Middle East News – July 23rd

Syria’s recent admission of having chemical weapons stockpiles has prompted stern international consternation.

– Members of the Arab League have offered Syrian president Assad a ‘safe haven’ if he hands over power to a new government in the coming days – Al-Bawaba

– Syria has announced that it will not use its chemical weapons stores against its own civilians, but only against foreign powers should they choose to intervene in the countries’ civil war – BBC – CNN

– Saudi parents have begun asking for sex education classes in schools, another sign that the conservative leanings of the state are slowly beginning to unravel – Al-Bawaba

– In addition to the devastating civilian losses Damascus residents are mourning the loss of the symbolic cactus forests on the outskirts of town that were seen as one of the last vestiges of normalcy in the war torn capital – BBC

– Many Muslims who are otherwise not devoutly religious grow more spiritual and filled with faith as the holy month of Ramadan descends on the Muslim world – Al-Bawaba

– A wave of bombings in Iraq have killed 107 in the past couple days, further signs that the Iraqi regime is not yet stable or wholly in control of the country – BBC

– Hundreds of Egyptian farmers are bringing the reigning agricultural minister to court over lands that were seized from them in the 90’s.  The farmers say they were never compensated for this illegally taken land while the agricultural minister says they were compensated long ago – Al-Jazeera

– A disabled Israeli veteran is in critical condition after lighting himself on fire in an act of self-immolation yesterday in Tel-Aviv.  The soldier was protesting the mal-distribution of wealth in present-day Israel and the lack of reforms as promised by current prime minister Netanyahu – BBC

– In an unprecedented move Egypt has announced the lessening of restrictions on Palestinians hoping to travel from the Gaza Strip into Egypt – Al-Jazeera

Middle East News – July 17th

The Sudanese pound has inflated 37% in value in the last few months, further signs that Sudan’s already impoverished economy is unraveling

– An alliance of political parties generally seen as liberal have made substantial gains in the first democratic election in Libya after the fall of the Gaddafi regime – BBC

– India has asked the United Arab Emirates to investigate an incident yesterday where a US navy ship fired upon Indian fishermen off the coast of the UAE, killing one – Al-Jazeera

– Israel has announced that it will construct the first ever university in the West Bank on the confines of one of the many controversial settlements in that reason – BBC

– Fighting in the Syrian capital of Damascus intensified today with dozens of casualties reported and Syrian soldiers attacking rebels in helicopter gunships – CNN

– The United States has announced that it is building a ‘missile defense radar’ in Qatar, a sign that the two countries are cooperating at a higher degree as tensions with neighboring Iran increase – Al-Jazeera

– The Red Cross’ announcement declaring the Syrian conflict as a ‘civil war’ is seen by some to be evidence that the Geneva Convention rules under which the Red Cross made this declaration could be used to end the violence in Syria – CNN

– The Sudanese pound continues to lose ground to the US dollar, continuing recent trends of rapid inflation that can only hurt an already floundering economy – Al-Bawaba

– Israel’s Kadima party has left the coalition formed by Prime Minister Ben Netanyahu over disputes concerning Netanyahu’s desire to extend military conscription to ultra-Orthodox Jews – BBC

Middle East News – July 9th

Female soccer players are now allowed to wear headscarves while they play thanks to a recent change in FIFA legistlation

– Israel’s reigning prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to crowds today promising reform of Israel’s military draft laws after protests broke out throughout the country yesterday.  He says that Israeli Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews will have to “share the burden” if Israel’s army is to remain strong – CNN

– The UN ambassador to Syria, Kofi Annan, hailed talks he had with president Assad yesterday as productive, and he remained hopeful that the two sides were moving towards a peaceful resolution – Al-Jazeera

– Following the shooting of a prominent Shia cleric Saudi Arabia was rocked by protesters demanding more rights for the Shi’ite minorities in the country.  Two protesters were killed by police gunfire and another two were injured – Al-Jazeera

– After Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi called for Egypt’s Parliament to reconvene his attempt was rebuffed by the lead court of Egypt.  The judges say that last month’s ruling to partially dissolve the country’s parliament was final and that Morsi is not allowed to reconvene parliament without fresh elections – Al-Jazeera

– FIFA’s recently ruled that it was okay for female players to wear headscarves in soccer, which opens up the doors for many Muslim countries to start female soccer leagues – Al-Bawaba

– The American University of Beirut, Lebanon’s most prestigious university, has been accused of having a Zionist agenda after its decision to honor a series of ‘pro-Zionist’ alumni – Al-Bawaba

Middle East News – May 9th, 2012

Netanyahu, Israel’s current Prime Minister

– Iran has begun to accept the yuan (China’s currency) for oil – this is in reaction to the increasingly difficult economic times in Iran under worldwide sanctions – Read more at CNN

– A reaction to the Israeli political agreement yesterday to postpone elections for at least another year is that Netanyahu is simply buying time for himself to consolidate full control of the Israeli government – More at CNN

A nuclear inspector from the UN was killed in a car accident in Iran, which will surely raise further suspicions that Iran is trying to hide its nuclear weapons program

An Aghan woman who was raped and beaten repeatedly by her family is in anguish over what she considers the light sentencing of her attackers

Daily Middle East news – May 2nd, 2012

Abdel Imam, the Egyptian actor threatened with imprisonment for ‘Insulting Islam’

Three articles of interest concerning Middle East events:

Eleven people were killed today during protests regarding Egypt’s upcoming elections. The assailants are unknown, but it sheds doubt on the legitimacy of the upcoming elections.

Egyptian movie star put in jail for ‘insulting Islam’ in old pre-revolution movies

Israeli political scene in turmoil as high up officials argue about how to deal with Iran