Articles by Brian Whitaker


Recent articles

Unsuitable for parents: a QAnon fairy tale
New Lines magazine, 30 November 2023
An unholy alliance of Trump supporters, conservative Christians and conspiracy theorists is spreading lurid claims about child trafficking

A Notorious Syria Conspiracy Theory Is Definitively Debunked
New Lines magazine, 15 February 2023
The latest report from the global chemical weapons watchdog shows not only that Assad used gas in Douma but that no alternative explanation is viable

Friends in Strange Places
New Lines magazine, 7 November 2022
A bizarre alliance of anti-vaxxers, 9/11 truthers, creationists and atrocity deniers spans – and blurs – left-right boundaries

Unaccountable in Lebanon: How a PM’s Killers Got Away With It
New Lines magazine, 23 June 2022
The UN's 17-year effort to track down the murderers of Rafik Hariri is finally at an end. It cost a billion dollars and the assassins are still at large

The Saudi Billionaire Who Sought to Join Britain’s Aristocracy
New Lines magazine, 2 December 2021
Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz spent a fortune trying to acquire a British knighthood – and triggered an influence-peddling scandal that has now embroiled the heir to the throne

The ‘Echo Chamber’ of Syrian Chemical Weapons Conspiracy Theorists
New Lines magazine, 4 November 2021
A collection of non-mainstream bloggers has been paid by a murky organization to parrot Assad regime and Kremlin falsehoods

Below is a collection of my articles about the Middle East, mostly written for the The Guardian newspaper and its website. The articles are grouped chronologically and according to country.

Articles in chronological order:

Articles listed by country:
Algeria|Bahrain|Egypt|Iran|Iraq|Kuwait|Lebanon|Libya|Oman|Palestine/Israel|Qatar|Saudi Arabia|Syria|Tunisia|United Arab Emirates|Yemen


Everything you need to know about being gay in Muslim countries
The Guardian, 21 June 2016
The official fiction, Brian Whitaker explains, is that gay people don’t exist in the Middle East. They do – and for many of them, the attitudes of family and society are a much bigger problem than the fear of being prosecuted

Book Review: Extremist Eclipse
Newsweek Middle East, 24 February 2016
Review of 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War', by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al Shami

The Saudi execution will reverberate across the Muslim world
The Guardian, 4 January 2016
Islamic sectarianism has been inflamed. Expect a hardening of positions in Syria, Iraq and beyond


Saudi Arabia is worried – and not just about its king
The Guardian, 29 Sep 2015
Not only are many Saudis jumpy about their incautious King Salman, the world surrounding the Gulf is also changing in all the ways they fear

The rise of Arab atheism
New Humanist, 29 June 2015
Across the Middle East, governments are cracking down on non-belief. But Arab atheists are becoming more visible

Yemen, long on the brink of catastrophe, may have tipped over the edge
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2015
Friday’s mosque attacks, whoever was behind them, will intensify sectarian rivalries and invite bloody reprisals. The scene is set for a protracted civil war

Saudi Arabia is right to be anxious over its ideological links with Isis
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2015
The Saudi authorities have condemned Islamic State, but they fear the destabilising effects of any detailed examination of their shared principles


If homosexuality isn’t illegal, why is there a gay crackdown in Egypt?
The Guardian, 10 Dec 2014
A bath house raid instigated by complicit media looks like a bid to distract attention from bigger economic and political issues

British fear of Islamists and Saudi fears about atheists are two sides of the same coin
The Guardian, 24 Nov 2014
Young people want to know about jihadism – and it’s better that they inquire about it openly, in schools, than elsewhere

It’s dangerous to be so cosy with the Gulf’s autocrats
The Guardian, 11 Nov 2014
Why is the west still so close to reactionary monarchies in the Middle East when all the evidence suggests they’re on their way out?

Most Arab states share Isis’s ideology. They’re trying to have it both ways
The Guardian, 28 Oct 2014
Isis may be more brutal but many Arab governments are on the same ground – asserting the superiority of Islam

Yemen is being reshaped by rebellion and intrigue
The Guardian, 9 Oct 2014
While the world’s attention is on Syria and Iraq, the pieces of the kaleidoscope have been shaken in Yemen – with regional implications


Beyond Syria: five Middle East stories you may have missed
The Guardian, 3 Sep 2013
Syria is rightly dominating the news. But from Egypt's spying stork to Israeli-Palestinian talks, here's a look at what else is going on

The US view of Yemen as an al-Qaida hotbed is a travesty of the truth
The Guardian, 7 Aug 2013
Yemen is a real place where people are demanding social justice and democracy. Their cause is only harmed by the US


Syria conflict: Eid al-Adha ceasefire - Friday 26 October 2012
The Guardian, 26 Oct 2012
Follow developments on the first day of an unmonitored ceasefire in Syria to mark the Eid al-Adha holiday

Syria accepts ceasefire with conditions - Thursday 25 October 2012
The Guardian, 25 Oct 2012
Follow live updates as doubts continue over whether a ceasefire in Syria will take hold

Syria crisis: regime 'accepts ceasefire' – Wednesday 24 October 2012
The Guardian, 24 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi announced that the Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire

Syria crisis: UN mulls peacekeepers but ceasefire hopes fade - Tuesday 23 October 2012
The Guardian, 23 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after the UN said there are contingency plans for redeploying a peacekeeping force in Syria but hopes faded for an Eid al-Adha ceasefire

