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Middle East

Spiritualism Experienced Its Heyday in 20th-Century Egypt

When Ghosts Could Talk

In the 1950s, during the era of pan-Arabism and postcolonial liberation across the Middle East, Spiritualism became even more prevalent. Stories of seances held among the Egyptian and Syrian military lend further support to the argument that Spiritualism was enmeshed with the push for change.

The Arab and Muslim Evolution of ‘Deviance’ in Homosexuality

Homosexuality and 'Abnormality'

Before the 20th century, Arabs and Muslims never described homosexuality as deviant or abnormal. For more than a millennium, religious scholars, linguists and poets discussed sexual relations close to our modern understanding of homosexuality without using derogatory terms common in the public discourse today.

Imperial Folly After the Ottomans — with James Barr

Imperial Folly After the Ottomans — with James Barr

Historian James Barr joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about the post-Ottoman colonization of the Middle East — and how the last century of the region’s history was set in motion with the stroke of a crayon.

How Wahhabism Led the Fight Against the British in the Gulf

How Wahhabism Led the Fight Against the British in the Gulf

The British presence was not an extension of its colonialism in Iraq and the Levant north of the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, it preceded it, and came through the Indian Ocean from the south.

As Jews, We Must Demand Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh

As Jews, We Must Demand Justice for Shireen Abu Akleh

The grievous injustices inflicted on Palestinians are destructive to the Jewish community as well as to the Palestinians living under oppression. We must demand peace for all, not just security for Jews — starting with accountability for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.

Amid Grief for Shireen Abu Akleh, a Reckless Religious Argument Surfaces

Amid Grief for Shireen Abu Akleh, a Reckless Religious Argument Surfaces

A few in the Muslim world discovered that Shireen Abu Akleh, who had for decades given a voice to the Palestinian people, was in fact not a Muslim but a Christian. After many called her a martyr and thousands joined prayers outside the hospital she was treated in, there was some awkward backpedaling.

A Tribute to Shireen Abu Akleh, a Journalistic Role Model

A Tribute to Shireen Abu Akleh, a Journalistic Role Model

Shireen looked and sounded like us, and it didn’t matter that we were not even privy to her religious identity, which we learned after her death when we watched in horror as her coffin made its way to the church while Israeli soldiers beat the pallbearers.