dimanche 30 décembre 2018

Middle East Eye's Picks of the Year 2018

Sélection du Middle East Eye de l'année 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, Middle East Eye's staff choose the articles that defined the year for them

Demonstrators dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US 
President Donald Trump (C) protest outside the White House in Washington, DC (AFP)


2018 was, as usual, a momentous and fractious year for the Middle East. With regards to continuity, the wars in Yemen and Syria continued to rage, Gaza remained besieged and Libya's warring factions continued to wage war.

But there were also major developments. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul turned the world's eyes onto Saudi Arabia and the increasingly authoritarian behaviour of its ruler Mohammad Bin Salman.

The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem in May outraged the international community and saw dozens of Palestinians shot dead on the same day. In August the US withdrew all funding for the UN refugee agency for Palestinian refugees, even as Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel made diplomatic ties with Gulf Arab neighbours more public than ever before.

Donald Trump announced the "defeat" of the Islamic State group in Syria - following on from a similar announcement by Iraq - and at the tailend of 2018 ordered US troops to begin withdrawing.

Middle East Eye was on the ground as a witness to all these events and tried to keep up with each happening as it happened, as well as casting an eye on the day to day lives of the ordinary residents of the region, away from the big politics and brutal violence that so often dominates the coverage of the Middle East.

To round out the year, Middle East Eye's staff have chosen their favourite content published in 2018:
Dania Akkad, Senior Editor
Why I tried to set myself on fire: The desperation of an UNRWA worker

by Nidal Wishah



"I felt I had no future...Around me, hundreds of people protested the job cuts. I don't know what to do now. I cannot see a future."

My favourite piece of 2018 was Nidal Wishah's op-ed, explaining why he tried to set himself on fire after he lost his job with UNRWA following the US funding cuts. Mohammed Bouazizi, of course, has become a household name since he immolated himself in Tunisia, setting off the Arab uprisings. But Wishah's piece - so honest and so personal - was a reminder that seven years later, power politics have left the region ripe for wildfire.
Simon Hooper, Head of News
Mohamed Salah: How the 'Egyptian King' rules from the Nile to the Mersey

by Osha Mahmoud and Islam Zitout

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