Security chief dies in Beirut blast - Friday 19 October 2012
The Guardian, 19 Oct 2012
A bomb kills security chief in Beirut and Lakhdar Brahimi takes his plan for an Eid truce in Syria to Damascus

Syria crisis: fears for '28,000 disappeared' – Thursday 18 October 2012
The Guardian, 18 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments as a report said 28,000 people have disappeared in Syria and efforts continued to secure a ceasefire

Syria crisis: Brahimi pushes for truce - Wednesday 17 October 2012
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments amid diplomatic efforts to secure a temporary ceasefire in Syria

Syria crisis: US concerned weapons reaching jihadis - Tuesday 16 October 2012
The Guardian, 16 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments as the US state department said it is concerned that Gulf-supplied weapons are reaching the wrong hands and urged Syria's neighbours to keep a vigilant watch on their airspace

Syria crisis: US concerned over weapons reaching jihadis
The Guardian, 16 Oct 2012
The US state department admits concerns that foreign weapons are falling into the wrong hands and urges Syria's neighbours to keep a vigilant watch on airspace

Turkey scrambles warplanes to Syrian border – Friday 12 October 2012
The Guardian, 12 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments as sparks fly over Syrian airliner intercepted by Turkey

Turkey says Syrian plane carried arms – Thursday 11 October 2012
The Guardian, 11 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after Turkey intercepted a Syria passenger plane suspected of carrying Russian arms

Syria crisis: US sends troops to Jordan - Wednesday 10 October 2012
The Guardian, 10 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after the New York Times reported that the US has sent a military task force to Jordan to insulate its ally from the turmoil in Syria

Syria crisis: bombs hit security complex - Tuesday 9 October 2012
The Guardian, 9 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after the Islamist al-Nusra Front claimed it bombed an intelligence complex near Damascus and the Syrian army advanced in Homs

Turkey issues new warnings to Syria - Friday 5 October 2012
The Guardian, 5 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after the security council condemned Syria over the deadly mortar attack on Turkey

Turkey-Syria border tension - Thursday 4 October 2012
The Guardian, 4 Oct 2012
Tension between Syria and Turkey has intensified after mortar fire from across the border killed five people in a Turkish village

Syria crisis: Aleppo bomb attacks - Wednesday 3 October 2012
The Guardian, 3 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments as bombs targeted government-controlled areas of Syria's largest city

Syria crisis: Hezbollah commander 'killed in Homs' - Tuesday 2 October 2012
The Guardian, 2 Oct 2012
Follow the day's developments after the US state department suggested a video showing the captured journalist Austin Tice may have been staged by the Syrian government

Syria crisis: fight for Aleppo - Friday 28 September 2012
The Guardian, 28 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as 'unprecedented' fighting was reported in Aleppo after rebels launched what they claimed would be a decisive battle

Syria crisis: rebels hail 'decisive' battle for Aleppo - Thursday 27 September 2012
The Guardian, 27 Sep 2012
Syrian activists report the highest daily death toll as world leaders remained divided over the crisis at the UN

Syria crisis: blasts hit Damascus – Wednesday 26 September 2012
The Guardian, 26 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as explosions hit Damascus and the UN general assembly met in New York

Syria crisis: plight of the children – Tuesday 25 September 2012
The Guardian, 25 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as the UN general assembly met and a report highlighted atrocities against Syrian children

Syria receiving Iranian arms 'almost daily' via Iraq - Thursday 20 September 2012
The Guardian, 20 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as an intelligence report detailed Iranian arms deliveries through Iraq and over its airspace and the Friends of Syria group met in The Hague

Syria crisis: Iran's foreign minister in Damascus talks - Wednesday 19 September 2012
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as Iran's foreign minister held talks in Syria after outlining a nine-point plan for tackling the violence

Syria crisis: Iran proposes sending observers - Tuesday 18 September 2012
The Guardian, 18 Sep 2012
Follow how the day unfolded after Tehran proposed that peace monitors from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey be sent to Syria

Protests spread against US over anti-Islamic film - as it happened
The Guardian, 14 Sep 2012
Follow live updates as Friday protests against 'the Innocence of Muslims' film occur in Jordan, Iraq, Kashmir, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen and several other countries

Yemen protesters storm US embassy - as it happened
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2012
Follow live updates on the aftermath of the killing of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, in a suspected terrorist attack

US ambassador Chris Stevens killed in Libya - as it happened
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2012
US ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fire rockets at their car. Follow the latest here

Syria crisis: live coverage – Tuesday 11 September 2012
The Guardian, 11 Sep 2012
Follow how the day unfolded as Syrian refugee numbers continued to grow and tensions flared up again in Yemen

Syria crisis: bombs and shelling hit Damascus - Friday 7 September 2012
The Guardian, 7 Sep 2012
Follow the day's developments as two separate explosions hit Damascus and the army shelled suburbs of the city

Syria crisis: Aleppo rebels vow to fight on - Thursday 6 September 2012
The Guardian, 6 Sep 2012
Follow the day's events as the battle for Aleppo continued and the extradition of Gaddafi's spy chief to Libya sparked an international legal tussle

Libya: Gaddafi's spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi extradited - Wednesday 5 September 2012
The Guardian, 5 Sep 2012
Follow how the day unfolded as rebels produced footage of downed warplanes in Idlib province and an Arab League meeting in Cairo discussed the crisis

Record number of people fleeing Syria, UN reports
The Guardian, 4 Sep 2012
Thousands of refugees pouring into neighbouring countries with over 100,000 seeking asylum in August

Syria: refugee crisis - Tuesday 4 September 2012
The Guardian, 4 Sep 2012
Follow live updates as the refugee crisis mounts the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross lobbied Bashar al-Assad for humanitarian access to areas worst hit by the violence

Express delivery of Arab revolts
A review of the first books about the Arab Spring. Portal 9, Autumn, 2012.

