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While there is a broad range of Arabic and Persian language media outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable and reliable means for English speakers to gain access to this content. As a result, many 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 menu of translations 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.

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TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
24-Jul-2017
Egypt
Opinion
“Es-Sisi and Qatar: Who is funding terrorism and harming the neighbourly ties?”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Arab Diplomacy - Terrorism
On July 24, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah es-Sisi delivered an indirect response to the first speech made by Prince of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad since the eruption of the Gulf crisis…, and following the fierce political and media campaign launched against Doha and its political and media symbols. Indeed, the speech did not mention Qatar by name, but drew its significance from the fact that it was delivered at the inauguration of a military base. Es-Sisi’s statements were made in the presence of Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Bahraini Crown Prince and Deputy to the King Prince Salman bin Hamad. What was noticeable however was that Saudi Arabia was represented by Prince Khaled al-Faisal, the prince of Holy Mecca, who does not share the rank of the two other guests in diplomatic customs… (Read More)
Politics
“The Mohamed Naguib military base: new regional positioning in West Egypt”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)   
Military and Defense - USA EU
On July 24, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following report: “On the 35th anniversary of the July 23 revolution, Egypt remembered Mohamed Naguib by bestowing his name on what was said to be “the largest military base in the Middle East and Africa,” which was inaugurated by President Abdul Fattah es-Sisi, two days ago. Honouring this military commander – who was pushed by the Free Officers, 65 years ago, to the post of the first president of the republic in Egypt – seemed to come late… (Read More)
Iran
Politics
Interview with pro-reform analyst and journalist Abbas Abdi  (E'temad, Iran)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On July 17, the reformist daily E'temad reported: "Reformists are at an important historic juncture. For the first time since the government of reforms they witness that their favourite president has assumed the Office in Pasteur Street and the power to choose the mayor of Tehran is in the hands of the elected members who were introduced to the people by them. What these days is raised as a major concern for reformists is their interaction with the administration. The next priority is the issue of the appointment of mayor of Tehran and his relationship with the city council and its reformist body. Media outlets have also reflected these days some complaints and recommendations in this regard. A number of reformists complain why they are not asked by the president for advice. However, over the past few days a delegation from the Reformists Supreme Council of Policymaking have met and held talks with President Hasan Ruhani, during which, without discussing the issues related to the selection of the members of the cabinet, the two sides merely talked about strengthening their relations and their concerns about the 12th government. Pro-reform analyst and journalist Abbas Abdi says that reformists are right to be concerned. He believes that while reformists should replace the idea of supporting an individual with the concept of supporting the thoughts and plans, the person who has won the election should consider the background of its supporters and choose figureheads as his colleagues in the cabinet, who are faithful to such promises and plans. Abdi also recommends that the president should choose final candidates for the cabinet after consulting with various groups so that they also feel that they are playing a part in the game. With regard to the current condition of reformists and the city council, Abdi says that due to the significance of Tehran and the way it should be managed, the performance of the reformist-dominated city council and the mayor they choose can impact the popularity of reformist current… (Read More)
Lebanon
Opinion
“Die in your anger. The Resistance gives the orders wherever it is!”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)
On July 24, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following piece by Ibrahim al-Amin: “Is there a need to start a new debate with the supporters of terrorism in Lebanon? What good will the discussion do after all that has happened and all the terrorist acts that the armed groups are carrying out in Syria…? What good will the discussion do with those who look at the winners of the battle rather than the losers? These people do not want Israel to lose the war with the Arabs if this was to be achieved by the Resistance men. So will these care for the defeat of the dirtiest terrorist groups in the world? What good will the discussion do with the people who are convinced that the Resistance in Lebanon is a criminal act carried out by mercenaries affiliated to Iran with no patriotic dimension to what they’re doing?… (Read More)
