Articles on North Africa

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Women hold signs as they take part in a demonstration against government plans to ban or limit the practice of abortion in Turkey on 22 June 2012, in Istanbul. Reuters

Debate: When abortion is ‘haram’, women find strategies to claim their rights

Abortion appears to be illegal and clandestine in large parts of the Muslim world. Yet, women continue to challenge the status quo and archaic laws through their daily practices and activism.
A refugee family who was evacuated from Libya leave an UNHCR office in Niamey, on November 17, 2017, after being interviewed by protection officers of the French Office of Protection Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). Sia Kambou/AFP

How far can Europe push back its borders? The case of France in Niger

Displacing the EU’s border as far as possible from Europe: is this really a solution to mitigate the flow of migrants?
The rebellious French generals Edmond Jouhaud, Raoul Salan, and Maurice Challe (from left to right) leave the General Delegation in April 23, 1961 in Algiers, after taking power (with General Zeller) to oppose the Algerian policy of General de Gaulle. The Public Salvation Committee intended to preserve French Algeria was formed on 13 May 1958 with General Massu as its president. AFP

‘I understood you!’: May 1958, the return of De Gaulle and the fall of France’s Fourth Republic

In May 1958 General de Gaulle returned to power and established the Fifth Republic. Yet despite the monumental changes of that time, many in France today still don’t understand what really happened.
An Egyptian street vendor selling bread walks past as a tear gas canister (background) fired by riot police during clashes with protesters near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on January 29, 2013. Khhaled Desouki/AFP

How to assess political stability? Follow the bread path

In Morocco, bread is not only a symbol for wider demands but also the material basis of affordable and just living conditions.
Protestors stand behind burning barricades during clashes with riot police near the Tunisian capital of Tunis in January 2018. Violent protests over price hikes raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

The dismal failure of efforts to empower people in the Arab world

Decentralization in the Middle East and North Africa is supposed to lead to greater public representation in municipal politics. In fact, it is largely strengthening authoritarianism.
Could a North-African migrant become the Prime minister of a European country in the 21st century? In the 19th century, a Greek slave rose to the highest ranks in Tunis. The Bey of Tunis, Muhammad Sādiq Bāšā-Bey, greets Napoleon III in Algiers, on 20 September 1860. A. de Belle Ksar Saïd Museum

Migrants: when Europeans once flocked to North African shores

When we think of migrants, we think of them crossing the Mediterranean to come to Europe. Yet 200 years ago, many did it the other way.
Survivor of the mudslide are seen attending school on November 15, 2017 at the Old Skool Camp, in the mountain town of Regent on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Saidu Bah/AFP

Can education become truly egalitarian worldwide?

About 263 million children and youth worldwide are out of school. If some progress have been made, especially on school attendance, huge gaps remain on gender parity or equity in schooling choices.
Since 1800, the world’s population has multiplied seven and a half times. Shutterstock

Is the Earth over-populated?

The world’s population has reached 7.5 billion and is expected to climb to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Why will population growth inevitably continue? Should we try to reduce or stop this growth?
An Egyptian farmer tries to irrigate his land with water from a well. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A worsening water crisis in North Africa and the Middle East

At present, the Middle East and North African region contains 7% of the world's population but only has access to 1.5% of its renewable freshwater supply through rainfall.

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