Articles on Middle East

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An American protester makes his feelings plain during the Iranian hostage crisis, 1979. Wikimedia Commons

Why does the American right hate Iran so much?

Ever since the shocking spectacle of the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis, American conservatives have reserved a special disdain for the Islamic Republic.
Mike Pompeo was confirmed as U.S. secretary of state on April 26. Leah Millis/Reuters

Pompeo confirmation makes Mideast war more likely

The new secretary of state once called the Iran nuclear deal 'unconscionable.' If he supports Trump's instinct to scrap the agreement on May 12, it could unleash violence across the volatile Mideast.
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC) BabelStone

In ancient Mesopotamia, sex among the gods shook heaven and earth

Sex was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia. And the authors of Sumerian love poetry, depicting the exploits of divine couples, showed a wealth of practical knowledge about the stages of female sexual arousal.
EPA/Youssef Badawi

Syria: who’s involved, and what do they want?

The Syrian conflict is a war of many sides. Here's a rundown of the key players.
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.

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