The Syrian Kurds may not remain on the sidelines for much longer after being dragged into the uprising against the al-Assad regime. But their influence on the future of Syria and the Middle East is hard to determine. By Nick AmiesMore
As secular and Islamic groups prepare for Egypt's first free elections later this year, the unchecked rise of the Islamist Salafi sect is causing concern among Egyptians who fear its violent extremist agenda. Nick Amies reportsMore
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