Last week Egypt's police stepped up an "unprecedented escalation" on activists by arresting a leading rights group director. Advocates on the Nile have long weathered a crackdown – what's new is detaining them for meeting foreign diplomats. Tom Allinson reportsMore
In Lebanon the economy is going downhill at an ever faster rate. The Lebanese are fighting the dramatic effects of the crisis with barter exchanges and joint projects. Apart from that, all they have left is black humour to endure the situation. Tom Allinson reports from BeirutMore
Dubbed the "Butcher of Hama", Syria's Rifaat al-Assad is accused of embezzling millions in European real estate. Like him, many regional rulers have preferred to keep their European properties quiet. Tom Allinson reportsMore
Key Saudi figures in the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation have so far escaped trial for his death. But while UN efforts to deliver justice have stalled, difficult questions about the killing still won't go away. By Tom AllinsonMore
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has suggested Islamists are behind rare recent anti-government protests. But is that just a deflection from the underlying factors fuelling unrest in the country?More
In northwestern Mauritania lies Chinguetti, a historic trading post and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city still has several libraries with Arabic manuscripts – many of them from the late Middle Ages.