Review

The Day the World Stood Still

The Day the World Stood Still

On August 21, 2013 the Syrian regime launched the biggest chemical attack of the 21st century. It was a seismic event whose repercussions are still being felt. This is an account of what happened that day and how the decisions made in its aftermath sealed Syria’s fate.

Inglourious Basterds of Mosul

Inglourious Basterds of Mosul

It took five hours to watch the 101-minute Netflix film on Mosul and process the emotions that resulted from the realistic portrayal of brutal warfare in my hometown.

The Long and Troubled History of the French Republic and Islam

The Long and Troubled History of the French Republic and Islam

Ever since Napoleon disembarked at Alexandria, France has had a complicated relationship with North Africa and Islam. Over the centuries it has been marked by politics, power, betrayal and misunderstandings.

Jean-Pierre Filiu
The Wine Critics of Early Islam

The Wine Critics of Early Islam

The language used by early Arab poets to appraise wine shows striking parallels to the style of wine criticism we know today. Arab and Muslim poets writing hundreds of years ago used a vocabulary to evaluate wine that would only become current in the West in the late 20th century.

Alex Rowell
Filming the Invisible

Filming the Invisible

Yasmin Fedda was filming “Ayouni,” a documentary about the revolution in Syria, when her main interviewee vanished. Angry, confused, and frustrated, she considered ending the project. Instead, for seven more years, she kept filming.

Yasmin Fedda
How Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Solidified his Power

How Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Solidified his Power

In early 2020, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman executed two plans — an oil war and a crackdown on dissident family members — that exemplify his blunt, risky methods of consolidating power for himself and raising Saudi Arabia’s profile.

Bradley Hope,
Justin Scheck
How Obama Got Pulled into Regime Change in Libya

How Obama Got Pulled into Regime Change in Libya

"As Middle East adviser to President Obama, I saw first-hand why it’s much easier to get rid of a bad regime than to put a good one in place."

Philip H. Gordon