For many years, Hezbollah's popularity across the Arab and Muslim worlds seemed unbreakable. Long seen as the defender of those oppressed by Israel and America, its reputation has clearly taken a dent as a result of its support for President Assad in Syria. It now finds itself at odds with those across the Arab world seeking democracy and civil rights. An analysis by Paul SalemMore
In the view of Paul Salem, Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Arab nations are assuming a leading role in the promotion of democratisation. They are no longer, as has been the case in past decades, just looking on from afarMore
Paul Salem writes that there is no consensus about the Arab Spring's second stage – choosing a new system of government and society – but the only way forward is to move rapidly toward free and fair electionsMore
Rawabi (″the hills″ in Arabic) – vision of Nablus-born entrepreneur and billionaire Bashar al-Masri – is the first planned Palestinian city and the largest private sector project in Palestinian history. Mockingly referred to by some as ″the first Palestinian settlement", Rawabi is not without its critics, who argue it merely serves to sugarcoat the Israeli occupation.
The development has also faced difficulties connecting to the water supply: infrastructure had to be built across Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under Israeli civil and security control – the necessary permits were eventually granted, but the main access road remains unauthorised. By Ylenia Gostoli