Politics
“How and when will the battle in the barren areas end?”  (Website, Middle East)
Military and Defense - Terrorism
On July 24, the Lebanese privately-owned En-Nashra news website carried the following exclusive report by former Minister Naji al-Bustany: “In parallel to the ongoing battles in Ersal’s and Al-Qalamoun’s barren areas since the night of Thursday-Friday, and the major progress achieved by the attacking forces represented by units from the Syrian Army and Hezbollah, more than one question emerged, especially in regard to how and when this battle will end. There is no doubt that the balance of power between the Syrian Army and Hezbollah on one hand, and An-Nusra Front, Saraya ash-Sham and ISIL on the other, is completely flawed, seeing as how the attacking forces are benefitting from full air, cannon and missile cover, and from an open logistic support with men, equipment and ammunition, at a time when the besieged forces are lacking all the latter help. Hence, the battle will inevitably end in favour of the Syrian Army and Hezbollah… (Read More)
“The file of the negotiations with Syria after the battle of the barren areas?”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Military and Defense - Refugees - USA EU
On July 24, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Khaled Arrar: “The battle that the Hezbollah jihadists are fighting against the takfiri terrorism in the eastern chain and in the barren areas of Ersal falls in the context of the open confrontation with the Zionist enemy since the July 2006 war where some Arabs and their Lebanese tools were implicated. Hezbollah’s decision to smash the terrorists in the Ersal barren areas is not only motivated by the fact that they are constantly threatening Lebanon’s internal stability but also because they constitute an Israeli branch operating against the Resistance… (Read More)
Mauritania
Politics
“Algerian-Mauritanian relations, what lies behind constant tensions?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Arab Diplomacy - USA EU
On July 21, the official Turkish Anadolu News Agency carried the following report by its correspondent in Algiers Ahmed Aziz: “Experts said that the relations between Algeria and Mauritania have been witnessing ongoing tensions, as reflected by Nouakchott’s closing of its land border a few days ago, assuring that this situation was affected by external factors at times, and by the lack of trust between the two countries’ political commands at others. A few days ago, the Mauritanian authorities proclaimed the border strip with Algeria a closed military zone that could not be accessed by civilians, due to the extensive activities of drug smugglers… For their part, the Algerian authorities did not issue any official response to this decision, knowing that the latter border does not feature an official crossing or a significant movement of goods and persons… (Read More)
Morocco
Politics
Report on investigation into development program: "Hoceima Beacon of the Mediterranean"  (As-Sabah, Tunisia)   
Democracy and Party Politics - Unrest
On July 19, the Moroccan daily As-Sabah reported: "Investigations into the "Hoceima Beacon of the Mediterranean" development programme have been concluded. They were ordered by King Mohammed VI when implementation of the programme suffered glitches, and he has asked the inspectors of the ministries of interior, economy and finance to bring to book and question senior officials of 12 ministerial portfolios about this issue, according to Assabah sources. The sources affirmed that the inspectors could not hear the ministers of interior, economy and finance over the development programme in question, both under the Benkirane government and that of Saadeddine El Othmani. However, they were able to hear senior officials of public institutions involved in the programme. The inspectors collected information about the subjective and objective causes of the failure to implement a development programme that has cost the treasury 900bn. According to the same sources, officials, including the general secretaries of ministries, fear that that they might suffer administrative and even criminal pursuits to appease protesters in El Hoceima. El Othmani government ministers fear dismissal, particularly those who belong to the Progress and Socialism Party and the Justice and Development party. This would pave the ground for a reshuffle or even the fall of the government. In this context, the Authenticity and Modernity party has rapidly put forward a draft law at the Chamber of deputies to facilitate the trial of ministers, in accordance with the constitution that provides for a High Court to put ministers on trial. The file of the investigations in question could be referred to the minister of justice who, in turn, refers it to the public prosecutor's office (an independent institution) to put the ministers concerned on trial… (Read More)
