Analyzing the effects of Palestinian force against the Israeli occupation and Israel’s responsive entrenchment can advance understanding of the devolvement of the Oslo peace process in the early 2000s to the present-day status quo.
Imran Khan’s constitutional coup and subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly has polarized Pakistan; a flurry of allegations has magnified the power of the military in the country’s domestic politics. Pakistan’s current constitutional crisis was sparked by a vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan in April 2022, but has escalated further now that Khan has been disqualified from the next set of elections in August 2023. In the wake of the vote of no confidence, Khan rallied unprecedented support against the military establishment while he simultaneously claimed an American conspiracy removed him from office, which may have been fabricated.
The Iranian regime allows a few hours of English classes per day but forbids teaching classes like math, ballet, or music in English except in schools affiliated with foreign embassies. My mother’s subversive, entrepreneurial solution was to turn our family home into an undercover school. She made a profit by defying the regime.
There is a saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. It is this notion that one can kill a writer but not their idea. But what do we do when we are living through this transitional period in our culture where our pens are taken away due to this belief that words are violence?
Much of the Middle East is facing a crisis of indecision on Iran. Despite extensive reporting on Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the Islamic Republic has been making bold demands with the expectation of both Western and Arab acquiescence.
Iran’s compulsory hijab rule has always been about so much more than appearances and religious loyalty. It’s about allowing women the ability to experience so many of the joys in life that other women around the world take for granted – playing a sport comfortably outside on a warm day, feeling the wind in your hair, expressing yourself through your favorite outfit, taking off a layer when the weather finally thaws in early Spring, lying on the beach and feeling the sun bake into your skin. The women in Iran born after the 1979 revolution have never been able to experience those things in their entire lives, at least not while in their home countries. It’s the form of oppression that is experienced every day, multiple times a day, and that eats away at one’s humanity. It’s what women in Iran are now willing to risk their lives fighting against.
The war in Ukraine, when viewed side by side with recent wars around the world from Yemen to Syria to Ethiopia, indicates disturbing global trends. There is far too little protection for civilians, and the detrimental impact is heightened for already vulnerable groups. Civilians displaced by war sit in limbo for years, and those lucky enough to escape their war-torn countries are relegated to overcrowded and under-resourced camps. The Council on Foreign Relations reports shrinking opportunities for refugee resettlement, a result of the international community’s inability and/or unwillingness to support them or resolve the conflict that caused their displacement in the first place. Refugees in camps can face intense discrimination and fall victim to starvation, illness, and human trafficking. And the perpetrators of all this global violence and suffering tend to be met with impunity. This is the grim status quo.
As Russia continues its war against Ukraine, the similarities between Ukraine and Syria are striking. Specifically, Russia’s weaponization of civilians and refugees is a primary tactic that continues to be utilized to achieve geopolitical goals.
As the United States draws down its presence in the Middle East, many in the international community are wondering what actor might step in to fill the supposed power vacuum that will be left in place of the region’s main security broker.