Billions of dollars have been spent on colossal building efforts and massive acquisition programs in an effort to expand the cultural sector in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf. These cultural initiatives aim both to drive national development with increased investment in and attention to creative industries, and to redefine their relationship with the wider global community.
Most of the literature that seeks to explain sectarianism in Lebanon focuses on its history or on the regional and geopolitical dynamics associated with it. Relatively few studies have examined the internal factors that shape the process of sectarianization and sustain sectarianism today. However, if one does not first understand the present dynamics of sectarianism and the material and structural factors that shape it, then exploring the history of the phenomenon in an attempt to locate its “roots” is unlikely to be very illuminating. This essay seeks to shed light on the current political economy of sectarianism in Lebanon so as to advance our understanding of this phenomenon.
Journalist Yeganeh Rezaian joins host Paul Salem for a discussion of social and cultural trends inside Iran, how youth are dealing with unemployment and other economic pressures, and how women are seeking opportunities for socioeconomic advancement and gender equality.
This essay discusses the recent spate of attacks upon and heightened sense of insecurity felt by Egyptian Coptic Christians. The essay focuses on Copts' growing frustration with state authorities' responses to their grievances.
A formerly flourishing industry—bogged with censor's increasingly puerile whims, higher ticket prices, piracy, and state backlash after 2011—sees a resurgence spearheaded by Cairo's first alternative movie house Zawya ('angle').
This essay looks at sectarianism from the perspective of minority studies. The author argues that if sectarianism is understood as a struggle for power over national truths and national resources, then a persistent overemphasis on labeling minority/majority categories could contribute to the form and force of sectarian discourse and politics.