17 Nov

The new Arab cosmopolitans

Despots are pushing the Arab world to become more secular
But they are consolidating their own power in the process

During Friday prayers the congregation of Muhammad Yousef, a young puritanical preacher in the Egyptian town of Mansoura, once spilled out into the alleys surrounding his mosque. Now Sheikh Muhammad counts it a good week if he fills half the place.

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09 Mar

The Arab Women who refuse to be silent

On International Women’s Day, Arwa Haider celebrates new musicians who are continuing a tradition of outspoken female singers in Arabic music.

By Arwa Haider

When a Saudi Arabian music video recently went viral, depicting niqab-clad female singers throwing shapes and chanting lines such as “may men disappear”, the colourful skit was hailed as a challenge to stereotypes. Yet the spotlight barely shifted: the notion of the voiceless Arab female lingers in the mainstream, despite the fact that Saudi does not reflect the Arab world at large. In fact, strong-voiced women have been a lynchpin of Arabic music in its far-ranging forms – from folk songs to commercial pop – across many generations and nations.

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31 Jan

I’m Arab and I’m not a bomber, belly dancer or billionaire

‘Do you know that everyone here thinks you’re a terrorist?’ My classmate asked me after a few weeks of starting grad school. His intentions were pure. He was simply mocking the prevalent bias against Muslims in the West. Still, it hit me like a bullet. As an Arab Muslim woman living in the US, I have to accept questions like ‘What do you think of women oppression in Saudi Arabia?’ and ‘Is it safe in your country?’

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03 Dec

Arab Human Development Report 2016

Enabling youth to shape their own future key to progress on development and stability in Arab region

Arab countries can achieve a significant leap forward in development, reinforce stability and secure such gains in a sustainable manner, if they urgently prioritize adopting policies that ensure the well-being, productivity, self-determination and good citizenship of their young population, concludes the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched here today.

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