Category Archives: Middle-East

First World War centenary and the state of the world

This morning I had a conversation about the state of the world. It is something that has been on my mind for quite some time, as the number of conflicts keeps increasing. If you look around in the news you will see articles about the Syrian War, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, about problems in Iraq, about the war in Ukraine

The world is a complete, total mess. And how? How did we arrive here?

Last week (28 July 2014) marked the 100 years of the beginning (28 July 1914) of the 1st World War. You can click the link if you want a simple explanation about it. There are several ceremonies around the world regarding WW I, remembering all the sacrifices made, all the lives lost. You can check more here. It is not rare finding a monument to the WW I and II causalities. There is this need for to world not to forget the horror of such a war. So why does it keep forgetting?

In this conversation that I had, I said that I “feel” that something is coming. Now, I don’t like to be a misfortune prophet, as it is really not my style, but I do think that in the next 5, 10, etc years there will be some kind of turning point in these conflict areas. Could be good or could be bad…But there has to be one.

With the experience of the two previous world wars, I try to think that the international community is now too smart to let a 3rd World War start, but I am wrong? Tell me what you think!



Filed under America, Asia, Europe, Middle-East, Others

The way life isn’t supposed to be in Israel and Palestine

Israel-Palestine-HandshakeIt took me about 30 minutes to decide how to start this post. I was not having a creative blocking or anything alike, because I knew what I wanted to write. It was just because this subject makes my heart hurt.

From all the international issues, the Israeli-Arab conflict was always the one that got my attention since I was around 15/16 years old. I am used to write about it in different perspectives (for example my master’s degree thesis was called the Israeli-Arab conflict and water issues: from scarcity to conflict) and I try to keep myself updated about the conflict as much as I can.

As most of you know a series of attacks from Israel to Palestine (and vice-versa) are being carried on. It all started with the kidnapping of 3 Israeli Teenagers (and when I say start, I mean that this event was the big red button that you are not supposed to push, as the hurting of people was on-going before that) by who knows who. Then a Palestinian teenager was killed in retaliation by again, mystery murderers. From there, it escalated very quickly (doesn’t it always?).

According to The Guardian, Israel has launched 1300 air strikes at Palestine, while the Palestinians fired 800 rockets at Israel. 166 Palestinians were killed and Israel didn’t report any fatalities. I suggest you look around and gather information from both sides to have an impartial idea.

As for me, I still think that there is a solution: a 2 state solution, where neighbours respect borders. But will it be possible? The hatred between Palestine and Israel is so much that I think that this will never end (I hope, I really do, that I am wrong). They grow up being taught that the other party is the enemy. I have friends in both sides… although they think they can live in peace, the distrust is there. How can we change this? There are some many violations of human rights (by both parts!) that I start thinking if this will ever end. In the end, they are all people, fighting for something that in 2014 shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

My main concern at this moment is how much more this will escalate. Will it end up in war again? Are we looking at a 3rd intifada or is this just business as usual? Since 2008 that there have been two situations like this one. They were mediated and they didn’t develop into something else, so hopefully this situation will be the same.

Never mind the politics or who is right or wrong. People are being killed. Where is diplomacy when we need it? What can UN do? What can we do?


Filed under Middle-East

Elections in Iran – A time for change?

First of all, shame on me.

I’ve been completely busy with thesis (almost done!) and work and the blog was “abandoned” without any pity. After receiving a lot of emails, I’m back (part-time for a while, I think).
So, today I’m writing about Iran. As some of you may know, last Saturday Hassan Rouhani won the country elections with a little bit more than 50% of the votes. It was a big surprise for everyone: Rouhani favours political openness, as well as re-establishing relations with the west, which may shock with the politics developed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

So, is this election a way to open Iran’s politics? Well, maybe. Rouhani is definitely a good diplomat and he may be able to developed more consistent relations with the west, especially the US. On the other hand, we still have the Ayatollah as the most important and influent man in Iran and he doesn’t like western countries that much.

What do you think will happen?


Filed under Middle-East

Welcome, Palestinian State

Last Thursday, Palestine gained the non-member observer state status by 138 votes in favor, 41 abstentions and 9 against. So what does this status mean?

First, Palestine can now be called a state. Although it seems insignificant, the word state is really relevant for the Palestinians, because they have been fighting for it for a long time. Second, Palestine can now ask for membership in different international organizations such as the International Criminal Court and others. Third, Palestine is a step closer to obtain the full membership in the United Nations. I could go on, but I think that you already got the point.

The thing is: does this mean that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is going to end? Well, no. First, the President of the Palestinian Authority – Mahmoud Abbas – has to unite Hamas and  Fatah in order to be able to negotiate a peace agreement. Second, Israel has to be open to negotiations. Considering that the state wants to build more settlements in the occupied territories and is going to withhold the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues, I think that Israel will not be open for negotiations anytime soon.

So, lets wait and see.


Filed under Middle-East

Palestine and the “this-is-a-very-delicate-subject” thing

Why start with Palestine? Anyone who knows me will answer that it is my “thing”. It actually is a very complicated matter. Long story short: Israel and Palestine are disputing over territories that should have been firmly established long ago (yes, yes, there is a resolution, bla bla bla. I know). Of course it is not only because of that. Unfortunately, there’s more to this than meets the eye, but I’m not going to explain that. If you want, you can learn more here.

Now we have a state (of Israel) and we have the Palestinian territories that, according to the international law, are not a state. But that is (hopefully) about to change. Today, 29th of November, Palestine is going to ask for the non-member state status at the United Nations.

In the past few days, we heard about hundreds of deaths in the Palestinian side and three deaths in the Israeli side. It is really disproportional. Nothing justifies the loss of human lives, no matter who started what and for what motives. I believe that the non-member state status will bring a new dimension for the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Let’s wait and see.

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Filed under Middle-East