No-one yet knows what the course and the outcome of the processes of change in the Arab world will be. That being said, it is becoming clear whose star is rising and whose is not. Above all, it seems likely that Turkey's political influence is set to increase. Volker Perthes analyses current developmentsMore
The Assad clan rules Syria with no restrictions. And now the anti-reformist hardliners have apparently gained the upper hand in the family assembly. They include Maher al-Assad, the brother of the President, feared for his acts of brutality against members of the opposition. By Rudolph ChimelliMore
Al-Azm is among the most critical of Arab thinkers. In an interview with Mona Naggar he sheds light on the role of intellectuals during the Arab Spring and the current state of protest movements in the regionMore
Arabic was never easy. But if the language spoken by some 240 million people with its convoluted verb forms and guttural phonology suddenly starts appearing in Latin script, then things get really complicated. And at the same time very straightforward. Details from Mona SarkisMore
The Syrian intellectual Sadiq al-Azm proposed Self-Criticism after the Defeat to the Arabs in 1968, and in the following year a Critique of Religious Thought. He sees a third way for the Muslim faith between radicalism and state IslamMore
While visiting Syria, two London-based women of Arab origin became fascinated by the risqué lingerie openly on display in the souqs and shops of Damascus and Aleppo. The book they now produced is one of the most unusual publications you are likely to see on the Arab world, says Susannah TarbushMore
Muslims all over the world are currently observing Ramadan. The month of fasting is supposed to be all about reflection, meditation and abstention - but Ramadan is becoming increasingly commercialised.