single distill image banner

Middle East #7

  • How “bomb” came to Beirut
  • Egypt counterterrorism
  • Macron in Lebanon
  • UAE expats
Published every Friday

Responsible Statecraft

Egypt’s counterterrorism strategy in Sinai: challenges and failures – Responsible Statecraft

Egypt has been fighting terrorism and an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula for the past decade and a half with no sign of a decisive victory. Although the Egyptian military has conducted several military operations against radicals and extremists, it has not been able to eliminate or defeat them. Egypt’s counterterrorism strategy, particularly in Sinai, is flawed and counterproductive. Instead of eliminating and rooting out terrorism, it has created fertile ground for radical and militant groups to thrive, recruit new members, and intensify their attacks against the Egyptian military and security forces as well as civilians. This has led to the loss of thousands of lives and created instability in Sinai.

Read more


It’s time the EU ended the cynical stalling game endangering lives in the Mediterranean ǀ View

After a short lull during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, migrants and refugees are once again boarding flimsy boats, mainly in Libya, in a desperate effort to cross the Mediterranean for European shores. Hundreds are drowning. Others are fortunate enough to be rescued by nearby boats.

Read more

Jerusalem Post

Israel-UAE deal far from the worries of average Palestinians – opinion

The main concern of most Palestinians today is clearly the worsening economic reality. A market in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. I went to Ramallah, Bethlehem and some other Palestinian towns to speak to people to hear what they think about the Israel-United Arab Emirates normalization deal. I am writing my impressions, which is to say that this is not a scientific study and I am not bringing hard data from public opinion polls. The people I spoke with are very connected to the grassroots and I believe that what they told me reflects what many West Bank Palestinians think. To begin with, it is more than fair to say that the Israel-UAE deal is not nearly the main issue that people are concerned with.

Read more

New York Times

How a Massive Bomb Came Together in Beirut’s Port

Fifteen tons of fireworks. Jugs of kerosene and acid. Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. A system of corruption and bribes let the perfect bomb sit for years.

Read more


Why Egypt Didn’t Profit From Peace With Israel As the UAE Will

The agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalise their relations, described by some as a “peace” deal, seems to have hit a snag over weapons purchases. The UAE is keen to join the exclusive club of nations allowed to buy F-35 fighter jets; in exchange for allowing the transaction to proceed, Israel is seeking additional US weapon systems.

Read more

National Interest

America Is Obsessed With Policing The Persian Gulf, It Doesn’t Have

If U.S. presidents prefer to compete against China and Russia, the Gulf region stubbornly refuses to let America and its allies leave.

Read more

Al Monitor

Online calls for anti-Sisi protests in Egypt may fall flat

Anti-government protests erupted again on Sept. 20, 2019, after Egyptian businessman and actor Mohamed Ali (who lives in exile in Spain) published a series of videos online, accusing Sisi of wasting millions of dollars on presidential palaces while millions of Egyptians live in poverty. Last year’s protests, which were quickly dispersed by riot police using tear gas, marked the first time that demonstrators had called on Sisi to resign. The arrests of hundreds of opposition activists in the wake of the unrest further fueled the anger, prompting even wider discontent.

Read more

The National

Emmanuel Macron dives head first into murky waters of Lebanese politics

When a French reporter suggested shortcomings in Emmanuel Macron’s high-profile initiative to promote reform in Lebanon, France’s president blew a fuse.

Read more

Financial Express

India-Iran Relations: Significance of Iran to India’s quest for peace and stability

India’s aim of joining the group was to be on board to remain engaged with Central Asian nations and participate in their development through opening up of trade and commerce.

Read more

Gulf News

COVID-19: How UAE expats are holding their jobs, managing salary cuts

Dubai: Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic was unexpected in scale and in effect. When the first cases were reported out of China, not many could have expected that we would reach the overwhelming tally of 25 million confirmed cases by the end of August. Even as people get used to the new normal, of wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and working or learning from home, a huge consequence of the pandemic is money.

Read more