Dossier: Maghreb

The Moroccan city of Tétouan (photo: public domain)

Interview with M'Hammad Bennaboud

The Muslims and Jews of Tétouan

M'Hammad Bennaboud is a historian who knows the Medina of Tétouan in Morocco inside out. He is also familiar with the great changes the city has undergone over the past hundred years. Nathalie Galesne spoke to him about the long history of Jewish–Muslim co-existence in the cityMore

Yasmina Khadra (photo: Getty Images)

Interview with Yasmina Khadra

"The Algerian regime is pulling all the strings"

The renowned Algerian writer, Mohammed Moulessehoul, who goes by his pen name Yasmina Khadra, wanted to stand as an independent candidate for the presidency of Algeria. He funded his own campaign and criss-crossed the country seeking nomination. Unfortunately, he only managed to win the support of 43,000 people, 17,000 short of the minimum number needed to be able to contest the election. Regina Keil-Sagawe spoke to the author about his campaign and about the situation in AlgeriaMore

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (right) inspecting a military guard in Algiers (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Presidential election in Algeria

Out with the old, in with the old

On 17 April, Algeria goes to the polls to elect a new president. However, it seems as if the new president will be the old one: Abdelaziz Bouteflika. But even though the outcome seems like a foregone conclusion, political resistance is forming. By Kersten KnippMore

Arabic calligraphy (photo: Fotolia/Ivan Montero)

The Arab world

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Arabic: the last tie that binds

In terms of politics, economics, religion and culture, the paths of the Arab states diverge. The once proclaimed unity between them has been consigned to the history books. Only one thing still binds them together: the Arabic language. By Kersten KnippMore

Relatives of the victims of the revolution demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Sarah Mersch)

Victims of the Tunisian Revolution

The slow and painful search for the truth

Three years have passed since Tunisians took to the streets in protest against their ruler, Ben Ali. The country is now slowly moving towards democracy, but the victims of those early revolutionary days are still waiting for justice. Hopes that the truth will come to light and that relatives will discover who killed and injured their loved ones during the unrest are diminishing by the day. By Sarah MerschMore

Celebrations on Martyrs' Square in Tripoli to mark the third anniversary of the start of the 2011 revolution (photo: Valerie Stocker)

Third anniversary of the revolution in Libya

Nothing to celebrate

Three years have passed since the overthrow of Muammar al-Gaddafi. Yet despite celebrations to mark the event and the election of a 60-member national assembly to draw up Libya's new constitution, prospects for a more stable future look grim: the people have largely lost faith in the country's deeply divided parliament. By Valerie Stocker in TripoliMore

Demonstrators in Tunis burning a picture of the former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (photo: dapd)

Social media and the Arab Spring in Tunisia

Not as soft as jasmine

Social media did not topple Tunisia's dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, but they certainly played an important role. According to the Tunisian blogger Aya Chebbi, cyber activism is now an important tool for democratisation in this North African countryMore

A calligraphy illustration of a snarling lion from the book "Animals of Heaven"

Interview with writer Kathleen Göbel

Symbols of human strength and weakness

The Islamic tradition is rich in stories about animals. Kathleen Göbel has published a collection of fantastical tales, parables and stories of wisdom with entertainment value for both young and old. Suleman Taufiq spoke to the Islam scholar and writer about her bookMore

Boualem Sansal (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Boualem Sansal's essay on Islamisation

Fighting Islamists with conspiracy theories

Bitter disappointment at the outcome of the Arab Spring oozes from every page of "Allahs Narren. Wie der Islamismus die Welt erobert" (Allah's Fools. How Islamism is Conquering the World) by the Algerian writer and winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Boualem Sansal. Joseph Croitoru read the polemic workMore

A demonstrator and opponent of the new government in Cairo prepares to throw a Molotov cocktail at security forces in Cairo (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Three years after the Arab uprisings

Tyranny has gone unpunished

The revolutions that swept across the Arab world in 2011 could have failed for any number of reasons. However, the fact that their consequences now threaten to drag entire nations into chaos and rehabilitate tyrannous rulers three years after they were unceremoniously ousted is almost worse than if there had been no uprisings in the first place. By Günther OrthMore

Women in headscarves demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Hélé Béji

"Ennahda has an unbelievable capacity to adjust"

Hélé Béji is an independent Tunisian writer and literary scholar. She is related to Habib Bourguiba, the founder of the Tunisian republic and its first president, and is part of a rather progressive intellectual scene. Béji has been watching the Islamists closely since they took power two years ago and is one of the few people who considers Ennahda capable of learning and becoming a major democratic people's party. Christina Omlin spoke to her about recent developments in TunisiaMore

A man holds up a Tunisian flag and a placard calling for Ben Ali to step down, Tunis, 2011 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Tunisia three years after the Jasmine Revolution

Learning how to deal with freedom

Three years after the overthrow of President Ben Ali, Tunisians are still waiting for their new constitution. Quite a few empty promises have been made since 2011, but there has also been some progress. By Ute Schaeffer in TunisMore

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

A Tunisian woman gives the victory sign with both hands during a memorial service for the murdered opposition politician Chokri Belaid in Tunis (photo: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA)

Tunisia and the European Union

Last chance

The Arab Spring seems to be over, but democracy could yet prevail in Tunisia. The EU should promise privileged trade relations on the condition that the country does not return to authoritarian rule. By Markus LoeweMore

The statue of Ibn Khaldun on the grounds of Ez-Zitouna university (photo: Carolyn Wißing)

Ez-Zitouna University

Helping to shape Tunisia's religious future

After decades of secular state leadership, many Tunisians would like Islam to play a greater role in the social and political life of their country. Some feel that Islamic scholars at Ez-Zitouna University could take on the role of mediator in this process. Reporting from Tunis, Carolyn Wißing has the detailsMore

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

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