Dossier: Qatar

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

Entrance to the Mathaf Museum in Qatar (source: Qatar Museum Authority, QMA)

The Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar


Can Mathaf Restore a Pan-Arab Artistic Identity?

In 2010, Mathaf (the Arab Museum of Modern Art) was opened in the Gulf state of Qatar. In his essay, Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi provides an overview of pan-Arabism in recent decades and looks at what this museum can do to restore a pan-Arab cultural identity that has been neglected and in some cases even vilified for decadesMore

Celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hamas, Nablus (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas after the Overthrow in Egypt

Stuck in the Tunnel

Hamas abandoned Syria and Iran in the course of the Syrian civil war and relied on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as their powerful regional ally. However after Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptian military, the Palestinian organization became isolated in the region. A background report by Juliane MetzkerMore

Ravaged by war: The Northern Syrian city of Homs (photo: Reuters)

Syria and the Middle East

The End of the Sykes Picot System?

Aside from the human suffering caused by Syria's ongoing war, we should be aware of the potentially dire regional consequences of Syria's disintegration: It would call the entire post-World War I Middle Eastern state system into question. By Volker PerthesMore

Beratungen zu Syrien in Genf: US-Außenminister John Kerry (l.) neben dem UN-Gesandten Lakhdar Brahimi (m.) und Russlands Außenminister Sergej Lawrow; Foto: Reuters

Syrian Conflict

Political Breakthrough or Tactical Manoeuvre?

In Geneva, the US and Russian foreign ministers announced their agreement on a plan for the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons – but is it a breakthrough for a political solution? Or is the agreement itself merely a manoeuvre to help Russia and the USA save face? Answers from Andreas ZumachMore

Robert Fisk (photo: imago/Xinhua)

Interview with Robert Fisk on the War in Syria

A War That Won't End

President Bashar al-Assad's troops in Syria are gaining ground. British Middle East reporter Robert Fisk met some of them when he visited the front lines earlier this month. Interview by Michael HartlepMore

Demonstration in Bamako against a military intervention in northern Mali (photo: dapd)

Interview with Bakary Sambe

''In the Arab World, We Africans are Viewed as Inferior Muslims''

The French military intervention in Mali has triggered controversial reactions among Muslim intellectuals in West Africa. While there is almost universal rejection of jihadism, opinion about France's political motives is divided. Charlotte Wiedemann spoke to the Senegalese political scientist Bakary SambeMore

A man wearing a gas mask and a boy run away from a combat zone in Aleppo, Syria (photo: Getty Images/AFP)

Essay by the Syrian Writer Fawwaz Haddad

Children of a Divided Nation

In his essay, the renowned Syrian writer and novelist Fawwaz Haddad criticises the cynical attitude of the international community toward the Syrian conflict and the dramatic decline of his homelandMore

Protest against the Assad regime (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Civil War and Cultural Protest in Syria

''The Revolution Has Become an Orphan''

As the military conflict in Syria continues to escalate, the commitment of many peace activists and creative professionals in Syria is going more or less unnoticed by the media and in western public consciousness. An essay by Astrid KaminskiMore

Promenade in and skyline of Doha, Qatara (photo: DW)

Islamic Jurisprudence in Qatar

Putting the Gulf on the Legal Education Map

The small emirate of Qatar is extremely ambitious – and wants to position itself as a motor for the region, also in the field of jurisprudence. Laura Overmeyer spoke to the German legal expert Günter Frankenberg, who is aiming to set up an innovative legal research institute in DohaMore

Anti-Assad demonstration in Damascus (photo: Reuters)

Syria's ''National Coalition''

Support for the Moderate Forces

Instead of continuing to complain about the radicalization and militarization of the initially peaceful popular uprising, the time has come for the West to act. The National Coalition offers a transitional alternative to the Assad regime – and it needs our support. By Kristin HelbergMore

Weapon market in Benghazi (photo: Markus Symank)

Libya's Unchecked Weapons Trade

''Gaddafi's Gangster Mentality Lives On''

They smuggle weapons, drugs and refugees: Criminal networks are controlling eastern Libya. The government has pledged to offer the impoverished region economic alternatives. By Markus Symank in BenghaziMore

Employee at the Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Qatar (photo: AP)

Arab States in Transition and the Role of the Media

Why We Should Pay More Attention to Arab Media

The Arab Spring took both regional potentates and the West by surprise. One of the reasons was that Arab media was almost totally ignored, claims the political scientist Asiem El-DifraouiMore

King Abdullah surrounded by members of the Saudi royal family (photo: epa/Saudi Press Agency)

Saudi Arabia's Foreign and Security Policy

Categorical Imperative

Saudi Arabia's political maxim is stability for the petrodollar monarchy. Everything else is of secondary importance for the powers that be in Riyadh. But as long as Wahhabism remains the absolute ideology of state, there can be no real unity or real stability in the Saudi Arabian nation. By Loay MudhoonMore

Meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (photo: dpa)

The Gulf Monarchies and the Arab Spring

Counter-revolution in the Gulf

Far away from the attention of Western media, the oil-rich Gulf monarchies are currently trying to avoid being hit by the wave of uprisings and revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. So far, they have not only been successful in doing so, they've even managed to exploit the uprisings for their own purposes. Matthias Sailer reportsMore

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre) attends Eid Al Fitr prayers at al-Hamad mosque in Damascus (photo: Reuters)

Javier Solana on Finding a Solution to the Syrian Conflict

Towards a Syria Consensus

In this commentary, Javier Solana, former foreign minister of Spain and secretary-general of NATO, considers the impact that a possible overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would have on the entire region and reflects on the steps that could be taken to set in motion a chain of events that could lead to a transition of power in SyriaMore