Mediterranean and the Middle East

Posts on Mediterranean and Middle East

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Destabilising the Middle East by absence

It has never, at least since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, been stable. Instability is endemic to the Middle East, a region that suffers, as many have pointed out, from a surfeit of history, although new layers continue to be added. Relative stability has come from outside in [...]

The CEO who is changing Algeria’s energy landscape

On 20 November 2018, the CEO of Sonatrach Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour visited Spain to celebrate the renewal of gas contracts with the Spanish energy company Naturgy. He also took the opportunity to present the Algerian oil and gas national company’s vision for 2030 at the Elcano Royal Institute. This [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The revolution of Muslim women

In 2004 the sociologists Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris argued that the real clash was not between civilisations, as Samuel Huntington had argued, but between sexes, because of the role played by women, especially in the Muslim world. A revolution among women in such societies was already underway at [...]

Which way now for Tunisia?

With global attention focused on other hotspots of conflict and tension in the Arab and Muslim world, Tunisia has had very little press over the last seven years, with a few reports referring to it as the last glimmer of hope of what was so hastily dubbed the ‘Arab [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Riyadh-Tehran: intertwined destinies

An antagonism, a profound enmity, dominates the Middle East: the rivalry that pits Iran against Saudi Arabia. Its roots go back a long way, to before the Khomeini revolution of 1979, to the difference between Shiites and Sunnis, but also to diverse geopolitical interests. The year 1979 marked a [...]

Libya is sinking even further into the abyss

Whether one looks at the humanitarian situation, or at politics or at security, the overwhelming impression is that Libya is sinking into the abyss. The scandal that broke out after the recent broadcast of images clearly showing a slave auction is unfortunately just one example in a territory that has become [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Will there be a Kurdish state?

The Kurds have been scourged by history (as well as by British and French designs, with their 1920s ‘peace to end all peace’, as David Fromkin termed it in his remarkable book). In drawing up the borders that followed World War One and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, [...]

Mental borders and the clash of ignorance

Humanity is on its way to settling in a global village. In a world where physical distances become shorter and information flows at top speed, the concept of borders takes on different forms. There are physical and political borders which are built to separate those who are different, or [...]

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