Syria crisis: Turkey calls for 'safe haven' – Friday 31 August
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2012
Turkey seeks urgent action to protect displace Syrians

Syria crisis: Assad regime oppressive, says Morsi – Thursday 30 August
The Guardian, 30 Aug 2012
Follow the day's developments as they unfolded

Syria crisis: Assad says more time needed to 'win the battle' - Wednesday 29 August 2012
The Guardian, 29 Aug 2012
Follow live updates as Bashar al-Assad says he needs more time to "win the battle"

Syria crisis: Fighting rages around Damascus – Tuesday 28 August 2012
The Guardian, 28 Aug 2012
Follow the latest developments as Assad regime seeks to clear rebels from the capital

Syria crisis: France backs no-fly zone - Friday 24 August 2012
The Guardian, 24 Aug 2012
Follow live updates as France calls for a no-fly zone amid continued fighting

Syria crisis: Obama and Cameron issue chemical weapons warning - Thursday 23 August 2012
The Guardian, 23 Aug 2012
David Cameron joins President Obama in warning Syria about its chemical weapons

Syria crisis: shelling in Damascus - Wednesday 22 August 2012
The Guardian, 22 Aug 2012
A reported offer by Syria to 'discuss Assad's resignation' is downplayed by the US

Syria crisis: Obama warns on chemical weapons – Tuesday 21 August
The Guardian, 21 Aug 2012
Follow the day's events as they happened

Syria: Renewed shelling as UN ends observer mission - Friday 17 August 2012
The Guardian, 17 Aug 2012
UN ends its observer mission in Syria

Syria crisis: many dead in Azaz airstrike - Thursday 16 August 2012
The Guardian, 16 Aug 2012
Fighting continues in Syria and the OIC moves to isolate the Damascus regime

Syria crisis: US accuses Iran of training militia – Wednesday 15 August 2012
The Guardian, 15 Aug 2012
Blasts hit Damascus and Islamic countries move to isolate Syria

Syria crisis - Tuesday 14 August 2012
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2012
Rolling coverage of the latest developments in Syria, plus Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain

Syria: UK to give £5m to rebels - Friday 10 August 2012
The Guardian, 10 Aug 2012
Follow live updates on the latest news from Syria as the UK pledges extra funding to Syrian rebels

Syria conflict: rebels withdraw from Salahedin, Aleppo - Thursday 9 August 2012
The Guardian, 9 Aug 2012
Free Syrian Army announces a tactical retreat from Salahedin after intense bombardment

Syria crisis: Assad's new offensive in Aleppo - Wednesday 8 August
The Guardian, 8 Aug 2012
Syrian government launches a new offensive against the rebel held district of Salahedin in Aleppo

Syria crisis: Iranian hostages, Aleppo battle, and defections - Tuesday 7 August 2012
The Guardian, 7 Aug 2012
Tehran says the US is responsible for fate of Iranian hostages held by rebels and the fight for the control of Aleppo continues

Syria crisis: UN general assembly backs new resolution – Friday 3 August 2012
The Guardian, 3 Aug 2012
More mass killings are reported in Hama and Damascus amid recriminations over Kofi Annan's resignation

Syria crisis: Kofi Annan resigns as peace envoy
The Guardian, 2 Aug 2012
International mediator announces his resignation as international envoy to Syria

Syria crisis: rebels 'execute shabiha' in Aleppo - Wednesday 1 August 2012
The Guardian, 1 Aug 2012
Jet and helicopters hit eastern Aleppo for the first time while the standoff in the south-western district of Salaheddine continues

Syrian rebels 'overrun Aleppo police stations'
The Guardian, 31 Jul 2012
Renewed clashes are reported in Syria's biggest city

Syria crisis: US fears Aleppo 'massacre' - Friday 27 July 2012
The Guardian, 27 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as Aleppo braces for an assault by President Bashar al-Assad's forces amid mounting international fears over what could happen

Syria crisis: Aleppo battle looms - Thursday 26 July 2012
The Guardian, 26 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as Syrian troops mass on Aleppo and Arab states seek a new UN resolution on political transition

Syria crisis: Assad strikes back with jets in Aleppo and Damascus - Wednesday 25 July 2012
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as President Assad's forces continue a major counter offensive in Aleppo and the suburbs of Damascus

Syria crisis: clashes and prison mutiny in Aleppo - Tuesday 24 July 2012
The Guardian, 24 Jul 2012
Follow live updates after activistsl claimed up to 20 people were killed in a prison mutiny in Aleppo amid continuing clashes in the city

Syria crisis: UN mission given 30 day extension - Friday 20 July 2012
The Guardian, 20 Jul 2012
Follow how the day unfolded as UN monitors were given an extension and Assad regained some control lost since Wednesday's assassinations

Syria crisis: Tweeting for Assad
The Guardian, 20 Jul 2012
Seven days in the life of a state news agency

