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Creating new perspectives since 2009

 

Omar Ahmed

Omar has an MSc International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London. He has travelled throughout the Middle East, including studying Arabic in Egypt as part of his undergraduate degree. His interests include the politics, history and religion of the MENA region.

 

Items by Omar Ahmed

  • The Deadly Promise

    The Deadly Promise by Gilou Bareau delves into the intricate web of political tensions, personal vendettas and unexpected alliances in the midst of the 2014 Gaza War. Set against the backdrop of Israel’s devastating offensive against the besieged Palestinian enclave, the novel opens with a chilling “murder” in London...

  • Will Saudi Arabia make Friday a working day?

    In a thought-provoking op-ed published on Friday by Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz, entitled “Friday is a working day,” writer Mona Al-Otaibi questions whether the Kingdom’s traditional Friday-Saturday weekend needs an overhaul, igniting a debate on social media. The piece highlighted the potential financial losses incurred due to Friday being...

  • The Clergy and the Modern Middle East: Shi’i Political Activism in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon

    It is often stated that within the world of Shia Muslim seminaries, the cities of Najaf in Iraq and Qom in Iran represent two contrasting camps in Shia scholarly stances on politics: one of quietism and the other of activism, respectively. This simplistic narrative has not only been perpetuated by...

  • Iran's diplomatic drive: Raisi's focus on the Global South

    It’s been quite a busy year for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in terms of diplomatic engagement. In February he made an official state visit to China, where 20 agreements were signed, in addition to receiving pledges from President Xi Jinping to strengthen security and economic cooperation – more on...

  • The Emperor and the Elephant: Christians and Muslims in the Age of Charlemagne

    Charlemagne, the 8th century Frankish King, holds a near-mythical status in European history. He is widely regarded as a stalwart defender of Christendom against an expanding Islamic realm. Additionally, his role as a unifier of Europe has solidified his reputation as the “Father of Europe”. By successfully uniting significant...

  • Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab-Jew

    The term “Arab-Jew” is often considered contradictory, as it seemingly represents conflicting identities within the geopolitics of the Middle East. However, Avi Shlaim, an Iraqi-born British-Israeli historian, challenges this notion in his personal story, Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab-Jew. Shlaim argues that this designation should not be viewed...

  • Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life: The Culture of Astrobiology in the Muslim World

    Islam and science fiction may not immediately seem like a natural pairing, but the Muslim world has indeed fostered a fascinating history within this genre. In his book titled Islam, science fiction, and extraterrestrial life: The culture of astrobiology in the Muslim world, Jorg Matthias Determann, an author and academic...

  • Zionists fume as RyanAir announces arriving in ‘Palestine’ on flight bound for Tel Aviv

    Low-budget Irish airline RyanAir has come under fire on social media by pro-Israel users following a report on Tuesday by World Israel News (WIN) alleging that a flight attendant announced that the flight, bound for Tel Aviv was “approaching Palestine.” According to the report, citing Channel 14 News, passengers on the flight from...

  • The Caliph and the Imam: The making of Sunnism and Shiism

    The Caliph and the Imam: The Making of Sunnism and Shiism by Toby Matthiesen is an extraordinary and comprehensive study that traverses centuries and continents, delving into the intricate evolution of the two major sects of Islam. This scholarly work meticulously examines the historical development and transformation of the...

  • Yemen’s Hadramout heats up as STC strengthens secession bid 

    With the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition’s war against Yemen now in its eighth year, the country remains divided among three main competing authorities. These include the “internationally-recognised” Yemeni government, which is represented by the Saudi-backed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC). Another authority is the de-facto National Salvation Government (NSG) led by...

  • Resuming relations with Iran will be a test for Egypt sovereignty

    The latest diplomatic developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are looking positive for peace and prosperity. Iran and Saudi Arabia have re-established relations as part of a Chinese-brokered agreement, Syria has returned to the Arab League and also resumed ties with Riyadh, while the Kingdom...

