of the greatest and most common mistakes is to generalise about ‘the Arabs’. One might just as well generalise about Europeans. Moroccans and Dubaians are both Arabs the same as Swedes and Italians are both Europeans, but there the similarity ends. Even commonality of language is not as great as many think. Whilst … Continued

Egypt: When Frustration Becomes Violence

More than two years after Hosny Mubarak’s ousting, thinking about the so-called Egyptian revolution the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is the Muslim Brotherhood. Images of clashes between protesters and police forces are probably the only thing that our memory can recall of the Egyptians’ struggle for freedom and social rights. But where … Continued

Tbilisi and Sumela: diversity and monastic magic

After nearly 11 hours on the road, our inter-city bus rolled up to the outskirts of Tbilisi. Exhausted and disorientated by the strange journey, I was dropped off at the bus station, and took a taxi to Avlabari district, bidding farewell to my fellow passengers. Finding my hotel’s street, at first I was hesitant as … Continued

Arabic Wikipedia: Why it lags behind

Introduction Wikipedia is among the most visited web sites on the internet, it ranks as the fifth most visited website on the internet and receives over 500 million unique visitors monthly, a huge achievement considering the website is completely ad-free and run by a non-profit charitable organization.[1] Another attractive aspect of Wikipedia is that it … Continued

All writers' views in articles are their own and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Asfar team.

Published by Asfar in London, UK - ISSN 2055-7957 (Online)