"Tmek jails coaches 5,000 detainees against radicalism"  (As-Sabah, Tunisia)
Human Rights - Judicial Affairs
On July 20, the daily As-Sabah reported: "Mohamed Salah Tamek, general delegate for jail administration and rehabilitation, has disclosed that his delegation and its partners have been able to achieve all the objectives set for the first stage of the delegation's strategy to rehabilitate prisoners and improve incarceration conditions. He was speaking at a seminar held by the delegation yesterday Thursday in partnership with the UN development programme to review the results of the first stage of rehabilitation and start the second... Out of 78,716 prisoners counted at the end of last year in 78 jails, 500 of them benefited from vocational training, including 100 women, in Fes, Safi, Ait Malloul and Kenitra jails. They were taught traditional sewing, carpet weaving, pottery, carpentry and printing skills. This came in the first stage of the jail delegation strategy financed by the Japanese government with the sum of about 864,000 US dollars. Prisoners in Agadir, Fes, Safi, Kenitra, Khenifra, Sale and Meknes benefitted from the training. For his part, Mohamed Azzaoui, national coordinator, pointed out that training with the use of video workshops, in partnership with the Mohammedia religious scholars league, has permitted to educate and coach 5,000 prisoners, enabling them to acquire the necessary skills to educate the rest of inmates on the need to avoid the influence of extremist discourses. Moreover, personnel from the general delegation for jails have been formed to be trainers, and religious counsellors have been formed by the Mohammedia religious scholars' league. Mohamed Azzaoui also said that the last touches are being put on a national action plan to reinforce the values of tolerance among prisoners, and encourage shunning extremist discourses in jails. He concluded that the first stage of the rehabilitation plan has showed that the inmates got involved in various activities of the plan under the control of the jail delegation staff. This has entailed a positive evolution of the behaviour of prisoners, which means there is a need to generalise this experience onto the remaining jails at a second stage, and intensify the efforts of activists and partners of the rehabilitation programme to attain the targets that have been set… (Read More)
Palestine
Opinion
“Al-Aqsa and the forbidden gates”  (Al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Palestine)
Unrest
On July 20, the pro-PA Al-Hayat al-Jadidah newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Muwaffaq Matar: “Here, in this street, there are dozens carrying their party’s banners. And in that other street, there are hundreds carrying their party’s banners as well. There are masked armed men with black, red and green keffiyehs, wearing head bands carrying their partisan brigades’ names, and issuing their threats on satellite channels… All of them are making demands and calls, releasing statements, and holding the Arab and Islamic nation responsible, without mentioning what they have done, seeing as how they have not done and will not do anything… What is mostly important for the latter is to prove their existence, at a time when the street is divided into two groups, one that is watching with mixed feelings, and another Facebook group, casting accusations of treason in all directions… (Read More)
Politics
"Haniya Calls for General Day of Anger in Defence of Jerusalem"  (Palestinian Information Center, Palestine)
Unrest
On July 20, the pro-Hamas PIC reported: "Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas Political Bureau, has called for a day of anger tomorrow, Friday, on the level of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nation to be an important turning point in the march of defence of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa. In a televised speech today, Haniya said: I call on the sons of the Islamic nation to make Friday a turning point in Arab will and on peoples to rise up in all capitals and cities in defence of our first qiblah [prayer direction] and the destination of the nocturnal journey of our prophet, and to confirm that enemy schemes will not pass in al-Aqsa. He added: It is time for national, Arab, and Islamic consensus on the cause of Jerusalem. He indicated that the Israeli enemy would not have dared to encroach on al-Aqsa Mosque had it not been for the state of fragmentation and struggles experienced by the nation, which tempted it to pursue its schemes. Haniya pointed out that our people have been defending their dignity and the dignity of their nation for more than 100 years. He called on them to go out tomorrow in the land of Palestine and in exile and in the diaspora in defence of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa and to emphasise the unity of the people and that we are making preparations to liberate our Jerusalem and al-Aqsa. He affirmed that sovereignty in Jerusalem is not for the Zionist occupier, noting that the Murabitin in al-Aqsa have confirmed that sovereignty is for the people of Jerusalem and for the Palestinian people alone. Haniya addressed a message to the Israeli enemy, saying: I say very clearly that al-Aqsa and Jerusalem are a red line and the policy of closure and imposing punitive measures against Jerusalemites will not pass. He noted that the demands of the people of Jerusalem are the demands of the nation… (Read More)
