Business for Peace Award
1555, Section: Opinion


Energy company drills through human rights in the Western Sahara

Published on 22 January 2015 by Craig Browne in Opinion

On the evening of December 13, 2014, a 240 meter-long drillship drifted through the night and into Western Saharan waters. Despite its size and long-awaited arrival, the hulking vessel went relatively unnoticed.

How the youth movement was pacified by a transitional process

Published on 8 January 2015 by Ahlam Mohsen in Opinion

The Houthis and Al-Qaeda dominate many headlines concerning Yemen—including the headlines of the Yemen Times. What is noticeably absent in Yemen coverage is news regarding independent youth—the movement behind the country’s 2011 uprising.

Syria: The Gutman Report

Published on 8 January 2015 by Frederic C. Hof / Atlantic Council in Opinion

Turkey-based, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman of McClatchy closed out 2014 with a dispatch that would be shocking if only there were still capacity for shock when it comes to Washington’s Syria policy. Gutman reported being told by Syrian opposition leaders of being ignored by the Obama administration last April when they warned of a major ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) offensive brewing. The alleged warning centered on Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria rather than on Iraq; still, nationalist opposition requests for more material to fight ISIL were reportedly ignored. According to Gutman, “Moderate rebels, despite their battlefield setbacks, have unique assets, such as ground-level intelligence about the locations and movements of the Islamic State, a grasp of local politics and the drive to expel foreign-led forces from their country. But they’ve failed to gain traction with the Obama administration for their plans to fight the terror groups, and recently they’ve had trouble even getting a hearing.”

Saving Libya’s constitution-making body

Published on 1 January 2015 by Douglas Garrison / / First published Dec.30 in Opinion

In the following article Omar Ould Dedde O. Hammady and Michael Meyer-Resende, both constitutional lawyers and, respectively, the Libya country director and the executive director at Democracy Reporting International (DRI), shed crucial light on Libya’s continuing political turmoil. The authors highlight the critical need for reinvigorated “institution-building” in Libyan politics in order for some semblance of stability to return to the fractured state. This opinion piece originally appeared in Sada, the online journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program, on Dec. 18. An excellent companion article, “The Struggle to Define Normal in Post-Gaddafi Libya” by Elizabeth Allan, appeared in Muftah the same day.

ISIS’s governance crisis: Social services

Published on 1 January 2015 by Mona Alami / Atlantic Council / First published Dec. 24 in Opinion

In its fourth issue of its English-language newsletter Dabig, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) boasted that a “state cannot be established” unless it looked after both the “worldly and the religious needs” of Muslims. With that specific goal in mind, IS has entrenched itself in the daily life of residents of the region straddling Syria and Iraq, partly replacing the presence of the state, namely in the fields of justice, education and healthcare, with mixed results.

Egyptian media paints rosy picture of UNHRC review of Egypt’s human rights record

Published on 30 December 2014 by Jordan Daniels in Opinion

In early November, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) undertook a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Egypt’s human rights record, a standard assessment that takes place every few years for all UN member states.

The Students: The Untold Details of the Al-Jazeera Trial

Published on 25 December 2014 by in Opinion

The Yemen Times is republishing this piece in two parts with permission from the Atlantic Council. The first part ran Tuesday, the second part is below.

Throughout the trial, Abdelraouf, Saad, and Abdelhamid were represented by Shabaan Said, a prominent Cairo lawyer hired by the families of the three students. Said was also formerly hired by Al-Jazeera to defend the network’s cameraman Mohamed Badr Eddin, detained for more than a month, and their reporter Abdullah al-Shamy who remained in jail for close to a year.

ISIS is Sisi spelled backwards

Published on 23 December 2014 by Iyad el-Baghdadi in Opinion

It’s time to resist the tyranny of false dichotomies in the Middle East.

Book Review: “Arabs without God: Atheism and Freedom of Belief in the Middle East” by Brian Whitaker

Published on 18 December 2014 by in Opinion

The Yemen Times is republishing this piece with permission from in two parts. Part one was published last week, part two is below.

Reading Saudi Tea Leaves in Yemen

Published on 18 December 2014 by Danya Greenfield in Opinion

The international press reported on Dec. 4 that Saudi Arabia had suspended most financial aid to Yemen as a result of the Houthi movement’s ongoing occupation of Sana’a. As the most overt Saudi policy move in Yemen since the northern Houthis captured the capital in mid-September, it set off a chain of worrying political and security developments with implications that extend beyond the country’s borders.