Syria crisis: Russia and China veto UN resolution
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2012
Russia and China block a UN resolution on Syria for the third time

Syria crisis: three members of Assad inner circle killed in Damascus
The Guardian, 18 Jul 2012
Attack kills key regime figures and fighting continues in Damascus

Syria crisis: Damascus clashes continue - Tuesday 17 July 2012
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as fighting in Damascus continues while Ban Ki-moon visits Moscow ahead of a vote in the security council

Political changes in the Arab world – 2002-12
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2012
War, protest, western intervention and elections have changed parts of the Arab world greatly in the last 10 years

Syria crisis: Tremseh 'massacre' - Friday 13 July 2012
The Guardian, 13 Jul 2012
Syrian government troops and militia loyal to Bashar al-Assad have killed more than 200 people in Hama province, opposition activists say

Syria crisis: ambassador to Iraq defects - Thursday 12 July 2012
The Guardian, 12 Jul 2012
• Syria says defected ambassador has been sacked • Egypt's President Morsi accepts court order on parliament

Syria crisis: first diplomat has defected, reports say - Wednesday 11 July 2012
The Guardian, 11 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as Russia's draft resolution proposed extending UN monitoring mission

Syria: Annan's 'hotspots' peace plan leaked – Tuesday 10 July 2012
The Guardian, 10 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as Kofi Annan shuttles around the Middle East and a confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian generals is put on hold

Syria crisis: top defection as 'Friends of Syria' meet - Friday 6 July 2012
The Guardian, 6 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as the Friends of Syria meeting in Paris has been buoyed by the reported defection of Manaf Tlass

Syria: top-level defection reported - Thursday 5 July 2012
The Guardian, 5 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as WikiLeaks releases more than two million emails from Assad's inner circle

Syria crisis: Turkey finds bodies of downed pilots - Wednesday 4 July 2012
The Guardian, 4 Jul 2012
Follow live updates as Turkey finds the bodies of two pilots shot down by Syria

Syria crisis, Libya unrest – Monday 2 July 2012
The Guardian, 2 Jul 2012
• Russia agrees to meet Syrian opposition leaders • Libya releases detained staff of International Criminal Court

Syria crisis: Assad vows to 'annihilate terrorists' - Friday 29 June 2012
The Guardian, 29 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as Bashar al-Assad warns against outside interference in Syria as the action group prepares for talks on a political transition

Syria crisis: Kofi Annan proposes unity government - Thursday 28 June 2012
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as Russia keeps diplomats guessing on whether it will back a unity government that excludes President Bashar al-Assad

Syria in a state of war, says Assad - Wednesday 27 June 2012
The Guardian, 27 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as the UN's human rights council told that violence in Syria is as bad or worse than before the ceasefire

Syria crisis: Erdogan threatens military retaliation - Tuesday 26 June 2012
The Guardian, 26 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as Turkish prime minister Erdogan threatens Syrian soldiers approaching the border as tanks are dispatched

Mohamed Morsi prepares for government in Egypt – Monday 25 June 2012
The Guardian, 25 Jun 2012
Mohamed Morsi prepares to take office as Egypt's first freely elected president

Egypt protests ahead of election results - Friday 22 June 2012
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as protesters gather in Tahrir Square urging the military council to 'return to legitimacy'

Syrian colonel 'defects' in jet to Jordan - Thursday 21 June 2012
The Guardian, 21 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as a Syrian pilot seeks asylum after landing a jet in Jordan

Egypt: Mubarak 'improves' as crisis worsens - Wednesday 20 June 2012
The Guardian, 20 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as conflicting reports about Hosni Mubarak's health add renewed volatility to Egypt's political crisis

Syria crisis: US and Russia divided on Assad's future - Tuesday 19 June 2012
The Guardian, 19 Jun 2012
Follow live updates as US and Russia call for an end to escalating violence in Syria but fail to agree on regime change

Egypt reels from 'judicial coup' - Friday 15 June 2012
The Guardian, 15 Jun 2012
Follow live updates after Egypt's highest court dissolves parliament and clears former PM Ahmed Shafiq of standing in this weekend's presidential runoff

Egypt's transition plunged into chaos - Thursday 14 June 2012
The Guardian, 14 Jun 2012
Follow live updates after an Egyptian court dissolves a third of the seats in the new parliament but clears former PM Ahmed Shafiq to contest this weekend's presidential runoff

Assad regime and activists deny Syria has reached civil war - Wednesday 13 June 2012
The Guardian, 13 Jun 2012
Follow live updates after Hillary Clinton accused Russia of escalating a conflict that the UN peacekeeping chief says has descended into civil war

Syria crisis: UN says children used as human shields - Tuesday 12 June 2012
The Guardian, 12 Jun 2012
Follow live updates after the UN documented incidence of children being used as human shields by the Syrian army

Syria live: UN monitors arrive in al-Qubair
The Guardian, 8 Jun 2012
'Stench of burnt flesh in al-Qubair" – BBC reporter • Agreement in Egypt over new body to draft constitution

Annan at UN amid reports of new Syria massacre
The Guardian, 7 Jun 2012
World leaders respond to reports of a massacre in a village near Hama

Syria 'to admit aid workers' – Wednesday 6 June
The Guardian, 6 Jun 2012
Follow the day's developments as they unfolded

Syria crisis: UNHRC emergency meeting - Friday 1 June
The Guardian, 1 Jun 2012
The UN's human rights council meets to discuss the Houla massacre