“Habbash to Quds Arabi: Discontinuation of contacts with occupation includes security facet…”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Arab Diplomacy - Unrest - USA EU
On July 24, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Gaza: “Mahmoud al-Habbash, the Palestinian president’s advisor, assured Al-Quds al-Arabi that the decision taken by President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday night to discontinue all contacts with Israel included the “security contacts,” mentioning a Palestinian action plan to stop the Israeli occupation measures in Jerusalem City and Al-Aqsa Mosque… He thus said that the Palestinian command’s contacts with the Arab and Islamic states and countries around the world have been ongoing during the last stage to get the Israeli government to recant its recent decisions, assuring that based on command’s plan to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque, all the Islamic and international forums will be approached to force Israel to “stop its racist and hostile steps… (Read More)
Qatar
Opinion
“Prince Tamim’s speech revokes hopes of making compromises…”  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy - USA EU
On July 22, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily carried the following editorial: “The speech made by Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, the prince of the State of Qatar, was the first of its kind since the launching of the Gulf crisis some two months ago. The speech was met with a great deal of interest by the Arab and international political, media circles not only because the Qatari prince rarely makes media statements and speeches, unlike the rest of the Arab officials and leaders, but also because everyone was looking forward to what he will be saying and the signs that could lead to a détente at the level of the crisis and halting the present state of escalation… (Read More)
Saudi Arabia
Politics
“King Salman might abdicate the throne within five months…”  (Website, Middle East)   
On July 23, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily carried the following report: “Sources that are knowledgeable about the secrets of the royal palace at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not ruling out the possibility of King Salman Bin Abulaziz abdicating his throne in favor of his son, Mohammad Bin Salman, in no more than five months after settling the major files on the local and regional levels. The first step in preparation for abdicating the throne consisted of sacking the Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Nayef, in a rough manner as indicated by the US media such as the Washington Post and the New York Times… (Read More)
Syria
Politics
“Amman Accord paves way before formation of unified army in Syrian South”  (Al-Ghad, Jordan)
Military and Defense
On July 24, the independent Al-Ghad newspaper carried the following report by its correspondent in Amman Maher ash-Shawabkeh: “Truce in South Syria, which was produced by the Amman Accord, has started to create a favourable climate for the unification of the South Syrian factions in one bloc under the name “National Front for the Liberation of Syria,” with the encouragement of regional sides, to contain the situation and the weapons anarchy in the South and restore normalcy, especially since all the latter factions share the same inclinations, ideologies and sources of funding. This step, which is not more than a week old and has already earned the support of 11 out of 57 southern factions, reveals imminent international arrangements for the military situation in this region, which has been witnessing truce since July 9… (Read More)
Turkey
Opinion
“Is Turkey a mediator at the level of the crisis with Qatar?”  (Al-Ittihad, United Arab Emirates)
Arab Diplomacy - Peace Process
On July 24, the Al-Ittihad daily carried the following piece by Mohammad al-Hamadi: “The visits of the Turkish President to the region – that started yesterday from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and will end today with a visit to Qatar – were not the subject of interest for many especially the boycotting countries. Indeed, the Turkish announcement indicated that this is a mediation visit. However, practically speaking, it seems that this political show is useful for Turkey and will be satisfying the curiosity of many Arabs who are fond of Erdogan and who believe he is capable of solving the regional crises and doing what no one else can do!… (Read More)
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