Most recent article by: Martina Sabra

A Syrian family sitting outside a home for asylum seekers run by the Central Authority for Foreign Residents in the German state of Brandenburg (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Book review: Stefan Buchen on Syrian "escape helpers"

Germany's new public enemies?

Germany is proud of its culture of democracy and the rule of law. But how proud should it be of the way it treats those who help Syrian refugees threatened by starvation and mass murder at home to enter the country? In 2013 and 2014, several German-based Syrians have been tried in court for helping their compatriots to flee to Europe. Stefan Buchen has written a book about the matter. By Martina SabraMore

General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Brigade. Photo: Faresnews

Portrait: Qassem Soleimani

The man who pulls the strings

Iran is battling Saudi Arabia for regional supremacy in the Middle East, and is steadily expanding its sphere of influence in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Behind the scenes, Qassem Soleimani is a key figure who has had more influence on Iran's foreign policy over the last twenty years than almost anyone else. Martina Sabra reportsMore

President Bashar al-Assad visiting the Christian town of Maalula (photo: dpa)

Syrian Christians and the Assad regime


"Assad is only protecting himself"

Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad likes to present himself as a champion of his nation's religious minorities, in particular the Christians. But increasing numbers of Syrian Christians in exile are resisting this narrative. By Martina SabraMore

Pro-Assad election posters in Damascus (photo: Reuters)

Presidential election in Syria

No Holds Barred

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad intends to have himself confirmed in office for a further seven years in early June. The regime's propaganda machinery is running flat out in advance of the election. Since the beginning of the revolution, the Syrian powers-that-be have been working hard to turn both domestic and international public opinion in their favour. By Martina SabraMore

Tammam Azzam's "Freedom Graffiti" (photo: The Ayyam Gallery)

Syrian painter and digital artist Tammam Azzam

"I, the Syrian"

"I, the Syrian" is the title of an exhibition by Tammam Azzam that was held in Beirut and London in early 2014. Selected works from his project now feature in various international art exhibits. Martina Sabra met and spoke with the Syrian painter and digital artist in BeirutMore

A poster with an image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian flag (photo: Reuters)

Book review: "The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game"


How to stay in power against the odds

In her book "The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game", Bente Scheller analyses Syrian foreign policy since the Assad dynasty came to power in 1970. She believes that the special relationship between domestic and foreign policy is key to understanding Syria's power apparatus. By Martina SabraMore

Clipping from Karim El-Gawhary's book (photo: publisher)

"Women's Power in Arabic"

Long-overdue Confrontations

In his new book, the journalist Karim El-Gawhary gives a voice and a face to strong Arab women, while moving beyond the clichés and headscarf debates. Martina Sabra describes the book as multifaceted, revealing, entertaining, emotionally moving, and definitely worth readingMore

Still from Mona E-Naggar's 'Istislam' (photo: Mona El-Naggar)

Mona El-Naggar on Her Film "Istislam"

Close-Up on the Muslim Brotherhood's Grassroots Work

Mona El-Naggar's documentary "Submission" offers an astonishingly close look at how the long-time secret organization conveys its ideology at the grassroots level and among Egypt's youth in particular. An interview with the film's director, Mona El-Naggar, by Martina SabraMore

Lisa M. Gimsa (left) and Sihem Mahjoub (photo: EMA)

Women Entrepreneurs in the Arab World

Successful Together

"Ouissal" means "connection". A new project bearing this name offers women entrepreneurs from Germany and Tunisia the opportunity to get to know each other and offer mutual support in their professional careers – a dialogue between equal partners. By Martina SabraMore

Amel Grami (photo: DW/U.Scheaffer)

Interview with Amel Grami

''The Arab Revolutions Have Triggered A Male Identity Crisis''

The Arab revolutions are calling traditional gender roles into question. In this interview with Martina Sabra, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami tells how strong women in Tunisia are resisting the Islamisation efforts of both the ruling Ennahda Party and the SalafistsMore

Salafists protesting in Tunis (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Islamists Target Tunisia's Universities

Freedom under Threat

When Tunisians revolted against the Ben Ali regime in January 2011, the protesters were joined by many university lecturers and academics hoping to see an end to censorship. But this newly-won freedom for research and tuition in Tunisia again finds itself under threat today. Martina Sabra reportsMore

Ammar Ali Hassan (photo: Martina Sabra)

The Egyptian Political Scientist Ammar Ali Hassan


''The Constitution Is a Catastrophe''

Egypt is becoming increasingly polarized under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. The newly adopted constitution represents a huge problem in this respect, says Amar Ali Hassan. But the political scientist remains optimistic and predicts that the movement will not hold on to power for longMore

Dalila Dalléas Bouzar's 'Les enfants du soleil – children of the sun', Pencil and acryl on paper (courtesy: Dalila Dalléas Bouzar)

The Franco-Algerian artist Dalila Dalléas Bouzar

Pulling away the Veil from Memory

In her project "Algeria, Year Zero – the pieced together past of the future", Berlin-based Franco-Algerian artist Dalila Dalléas Bouzar focused on the collective traumas experienced by Algerian society. Martina Sabra spoke with the artist in BerlinMore

Tunisian women demonstrating as the country debates about the rape of a young woman by three policemen (photo: Monia Ghamni/DW)

''The New Arab Women''


Are the Arab Revolutions Devouring Their Own Daughters?

The so-called "Arab Spring" has a female face. Now, a new book by Gabi Kratochwil provides a very personal and exciting insight into the background to this tumultuous period, casting a new light on the major presence of women on the streets of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Martina Sabra read the book and spoke to authorMore

Demonstration against the Assad Regime in front of the Syrian embassy in Moscow (photo: AP)

''Syria in the Firing Line''

Beyond the Violence

International news reporting on Syria is increasingly focused on the armed conflict raging in the country. Yet, civilian opposition to the Assad regime is continuing as well. In her new book, Kristin Helberg reports on the peaceful origins of the Syrian revolution and the workings of Assad's machinery of power. By Martina SabraMore