Middle East
Syria: The Crumbling Nation-State

Syria: The Crumbling Nation-State

The rulebook has been thrown out of the window in Syria. How should the West respond? It is October 2016 and the conflict in Syria has been waging for over five years. Aleppo has been reduced to piles of rubble by constant airstrikes. The United Nations (UN) has estimated that the death toll is over...
Former President of Israel Shimon Peres’ Death Compels Thoughts on Peace

Former President of Israel Shimon Peres’ Death Compels Thoughts on Peace

28 September 2016 marked a day of global mourning with the death of former President and Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres who passed at the age of 93. Leaders and statesmen from all over the world gathered to pay tribute to Peres and reflect on his impactful career as a leader. Leaders such as...
One Small Step For OPEC, One Giant Leap For Global Markets

One Small Step For OPEC, One Giant Leap For Global Markets

It has been a tough year and a half for oil, specifically the price of a barrel of crude in relation to the sheer volume of it being pumped from the ground. Since April of 2015, the price for crude has been declining steadily, and has subsequently been wreaking havoc on global markets and economies...
Syria Talks:  US, Russia, and the obscure complexity of the ‘Syrian’ conflict

Syria Talks: US, Russia, and the obscure complexity of the ‘Syrian’ conflict

It is relatively surprising to note, despite its large media presence and existence as an important election issue, the historically minimal response to the Syrian crisis from the United States (US) over the last five years. In fact, considering its history of intervention, US involvement up until its initiation of peace talks with Russia in...
Why We Should Remember Asad Shah

Why We Should Remember Asad Shah

In this world of blaring noise, where social media constantly shouts facts and statistics at us; where news has to be ‘breaking’ in order to be meaningful; where violent and sexual images have become so ubiquitous that people refuse to be shocked by deaths in far-off countries – in this world, it takes something very...
The Taliban's Spring Resurgence – Afghanistan in the Balance

The Taliban’s Spring Resurgence – Afghanistan in the Balance

“Mission Accomplished. In the battle for Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained.” [i] Bush was beaming with confidence as he stood triumphant aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln as the famous words were uttered. Last week, if Bush had been browsing the Google Play Store he could have downloaded...
Russian Withdrawal in Syria: ‘Mission Accomplished’ for Putin?

Russian Withdrawal in Syria: ‘Mission Accomplished’ for Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced March 14 the withdrawal of the majority of Russian armed forces engaged in the Syrian Civil War. After six months of fighting, Russian servicemen have returned home, greeted by cheering throngs congratulating them on a ‘mission accomplished.’ Putin has said that he considers ‘the objectives set for the defense ministry...
Cultural Divisions, Islamophobia and Radicalisation Continue to Pervade Modern France

Cultural Divisions, Islamophobia and Radicalisation Continue to Pervade Modern France

On 30 March 2016, a little more than a year after the attack on their offices which killed eleven people, Charlie Hebdo published an article titled, ‘How did we end up here?’. In their final paragraph, they write, ‘The first task of the guilty is to blame the innocent’, going on to imply that a...
Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen: How Complicit is Europe?

Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen: How Complicit is Europe?

On 24 February, the European Parliament ratified a movement calling on EU countries to halt all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. This legislation was specifically targeted at Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the ongoing civil war in Yemen. One EU legislator, Richard Howitt, told Reuters, ‘This is about Yemen. The human rights violations have reached a...
Iranian Election Results: An Exercise in Cautious Optimism

Iranian Election Results: An Exercise in Cautious Optimism

One of the most interesting places in the world in 2016 is the country of Iran. In July 2015, the country signed an agreement with six world powers to curtail its nuclear activities. In exchange, on 16 January 2016 international sanctions on Iran were lifted, unfreezing US$100 billion in assets, allowing Iranian oil to be...
Emerging Art Scenes: The Illustrative Case of Saudi Arabia

Emerging Art Scenes: The Illustrative Case of Saudi Arabia

In a world seemingly dominated by business and politics, it can be easy to forget the importance of art in society. Art is often associated with high society and intellectualism, which leads to relatively negative perceptions of countries lacking a relationship with modern art, as they are often perceived to be closed-minded or out of...
FIFA’s Turnover Likely Means Continued Corruption

FIFA’s Turnover Likely Means Continued Corruption

Big changes are afoot for the international football community in the coming days and months following the election 26 February of new FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress in Zürich — but these changes could mean more of the same when it comes to the embattled organisation’s tendency toward corruption. The...