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WHAT WE DO
While there are now more than 500 Arabic and Persian news outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable means for English speakers to gain access to much of this content. As a result, the overwhelming majority of English speaking businesspersons, students, journalists and others who have an interest in the affairs of the region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering and how they are covering these stories.

Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily email newsletter of concise, translated briefs covering some of the key political, cultural, economic and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Arab Diaspora. Through this effort, we hope to address at least one element of a global disconnect that continues to threaten a wide spectrum of socio-political and economic relationships, both here in the region and beyond.
TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
05-Feb-2016
Algeria
Politics
“Establishment of central anti-terrorism apparatus being studied...”  (El-Khabar)
Military Defense - Terrorism
On February 5, the independent El-Khabar newspaper carried the following report by Mohamed ben Ahmed: “Algeria is about to create an apparatus specialized in the fighting of terrorism at the level of the army command, including security bodies and fast-intervention military branches. In this context, a knowledgeable source said to El-Khabar that this process started in 2015, back when it was decided to assign Special Forces units to carry out anti-terror operations, and limit the role of the remaining army units to the provision of backup. Hence, following the changes introduced by President Bouteflika to the security bodies, the army command is currently looking into the creation of a central anti-terrorism apparatus, similar to the ones that exist in Western states, to investigate the terrorist networks, and carry out anti-terrorism operations… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
“Army’s decision is Ersal is clear…”  (Ad-Diyyar)
Military Defense - Terrorism
On February 5, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Yasser al-Hariri: “Some media outlets affiliated to the takfiri forces have been attacking Hezbollah from the Ersal gate. Some considered that “Ersal is a thorn in Hezbollah’s eye” and others thought of it as a fortress “for the revolution in Syria” while others believe that Ersal is a gate for liberating Syria and Lebanon from Hezbollah and its allies. Of course, Hezbollah and its allies smile when they hear or read that this occupied town is a thorn in Hezbollah’s eye, according to March 8 sources, The political and media triviality, precisely on the part of the Future movement and its allies, regarding the events taking place in that town have pushed things to a dangerous point… (Read More)
“The Christian alliance is Al-Hariri’s passageway to the cabinet”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon)   
Democracy
On February 5, the Al-Akhbar daily carried the following report by Hiam al-Kosseify: “…Seemingly, the communication calls aimed at concluding a quick presidential settlement are at a stalemate. However, some calls and meetings are taking place in the backstage and away from the limelight with important dimensions as to the possibility of achieving a major breakthrough. In light of the scene of the two presidential candidates, the head of the Change and Reform Bloc, Gen. Michel Aoun and the head of Al-Marada movement, MP Suleiman Franjieh, a final decision has clearly been taken to abstain from holding a confrontational hearing between the two candidates… (Read More)
“Lebanon to resettle the Syrians?!”  (Ad-Diyyar)   
Refugees - USA EU
On February 5, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Kamal Thebian: “At the conference of the donor countries to the countries neighboring Syria and hosting Syrian refugees in London, Lebanon presented a project asking for 11 billion dollars to help the country in dealing with the burden of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, i.e. around one third of the Lebanese population. There have been other conferences in the past held in several countries that failed to keep their promises to Lebanon and only paid the country minimal amounts of money not exceeding one billion dollars in the past five years… (Read More)
“Lebanon’s gas in return of the Palestinians’ settlement”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon)   
Energy - Refugees - United Nations - USA EU
On February 5, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report by Firas al-Shoufi: “The gas in return for the Palestinians’ settlement. This is the new equation that the westerners are whispering in order to allow Lebanon to extract its oil in parallel with a global solution in the region at the expense of the Palestinians’ right to return home. As the UNRWA has reduced its services in bracing for the termination of its role, the Palestinians and the Lebanese have the right to believe in the “conspiracy!… (Read More)
Middle East
Opinion
“The London donors and the story of the Alawi and Kurdish states”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi)   
Peace Process
On February 5, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “In parallel to the meeting held by world leaders in London yesterday, in the context of a conference to discuss the Syrian humanitarian crisis, tens of thousands of new refugees were escaping their homes, villages and towns in the Latakia and Aleppo countryside, under the Syrian regime’s attacks and Russian airstrikes... This, in short, is the recipe being applied by the Russians and the regime in Damascus to achieve “progress” in the Geneva talks with the Syrian opposition... At the same time, social media websites were circulating pictures of an outdoor party organized last Friday for the Russian officers and soldiers at the Humaimim military base in Latakia, showing a rock band and singers, and soldiers with their backs turned to the viewers… (Read More)
Morocco
Opinion
“Benkirane’s government controls television: How can it?”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi)
Media
On February 5, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by Moroccan writer At-Taher at-Tawil: “The High Authority of Audiovisual Communication in Morocco is constantly reiterating in its various reports that Abdelilah Benkirane’s government and its partisan majority are earning the biggest share of the newscasts on public television channels. And this is being interpreted by opposition voices as a governmental “hegemony” over television, at a time when the latter should be independent and beyond any official patronage. The conclusion reached by this Authority pushes us to ask the following: How can there be talk about a governmental “hegemony” over television, at a time when Benkirane himself has always been complaining about the directors of some Moroccan channels, whom he believes are sometimes biased against his government?… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
“Israel living in heaven!”  (Newspaper - Middle East)
Peace Process
On February 5, the Omani Al-Watan daily newspaper carried the following piece by Sami Hamed: “How happy the Israelis are these days. They are living in peace, security and calm. They are not concerned with the resumption of the peace talks with the Palestinians knowing that they used to be eager about any chance at negotiating with any Arab country under the pretext that they are proceeding with the negotiations with the Palestinians to establish a permanent peace between them and are thus working to invest in these negotiations by establishing relations with any Arab country to prove their good intentions… (Read More)
Politics
“The Fatah and Hamas meetings: passing time”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon)
On February 5, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report by Kassem Kassem: “…One of the factors that served to promote the hope in the Palestinians’ hearts concerning the near conclusion of the reconciliation, consists of the fact that the media outlets close to the Palestinian Authority have been carrying pieces of news indicating that a meeting with be held this month between the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the head of the Hamas politburo, Khaled Mashaal, in Doha with the aim of declaring the end of the dispute between the two largest movements on the Palestinian arena… (Read More)
Yemen
Politics
“Source in former Yemeni president’s party: Saleh agreed to the return of legitimacy to Sanaa...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi)   
Military Defense - Peace Process
On February 5, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Sanaa: “A prominent source in former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party said that the latter had approved several points that could lead to the end of the battles that have been ongoing in the country for months. In statements to Al-Quds al-Arabi, the source said on condition of anonymity: “Saleh approved the withdrawal of the troops besieging Taiz and the return of the legitimate government to practice its tasks in the capital Sanaa.” He continued that a local mediator, who is a leader in President Saleh’s party, “undertook a positive arbitration between Saleh and official sides from the Arab coalition states - which he did not name - to end the military operations of the coalition against the forces supporting the former president and the Houthis in Yemen… (Read More)
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