Syrian rebels urge Annan to declare end of ceasefire - Thursday 31 May
The Guardian, 31 May 2012
The head of the Free Syrian Army calls on Kofi Annan to declare an end to the shattered ceasefire

Syria crisis: Turkey expels diplomats - Wednesday 30 May
The Guardian, 30 May 2012
UN security council briefed on Kofi Annan's meeting with President Bashar al-Assad

Governments around the world expel Syrian diplomats – Tuesday 29 May
The Guardian, 29 May 2012
Kofi Annan meets President Assad in Damascus

Egypt election: latest results
The Guardian, 25 May 2012
Follow the latest twists in a tight race between the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Morsi, the leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahy and former PM Ahmed Shafiq

Egypt election 2012 day two - live
The Guardian, 25 May 2012
Follow live updates on day two of the presidential election after former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq was attacked after casting his vote

Egypt's historic election – Wednesday 23 May
The Guardian, 23 May 2012
Egyptians head for the polls to find a replacement for the ousted president Hosni Mubarak

Syria crisis: UN peacekeeping chief visits Homs - Tuesday 22 May
The Guardian, 22 May 2012
Assad regime exchanges detainees for a damaged tank • Jail sentences for police who killed Egyptian protesters

Syria: 'Heroes of Aleppo university' protests - Friday 18 May
The Guardian, 18 May 2012
Protests across Syria in tribute to Aleppo students • Abul Foutouh in the lead among Egypt's expat voters

Syria opposition rift widens - Thursday 17 May
The Guardian, 17 May 2012
Opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun resigns after local activists threaten to leave the Syrian National Council

Syria: UN monitors return to safety - live updates
The Guardian, 16 May 2012
Follow live updates as detailed accounts emerge of an attack on UN monitors in Syria

Syria: UN monitors attacked -Tuesday 15 May
The Guardian, 15 May 2012
Video shows UN monitors under fire north of Hama • Palestinians and Israeli police clash on Nakba day

Syria, Egypt and Algeria - Friday 11 May
The Guardian, 11 May 2012
Islamists routed in Algeria's parliamentary elections • Expatriate Egyptians go to the polls

Egyptian presidential election TV debate – as it happened
The Guardian, 11 May 2012
Egypt hoped to break new ground in Arab election coverage with first-ever presidential television debate

Syria: Damascus explosions - Thursday 10 May
The Guardian, 10 May 2012
Dozens are reported killed and injured in a bomb attack in Damascus

Syria: blasts defy Annan's peace plea - Wednesday 9 May
The Guardian, 9 May 2012
Syrian troops targeted in bus attacks in Dera'a and a suburb of Damascus in defiance of a plea by Kofi Annan to 'give peace a chance'

Algerian prime minister calls Arab spring a 'plague'
The Guardian, 9 May 2012
Ahmed Ouyahia's election campaign speech backfires as Libyan government summons ambassador to complain

Syria, Egypt, Bahrain – Tuesday 8 May
The Guardian, 8 May 2012
Syrian opposition derides parliamentary poll, and 'insult' triggers presidential election row in Egypt

Protesters clash with security forces in Cairo - Friday 4 May
The Guardian, 4 May 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

Syrian forces raid university – Thursday 3 May
The Guardian, 3 May 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

Egyptian protesters killed in attack – Middle East live blog Wednesday 2 May
The Guardian, 2 May 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

Syria, Bahrain and Middle East - Tuesday 1 May
The Guardian, 1 May 2012
Ten reported dead in Idlib mortar attack • BBC allowed to see Bahraini hunger striker

Syria: Damascus 'suicide bomb' - Friday 27 April
The Guardian, 27 Apr 2012
Follow live updates after bomb blast in the Syrian capital confirms fears about the failure of the peace initiative

Syria: 'rocket attack' shatters fragile ceasefire - Thursday 26 April
The Guardian, 26 Apr 2012
Up to 70 people killed in attack in Hama, activists claim • Jordan's prime minister resigns after only six months • Mubarak's former PM reinstated as presidential candidate

Syria: Kofi Annan alarmed at surges in violence - Wednesday 25 April
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2012
Kofi Annan condemns 'reprehensible' surges in violence after visits by UN monitors

Syria crisis and Bahrain unrest - Tuesday 24 April
The Guardian, 24 Apr 2012
Follow live updates as the full scale of an alleged massacre in Hama is becoming clearer as the US warns Syria that its patience is running out

Bahrain's 'days of rage' - Friday 20 April
The Guardian, 21 Apr 2012
The US mulls alternatives to the incomplete ceasefire in Syria and protesters in Bahrain start three 'days of rage' to coincide with the grand prix

Syria crisis, Bahrain unrest - Thursday 19 April
The Guardian, 19 Apr 2012
Panetta: Pentagon has plan to establish Syria buffer zones • 23 protesters in Bahrain injured in clashes

Syria crisis and Bahrain unrest - Wednesday 18 April 2012
The Guardian, 18 Apr 2012
Gunfire during UN visit to monitor ceasefire in Syria • Ban on 10 Egyptian presidential candidates upheld

Syria violence throws UN peace mission into doubt - Tuesday 17 April 2012
The Guardian, 17 Apr 2012
Hague attacks Syria's "grudging" compliance • Amnesty accuses Bahrain of failing to tackle rights abuses

