Dossier: Middle East

Members of the Israeli army carrying out a raid in Hebron on 21 June 2014 (photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Israeli army in the West Bank

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The punishment of Palestinian citizens

Israel's heavy-handed acts of retaliation against both Hamas and Palestinian civilians are threatening to provoke a new escalation of violence. The Israeli military deployment in the West Bank is the biggest since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. A commentary by René WildangelMore

Pope Francis praying at the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem (photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis in the Middle East

Gestures laden with symbolism

The visit of Pope Francis to the Israeli-occupied West Bank has lifted the spirits of Christians across the region. The Pope expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people through actions rather than words: not only did he fly directly to the West Bank from Jordan instead of stopping in Tel Aviv first, he also prayed at the Israeli separation wall. By Kate ShuttleworthMore

Hamas chief Ismail Hanija (right) and Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmed in Gaza City on 23 April 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah

No peace without Palestinian unity

The Palestinian organisations Hamas and Fatah plan to seal an alliance with each other – primarily out of necessity. Reconciliation is difficult; the danger of failure is great. It is for precisely this reason that the US and Europe should support the process. A commentary by René WildangelMore

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

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently opened a photo and video exhibition on the history of Palestinian refugees since 1948 in East Jerusalem. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Pastor Rola Sleiman in her church in Tripoli (photo: DW/A. Williams)

Lebanon's first female pastor

"The fact that I am a woman was never a problem"

In Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, an Evangelical community has decided to break with tradition and elect a woman as their pastor. The small parish has come to appreciate Rola Sleiman in trying times. By Andreane Williams in TripoliMore

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

Still from the film "The Physician" in which the Shah (played by Oliver Martinez, right) is treated by Avicenna (played by Ben Kingsley, left) (source: UFA Cinema GmbH)

"The Physician" by Noah Gordon

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The long road from international bestseller to film

The novel "The Physician" was one of the biggest international successes of the last few decades. So it's all the more surprising that it wasn't made into a film years ago. A big-screen version has now finally been released – with a German production team. By Regina RolandMore

Syrian refugees in Jordan: Inam and her daughter Najah (photo: Claudia Mende)

Refugee Crisis in Jordan

At the Breaking Point

Jordan has accepted around 600,000 Syrian refugees to date, and more are on the way. Although Jordan is continuing to show a considerable willingness to help, the fact that there is no foreseeable end to the Syrian civil war has led to growing frustration among Jordanians due to rising rents and increasing competition on the labour market. By Claudia MendeMore

Demonstration in commemoration of the Egyptian activist Gaber Salah, Kairo (photo: dpa)

Protestes in Egypt

Army Opponents Break Their Silence

Egypt's Islamists demonstrated for months against the army. Now, secular activists are out in the streets to protest the co-opting of their revolution. But, the military government has a propaganda machine on its side. By Markus Symank from CairoMore

Protests of the Muslim Brotherhod against the toppling of President Morsi in Alexandria (photo: picture-alliance/AA)

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Limited Options

The world's oldest Islamist organization has apparently failed in its strategy of confrontation with the ruling military. It is now proving difficult for the movement to make a fresh political start. Karim El-Gawhary reports from CairoMore

Supporters of Morsi in front of Cairo's High Court (photo: Mohamed Kamel/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's Former President Morsi on Trial

A Test of the Justice System

Are Egypt's courts using different standards when it comes to the trials against former dictator Hosni Mubarak and former president Mohammed Morsi? Karim El-Gawhary in Cairo says it's not impossible that the trials will end up with Mubarak a free man and Morsi in prisonMore

Mansoura Ez-Eldin (photo: Mansoura Ez-Eldin)

The Democratic Process in Egypt

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The Success of Democracy is Not a Question of Education

Although she recognises the dangers inherent in an uneducated society, Egyptian author Mansoura Ez-Eldin disputes the political belief that it takes a learned population to create a democracy. The problem is more a fundamental lack of political education and a poor understanding of democratic principles at all levelsMore

Photo of a graffito depicting Edward Said (© Ahl Al Kahf)

Essay by Adania Shibli

Recalling Edward Said's Thought Today

The influential theorist and public intellectual Edward W. Said produced a body of work that, right up to the present, resonates worldwide in a variety of fields. Ten years after his death, Adania Shibli takes a look at his legacy, and what it means to us todayMore

President of the Syrian National Council (SNC) George Sabra speaks during the news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 21, 2013 (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

George Sabra, President of the Syrian National Council

"We Always Have to Hope for a Political Solution"

The president of the Syrian National Council George Sabra tells Najima El Moussaoui why peace talks with Bashar al-Assad in his opinion will only waste time, but that he still believes in a diplomatic solutionMore

Hani Shukrallah (photo: Andrea Backhaus)

Interview with Hani Shukrallah

"Egypt's Media Are Propaganda Machines"

In this interview with Andrea Backhaus, the renowned Egyptian journalist and political scientist Hani Shukrallah criticises the way the Egyptian military is using the media to its own political ends and the blatant opportunism of many of the country's journalistsMore

Al Azhar mosque in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/ZB9)

Preaching Ban for Islamists in Egypt

Controlling the Message

The interim government appointed by the Egyptian army is banishing Islamist preachers from mosques. But imams who are loyal to the regime are still allowed to combine religion and politics. By Markus SymankMore

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