Politics, Qatar and FIFA
Is criticism of Qatar's World Cup racist?
Afghanistan under the Taliban
"Girls continue to attend our schools"
Islam’s conscientious thinkers
People of reason vs. people of the hadith
COVID-19, COP27 and World Cup 2022
Crisis management in the Arab world
Commentators from both inside and outside the Arabic-speaking world are asking why Qatar is being so harshly criticized, suggesting it has less to do with political issues and more to do with racism, Orientalism, even Islamophobia.

Politics, Qatar and FIFA

Locals in the Middle East have said European critics are showing bias and hypocrisy when they condemn Qatar. Observers agree that Qatar has had to deal with more criticism than usual for a World Cup host. Cathrin Schaer and Emad Hassan ask whyRead more

Afghanistan under the Taliban

Education for girls and women is still possible in Afghanistan, says Reinhard Eroes of the Kinderhilfe Afghanistan initiative. In interview with Elisa Rheinheimer, he talks about skewed media portrayals, the great hunger gripping the country and why aid organisations should returnRead more

Today’s Muslims have the right to look at this complex Islamic tradition not only with respect but also with critical reason, in order to find the best inspirations they can, to rearticulate Islam for a radically different millennium.

Islam’s conscientious thinkers

Past attempts to reconcile logic and belief within Islam tend to be dismissed today – not because they lack merit, but because they were politically defeated, argues Mustafa AkyolRead more

British-Egyptian Alaa Abdel Fattah, one of the leading youth leaders during the 2011 Arab Spring, started a hunger strike in prison on 2 April 2022. As COP27 began in Sharm El-Sheikh, Fattah announced he would stop drinking water. His aim: to highlight the plight of thousands of people – including human rights defenders, journalists, students, opposition politicians and peaceful protesters – currently languishing in Egypt’s jails.

COVID-19, COP27 and World Cup 2022

November 2022 sees the Arab world firmly in the spotlight with the COP27 in Egypt and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Public trust in MENA governments is weak, thanks to their miserable record in protecting citizens’ rights, which leaves nations ill-equipped to handle complex crises like climate change or COVID-19. By Jan VoelkelRead more


World Cup fans from Ecuador holding "I love Qatar" placards (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Politics, Qatar and FIFA

Is criticism of Qatar's World Cup racist?

 The Pakistani city of Mingora, in the Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the border with Afghanistan (photo: Abdul MAJEED/AFP)

Extortion and intimidation in Swat Valley

Pakistan Taliban racketeering hits borderlands

Arab fans in Doha ahead of the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (photo: Dunja Ramadan)

Qatar 2022 and the Arab world

"It’s our World Cup"

British-Egyptian human rights activist Alaa Abdel Fattah (photo: Mahmud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images)

COVID-19, COP27 and World Cup 2022

Crisis management in the Arab world


Year 12 girls' class in Afghanistan (photo: Kinderhilfe Afghanistan)

Afghanistan under the Taliban

"Girls continue to attend our schools"

Migrant builders take a break while working at a construction site by the Corniche in Doha during the World Cup (photo: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/File)

Qatar 2022

Migrant workers enjoy FIFA World Cup on the cheap

Cover of Gudrun Kramer's "Der Architekt des Islamismus. Hasan al-Banna und die Muslimbrüder" (published by C.H. Beck)

Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood

Who was the architect of Islamism?


Adam, the main character, is played by Palestinian actor Tawfeek Barhom (source: Cannes Film Festival)

Cairo Conspiracy a.k.a. Boy From Heaven

Al-Azhar, a Catholic monastery...and the Dalai Lama

Iranian actor Hengameh Ghaziani (source: Instagram)

Iran protests 2022

Female film stars show solidarity

Turkish writer and journalist Nedim Turfent (source: English PEN)

Nedim Turfent’s freedom of speech

Beyond the walls of Van

Scene from the play "The Queen Commanded Him to Forget" by Ofira Henig (photo: Peter Adamik)

Israeli director Ofira Henig

"We don’t give any answers, we ask questions"

Israeli-Iranian singer Liraz Charhi (photo: Shai Franco)

Liraz Charhi’s "Roya"

An Israeli-Iranian act of rebellion