Most recent article by: Jannis Hagmann

Pictures of Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad leaning against a wall outside the Russian embassy in Damascus waiting to be used in a pro-Assad demonstration (photo: Muzaffar Salman/AP/dapd)

Interview with Stefan Meister

"The Syria crisis is legitimising Putin"

Russia's backing of Bashar al-Assad and his regime is a geopolitical game, says Stefan Meister, expert in Russian foreign and security policy. Above all, however, Vladimir Putin is benefitting domestically from his Syria policy. The confrontation with the West is making him a key figure in world politics. Interview by Jannis HagmannMore

Anti-government protests in Ras Roman near Manama, Bahrain (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Book review: "Sectarian Gulf" by Toby Matthiesen

Sectarianism instead of revolution

The Gulf states were among the many countries enveloped by the Arab Spring. However, authorities there skilfully managed to play Sunnis and Shias off against each other as a means of dividing the protest movement. Initially, the tactic proved successful, writes Toby Matthiesen in his book "Sectarian Gulf". A review by Jannis HagmannMore

Poster for the documentary film “Not Who We Are” by Carol Mansour (source: Forward Film Production)

Documentary film: "Not Who We Are"

Lost time in Lebanon

The stigma of being refugees, the lack of privacy and an uncertain future – these are just some of the problems that Syrian women face in Lebanon. The renowned filmmaker Carol Mansour tells their stories in her touching documentary "Not Who We Are". By Jannis HagmannMore

Protests by Egyptian journalists against police harassment (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Lina Attalah

"The Media Are PR Machines of the Military"

After being dismissed from the newspaper Egypt Independent, editor-in-chief Lina Attalah founded the alternative news website Mada Masr. Egyptian media are in "a very precarious condition", she says – and calls for a new kind of critical journalism. Interview by Jannis HagmannMore

Alaaal-Aswani (photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Egyptian Novelist Alaa al-Aswani

''Mubarak's Regime Remains Intact''

According to Egypt's renowned novelist Alaa al-Aswani, the Muslim Brothers' rule was a lesson for the country. "The idea of political Islam is now falling apart," al-Aswani asserts in this interview with Jannis Hagmann. But now, he warns, Mubarak's regime may try to take power againMore

Campaign for the release of Syrian activist and software developer Bassel Khartabil (photo: © flickr.com)

Internet Activists in Syria

Virtual (Counter-)Revolution

Online activists in Syria have been involved in the anti-Assad rebellion from the outset. And although the regime is now playing them at their own game, their online presence shows one thing above all else: That in this nation at war, civil resistance continues to exist. By Jannis HagmannMore

Scene from 'Der deutsche Stuhl' (photo: Monika Borgmann)

Lebanese Victims of Torture

Remembering Palmyra

They were abducted and tortured. Now they have taken to the stage: In "The German Chair", Lebanese survivors of Syrian jails recreate the horrors of the civil war in a play. By Jannis HagmannMore

The Saudian girl Wadjda in Haifa al-Mansur's movie 'Wadjda' (photo: Razor Film)

The Saudi Arabian Film ''Wadjda''

1

A Children's Story in a Grown-Up World

Wadjda is the first feature film from Saudi Arabia to be directed by a woman. Despite receiving support from the royal family, filming was very difficult for the German-Saudi film team. Nevertheless, the resulting film both tells a touching story and is a delicately nuanced critique of Saudi society. Jannis Hagmann watched the filmMore

 Ernst Herzfeld, excavation photograph 1911-1913 (photo: © Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)

Islamic Archeology

Samarra, Centre of the World

With his excavations in Samarra, the German archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld founded "Islamic Archaeology". On the 101st anniversary of his excavations in the city, which is situated in modern-day Iraq, a special exhibition marking his work has opened its doors in Berlin. By Jannis HagmannMore