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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
08-Feb-2016
Algeria
Politics
“...Algerian fighters in Syria prepare to return”  (El-Khabar)
Terrorism
On February 7, the independent El-Khabar newspaper carried the following report by Mohamed ben Ahmed: “The Algerian intelligence services, police and gendarmerie published a list of 224 Algerian fighters in An-Nusra Front, the branch of Al-Qa’idah organization in Syria, and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and warned against their return to the country and the threat that this could pose to national security. According to a security source, these apparatuses asked the relatives of dozens of wanted Algerians suspected of belonging to ISIL and An-Nusra Front, to cooperate with them, provide them with information about their return from Syria and Iraq to Algeria, and convince them to surrender. The source continued that a wide-scale security operation was launched at the beginning of 2016 to deal with the return of the wanted terrorists to the country… (Read More)
“Military expert General Safwat Zayat talks to El-Khabar...”  (El-Khabar)
Military Defense
On February 7, the independent El-Khabar newspaper carried the following interview with military expert General Safwat Zayat by its correspondent in Cairo Siham Boursouti… (Read More)
Iraq
Politics
“Five American conditions to eliminate ISIL in Iraq”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon)   
Military Defense - USA EU
On February 8, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report by Rabih Nader: “…There’s an increasing talk within Iraq about the future of the Popular Mobilization forces, which are fighting ISIL and has so far managed to liberate large areas since June 2014. Politicians opposing Washington indicated that the latter is pressuring Baghdad on the issue of the war against the [ISIL] organization. Meanwhile, it seems that the escalating political debate concerning Iraq following the liberation of the cities is connected to American efforts pertaining to the territories’ project… (Read More)
Lebanon
Opinion
“Carole Maalouf and the Stockholm Syndrome”  (Website)
Media
On February 4, the Beirut-based, independent Al-Modon news website carried the following opinion piece by its Media Chief Nazhir Reda: “On Wednesday night, MTV channel captured the viewers with a footage showing Hezbollah’s prisoners with An-Nusra Front. Naturally, it made them listen to the usual political discourse of its guests and callers, which conveyed the extent of the division affecting political perception against the backdrop of the Syrian crisis. But this infertile debate only aimed to fill time until the 7-minute footage, which featured an interview with two Hezbollah elements held by the organization, and a message carried by the woman behind the “scoop,” colleague Carole Maalouf, who announced that the Russian strikes on Aleppo represented a threat to Hezbollah’s prisoners with An-Nusra… (Read More)
“On “Christian marginalization” to earn concessions”  (Al-Balad)
Religion
On February 6, the independent Al-Balad newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Ali Dahi: “So far, no true response supported by figures, facts and statistics emerged vis-a-vis the statements of Minister of Finance and Minister of Public Works Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zuateir, who were commenting a few days ago on what was said by Christian political and religious authorities regarding the marginalization and injustice suffered by first-grade Christian employees at the Finance Ministry, and the arbitrary measures seen in the service projects being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works. Since [the signing of] the Ta’if [Accord], the multiple Christian sects in Lebanon have not only been complaining about political marginalization, but also about the livelihood and economic problems, and the “pillaging of their rights” in civil service, from parliament to all the state administrations… (Read More)
Middle East
Politics
“Syria’s Kurds: Will they be bitten twice by history in Switzerland?”  (As-Safir)
USA EU
On February 8, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report: “The distance between the two Swiss cities of Lausanne and Geneva amounts to 60 kilometers; but for the Kurds, it amounts to 93 years. This is the time that elapsed between the second Treaty of Lausanne after WWII in 1923 and the Geneva 3 conference to settle the Syrian crisis this year. While the names of the negotiators changed, the countries’ fighting over this geographic area has gone on. The Kurds are now living through a historical moment where they might be able to achieve part of their objectives or lose them, once again, for another century… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
On Palestinian reconciliation  (Filastin al-An)
Arab Diplomacy - Democracy - Military Defense
On February 7, Fayez Abou Shamaleh wrote the following piece in the pro-Hamas Filastin al-An daily: “In Gaza, people are hoping for the Palestinian reconciliation to be completed and for the relatively comfortable economic situation of the West Bank’s people to expand to the Gaza territory. They are hoping that the Authority bears its financial responsibility for all the people [in Gaza] just like it does in the West Bank. The people are hoping for the electricity problems to be solved, for the siege to be lifted, and for the Authority to be present at the Rafah passageway in order to open it… (Read More)
Politics
“Condolences spy arrested by resistance”  (Al-Majd)
Military Defense