  • Qatar may find itself isolated on Syria normalisation

    In recent months, the Middle East has witnessed a flurry of diplomatic activity including a push by some countries in the region to normalise relations with Syria. Several Arab states have sought to bring the war-torn country back into the fold, with the hope of healing the wounds of...

  • The ‘Lion of Palestine’: Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi (23 October 1947-17 April 2004)

    The assassination of Dr Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi, a prominent Palestinian resistance leader, marked a significant set-back for the Palestinian cause. Rantisi was one of the seven co-founders of the Hamas movement in the early days of the First Intifada and was known for his unwavering commitment to advocating for...

  • Saudi Arabia meeting with Houthi officials in Yemen will legitimise their government

    In a surprising turn of events, Saudi Arabia held a meeting with AnsarAllah (“Houthi”) officials in Sana’a on Sunday, marking a potential shift in the dynamics of the long-standing conflict in Yemen. This comes on the heels of Saudi Arabia’s normalisation of ties with Iran, a regional rival, indicating...

  • Euronews confuses US scholar Hamza Yusuf with new SNP leader

    The Arabic language edition of France-based Euronews has drawn ridicule on social media after a post on the news network’s Facebook account mistakenly used an image of US Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf to announce the historic election of Scotland’s Humza Yousaf as the new leader of the Scottish National...

  • Post-Abraham Accords, Israel’s foes are reconciling with their rivals

    The Middle East has been in turmoil for decades, with conflicts often fuelled by historic rivalries, sectarianism and geopolitical interests. However, in recent months, there have been some significant developments that have the potential to shift the regional dynamics. The China-brokered Saudi-Iran normalisation agreement, Syria’s reconciliation with neighbouring states...

  • Empty shelves expose Britain’s reliance on North Africa for food security

    North Africa was once known as the “breadbasket” due to its favourable climate and significant arable land along the Mediterranean coast. This was especially true at the time of the Roman Empire, when it was Rome’s primary source of food. Yet in the modern era, North Africa has experienced...

  • Muslims react to plans for ‘new Kaaba’ development in Saudi capital

    Social media reactions to unveiled plans to build a large cube-shaped structure as part of a re-development project in the capital, Riyadh’s city centre...

  • A pro-Israel Iran would be the result of overthrowing the Islamic Republic

    Iran celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Saturday, with mass rallies held in towns and cities across the country, including the capital Tehran, where participants converged at the iconic Azadi Square. According to state media, millions of Iranians nationwide took part in the state-sponsored commemoration. Yet despite...

  • International perspectives on apartheid and decolonization in Palestine

    Experts and activists from across the world addressed digital censorship the origins of Zionism and how Israel enforces apartheid ...

  • TikTok: China’s modern-day application of ‘The Art of War’

    Written over 2,000 years ago, Chinese general and strategist Sun Tzu stated in The Art of War that “Subjugating the enemy’s army without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence.” This ancient maxim still rings true today and is arguably being put into practise by present-day China. Beijing has been...

  • The Persian Gulf row exposes the nationalistic rift between Iran and its Iraq ‘backyard’

    Last week, the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup kicked off in Iraq for the first time in 44 years, with Basra serving as the host city for the regional biennial football tournament. Hosting the “Gulf Cup” as it is also known, was significant for the country, given the decades-long FIFA...

  • The JNF/KKL: A Charity Complicit with Ethnic Cleansing

    The JNF/KKL: A Charity Complicit with Ethnic Cleansing by academic and civil rights activist Dr Uri Davis is the latest offering by MEMO Publishers and brings to light the on-going “greenwashing” policies of the Apartheid State of Israel, which has been facilitated with the collusion of the Jewish National...

  • Qatar delivered the best World Cup in living memory

    Despite facing an unprecedented scale of criticism and calls for boycotts, months before a ball had been kicked, the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been a success. The month-long tournament ended yesterday in a dramatic final, widely lauded as the best one many pundits and commentators had...