By Mattijs Messely, MEDEA Institute A lot has been written about the Syrian crisis. During the last months many have started to wonder whether this crisis has become a full-blown civil war. This is not merely a semantic discussion, because the possibility that ethnic and religious dividing lines overshadow the original cause of the Syrian crisis – being a struggle for more democracy – would have serious consequences for the whole region. The last months it became apparent that the geopolitical stakes have not diminished, sadly the opposite is true. Iran and its allies are backing the Assad regime while Saudi-Arabia and its own are supporting the rebels. On the battlefields the fundamentalist fractions of Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have gained more ground – in the city of Raqqa there are regular executions held in public by the ISIS.
By Marco Stefan, PhD student at University of Ferrara
With the onset of the so-called Arab Spring, Euro-Mediterranean relations have abruptly returned under the spotlight of European policy and decision makers. Outspread societal claims and tormented geopolitical transitions across the Maghreb and the Mashrek urged the EU to reframe its policies toward the Southern-Mediterranean region, with the whole area becoming a major testing ground for the thorough coherence and effectiveness of the newly reformed EU post-Lisbon external action.
Iraqi secularists under attack ahead of elections – 11/04/2014 - Al Monitor
Kadhem al-Haeri, a cleric who has close ties with the Islamic Dawa Party and the Iranian regime, issued a fatwa March 30 banning the election of secular candidates in the upcoming elections. Large banners were hung in many areas of Baghdad and included a picture of the marja (spiritual guide) and the signature of the party’s office. The banners read: “it is forbidden to elect secular candidates”. The banners, hung late in March, are still present in some areas in Baghdad.
Midi-Med: « Iran yesterday-Iran today : change during Rohani’s presidency »
The MEDEA Institute and the European Movement Belgium would like to invite you to the next Midi-Med on 23 april 2014 which will be dedicated to: Iran yesterday-Iran today: change during Rohani's presidency.
Conference « The Protest Movements in the Contemporary Middle East »
A conference on " The protest movements in the contemporary Middle East" will be held in Prague on May 29 and 30 with the assistance of the MEDEA Institute.