On February 4, the Palestinian Hamas-affiliated Al-Majd Security website carried the following exclusive report: “Security sources revealed to Al-Majd website the arrest of a female spy working for Zionist intelligence in the Gaza Strip, and moving between the condolatory gatherings held for the martyrs, particularly those who fell in the resistance’s tunnels. The sources indicated that the Zionist intelligence services assigned agent A.H., 35 years old, who had been working for them for four years, to infiltrate the condolatory gatherings of the martyrs who died in the tunnels, and collect security information that might be revealed by the women attending these gatherings about the resistance’s tunnels. The security sources said that agent A.H. recognized the tasks she was assigned to carry out by Zionist intelligence, most of which were related to the resistance’s tunnels, the progress of their construction, their location, and the people working in them… (Read More)
Saudi Arabia
Politics
“The Saudi ‘necessary option:’ Forces to Syria under American support?”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon)   
Military Defense - Unrest - USA EU
On February 8, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report by Fouad Ibrahim: “The drums of war have started to sound in Hafr al-Baten bracing for partaking in the delayed war. All the givens indicate that some rapidly paced measures are being made all the way to reaching what the gamblers like to call “the hour of truth.” Yesterday, Arab and Islamic forces from Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, Yemen and Sudan came together with Saudi Arabia and carried out maneuvers dubbed the “North Thunder.” The announced objective of these maneuvers is to confront terrorism while the real objective is a war of the axes led by the Saud family… (Read More)
Sudan
Politics
“Political secretary of ruling National Congress Party in Sudan talks to Quds Arabi...”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi)
Democracy - Peace Process - USA EU
On February 7, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following interview with Political Secretary of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party Hamed Mumtaz, by its correspondent in London Khaled al-Aa’yssar… (Read More)
Syria
Opinion
“What is the probability of seeing an Arab intervention in Syria?”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi)
Arab Diplomacy - Military Defense
On February 8, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “Last Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced its willingness to send land troops to “fight the terrorist groups and ISIL organization in Syria,” followed the next day by an official Bahraini pledge to contribute with troops under the umbrella of the “international coalition against terror” in coordination with the Saudis, and an Emirati pledge made yesterday on Sunday by Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Qarqash, who considered that two things were missing from the fight against the Islamic State organization, i.e. “real political action in Baghdad that includes and does not marginalize the Sunnis, and the support of the efforts against ISIL with land troops… (Read More)
“What new Syria are they talking about?”  (Al-Watan Syria)
Democracy - Terrorism
On February 4, the state-controlled Al-Watan newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Dr. Bassam Abu Abdullah: “Between Geneva 2 and Geneva 3, a lot of talk was heard and statements were made by the Syrian oppositionists and those supporting them, surrounding what they dub “the new Syria.” And they used flashy slogans such as democracy, freedom and human rights. However, none of them explained how this can be achieved through killing, terrorism, destruction, and the eradication of identity and people. They did not explain how these goals could be reached through ISIL, An-Nusra, the Army of Islam and the Evil [a play on words between Ahrar in Arabic, i.e. the Free, and Ashrar, i.e. the Evil] of the Levant among other terrorist organizations. None of them told us how they can be reached with the support of a Saudi kingdom that does not enjoy any of the pillars of governance which it is requesting for the others… (Read More)
Politics
“Syria: Strategic void for the factions waiting for the external forces”  (As-Safir)
Military Defense
On February 8, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report: “Through its latest victories, the Syrian army not only restored lands but it also made some decisive steps to closing “the door that was bringing in the wind” by focusing on the border areas, which represent the lung that the armed groups use to breath and live. Through this strategic endeavor, the army not only wanted to sever the supply lines of some open fronts but it also aimed at blocking the way for some regional countries in order to limit their abilities to affect Syria’s fate and to determine the settlement there. Thus, it is only natural that these countries should raise their voice and increase their threats… (Read More)
Turkey
Politics
"Davutoglu's advisor to Asharq al-Awsat: we will shield our borders against any threat"  (Asharq al-Awsat)
Military Defense - USA EU
On February 8, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper carried the following report: “Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan said that the Syrian regime’s control over some parts of the roads connecting Aleppo to the Turkish borders constitutes a threat to Ankara. Erdogan made this rapid statement on his plane as he was flying back home from Latin America. He added that the Turkish armed forces have the full authority to confront any threats to the national security. The Turkish president also expressed his anger over the US support for the Syrian Kurds… (Read More)
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