Syria: security forces confront protesters – Friday 13 April
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

Ahdaf Soueif: Egyptian writers' energy used to be spent on describing how bad things were
Video(3min 44sec),13 Apr 2012
Ahdaf Soueif speaks about the emergence of a new wave of creativity in the wake of the revolution in Egypt

Syria ceasefire fragile, says UN chief - Thursday 12 April
The Guardian, 12 Apr 2012
Follow the day's events as they happened

Syrian government says it will abide by ceasefire
The Guardian, 11 Apr 2012
The world watches to see if a ceasefire will take effect in Syria

Syria: Annan pushes ceasefire deadline back two days
The Guardian, 10 Apr 2012
Government attacks continue as first deadline passes • "No indication" of government move to join truce

Syria crisis, Bahrain unrest, Egypt turmoil - Friday 6 April
The Guardian, 6 Apr 2012
Syrian forces step up offensive ahead of ceasefire • Fears for life of activist on hunger strike in Bahrain

Syria: Heavy fighting amid claims of troop withdrawals
The Guardian, 5 Apr 2012
Follow the latest updates as fresh attacks are reported ahead of the 10 April deadline for a truce

Syria crisis - UN peacekeeping team heading for Damascus - live updates
The Guardian, 4 Apr 2012
Follow live updates as a UN peacekeeping team is bound for Syria and the security council drafts a new statement calling for the immediate implementation of Kofi Annan's peace plan

Syria crisis - Tuesday 3 April
The Guardian, 3 Apr 2012
Syria's pledge to partially implement Kofi Annan's peace plan is greeted with scepticism

Syria and Middle East live: Land Day demos in West Bank
The Guardian, 30 Mar 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

Syria crisis: Assad responds to peace plan - Thursday 29 March
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2012
The continuing violence in Syria tops the agenda at the Arab League summit in Baghdad

Syria crisis - Wednesday 28 March
The Guardian, 28 Mar 2012
Clashes continue despite an apparent acceptance of Kofi Annan's peace plan for Syria

Syria 'accepts Annan peace plan'
The Guardian, 27 Mar 2012
Follow live updates as diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria continue

Wadah Khanfar: a new journalism for a new Arab world - video
Video(3min 12sec),27 Mar 2012:
At the Guardian Open Weekend festival, the former director general of the al-Jazeera network, shares his vision of a more flexible and interactive post-revolution journalism in the Middle East

The ongoing battle for gay rights in the Arab world
The Middle East Channel, 12 March 2012

Slow thaw for gays in Arab world
Haaretz, 2 March 2012

Syria: Red Cross barred from Baba Amr - Friday 2 March
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2012
Relief supplies are sent to Homs, Iranians go to the polls and injured journalist Edith Bouvier returns to France

Syria: rebels withdraw from Baba Amr - Thursday 1 March
The Guardian, 1 Mar 2012
Kofi Annan says he plans to travel to Syria for mediation talks with the Assad regime

Syria: Baba Amr awaits its fate - Wednesday 29 February
The Guardian, 29 Feb 2012
Spanish journalist reported safe in Lebanon

Syria: the Homs rescue - Tuesday 28 February
The Guardian, 28 Feb 2012
Wounded British journalist is reported to be 'safe and sound' in Lebanon after being smuggled out of Homs

Syria: Qatar and splinter group back arming resistance - Monday 27 February 2012
The Guardian, 27 Feb 2012
Follow how the day unfolded as efforts to rescue wounded journalists from Homs ended in failure

Syrians should beware of some of their foreign 'friends'
The Guardian, 26 Feb 2012
Syrians should fear eastern, not western, intervention – especially autocratic 'friends' like Saudi Arabia

Syria: Qatar calls for Arab force to impose peace - Friday 24 February
The Guardian, 24 Feb 2012
Foreign ministers gather in Tunis for the first meeting of Friends of Syria group and negotiations continue over evacuating wounded reporters from Homs

UN accuses Syria of crimes against humanity - Thursday 23 February
The Guardian, 23 Feb 2012
Syrian army renews its bombardment of Homs on the eve of the first meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Tunisia

Syria: Marie Colvin among journalists killed in Homs – Wednesday 22 February
The Guardian, 22 Feb 2012
Follow the day's events as they happened

Yemen votes, Damascus revolts –Tuesday 21 February
The Guardian, 21 Feb 2012
Follow the day's developments as they happened

Syria: calls to arm the opposition - Monday 20 February
The Guardian, 20 Feb 2012
The US debates arming the opponents of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad

Libya celebrates, Syria burns – Friday 17 February
The Guardian, 17 Feb 2012
Britain promises £2m aid to Syrian civilians

Syria: activists arrested as assault on cities continues – Thursday 16 February
The Guardian, 16 Feb 2012
Blogger and human rights campaigner detained • Report highlights problem of militias in Libya

Syria: critics deride referendum plan – Wednesday 15 February
The Guardian, 15 Feb 2012
Assad sets date for elections and vote on constitution • France re-issues call for humanitarian corridors

Syria, Bahrain and Middle East unrest – Tuesday 14 February
The Guardian, 14 Feb 2012
Bombardment of Homs 'worst for five days'

Syria: UN general assembly begins discussion of crisis
The Guardian, 13 Feb 2012
Follow the latest developments as the international community struggles to react to the continuing violence

Syria: live from the frontline in Homs
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2012
The Guardian's Martin Chulov describes intense fighting between the Syrian army and military defectors near Homs

