Palmyra's ancient queen
Zenobia, secular Arab heroine
Art and revolution in 2015
Struggling against the restoration of "order"
Election in Turkey
Absolute majority hangs in the balance
Literature in Indonesia
Land without readers

Palmyra's ancient queen

The city of Palmyra, which was recently seized by Islamic State (IS), was once ruled by Queen Zenobia, who became a source of inspiration for modern, secular Arabs and the Arab women's movement alike. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that articles in the Arab media are referring to Zenobia as a "prisoner of the jihadists". By Joseph CroitoruRead more

Art and revolution in the Arab world in 2015

Egypt's Al-Fann Midan (Art is a Public Square) festival, which took place for the first time in April 2011, was one of the most vibrant post-revolutionary spaces for public art in Egypt. But four years after millions of Egyptians took to the streets, the popular festival has disappeared. Marcia Lynx Qualey takes a closer look at the link between art and revolution in Egypt and the Arab world in 2015Read more

Parliamentary election in Turkey

Turkey goes to the polls on 7 June. Its ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seeking an unprecedented fourth successive general election victory on a platform of wanting to turn Turkey into a presidential system. The AKP has an outstanding electoral track record, but with an ailing economy, without its charismatic leader and faced with a revamped opposition, could this be the end of its absolute majority? By Dorian Jones in IstanbulRead more

Literature in Indonesia

Indonesia is guest of honour at this autumn's Frankfurt Book Fair. That's a remarkable situation, because readers make up only a tiny proportion of the country's 250 million people. By Monika GriebelerRead more


Ballot being cast by a Turkish expat in the Turkish presidential election in Karlsruhe, Germany, 31 July 2014 (photo: Uli Deck/dpa)

Parliamentary election in Turkey

An absolute majority hangs in the balance

Bazaar in Damascus (photo: picture-alliance/

The economic impact of the Syrian war

Escaping the Middle East's violence trap

US President Obama during a summit meeting with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David (photo: Reuters/K. Lamarque)

Saudi Arabia's nuclear plans and Iran

Is a nuclear arms race looming in the Gulf?

A building in Faj Attan, near Sanaa, destroyed in a Saudi airstrike (photo: Reuters/M. Al Sayaghi)

The Yemen conflict

The threat of a regional conflagration


The painting "Queen Zenobia's Last Look Upon Palmyra" by Herbert Gustave Schmalz (photo: picture-alliance/heritage images)

Palmyra's ancient queen

Zenobia, secular Arab heroine

Part of the cover of the book "What Makes a Man?: Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin" by Rashid al-Daif and Joachim Helfer (source: University of Texas Press)

Book review: "What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin"

An honest and painful cultural exchange

Maya Yamout (left) and her sister Nancy (photo: private)

Preventing terrorism in Lebanon

Dialogue behind bars

Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (photo: Reuters/Ahim Rani)

Book review: Sadakat Kadri's "Heaven on Earth"

What is justice?


Indonesians at the Book Fair in Leipzig, 12 March 2015 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa/H. Schmidt)

Literature in Indonesia

A land without readers

Image from the book "Walls of Freedom" by Basma Hamdy and Don Karl (copyright: El-Zeft)

Art and revolution in the Arab world in 2015

Struggling against the restoration of "order"

Nabil Al Raee (photo: Ylenia Gostoli)

Interview with Nabil Al Raee of the Freedom Theatre

"We need more time to be more free"

The Opera House in Cairo (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Culture and censorship in Egypt

Cairo's guardians of morality