Most recent article by: Kersten Knipp

Max von Oppenheim in his tent in Djebelet el-Beda, Syria, 1929 (photo: Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung)

The German archaeologist and explorer Max von Oppenheim


Enchanted by the Myth of the Orient

Max von Oppenheim was an astute observer of the Near East. He was also captivated by its history, culture and way of life. In fact, Oppenheim's entire adult life is an illustration of how difficult it is to reconcile the captivating dream of the Orient with the sober political reality of the region – a difficulty that remains to this day. By Kersten KnippMore

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (right) inspecting a military guard in Algiers (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Presidential election in Algeria

Out with the old, in with the old

On 17 April, Algeria goes to the polls to elect a new president. However, it seems as if the new president will be the old one: Abdelaziz Bouteflika. But even though the outcome seems like a foregone conclusion, political resistance is forming. By Kersten KnippMore

Arabic calligraphy (photo: Fotolia/Ivan Montero)

The Arab world


Arabic: the last tie that binds

In terms of politics, economics, religion and culture, the paths of the Arab states diverge. The once proclaimed unity between them has been consigned to the history books. Only one thing still binds them together: the Arabic language. By Kersten KnippMore

Cover of the book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" (source: Steidl-Verlag)

Book review: "Contemporary Artists – Arab World"

Perceptions of reality

The book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" shows how different Arab artists have reacted to the upheaval in their countries. By Kersten KnippMore

A young Egyptian carrying an Egyptian flag and standing in front of some anti-Morsi graffiti in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Georges Corm on the conflicts in the Arab world

Forget religion!

In his new book, the Lebanese historian Georges Corm criticises the tendency in the West to see the conflicts in the Arab world almost exclusively in a religious context. In reality, he says, the struggles in the states of the Arab Spring are for the fair distribution of economic power and democratic participation. By Kersten KnippMore

Young Syrian refugees transport mattresses through the Zaatari refugee camp, located close to the Jordanian city of Mafraq (Photo: KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Bleak Prospects

Syrian refugees in Jordan live under dire conditions, Amnesty International reports. The situation is particularly difficult for young girls, according to Amnesty International's Mideast consultant Ruth Jüttner. An interview by Kersten KnippMore

Film-poster of "The Lab" by Yotam Feldman

Yotam Feldman's Documentary "The Lab"


Palestinians as Guinea Pigs?

Is the Middle East conflict one of the fundaments of the successful Israeli weapons industry? This is the question posed by director Yotam Feldman in his film "The Lab" – which reveals some surprising connections. By Kersten KnippMore

Saleh Diab (photo: private copyright)

Interview with Saleh Diab

''Egypt Doesn't Need Dollars, It Needs a Clear Plan''

Egyptian entrepreneur and publisher Saleh Diab is concerned over the future of his country. Foreign investors are being discouraged by political conditions, and the nation lacks a vision for the future, he says. Interview by Kersten KnippMore

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (photo: dapd)

Interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu

Dialogue Should Not Legitimize Assad

In an interview with Kersten Knipp, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warns against interpreting Syria's civil war as a religious conflict. This perception could play into the regime's hands, he saysMore

Anti-Mursi protesters sit outside their tents, below a flag that reads, ''No to the Constitution'' at Tahrir Square in Cairo, 10 December 2012 (photo: Reuters)

Egypt Expert Björn Bentlage

''The Draft Constitution Is a Success''

Angry demonstrators are protesting Egypt's draft constitution. But scholar Björn Bentlage thinks the constitution is in fact democratic, and criticizes the opposition for failing to bring more specific concerns. Interview by Kersten KnippMore

Soldiers of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group

The Religious Narrative of Syria's Armed Opposition

According to a new report, the presence of Salafi groups among Syria's armed opposition is an irrefutable and damaging trend. In this interview with Kersten Knipp, Peter Harling talks about why the makeup and character of Syria's opposition has changedMore

Clouds of smoke rise above Damascus after the attack on 18 July 2012 (photo: dapd)

Interview with Heiko Wimmen

The Beginning of the End for Assad?

Weak spots in the Syrian armour have been exposed by the latest escalation of violence in Damascus and a rebel attack that killed three of President Assad's inner circle. Does all of this indicate that the Syrian dictatorship may be on the brink of collapse? Many around the world seem to think it does. Kersten Knipp spoke to Middle East expert Heiko WimmenMore

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Assad after Friday Prayers in Houla on 13 July 2012 (photo: REUTERS/Shaam News Network)

Massacre in Tremseh

Window of Opportunity for Diplomacy Closing

Tremseh would seem to be the most recent addition to a growing list of bloody massacres in Syria. The brutality of the attack further reduces the likelihood of a diplomatic solution. Kersten Knipp reportsMore

An Egyptian woman walks past election posters for the upcoming elections in Cairo (photo:AP)

Elections in Egypt

Economy Trumps Religion

Egyptians head to the polls to elect a new president this week. Unlike last year's parliamentary elections, economic issues – not religious ones – are foremost on voters' minds. Kersten Knipp reportsMore

Mustafa Barghouti (photo: dpa)

Interview with Mustafa Barghouti

''This Society Does Not Want Extremism''

The Arab Spring is having an affect on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. According to Mustafa Barghouti, a politician and civil liberties campaigner from Ramallah, it is also having an affect on internal Palestinian relations. He talked to Kersten KnippMore

Representatives of religious and ethnic minorities in Syria (photo: ddp/AP/DW)

Minorities in Syria


United against Assad

Syria's minority groups, until now artificially divided, have united against the Assad regime. If wisely managed, this provisional union could lead to a lasting alliance. Kersten Knipp reportsMore