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WHAT WE DO
While there are now more than 500 Arabic and Persian language news outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable means for English speakers to gain access to much of this content. As a result, the overwhelming majority of English speaking businesspersons, students, journalists and others who have an interest in the affairs of the region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering and how they are covering these stories.

Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily email newsletter of concise, translated briefs covering some of the key political, cultural, economic and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Arab Diaspora. Through this effort, we hope to address at least one element of a global disconnect that continues to threaten a wide spectrum of socio-political and economic relationships, both here in the region and beyond.
TODAY’S DAILY BRIEFING
26-Aug-2016
Algeria
Politics
“Algeria’s Islamists at a crossroads prior to parliamentary elections”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Democracy and Party Politics - Religion
On August 26, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Algiers: “The Islamic parties in Algeria are at a crossroads a few months before the parliamentary elections that ought to be held next spring, especially in the presence of wings that are dividing these parties in regard to their relationship with the authority, at a time when the opposition seems to have reached a dead end, to which it was preceded by the authority. The Movement for the Society of Peace (the Algerian MB), which is the largest Islamic parties, is the most subject to such divisions. Indeed, it is torn (even if silently) between two wings. The first is headed by its leader Abderrazak Makri, who is pushing towards the sustainment of the opposition approach adopted by the movement since it left the government and the presidential coalition… (Read More)
Egypt
Opinion
“Had the statements been translated into actions”  (Newspaper, Middle East)
Governmental Reform
On August 24, the Egyptian opposition Shourouk newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Fahmi Hwaydi: “Had the headlines of newspapers coming out nowadays been translated into actions, Egypt would have become a heaven for the poor. And had each letter of them been distributed to every poor citizen in the “Mahrousa” [the protected land], it would have sufficed him and his offspring until the Day of Judgment. And had the neighboring populations believed what the media was saying about the achievement of the dreams of the poor and those with limited incomes, the convoys of immigrants would have flooded the Egyptian ports, and Egypt would have had to request international assistance to stop them. This is not an exaggeration, because whoever reads the officials’ statements, which are being carried by the media round the clock these days, would notice they are all repeating the same chorus, though differently… (Read More)
Politics
“Hamas officials confirm halt of the communication with Cairo because of the latter’s “difficult demands””  (Asharq al-Awsat, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy
On August 26, the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper carried the following report: “Officials at the Hamas movement said that the communication calls with the Egyptian side have been halted because of the Egyptian demands that the [Hamas] movement was unable to deal with including the arrest of Palestinian and Egyptian individuals in Gaza… (Read More)
Iran
Opinion
"Why is next year's election important?"  (E'temad, Iran)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 18, a commentary by Abdollah Naseri in the reformist Iranian daily E'temad said: "There are a few reasons to claim that the 1396 election will be one of the most significant elections in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The first reason being the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The truth is that the next administration - which is undoubtedly going to be Mr. Rouhani's administration - will deliver even more, and more tangible results than the great historic achievement, called the JCPOA, and this phenomenon, being the biggest and most important achievement of Mr. Rouhani's first term, has undoubtedly had a significant effect on the Iranian nation and establishment on the national and international levels - the most important of which was bringing Iran out of international isolation, which negatively affected the country in terms of economy and international politics. However, one cannot ignore the fact that had the government enlightened the public opinion more about the post-JCPOA situation during the negotiating period, the hard-line critics of the government would have not gotten the chance for depredation. Had the government had such a strategy, we would now have been able to ascribe more achievements to it, however, despite all that, one cannot ignore the big achievement like the historic agreement of the JCPOA with world powers. So, we need to have Hassan Rouhani and his team in charge of the country's affairs for the next four years, so that, through his executives and policy implementation strategy, he can deliver more tangible achievements than the JCPOA for the country and the nation… (Read More)
Politics
"So Many Kings Do Not Fit in the Kingdom!"  (Keyhan, Iran)
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 23, the conservative Keyhan daily reported: "A reformist newspaper reports that the cabinet dispute is much more than just a fight between Torkan and Nematzadeh, adding that it involves a range of politicians. Hafte-Sobh newspaper's "Decoding the conflict between the generals" reads: "No one knows what was going through Akbar Torkan's mind when suddenly, during a live television broadcast, he let slip the nature of his deep conflict with Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh. The conflict between these two veteran government generals has existed since the early days of the administration, but it had never reached the media at this level. Rouhani's '92 electoral campaign had three kings: Hoseyn Fereydun, Akbar Torkan, and Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh. It was also expected that following the formation of the cabinet that the same three people would have the upper hand and positions and responsibilities in key ministries. Although Akbar Torkan's name was being mentioned for a leadership position in several ministries, he preferred to continue his activities as special adviser to the preside! nt. It was even said that he had asked colleagues who were around his own age to stick with their advisory positions and relinquish the ministry positions to younger people. Of course, this was a recommendation that Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh passed up and, at almost 70, took over the Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry, which is a combination of the three big economic ministries. Perhaps this was where Torkan and Nematzadeh become polar opposites… (Read More)
