Not Much Better Than Bush

by Amanda Ufheil-Somers | published July 23, 2014

President Barack Obama got it right when he declared: "There's no military solution inside of Iraq, certainly not one that is led by the United States."

But his Iraq track record doesn’t mark much of an improvement over the mess his predecessor made.

Nowhere to Turn for Mosul's Refugees

by Sophia Hoffmann | published July 15, 2014 - 9:51am

In 2006, 30,000 Iraqis arrived in Syria every month, seeking and receiving safe haven from US occupation and sectarian warfare as kidnappings, death threats, and bombings by air and land engulfed Baghdad and the southern governorates of Iraq. By 2011, an estimated 1-2 million Iraqis had fled to neighboring countries.

Refugee Need and Resilience in Zaatari

by Curtis Ryan | published June 22, 2014 - 7:00pm

Not surprisingly, a visit to the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan is mainly a depressing experience. Yet there are elements of inspiration here as well.


Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

A Guide for the Perplexed

On the Return of the Refugees

by Samera Esmeir | published April 2014

You have reached the village of Kafr Bir‘im. Enjoy the clean air of the Upper Galilee. Listen to the mountain silence. Observe the elegance of the stone construction in front of you; it is left standing after the 1948 occupation of the village and its consequent destruction. And realize as well that not everything you see is in the past tense.

Refugee 101

Palestinians in Lebanon Show Refugees from Syria the Ropes

by Sarah E. Parkinson | published April 3, 2014

Crossing the border at Masna‘, al-‘Abboudiyya or Mashari‘ al-Qa‘a, Syrian refugees entering Lebanon face an immediate choice: Stay in the tented settlements in the north and the Bekaa Valley or make their way to coastal cities such as Beirut and Sidon. Their experiences will vary greatly depending on the choice they make. The tented settlements are exposed to the elements, lack privacy and have virtually no job opportunities, but are accessible to aid providers. By contrast, refugees from Syria often have family connections in the coastal cities. Though Beirut and Sidon are expensive and crowded, there are more varied accommodations, schooling options and limited chances for employment.

Scholch, Palestinians Over the Green Line

by Penny Johnson
published in MER125

Alexander Schölch, ed., Palestinians Over the Green Line (London: Ithaca Press, 1983).

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George Bush in Khartoum

by Gayle Smith
published in MER135

Khartoum. The hand-painted sign on Nile Avenue here best captured the attitude of urban Sudanese toward the visit of Vice President George Bush to their country in early March, just four weeks before the popular overthrow of President Ja‘far Numairi. “Vice-President and Mrs. Bush,” read the sign, “are mostly welcome.” The millions of Sudanese starving in the countryside would have been much less hospitable.

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The Rerouted Trafficking in Eritrean Refugees

by Dan Connell
published in MER268

When Sheikh Muhammad ‘Ali Hasan ‘Awad learned that nine kidnapped “Africans” -- eight Eritreans and one Ethiopian -- were being beaten, raped and starved in a compound in Sheikh Zuwayd, a Sinai village near the Israeli border, he wasted little time. Firing AK-47s in the air, the sheikh and his Bedouin posse burst in to free the victims and threaten their three torturers with death if they did not immediately tell all. The captors’ accounts -- and the raid itself -- were recorded in high-definition video with an iPad.

Breaking Point

The Crisis of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

by Omar S. Dahi | published September 25, 2013

One of the many plot lines lost in the summertime discussions of a US strike on Syria is the pace of refugee movement out of the country. As it stands, the refugee crisis is overwhelming and likely to stay that way. Another external military intervention would further accelerate the mass flight and exacerbate what is already a humanitarian emergency.

The Palestinian Diaspora of the Gulf

by Eric Rouleau
published in MER132

Editor’s Note: A longer version of this article appeared as a three-part series in Le Monde, June 15-17, 1982. It appears here by permission of the author. Since the article was written, the economic cutbacks in the Gulf have reduced jobs available to the Palestinians and also affected the Palestinian bourgeoisie. Remittances to Palestinian institutions (including the PLO) are now less than they were. The crisis in the PLO since the Lebanon war has also deprived the Palestinian community of its main interlocutor and defender with the Gulf regimes. In spite of these changes, the Palestinians remain an important and influential community in the Gulf and in the Palestinian diaspora, as Eric Rouleau makes clear.

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