middle east

February 20, 2017

Cultural cafes like Naqsh in the centre of Amman are prime examples of innovative grassroots projects that help promote cultural dialogue between east and west. [...] narratives concerning the region remain ensnared by political and religious frameworks. Thus populations in the Middle East remain entrapped within politically driven explanations when attempting to answer questions about peace and conflict, Islamism, authoritarianism, etc.

Extraordinary bonds are forming on seemingly ordinary Saturdays as students and newcomers from Syria, Turkey, and Iraq spend the days conversing in Arabic and English at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Cultural Exchange Support Initiative (NMC-CESI) at U of T. The NMC-CESI acts as a resource for Syrian refugees and other newcomers from Arabic-speaking countries to improve their English

"The greatest damage might be in the realm of public diplomacy," write Nathan Brown and Michelle Dunne of the Carnegie Middle East Center. "Using a broad brush to paint all Muslim Brotherhood organizations as terrorists would be understood by many Muslims around the world as a declaration of war against non-violent political Islamists — and indeed against Islam itself."

Conflict and militancy may be first things that occur to many about Iraq, but a group of young fashion-conscious Kurds are hoping to help project a brighter, more optimistic image - and perhaps effect social change along the way.

Turkish news channel TRT has signed a new agreement to launch its international news platform, TRT World, on 10 additional satellites to expand its reach and viewership. [...] TRT World will be able to be viewed all over the world in new territories via Turksat and 10 additional major broadcast satellites operating across Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, Australia and America. 

From a digital perspective, 2016 has arguably been the year of emotions running high [...] The fact that people are emotional beings is hardly a secret, of course, especially when tragedies or high-stakes political affairs are involved. What digital platforms have brought to the table is a rather new form of commodification of human emotions as instruments of social exchange.

During his recent campaign, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump revealed little fondness for free trade agreements. But in the Middle East, there is at least one that deserves a second look: the Qualifying Industrial Zones protocol between Egypt and Israel, which, guided by U.S. commercial diplomacy, enhanced cooperation between the two countries beyond traditional security matters and into economic ties.

A joint exhibition between Iran and Austria is currently open to the public in Isfahan at the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Art. [...] A total of 15 Iranian and 17 Austrian artists have come together in the event with the common goal of enhancing cultural exchanges between the two countries through the universal language of visual arts. The 32 exhibited works include paintings, drawings, photos and video arts created on different subjects

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