• Middle East

    Advocates for Besieged Children Say Collaboration Is Essential

    by  • May 1, 2016 • Africa, Asia, Child Soldiers, Middle East • 

    Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital...

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    Fleeing Violence, Syrian Women Try to Cope in Turkey and Lebanon

    by  • April 6, 2016 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Refugees, Syria, Women • 1 Comment

    GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Amima and Fatima Jebari are Syrian sisters who fled last year to the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, after the Free Syrian Army entered their village in the north, they said, and violence ensued between the rebel group and the government forces of Bashar al-Assad in the...

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    There Is No Military Solution for Syria

    by  • March 20, 2016 • Middle East, Syria • 

    Only close cooperation between the United States and Russia can end the “terrible tragedy” in Syria, says Lakhdar Brahimi, the highly respected international mediator in the Middle East for more than two decades. Brahimi, who led United Nations missions in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq before becoming the special joint envoy of the Arab League...

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    Syrian Women Are Ready to Participate in UN-Led Geneva Peace Talks

    by  • January 20, 2016 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Syria • 1 Comment

    While new Syrian peace talks organized by the United Nations remain tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 25 in Switzerland, a substantial group of Syrian women is preparing to convene in Geneva starting that day to demand an equal place at the negotiations table. Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, who...

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    As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?

    by  • December 26, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, Women • 2 Comments

    When the United Nations Security Council recently approved timelines to begin peace talks and institute a national cease-fire in Syria, the language in the resolution gave no hint of the magnitude of such undertakings, nor did the congratulatory speeches afterward by diplomats delve into the details. That means the nitty-gritty work is left to...

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    For Female Syrian Refugees Settling Into New Jersey, a Quiet Struggle

    by  • December 16, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees, Women • 

    SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — For some Syrian refugees, “home” is no longer the plains of war-torn Syria but the densely populated cities of northern New Jersey. Since January this year, 86 refugees have arrived in the state, according to recent data from the Refugee Processing Center, and they have been resettled primarily in Paterson,...

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    At Vienna Talks on Syria’s Future, the UN Finds Several Roles to Play

    by  • November 15, 2015 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Refugees, Security Council, Terrorism • 

    The United Nations has wedged its way into playing a monitoring role in a possible cease-fire in Syria and a convening role in gathering the Syrian government and opposition parties to try to meet for formal talks by Jan. 1. The goal is to begin negotiating an end to the prolonged war there, which has...

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    The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

    by  • October 26, 2015 • Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March....

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    More Refugees Destined for Europe, Further Testing Its Ability to Respond

    by  • October 4, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees • 1 Comment

    With an astounding 12 million people in Syria displaced from their homes in a population that numbered about 23 million before its civil war began in full fledge in 2012, the questions that inevitably arise are: Why isn’t the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees more actively involved on the ground in Europe, the...

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    Europe Pushes Ahead for More Aid to Syrians and to Disrupt Human Smuggling

    by  • September 29, 2015 • Human Trafficking, Libya, Middle East, Refugees • 

    Seizing a chance to respond more coherently to the deadly situation in Syria, the European Union and Jordan are proposing a “resilience plan” to alleviate the humanitarian emergency while pushing for a political course to stop the Syrian government from killing what’s left of its people. The European Union is also moving ahead in...

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    A UN Envoy Tries Something New in Syria

    by  • September 27, 2015 • Middle East, Refugees • 

    Four working groups formed to dissect and discuss the Syrian crisis in concrete terms are being set up by the United Nations in a plan conceived by Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy in Syria since July 2014. The working groups and their Syrian interlocutors will discuss safety and protection; political and legal topics;...

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    The Situation for Women and Girls Around the World? Stark.

    by  • September 24, 2015 • Governance, Health and Population, Latin America, Middle East, Poverty, Sustainable Development Goals, Women • 5 Comments

    As the United Nations prepares to formally accept the new Sustainable Development Goals at midday at a summit meeting on Friday, here is a close look at one of the main resources that helped inform the long debate on creating the goals — the UN Development Program’s Human Development Report for 2014. What do...

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    Desperate Escape: Why Syrian and Other Refugees Are Rushing to Europe

    by  • September 18, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees, UN Agencies • 

    As a relentless remake of the Middle East and North Africa has been taking place, mass displacements of populations have also been occurring. And more chaos is ahead, says the United States Defense Intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, in his assessment that Iraq and Syria may have been permanently torn asunder by war...

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    Saving Scholars Who Become Victimized in the Middle East

    by  • August 20, 2015 • Education, Middle East, Unesco • 

    Khalid al-Asaad, an internationally recognized Syrian scholar of antiquities, was beheaded by ISIS on Aug. 18 for refusing to disclose the location of archeological treasures apparently removed for safekeeping from Palmyra, one of the Middle East’s most important archeological landmarks and a Unesco World Heritage Site in Syria. This latest tragedy inflicted by ISIS highlights...

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    This Palestinian Policewoman Has Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence

    by  • July 16, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Women • 

    RAMALLAH — As the head of the Palestinian Civil Police Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, Lieut. Col. Wafa Muammar is the highest-ranking female officer in the Palestinian police force and a role model for women trying to find their own space in what has been considered a man’s profession here. Among the first generation...

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    Tunisian Women Feel Their Rights Eroding

    by  • July 9, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Women • 

    TUNIS — Tunisia has possessed the rare reputation of being progressive in gender equality in the Middle East-North African region. Yet with the rise of an Islamist political party in Tunisia after its relatively placid revolution in 2011, the question is, how have women fared in the post-Arab spring landscape? In Tunis, the cosmopolitan...

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