Al-Monitor

I Survived a Syrian Gulag

“Prison is for real men” is an old saying we have in Syria, and one that I kept repeating to myself as I paced anxiously back and forth across my small, dingy cell in an almost hypnotic trance of meditation. Time seemed to melt and mold in that dungeon; it was an abstract entity that only existed in the world of mortal men as they went about their normal lives and daily routines. For us, the condemned and the damned, time had no meaning. The only way we measured it was in intervals of going to the interrogation room or bathroom breaks. Everything else was a fuzzy haze of being in a cell and sometimes out of it. It was a room where time stood still yet slowly oozed away. Yes, this was the edge of madness, the edge of the abyss, and I was right there on the brink.

Keep reading... Show less

What It's Like to Have Your Home Town Attacked by American Drones

If you live in Yemen, the golden rule is to expect anything any time. That, however, does not include expecting your hometown village — one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in Yemen — to be bombed. The peacefulness of such a place makes you believe that no one has ever heard of it, let alone that it is bombed by a US drone strike at night

Keep reading... Show less

5 Challenges Facing the Egyptians Who Sparked the Revolution

Egypt’s liberals and moderates may have helped spark the revolution that brought down President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, but they have lost out in the new post-Mubarak political order.  The first loss came during the parliamentary elections, when Islamists took 75% of the seats. The second loss came when the presidential run-off came down to a choice between two extremes: the old guard, represented by former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim Brotherhood, represented by the eventual winner, Mohammed Morsi.

Keep reading... Show less

How a Barbara Walters Segment on the Afterlife Vilified Arabs and Muslims

The veteran media critic Jack Shahen tells us 90% of Hollywood films depict Arabs negatively, reinforcing “a consistent pattern of dangerously hateful stereotypes” in his book, Reel Bad Arabs, which examined 1,000 American movies produced since 1896. An equally in-depth study needs to be conducted for television news, where the vilification and stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims has been similarly consistent.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES