Dossier: Bahrain

Ala'a Shehabi (photo: Ala'a Shehabi)

The Bahraini activist Ala'a Shehabi

David versus goliath

The Bahraini economist Ala'a Shehabi has taken up the fight for democracy in her native country. In light of the fact that the repression of activists has increased here over the past three years and that the regime is spending millions on PR, hers is set to be a long, uphill struggle. By Iris MostegelMore

Anti-government protests in Ras Roman near Manama, Bahrain (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Book review: "Sectarian Gulf" by Toby Matthiesen

Sectarianism instead of revolution

The Gulf states were among the many countries enveloped by the Arab Spring. However, authorities there skilfully managed to play Sunnis and Shias off against each other as a means of dividing the protest movement. Initially, the tactic proved successful, writes Toby Matthiesen in his book "Sectarian Gulf". A review by Jannis HagmannMore

An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police during clashes in the village of Sanabis west of Manama, November 6, 2012. Hundreds of protesters march on the street of the village defying the ban on protests set by Bahrain's Ministy of Interior (photo: Reuters)

The Bahraini Activist Ala'a Shehabi

"We Are Being Spied On"

The Bahraini activist and blogger Ala'a Shehabi is certain that freedom of the press is unattainable in Bahrain, even within the framework of the national dialogue between the country's opposition and the leadership of the royal family. In an interview with Hisham al-Douriush, she tells how she and her colleagues are subject to surveillance by the Bahraini security apparatusMore

The Pan-Arab Youth Orchestra in concert in Berlin (photo: Kai Bienert/Young Euro Classic)

Pan-Arab Youth Orchestra

Music to Combat Hopelessness

The world's only pan-Arab youth orchestra met in Berlin to make music together. But the young musicians also discussed the situation in their home countries – politics, hopes and fears. Peter Zimmermann reportsMore

Riots on Tahrir Square, Egypt (photo: dapd)

Essay by Nawaf Obaid

The Collapsing Arab State

The Arab Spring has toppled some regimes, though not others. But, more important, everywhere in the Arab world – and beyond – it has called into question the viability of the nation-state. An essay by Nawaf ObaidMore

Bahrain's king Hamed bin Isa Al Khalifa (l.) and his son prince Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (photo: dapd)

Political Crisis in Bahrain

Reformers on the Defensive

Two years after the outbreak of the unsuccessful revolution in Bahrain and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in the Gulf state, protests are continuing unabated. There is no end to the conflict in sight, while Saudi Arabia is setting strict boundaries to the Bahraini King Hamad's reform programme. By Guido SteinbergMore

Maryam al-Khawaja (photo: private copyright)

Interview with Maryam al-Khawaja

''The Regime Oppresses All Bahrainis''

In conversation with Azzurra Meringolo, the head of the "Bahrain Center for Human Rights" Maryam al-Khawaja reports on the repression of activists within the Bahrain democracy movement and how the regime is trying to portray the protests as a conflict between ethnic or confessional groupsMore

A man celebrating after the elections in Libya (photo: Reuters)

Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren on the Arab Spring

Post-revolution Patchwork

In their book The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Era, Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren show how differently the countries affected by the uprisings of 2011 are developing. They conclude that for a number of reasons, post-Arab Spring democracies will not turn out to be similar to those in the West. Paul Hockenos read the bookMore

Tariq Ramadan (photo: dpa)

Interview with Tariq Ramadan

A Revolution in Suspense

According to the Islamic intellectual Tariq Ramadan, the revolutions in the Arab world are either unfinished or have not yet reached their goals. Ceyda Nurtsch spoke to him and asked him about the prospects for the popular uprisings and the nature of the protest movementsMore

Man passing by anti-Formula One protests mural in Manama, Bahrain (photo: Reuters)

Interview with the Bahraini Dissident Nabeel Rajab

''Our regime has to leave''

The Formula One Grand Prix took place in Bahrain as planned despite a storm of criticism and days of demonstrations. Kersten Knipp spoke to human rights activist Nabil Rajab about the situationMore

Protests in Bahrain (photo: AP, dapd)

Interview with Ali al-Jallawi

''Bahrain Has No Future under This Government''

In conversation with Birgit Kurz and Abdelrahman Ammar, Bahraini writer poet and writer Ali al-Jallawi criticizes his country's government, which he blames for stoking inter-confessional conflict and suppressing the democracy movementMore

US Troops' withdrawal from Iraq: A column of U.S. Army Stryker armoured vehicles cross the border from Iraq into Kuwait Wednesday, 18 August 2010 (photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia's Flawed Iraq Strategy

The Iranian Wolf at the Kingdom's Door

The Saudis fear that the departure of US troops from Iraq would represent a sweeping victory for Iran, which has no military presence in Iraq, but is the strongest player there. But, says Mai Yamani in her commentary, this defeat is partly self-inflictedMore

March of protest towards the Saudi-Arabian embassy in Manama (photo: AP)

Interview with Lebanese Political Scientist Khattar Abou Diab

Vying for Supremacy in the Gulf

Relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours have reached an all time low following the military intervention by the Arab Gulf states in Bahrain. But, warns Lebanese political scientist Khattar Abou Diab, it is unlikely that tensions can be contained at the diplomatic level should any further escalation occur. He talks here to Tarek AnegayMore