Author: Joseph Croitoru

Creeping emancipation: although Saudi women are still subject to a strict code of conduct, there are signs that things are changing (Saudi theatre director Lurin Al Isaa and her actors, photo: private)

Cultural policy in Saudi Arabia

Ushering in an era of change?

The Roman amphitheatre in Suwaida, Syria (photo: Wikipedia)

Archaeological artefacts and sites in Syria

When historical treasures become pawns in a civil war

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

Turkish National Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz (front) lays flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers, Gallipoli, 25 April 2014 (photo: imago/Xinhua)

The AKP's version of Turkish history

Contrasting interpretations of Gallipoli

A supporter waving a Turkish flag bearing the image of Ataturk (photo: dpa)

The Nazi glorification of Ataturk

Ankara's shining star

A devout Jewish soldier standing beside a tank marked with the Star of David (photo: Imago/Xinhua)

Secular versus religious in the Israel Defense Forces

Into battle with the Bible

Syrians watching the news in a cellar (photo: Getty Images)

Independent media in Syria

Flourishing despite the violence

Two Palestinian boys on a film set with a camera (photo: Palestinian Social Cinema Arts Association)

Protest and culture in Palestine

Make art, not war

Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar mountains fleeing from IS (photo: picture-alliance/AA)

Persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq

Don't abandon us!

A Palestinian boy sweeping up rubble outside a bombed-out building in Gaza (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Propaganda war

ISIS using a bulldozer to destroy Sunni sites in Tal Afar. Photo:

ISIS' cultural vandalism

A trail of destruction

Screenshot with the logo of the Syrian Writers Association

Syria's opposition writers

Fighting oppression and censorship

The golden dome of the Dome of the Rock as seen from the Mount of Olives (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Dispute over planned archaeological museum in Jerusalem

Strife at the foot of the Temple Mount

Boualem Sansal (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Boualem Sansal's essay on Islamisation


Fighting Islamists with conspiracy theories

Nahr El-Bared, the first Palestinian refugee camp after 1948 (photo: UNRWA Archive/S. Madver)

UNRWA photo exhibition: "The Long Journey"

The long journey into uncertainty