Articles on Middle East

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Oct. 5, 2017. AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Why is Saudi Arabia suddenly so paranoid?

When it comes to foreign policy, Saudi Arabia has recently become far more aggressive. A historian of the modern Middle East sees three possible causes for the shift.
Donald Trump’s justification for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal stems from his view that Iran is violating the deal’s spirit. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Why Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal may prove a costly mistake

Aside from vague threats of violence and suggestions he could 'renegotiate' the Iran nuclear agreement, Donald Trump has provided little in the way of coherent or viable policy options.
A relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing. Diego Delso/Wikimedia

Friday essay: the recovery of cuneiform, the world’s oldest known writing

Cuneiform was used for over 3,000 years in the Ancient Near East, but was only decoded in the 19th century. The writing form is still revealing amazing stories, from literature to mathematics.
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.
Spain plays a relatively inconsequential role in the fight against Islamic State. Reuters/Sergio Perez

Striking in al-Ándalus: why Islamic State attacked Spain

The location and targeting of Islamic State's latest attack, on the Spanish city of Barcelona, deviates from the group's previous efforts.
The Al Jazeera Media Network headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters

Why some Arab countries want to shutter Al Jazeera

When the network launched in 1996, it radically changed the media landscape of the Arab world. Two decades later, some regimes are still seething.

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