Kurdistan: A History of the Middle-East’s Largest Quasi-State

Who are the Kurds? In the Middle East, scattered amongst Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, lives the fourth-largest ethnic group in the region: the Kurds. Inhabiting the mountainous regions along the borders corresponding roughly to the Zagros and Taurus ranges, they are united by race, culture and language, but despite their strong ethnic character and…

What will the Middle East look like in ten years?

The year is 2028. Much of the Gaza has become unlivable. Daesh (ISIS) has been destroyed, but another terrorist group looms close on the horizon. The Kurds have their own state, meaning Iraqi unity has been destroyed. The Assad regime is still in power, having vanquished the rebel forces thanks to Iranian and Russian military…

Seeing America through the Middle East: How do we educate our children?

As an American student in Egypt, at any given moment you can experience the impact of Republican values. From the social conservatism to the laissez-faire approach toward the market. For all the GOP’s critiques of the Middle East, it is governed by the same guiding principles as the conservative party: traditionalism. In America, as in…

A Brief History and Analysis of Iran–Israeli Relations

Iran calls Israel “The Little Satan.” Israel calls Iran “the greatest threat to [its] security”. It’s evident that Israel and Iran don’t exactly have warm relations. But, Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel in 1948. Under the Shah of Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution, the two countries did enjoy close and…

Seeing America through the Middle East: What’s next for Net Neutrality?

As an American student in Egypt, at any given moment you can experience the impact of Republican values. From the social conservatism to the laissez-faire approach toward the market. For all the GOP’s critiques of the middle east, it is governed by the same guiding principles as the conservative party: traditionalism. Historians face the pressing…

Millions in the Line of Fire: The Responsibility to Protect in Yemen

In Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, there has been a civil war raging since Houthis rebels took over the country’s capital in 2014. After the president was ousted in 2011, the country became unstable and progressed towards war. With the Houthis being ideologically opposed to many of Yemen’s neighbors, the surrounding countries…

Opinion: Can one have terrorism in a time of war?

When a gunman attacked two US military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2015, it was widely considered to be ‘terrorism’. In 2009, Maj. Nidal Hassan, who attacked the military installation at Fort Hood, was also considered a ‘terrorist’, although he was not charged with terrorism. But what constitutes terrorism? According the US army field manual,…

Opinion: Israeli Control Measures at Al-Aqsa

The adoption of new control measures by the Israeli government under the guise of national security at the mosque of Al-Aqsa came as a shock for thousands of Palestinians that were present for their customary noon prayers. At the same time, protests leading to conflict between Palestinians and Israeli armed forces quickly emerged and the…

What Happened to “Never Again”? The Withdrawal of Peacekeepers in Darfur

             Amidst the war-torn and ravaged Darfur, a region that has not seen peace or stability in over a decade, United Nations peacekeepers protect civilians from the violence that surrounds them.  Members of UNAMID, or the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, symbolize security and humanitarian aid, while also facilitating discussion regarding new agreements and…

Bioterrorism: ISIS’ next venture

She is known as “Lady Al-Qaeda”. An MIT-trained neuroscientist, The Taliban and Daesh wanted her so badly, that they were willing to trade their prisoners for her. Her name is Aafia Siddiqui and she was, at one point, the most wanted woman in the world. After news broke out that ISIS was willing to trade…

Guantanamo to Canada: What’s Up with Khadr’s Compensation?

A dusty July day in Ayub Khyel would set the stage for a monumental breach in the appropriate treatment of child soldiers. It was in this barren Afghani village that a bright-eyed young teenager launched the grenade that would kill Sgt. Christopher Speer, a Delta Force medic, and rob Layne Morris of sight in one…

The Death of a Nation: Syria

“You can’t make war in the Middle East without Egypt, and you can’t make peace without Syria” -Henry Kissinger Syria captured the attention of the world stage along with international powers as the Syrian Civil War continues to rage on with no end in sight. The duration of the war can be easily described as…

Qatar, Iran, Turkey: New Alliance?

The Youth Journal has covered the Qatar crisis extensively here. Qatar, Iran, and Turkey have been widely discussed in the media over the last few days. Can these three countries become allies in the near future? Why are Iran and Turkey helping Qatar? What will this relationship yield on a global scale? To answer these…

The Qatari Diplomatic Crisis Explained

On June 4th, Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic relations with Qatar. Later, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of other countries joined the effort as well. This was quickly extended to a cut of all ties – including economic relations and airline flights. This crisis is just the latest event in the long…

Kabul’s horrific bombing: The war isn’t over yet

As an enormous truck bomb blast rips through Kabul’s diplomatic district, it reminds the world that Afghanistan is still here, fighting its own wars. The powerful explosion, which killed at least 90 and wounded more than 300, is described by officials to have been one of the largest to have hit the Afghan capital. A tanker truck…

Syria’s Future and the End of the Civil War

Syria. The very word is enough to conjure images of a country in turmoil, torn apart by war. Yet the civil war, now entering its sixth year, won’t last forever (although most likely it will last a very long time). The military stalemate will be broken (it’s only a matter of time) and some kind…

Political Analysis: Rouhani for Iran and the world

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, history is brewing. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran won re-election to serve a second term in the country. Once again after France and South Korea, Iran has chosen a politically moderate leader defying the right-wing populist wave in many ways. What does Rouhani mean for Iran? More importantly, what…

The Yemeni Crisis Explained

Amidst the chaos in Syria and the controversy in Israel-Palestine, Yemen is a key region in the Middle East which is often overlooked by major news media. There are more people dying there from preventable health diseases than from war itself. It is estimated that every 10 minutes a Yemeni child dies of a disease…

On May 19th, Iranians Head to the Polls

The Islamic Republic of Iran is certainly no democracy, at least in the Western sense. It consistently ranks as an authoritarian regime on the Democracy Index and as “Not Free” by Freedom in the World. Yet, on May 19th, Iranian citizens will exercise their democratic right to choose their next leader (from a slate of…

The Trudeau Way: Canada’s New Foreign Policy

Canada has always been one of the leading pillars of global peacekeeping. However, in the past two terms under Stephen Harper,  with his emphasis on ‘hard power’, there was an evident deterioration in its multilateral ties. But Justin Trudeau, it seems, is bent on bringing Canada ‘back’. Now, the question is, how? One of the…

Illegal Arms Trade: The Backbone of Instability

Among  the member states in NATO there has been much dispute over the laws and regulations of arms dealing. There is currently an estimated 18 billion dollar arms industry in the world and a staggering amount of weapons are flowing from Europe to the Middle East. Many of the sellers include prominent members of NATO,…

Funding the war in Syria

Syria’s economy has basically caved in. Among the scourges of war in the nation, the livelihood of everyday people has plummeted as they escape the forces that threaten their very life. Economic studies by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and independent economists paint a grim picture: Gross Domestic Product is now half of…

Iran isn’t what you think it is

     Ever since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran has been viewed as an isolated, fundamentalist republic and to be fair there is a thread of truth to that belief. However, Iran is more than just that. They are a nation whose actions have had a great impact on the world stage.    …

Erdogan’s Trail of Victory Begins With Referendum Success

Founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the modern, secular, and democratic Turkey state represented a sharp break from the country’s Ottoman past. While the Ottoman Empire was ruled by a single man, the sultan, with both political and ecclesiastical power (as the caliph of Sunni Islam), the new state was to be the first…