Syria: attack on Homs continues as Assad talks of dialogue - Tuesday 7 February
The Guardian, 7 Feb 2012
Follow the day's events as they unfolded

US and UK vow further pressure on Syria as Homs assault continues – Monday 6 February
The Guardian, 6 Feb 2012
Follow the day's events as Syrian government troops continue the bombardment of Homs, inflicting scores more casualities, according to activists

Syria's protesters are on their own
The Guardian, 9 Jan 2012
While Arab League monitors have failed to stop the bloodshed, this may be preferable to protracted talks about political 'reform'


Egypt's raids on NGOs are about control
The Guardian, 30 Dec 2011
Restricting NGO funding is typical of authoritarian regimes happy to take foreign aid but less happy about human rights

Egypt raids on NGOs hint at wider crackdown
The Guardian, 29 Dec 2011
Even charitable work can be a sensitive matter in Arab regimes if it highlights the state's failure to provide basic services

Alwaleed bin Talal: from Saudi prince to king of Twitter?
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2011
The $300m deal has caused some alarm, but this royal family member is much more progressive than his relatives

Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh resigns – but it changes little
The Guardian, 24 Nov 2011
The president's regime, and all it stands for, remains intact. What Yemen needs is a more effective parliament

Why do the US media believe the worst about Iran?
The Guardian, 9 Nov 2011
In their eagerness to recycle flimsy scare stories about Iran, the US media have failed to absorb the lessons of Iraq and WMD

Egypt's military may soon regret jailing Alaa Abd El Fattah
The Guardian, 1 Nov 2011
The imprisonment of the high-profile revolutionary could escalate tensions between the ruling junta and the protest movement

Yemen needs more than a UN resolution to oust Saleh
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2011
As his country faces economic and humanitarian disaster, Yemen's president seems concerned only with retaining power

Al-Jazeera – how Arabic news channel became a key player in global media
The Guardian, 20 Sep 2011
Pioneering TV station credited with aiding Arab spring and opening up political debate in the Middle East

Yemen power struggle: who's who – interactive guide
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2011:
As more protesters are killed by security forces we look at the main political figures in the country

Guardian Focus podcast: What will UN recognition of a Palestinian state mean?
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2011
Audio(30min 27sec): We discuss the implications of Palestinians asking for UN recognition of statehood, with views from the Middle East, the US and Britain

Syria's stalemate raises the spectre of civil war
The Guardian, 15 Sep 2011
Assad's opponents are putting pressure on the international community to act in Syria, but who would intervene, and how?

Turkey strides down the Arab street
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2011
Turkey is on a roll in the region, as many Arabs admire its political development – but now it will have to start taking sides

Tunisia is leading the way on women's rights in the Middle East
The Guardian, 10 Sep 2011
Tunisia is the first country in the region to withdraw reservations to the UN convention granting equal rights to men and women

Algeria's regime: out on a limb that looks set to fall
The Guardian, 30 Aug 2011
By giving the Gaddafi family refuge, Algeria's gerontocracy is putting itself on the wrong side of history

Gaddafi's fall unlikely to alarm Arab leaders
The Guardian, 22 Aug 2011 Assad, Saleh and others will not lose any sleep and are unlikely to draw lessons from the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya "

After Gaddafi, let's hope for the best in Libya
The Guardian, 22 Aug 2011
Yes, Gaddafi's fall will expose factional rivalries, but Libya is unlikely to turn into another Iraq, let alone Afghanistan

No stalemate in Libya – the writing is onthe wall for Gaddafi
The Guardian, 15 Aug 2011
A quick exit for the colonel is less important than a well-managed transition, setting the country on course for representative government

Saudi Arabia's message to Syria, decoded
The Guardian, 8 Aug 2011
It is Iranian influence, not the killing of civilians, that Saudi Arabia is concerned about as it recalls its ambassador in Syria

Egyptians must guard against a show trial as Mubarak faces the people
The Guardian, 3 Aug 2011
Seeing the Mubaraks behind bars will be widely viewed as poetic justice, but it's accountability – not humiliation – that matters

Could Gaddafi stay in Libya?
The Guardian, 4 Jul 2011
The opposition's offer to the Libyan dictator of internal exile may be pragmatic but it raises some tricky issues

Is France right to arm Libyan rebels?
The Guardian, 30 Jun 2011
Live discussion with France has been arming Libyans for their 'self-defence'. Debate the rights and wrongs of this with our Middle East editor

Arab governments are failing on human trafficking
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2011
The poor record of Middle Eastern countries on trafficking stems from the primacy given to protecting regimes over individuals

Gay Girl in Damascus was an arrogant fantasy
The Guardian, 13 Jun 2011
Tom MacMaster's hoax blog undermines, rather than illuminates, awareness of the realities of being gay in the Middle East

Yemen, and the trouble with 'democratic transition'
The Guardian, 7 Jun 2011
Politics in Yemen is beset by personal rivalries – it will be hard to keep the various players from each other's throats

Saleh is gone. What next for Yemen?
The Guardian, 5 Jun 2011
The president's departure for medical treatment has created an opportunity to resolve Yemen's political crisis

Yemen: attack on president keeps observers guessing
The Guardian, 3 Jun 2011
Confusion reigns in Yemen over President Saleh's injuries. Whatever the truth, the country is facing a decisive moment

