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May 2010
After the hummus wars, the model wars?
• Give up on the silly hummus, felafel and shawarma wars between Lebanon and Israel. Now that a Lebanese American, Rima Fakih, has been crowned Miss USA 2010, why not let the models face off?

June 2009
Get ready for the settler squeeze
• Israel's settlers, a motley collection of messianic militants and middle class commuters, are now seen as the one obstacle to world peace. So, get ready for the settlement squeeze.

May 2009
Will Israel strike first, second, last?
Iran's nuclear programme, coupled with an extremely nasty turn of phrase deployed by Tehran, are fanning Israel's perennial existential angst. Will the Israelis strike first?

April 2009
Hash and Hezbollah
Lebanon's Bekaa valley is a fun mix of hash and Hezbollah. Now the armed movement is watching gleefully as the country's ramshackle army takes on the big crime families of the Bekaa...more.

10 April 2009
Lebanon's non-elections
Lebanon is nervous ahead of elections on 7 June. But why? It is more than likely that things will stay the same, whoever wins...more.

3 April 2009
Meet the Israeli Russians
• Some 25 per cent of the more than one million people who came from the former Soviet Union in the 1990's are not Jewish according to the strict religious definition, even though they qualified for immigration to the Jewish state...more.

27 March 2009
Israel: nothing Left
Israel’s Labour party has done analysts a huge favour. It has settled the question of what was the most remarkable aspect of the country's recent elections: the rise of the right or the demise of the left....more.

20 March 2009
A Jolly Iraq Anniversary
• Six years ago the US launched its attack on Iraq and now you’re about to read yet another useless anniversary piece. So, let’s make this one special...more

13 March 2009
Waltzing Beirut
• Bullets and Balantine, RPG's and Red Bull with Vodka, tanks and tequila - Beirut would not be Beirut if a screening of the Israeli movie Waltz with Bashir did not turn into a party...more.

6 March 2009
Threatened in the Middle East: who is hanging on by the skin of their teeth?
The Middle East should go into collective therapy to deal with its existential angst. The region's people even compete with each other over who is more threatened. So here's the MadEast threat-off...more.

28 February 2009
A small crack in Lebanon's sectarian wall?
Lebanon, one of the most fiercely sectarian countries in the region, now allows people to scrap religion from the population registry. What is next? Alcohol, orgies and intermarriage?...more.

21 February 2009
Syria's fortune cookie future
Obama's approach to Syria is predicated on that country wanting to follow the Chinese model of development without democracy - and you can't even get a decent Chinese meal in Damascus...more.

14 February 2009
Yemen Jews and Qat Chews
•Driven out of their homes in the northern Saada region of Yemen, a small group of Jews lives in the capital and whiles away its time much the same way as the rest of the country - in a qat induced stupor...read more.

7 February 2009
Bibi, Tsipi and Mini-Me
•The Israeli election rivalry between Bibi, Tsipi and Mini-Me reveals a country so dysfunctional that it is truly well on its way to integration in the Middle East...more.

31 January 2009
The West is thirsting for Arab sex
• It's Arab and it's about sex but is it art? The West is desperately seeking sexy Arabs, because people who have sex cannot be terrorists, right?...more.

24 January 2009
Ha... Ha... Hamas!
Should Hamas renounce tourism? It worked for Yasser Arafat but could Khaled Meshaal pull off the quivering lip and the indistinct mumble? Jordan's fundamentalist leader gives a hint...read more.

19 January 2009
Tunnel me softly...
If Western journalists can get to Rafah through the Sinai, how hard can it be for arms smugglers? And shouldn't we let the people in Rafah have their tunnels? They seem to enjoy them so much...read more.

10 Januay 2009
Pee before demonstrating
The Gaza crisis reveals that Egyptians have learned to pee before demonstrating and produce makeshift Israeli flags for abuse...read more.

4 January 2009
Talk about talking
What makes Hamas tick and Israel tock? How can mayhem be reduced to mere chaos? And what is the use of talking with a banana in your ear? An expert's view...read more.

26 December 2008
Dinner in Beirut
Add to the pitfalls of expat dinner parties this season the topic of Bernard Madoff, the fraudulent financier. Before you know it, dinner in Beirut turns into a a scene from the Merchant of Venice...read more.


15 July 2008
Byblos parties like it's 2004

The techno beat echoes along the beach, thumps past the pools and reaches a crescendo in the bars. Hundreds of guests dressed in skimpy bikinis or swimming trunks dance on waterfalls...more.

27 June 2008
Hizbollah shoots... on goal
The Shia Hizbollah movement this week struck another blow at its Sunni pro-government opponents, albeit in this case the shots were on goal and not of the lethal type...more.