Dossier: Mashriq

KAFA demonstration on International Women's Day on 8 March in Beirut (photo: Juliane Metzker)

Domestic violence against women in Lebanon

Protection, yes, but not enough

On 1 April, the Lebanese parliament approved a law designed to curb domestic violence. However, the women's rights organisation KAFA, which ran a high-profile campaign demanding a law to protect women against domestic violence, is disappointed with the outcome and says the law does not go far enough. Background information from Juliane Metzker in BeirutMore

Tammam Azzam's "Freedom Graffiti" (photo: The Ayyam Gallery)

Syrian painter and digital artist Tammam Azzam

"I, the Syrian"

"I, the Syrian" is the title of an exhibition by Tammam Azzam that was held in Beirut and London in early 2014. Selected works from his project now feature in various international art exhibits. Martina Sabra met and spoke with the Syrian painter and digital artist in BeirutMore

A peaceful demonstration against the Assad regime in Kafranbel (photo: Reuters)

Non-violent resistance in Syria

Sowing the seeds of democracy

There is no nation-wide democracy movement in Syria, but there are local initiatives that are defying the war, strengthening civil society and preparing the ground for a free and pluralistic political system, writes Kristin HelbergMore

Children playing in the kindergarten for traumatised children in Manshia, Syria (photo: Laura Overmeyer)

Syrian refugee children

A lost generation in the making

In the Jordanian village of Manshia, a German NGO has set up a kindergarten for traumatised Syrian refugee children. Here, they can leave their horrible past behind and learn how to be children again. Laura Overmeyer visited the kindergartenMore

Ibrahim Nehme, editor-in-chief of "The Outpost" (photo: Ieva Saudargaite)gaite

The Lebanese magazine "The Outpost"

Road map to an uncensored world

The pan-Arab magazine "The Outpost" is produced on a quarterly basis in Beirut. Only one year after its establishment, it is already attracting international attention. Astrid Kaminski took a closer look at the magazine and spoke to its editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Nehme, about its successMore

People at the Bait al Karama restaurant sit down at table in anticipation of a meal together (photo: Ulrike Schleicher)

Women's centre "Bait al Karama"

Nablus is cooking again!

Kanafeh, spices, oils and breads of the finest quality – Nablus has always been renowned for its excellent cuisine. The Bait al Karama initiative seeks to raise the profile of this cuisine and to underline the importance of food for any culture. Ulrike Schleicher visited Bait al Karama and its cookery school, the first organised by women in the West BankMore

Members of the Syrian opposition (photo: Getty Images)

Syria after the Geneva II peace talks

In a political vacuum

The Syrian author Talal al-Maihani believes that the vicious circle of violence in Syria can only be broken by the emergence of a new opposition force that truly represents the political will of a majority of SyriansMore

Ounsi el-Hage (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Obituary: Lebanese poet Ounsi el-Hage

One of the founders of Arab surrealism

Last month, the Lebanese poet Ounsi el-Hage died at the age of 77. Alongside Adonis and Mahmoud Darwish, he was one of the pioneers of modern Arabic poetry. An obituary by Suleman TaufiqMore

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

Artist Rima Najdi wearing a fake explosive belt in Beirut on 12 January 2014 (photo: Maria Kassab)

Interview with the Lebanese activist Rima Najdi

Provocation for peace

Dressed as a suicide bomber with a fake explosive belt, "Madame Bomba" roamed the streets of Beirut ... Her aim in doing so was to provoke a reaction in those that saw her and to protest against the on-going violence in Lebanon. But who is "Madame Bomba"? Juliane Metzker spoke to Rima Najdi, the Lebanese activist behind the provocative performanceMore

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

Anti-Assad graffiti in Istanbul (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Civil war in Syria

No peace with Assad and al-Qaida

Bashar al-Assad is no bulwark against terrorism. On the contrary, he is a beneficiary of the Syrian conflict. As long as he continues to destroy his country, the jihadists will flourish in the chaos. Only his departure can unite Syrians in the fight against al-Qaida and bring peace to the nation, writes Kristin HelbergMore

A night vigil organised by the "I am not a martyr" campaign at the site of the deadly bomb attack on 27.12.2013 in Beirut (photo: Facebook group/I am not a martyr)

Civil society initiatives in Lebanon

"I am not a martyr"

Bomb attacks and other acts of violence have almost become part of everyday life in Lebanon. After recent bomb blasts, two media campaigns were launched to raise awareness among Lebanese people of the everyday violence in their crisis-torn country. A background report by Juliane MetzkerMore

Caricatures of Lebanese politicians (including Saad Hariri, Samir Geagea, Walid Jumblatt, President Michel Sulaiman) celebrating New Year and looking ahead to an explosive 2014 (photo: Facebook Ad-Dabbour Magazine/Eliot)

The Lebanese satirical magazine "Ad-Dabbour"

Hornets' nest in Beirut

The satirical magazine ''Ad-Dabbour'' (the hornet) is one of the oldest magazines in Beirut. Björn Zimprich spoke to Joseph Moukarzel, editor-in-chief of the magazine, about the purpose of satire, freedom of expression in the Arab world and the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed in western magazines in recent yearsMore

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

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