Syria will change – with or without Assad
The Guardian, 9 May 2011
Even if Syria's president manages to quell the current uprising, it doesn't mean he has won

The liberal-left are at odds on Libya
The Guardian, 5 May 2011
Significant voices outspoken in their opposition to war in Iraq are more equivocal on military intervention in Libya

Sea burial of Osama bin Laden breaks sharia law, say Muslim scholars
The Guardian, 2 May 2011 US decision to dispose of body in the sea prevents grave site becoming a shrine but clerics warn it may lead to reprisals

Bin Laden's body buried at sea
The Guardian, 2 May 2011 US officials say Osama bin Laden's swift burial complies with Islamic custom, although burial at sea is uncommon for Muslims

God save the Arab kings?
The Guardian, 27 Apr 2011
Arab monarchies underpinned by religion have been unscathed by the Middle East uprisings – but they may yet be toppled

This time, brutal crackdown in Syria may not work
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2011
Assad's promises of reform have failed to stop the widespread protest – but Syria is no longer cut off from the outside world

The vagueness of the law keeps Middle Eastern protests in check
The Guardian, 20 Apr 2011
Virtually all Arab countries allow citizens to demonstrate – but there is always a clause that prevents serious subversion

Bashar al-Assad's strategy in Syria is self-defeating
The Guardian, 19 Apr 2011
Syrians will not be won over by promises of reform from a regime that continues to kill protesters and spread disinformation

Hosni Mubarak: from detention to where?
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2011
From hospitalisation to immunity pleas, the dictators of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen will do anything to escape justice

Syria ceasefire fragile, says UN chief - Thursday 12 April
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2011
From hospitalisation to immunity pleas, the dictators of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen will do anything to escape justice

Syria has heard all this reform talk before
The Guardian, 8 Apr 2011
Bashar al-Assad is promising change in a bid to placate Sunnis and Kurds – but how many people in Syria believe him?

Twenty things you need to know about Yemen
The Guardian, 5 Apr 2011 All you need to know about Yemen, from its tribal and often bloody politics to its coffee and qat culture

Syria: the boldness of Bashar al-Assad
The Guardian, 31 Mar 2011
Bashar al-Assad's seemingly relaxed attitude to reform is either supreme confidence or extreme recklessness

Libya: is negotiation the answer?
The Guardian, 28 Mar 2011
Nabila Ramdani and Head to head: As the fighting continues, Nabila Ramdani and Brian Whitaker debate Nato's next move

20 things you need to know about Syria
The Guardian, 25 Mar 2011 A brief guide to key facts everyone should know about Syria

The difference with Libya
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2011
Unlike Bahrain or Yemen, the scale and nature of the Gaddafi regime's actions have impelled the UN's 'responsibility to protect'

Yemen needs balance, not another strongman
The Guardian, 21 Mar 2011
Yemen is not Egypt – a flood of high-level resignations could trigger a battle for the top

Saif Gaddafi and the democracy project –audio
Audio(14min 23sec),18 Mar 2011
In a 2004 interview, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says democracy in Libya is a personal project – it doesn't sound like the man urging a fight 'to the last bullet'

Bahrainis cannot be subdued for ever
The Guardian, 17 March 2011
The Saudi intervention has sectarianised the conflict even more, and thus may well have sealed the Bahrain regime's fate

The Arab spring is brighter than ever
The Guardian, 14 Mar 2011
Crackdowns on protest merely postpone the day of reckoning – Arabs now have a shared, unstoppable drive for freedom

Oman's Sultan Qaboos: a classy despot
The Guardian, 4 Mar 2011
He may be a Britain-friendly, music-loving 'renaissance man', but Oman's Sultan Qaboos still tolerates no dissent

Saudi Arabia's subtle protests are serious
The Guardian, 1 Mar 2011
Saudis may not be massing on the streets like others in the Middle East, but their petitions and complaints are momentous

Muammar Gaddafi: method in his 'madness'
The Guardian, 23 Feb 2011
Gaddafi has lost touch with his people, but though his actions may seem bizarre, there is a kind of logic to his behaviour

Mubarak teases Egypt as his regime fragments
The Guardian, 11 Feb 2011
Hosni Mubarak's insulting speech showed why he ought to go, but the struggle on the streets is no longer the only game in town

The Muslim Brotherhood uncovered
The Guardian, 8 Feb 2011
In an exclusive Guardian interview, Egypt's Islamist opposition group sets out its demands

Egypt protests give Arab media a headache
The Guardian, 2 Feb 2011
This week in the Middle East: In their Egypt coverage the Arab media – like the regimes they report on – have failed to move on from the old ways

This week in the Middle East
The Guardian, 26 Jan 2011
This week in the Middle East: Protests in Tunisia have sent shock waves across Egypt, Jordan and Yemen, where the appetite for ousting autocrats is strong

This week in the Middle East
The Guardian, 19 Jan 2011
This week in the Middle East: Tunisia's God-free uprising and the role of the internet; the growing trend of Saudi spinsters; Yemen's tribal politics

Tunisia analysis: Old guard, 'new' government
The Guardian, 17 Jan 2011 Many Tunisians are asking whether ousted president Ben Ali's old guard can be trusted with free and fair elections "

This week in the Middle East
The Guardian, 12 Jan 2011
This week in the Middle East: Tweeting about the Tunisian uprising; Iran, Russia, and the shady morals of Putin's tiger, and the price of presidents