"The Italian", the debut novel by Tunisian writer Shukri al-Mabkhout, lays bare the mechanisms of control and censorship in operation during the Ben Ali era. It is a worthy winner of this year's "Arab Booker" prize, says Günther Orth.More
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
Rawabi (″the hills″ in Arabic) – vision of Nablus-born entrepreneur and billionaire Bashar al-Masri – is the first planned Palestinian city and the largest private sector project in Palestinian history. Mockingly referred to by some as ″the first Palestinian settlement", Rawabi is not without its critics, who argue it merely serves to sugarcoat the Israeli occupation.
The development has also faced difficulties connecting to the water supply: infrastructure had to be built across Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under Israeli civil and security control – the necessary permits were eventually granted, but the main access road remains unauthorised. By Ylenia Gostoli