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Middle East in the Media January 7 – 13 2013

Weekly reading list


The Kurds

  • Thew New York Times: Theories and motives abound in the killing of 3 Kurds in Paris (Dan Bilefsky, January 11)
  • "Many Kurdish rebels said they believed that Turkish nationalists were behind the killings. But there were competing suspicions. Some rebels speculated that Iran sponsored the attack as a way to destabilize Turkey, which has taken a stand against an Iranian ally, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. "


  • Al Monitor: The Bahrain Blackout in Arab Media (Ali Hashem, January 13)
  • "Arab channels were then busy covering the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution, and the first sparks in Libya. The illusion was that nothing drastic was occurring in the tiny Gulf state. Whatever news emerged from there failed to make headlines. That is the same situation today."


  • Al Hayat: Egypt: Fear of Islamists hobbles secular parties (Salamah Kayla, January 11 - translated by Al Monitor)
  • "Fear of a total takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood has weakened Egypt’s leftists and secular parties and caused them to stray from addressing the core problems that caused Egypt’s revolution"


  • BBC: Putting the welcome mat out in Baghdad (Jonathan Fryer, January 13)
  • "The Iraqi capital is probably not the first place you would think of when organising an international conference but, despite lingering security concerns, the city is keen to host such events."


  • BBC: Iran drug shortage: US Iranians send medicine to avert crisis (Daniel Nasaw, January 11)
  • "Amid the shortage, Iranians in need of the chemotherapy, cardiac, diabetes, haemophilia and other drugs have turned to the large Iranian diaspora for informal help. About half a million people of Iranian descent live in the US, according to the US Census."


  • The Guardian: Naftali Bennett interview: "There won't be a Palestinian state within Israel" (Harriet Sherwood, January 7)
  • "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "insoluble" and most Israelis "couldn't care less about it any more", according to Naftali Bennett, the surprise star of the election campaign, whose extreme rightwing nationalist and pro-settler Jewish Home is within sight of becoming the country's second biggest party."


  • Reuters: Insight - Aleppo misery eats at Syrian rebel support (Yara Bayoumy, January 8)
  • "As government forces fight on in parts of Aleppo, in large areas that have been under rebel control for six months or more complaints are getting louder about indiscipline among the fighters, looting and a general lack of security and necessities like running water, bread and electricity in districts that have been pounded by tanks and hit by Assad's air force."

  • The Washington Post: Assad still confident that he can control Syria (Liz Sly, January 13)
  • "Although Assad isn’t winning the fight against the rebels, he isn’t losing, either — at least not yet, or by enough of a margin to make him feel he needs to abandon his efforts to crush the rebellion by force and embark on negotiations that would end his hold on power and expose his loyalists to the threat of revenge, the Syrians and analysts say."

  • The Washington Post: Role of Syrian women evolves as war rages on (Carol Morello, January 10)
  • "Women and girls were in the forefront when the uprising began nearly two years ago with peaceful protests...But now — largely because the men in their lives urged them to stay away as the revolt turned into a much more dangerous civil war — they are playing a more traditional role in humanitarian relief, bringing food, medicine and clothing to refugees."

Saudi Arabia

  • The Observer: Saudi Arabia's treatment of foreign workers under fire after beheading of Sri Lankan maid (Gethin Chamberlain, January 13)
  • "More than 45 foreign maids are facing execution on death row in Saudi Arabia, the Observer has learned, amid growing international outrage at the treatment of migrant workers. The startling figure emerged after Saudi Arabia beheaded a 24-year-old Sri Lankan domestic worker, Rizana Nafeek, in the face of appeals for clemency from around the world."

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