Hello, and welcome to the first issue of Asfar’s e-journal in 2017!
The start of a New Year is a great time to reflect on the past year, both on a personal level, and on a wider global level. The year 2016 has been a year of profound political change, states have continued to be torn apart from war, and a new President of the USA was elected – whether people agree with the outcome or not – democracy has spoken. Since the last issue of the e-journal Asfar’s editors have been hard at work recruiting new contributors, writing and editing their own submissions, and i’m sure working hard at work or in their studies. I would like to wish all at Asfar and our regular readers a warm and peaceful 2017.
In December 2016 I travelled to Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly Emirate in the UAE, on the invitation of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Agency. In my article for this issue I take readers on a journey through the Emirate, exploring the juxtaposition within RAK, where thousands of migrants live in what can be described as a bubble, but their wealthy Emirati employers live in self-enclosed villas miles outside of the city. On a geographic level, the Emirate has endless sandy deserts, smooth sandy beaches, and towering mountains.
Ferhat Polat. a new contributor to the e-journal, gives us a personal insight into his impressions on the strong Anglo-Turkish relationship, from his perspective as a Turk studying in the UK. He details the importance of Turkey on a geopolitical and geostrategic level, and how the UK government is best utilising the relationship that will prove ever-more important after Brexit.
Regular contributor Rich Quinlan educates us about Tunisia and its complex relationship between personal liberties and the risks associated with these, especially focusing on the North African state’s position as the breeding ground for the Arab Spring in 2011. Rich highlights the important relation between militantism and political democractic choice.
Asfar’s Middle East editor Sawsan Bastawy writes about the fight for press freedom in Egypt since the revolution. She focuses heavily on the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate and other journalist groups who are fighting for their right to exist in post-Mubarak Egypt.
New contributor Annie Evans offers her insight into the Balfour Declaration on its 100 year anniversary. She describes how various Palestine groups and the UK government debate the legacy of the document which granted Israel land in the Middle East.
I hope you enjoyed reading the November 2016 issue of our e-journal, and as ever, if you have any ideas for the next edition or would like to know more about Asfar you can email me at: email@example.com