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WHAT WE DO
While there are now more than 500 Arabic and Persian language 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
24-Aug-2016
Algeria
Politics
“...Hanoune warns against repetition of 90s scenario in Bouteflika’s succession”  (El-Khabar, Algeria)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 23, the independent El-Khabar newspaper carried the following report by its correspondent in Algiers Mohamed Sidmou: “Secretary General of the Workers’ Party Louisa Hanoune reported that some sides were starting to talk about a “transitional stage” and a “national symposium,” saying that in case these ideas which were tested in the 90s are adopted, they would lead the country back to square one, as they will “confiscate sovereignty from the Algerians, who are free to make their own choices.” During the inauguration of the politburo’s regular session, Louisa Hanoune delivered a speech filled with coded messages regarding President Bouteflika’s succession. And it appeared from her statements that sides in the regime which she did not name, are proposing ideas regarding “transition” and “national symposiums,” similar to the ones seen in the 90s following President Chadli Bendjedid’s resignation… (Read More)
Egypt
Opinion
“Es-Sisi’s vision for the settlement of the Syrian crisis”  (Al-Watan Syria, Syria)
Arab Diplomacy - Peace Process
On August 24, the pro-Syrian regime Al-Watan daily newspaper carried the following piece by Naim Ibrahim: “Egyptian President Abdul Fattah es-Sisi suggested a vision including five main points to settle the Syrian crisis based on the keenness to preserve the Egyptian and Arab national security. During an interview with the editors of the governmental Egyptian newspapers, Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar, and Al-Gomhuriya, on August 21, Es-Sisi said that the Egyptian position regarding the Syrian crisis is based on five main points… (Read More)
“On Egypt’s Foreign Ministry’s puzzlement over whether or not the killing of children is terrorism”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Terrorism
On August 24, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “Yesterday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned what it dubbed the “intentional distortion” of its minister Sameh Shoukry's statements surrounding the Israeli violations against Palestine’s children, deeming it to be a “sensationalist outbidding” of Egypt’s positions. The incident occurred, as published by Egyptian and Arab newspapers, during Shoukry's meeting with top-ranked high school students. And the question he was asked, as per the Foreign Ministry, “did not point in any way to the killing of innocent Palestinian children. It was a general theoretical question inquiring about the reason behind the international community’s non-classification of the Israeli practices against the Palestinians as terrorism.” The meeting was videotaped, and Shoukry’s response was that to the international community, “nothing confirmed the existence of ties between Israel and terrorist organizations. There is no categorical indication leading to that conclusion… (Read More)
Iran
Politics
“Russian sources: Misunderstanding behind Russia’s halt of its air sorties from Iran”  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)   
Military Defense
On August 24, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper carried the following report: “For the second day in a row, mystery and conflicting statements and positions have been prevailing over the issue of the Russian jets’ use of the Hamedan Airport in Iran, which enhances the belief that some serious differences have occurred between Moscow and Tehran over the military operations in Syria… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
“Aoun heading towards escalation: Presidency or flipping against Ta’ef”  (Website, Middle East)
Democracy and Party Politics - Unrest
On August 24, the electronic Al-Modon daily carried the following report by Munir al-Rabih: “MP Michel Aoun has been waiting for a long while but he isn’t bored. He was hoping that the local and external contacts and discussions will yield a positive outcome. August went by and he still did not manage to put on his white suit and head to Beiteddine, the official summer residence of the president of the republic. The Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, made an effort to push the settlement forward. He thus expressed his openness to discussing the issue of the prime minister, a sign indicating that the veto against PM Sa’d al-Hariri has been lifted. At that time, Aoun thought he was going to be elected for sure. But Al-Hariri failed to comment; and the response to Nasrallah’s statement was given a few days later by Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouk., which constituted a farewell to the initiative or settlement especially in light of the Future affiliates’ position in rejecting Aoun for president… (Read More)
“Humat ad-Diyar falters in Tripoli: Who is throwing grenades?”  (Website, Middle East)
Unrest
On August 22, the Lebanese Al-Modon e-newspaper carried the following report by Mustafa al-Aweik: “For about a week now, hand grenades are being thrown in Tripoli, especially in the Abu Ali River, on a daily basis. The last incident at this level was on August 21 in the Mi’ateyn Street, in violation of the security plan which was launched in 2014, and was able to restore security and stability to the city’s streets after five years of clashes and security mayhem. The resumption of the hand grenades series during these politically-tense times, and in parallel to the exit of the axes’ leaders from prison, pushes one to wonder about its backdrop and goals, and whether or not it points to the return of insecurity and the spread of anarchy, especially in light of rumors claiming that the clashes between Jabal Mehsen and Bab at-Tebbaneh will return, fiercer than ever before… (Read More)
Saudi Arabia
Politics
On relations between Ankara and Riyadh  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy
“On August 22, the Saudi owned Asharq al-Awsat daily carried the following headline: “Driven by its understandings with Moscow and Tehran, Ankara has brought back the issue of the buffer zone in Syria.” The use of the term “driven by” includes a number of hidden messages directed at Ankara. On top of that, the newspaper carried a report on Saturday August 20 headlined: “Bulent Arinc: the conscience of the Justice and Development [party].” This report highlighted the opposition of Arinc (one of the Justice and Development’s founders) to Erdogan’s policies inside the party and the rise in the support that the man is gaining mainly among former ministers… (Read More)
“Al-Riyadh’s media grubs at Erdogan’s hornets’ nest”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)
Media
On August 24, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report: “People’s attention is focused on the future of the relations between Ankara and Al-Riyadh in light of signs indicating the presence of differences between the two sides as highlighted through the Saudi media coverage of the attempted coup in Turkey and the official Saudi dealing with this event… (Read More)
Syria
Opinion
“Finally, a no-fly zone in Syria!”  (An-Nahar, Lebanon)
Military Defense - USA EU
On August 24, the An-Nahar daily newspaper carried the following piece by Monaliza Freiha: “In a new escalation at the level of the Syrian war, the U.S. Department of Defense threatened the Syrian regime by stating that it will shoot down the Syrian jets threatening its Special Forces operating in Syria as well as its allies, the Kurdish units, operating in the context of the international counter-ISIL alliance… (Read More)
“Junblatt: O nation, at whose ignorance the nations have laughed!”  (psp.org, Lebanon)
On August 23, the mouthpiece of the Progressive Socialist Party Al-Anbaa website, carried the following position by its leader Walid Junblatt: “After 100 years, the Sykes-Picot curse has returned, and the Kurdish entity is taking shape in Northern Syria. History has no mercy. But who is responsible. The first side to blame is the Syrian regime that rejected the settlement. Since the beginning, it turned down the Arab League’s mediation under Nabil Larbi’s chairmanship, then that of Kofi Annan and that of Lakhdar Brahimi as I recall. The regime insisted on a repressive military solution, which destroyed Syria and displaced millions of its people. But is the regime the only one responsible? International powers such as Russia, and regional powers such as Iran, came and helped the regime go on, instead of forcing it to accept the settlement… (Read More)
Politics
“Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf raceing Assad over recruitment of youth in private militias...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Military Defense
On August 24, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Antakya Hiba Muhammad: “Many believe that the Syrian and foreign militias being mobilized on the sectarian, regional and doctrinal levels, have started to acquire a capacity that is equal or superior to the regime’s forces, whose service is about to expire. Consequently, senior businessmen and figures close to the head of the regime among others, are now heading militias whose influence can be detected in most Syrian cities, the most important of which being Al-Bustan Association that is funded by Rami Makhlouf, a relative of Bashar al-Assad. Al-Bustan Association’s influence is widening proportionally to the funds offered by its financier, i.e. the most prominent Syrian businessman, and is engaged in a race with the regime to recruit youth within its ranks, especially in the capital, luring them with money and power in a way that surpasses the meager offers of the regular forces… (Read More)
Turkey
Politics
“Ankara sources confirm Turkish-Syrian meetings through Iranian mediation”  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy - Peace Process
On August 24, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper carried the following report: “The Assistant of the Iranian Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, reached Ankara yesterday along with an official delegation to discuss the latest developments pertaining to the Syrian crisis. Meanwhile, there were leaks about Turkish-Syrian meetings taking place through an Iranian mediation and aimed at inducing a rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus to reach a full normalization… (Read More)
Yemen
Business
“Yemeni Central Bank facing suffocating crisis...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Financial Markets
On August 24, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Taiz Khaled al-Hammadi: “The Yemeni Central Bank, which is held by the insurrectionists (the Houthis and Saleh), is starting to falter and face a storm of collapse, in light of its inability to pay the salaries of the civil servants after the Houthis irresponsibly withdrew all the money in contained, until it completely ran out of cash. An economic source said to Al-Quds al-Arabi at this level: “The irresponsibility of the Houthis and their allies in the party of deposed [President] Ali Saleh led the Yemeni Central Bank to the brink of collapse, as it is no longer able to pay the salaries of the state employees and the budgets of the ministries and public institutions in the capital Sanaa, which is under their control, and the other provinces under the legitimate authority’s control… (Read More)
Politics
"Military campaign to cleanse Shabwah from clutches of terrorism is anticipated"  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)   
Military Defense - Terrorism
On August 22, the Saudi owned Asharq al-Awsat reported: "High-level military sources have revealed to Asharq al-Awsat that a military campaign is anticipated to disinfect Shabwah Governorate from the terrorist groups, with the support of the forces of the Arab Alliance in Aden and Hadhramaut, under the supervision of Saudi and UAE officers. The sources said that the military campaign is expected to take place within weeks in order to disinfect Shabwah Governorate from the terrorist groups. More than 2,000 officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, who are members of the Shabwah tribes, will participate in the campaign in coordination with the forces of the Arab Alliance in Aden and Hadhramaut and the local authority and security command in Shabwah. The same sources noted that hundreds of soldiers, who are locals to the governorate, have been receiving training for more than one month by the forces of the Arab Alliance, with the aim of disinfecting Shabwah from the terrorists and achieving security and stability in the governorate. The sources affirmed that the majority of the participants in the campaign belong to the fighters of the tribes and the southern resistance in the governorate… (Read More)
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