"Reactions to interruption of President's speech"  (Shargh, Iran)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 23, the Iranian reformist newspaper Shargh reported: "Once again, the Voice and Vision cut part of the president's speech in one of its news bulletins. In its 1100 news bulletin, IRINN broadcast parts of the speech delivered by the president on the occasion of the Doctors Day. When Ruhani pointed out the resolutions on sanctions, and he said: "If it was possible, I would have also torn up the resolutions," the broadcast of his speech was suddenly stopped, and the 1100 news bulletin's news-reader concluded the programme. Such a coverage of the president's speech by the national broadcaster led to reactions by certain political activists. Even though some of them, such as Mohammad Atrainfar and Seyyed Hossein Dehdasht, said they were unaware of this, all these political activists agreed with each other. Some of them were of the opinion that what the national broadcaster did was not right, and it was against the organization's anti-partisan approach. But some Principe-list activists, such as Abbas Salimi-Namin, were of a different opinion, and they thought what happened was not an interruption, and it happened because the air time of the news bulletin was over… (Read More)
Iraq
Politics
“As-Sadr warns against Nouri al-Maliki’s attempts to turn power in Iraq into a militia one”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 26, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Baghdad: “Leader of the Sadr Movement Muqtada as-Sadr warned against the exploitation of Jihad and the Mujahedeen in electoral and political affairs, as this will lead to the ending of Jihad and the transformation of power in Iraq into a military or militia one. As-Sadr replied to a question by one of his followers regarding what he thought about Leader of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki’s intention to run in the next elections on a list called Popular Mobilization: “Jihad and the Mujahedeen must not be used in electoral or political action,” adding: “This use will lead to the slaughtering of Jihad on the political altar… (Read More)
“The defense minister who cannot defend himself!”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Corruption - Military Defense
On August 26, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “In a session, during which the general pardon law was voted on in Iraq after years of waiting, the Iraqi deputies decided to withdraw confidence from and dismiss Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, who had attacked Parliament Speaker Salim Jabouri and a number of deputies at the beginning of the month, accusing them of corruption during his own hearing against the backdrop of corruption charges. Worldwide, general pardon laws are enacted after a period of great turmoil (similar to the one seen in Iraq since the American occupation in 2003), as an extraordinary measure aiming to prepare the social entities for transitional justice and national reconciliation. And the law’s enactment yesterday will mean the release of thousands of victims of tips by secret informants and Iraqis who resisted the American occupation… (Read More)
Lebanon
Politics
“Aoun and Hezbollah: The time of the fondness is over”  (Website, Middle East)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 26, the electronic Al-Modon daily newspaper carried the following report by Munir al-Rabih: “This is not the first time that the positions of MP Michel Aoun and those of Hezbollah diverge. The estrangement seems to constitute the main feature between them for a not-so-short period now. The Party views its relationship with the General as exceptionally important… However, at the height of the sectarian tension, the most important thing for the Party is its relationship with the Future movement, i.e. the Sunni movement, in the face of the radical groups and in light of the regional developments… (Read More)
“Al-Hariri “dying” to head the government?”  (Newspaper, Middle East)
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 26, the privately-owned Al-Joumhouria newspaper carried the following report: “Sources in the Future Movement attributed Al-Hariri’s non-response to Nasrallah’s last speech in Bint Jbeil to the fact that “nothing in it requires a response.” They said to Al-Joumhouria: “He announced he was open. But what does that mean. If he is referring to the fact that he is open to Prime Minister Al-Hariri’s heading of the government, he is doing him a false favor, considering that Nasrallah is not the one who decides whether or not Al-Hariri becomes prime minister, rather it is Sa’d al-Hariri who decides whether or not he wants to be prime minister and no one else. If they want to try and manage the country with another prime minister who has no representation, they can do so, knowing they have tried that in the past and we have seen the results. So, let them try again if they wish to repeat that experience… (Read More)
Middle East
Opinion
On the American plans in the region  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)
Military Defense - USA EU
On August 26, the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper carried the following piece by Yehya Dbouk: “…The Turkish invasion of the Syrian city of Jarabulus and the American supportive reaction have further revealed the corruption of the saying regarding the new Turkish “re-positioning” in the Syrian arena. The Jarabulus “battle” is an additional milestone indicating that, whatever its interests are, Ankara will eventually adapt its actions to a ceiling that doesn’t clash with the U.S. Administration… (Read More)
Palestine
Politics
“Mheisen denies to Wattan the existence of decision within Fatah to reinstate the expelled”  (Website, Middle East)
Democracy and Party Politics
On August 24, the Ramallah-based Wattan news agency carried the following report: “Member of Fatah’s Central Committee and Head of its Anti-Wings Committee Jamal Mheisen denied to Wattan that there was any inclination or decision within the movement to reconcile with any expelled member. The report carried by the Egyptian Al-Masry al-Yawm newspaper, regarding the fact that President Abdul-Fattah es-Sisi and Jordanian Monarch Abdullah II expressed “appreciation towards Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ cooperation with the call to unify the Palestinians, and the statement issued by Fatah’s Central Committee to confirm its call for the return of its children under the movement’s umbrella...” had provoked speculations surrounding an imminent agreement to ensure the return of leader Muhammad Dahlan, who had been expelled from the movement, via Arab mediation… (Read More)
Syria
Politics
“America succeeds for now in preventing clash between its allies”  (Website, Middle East)
Military Defense - USA EU
On August 26, the privately-owned, Lebanese El-Nashra website carried the following report: “Despite the tension accompanying the Turkish intervention in the Syrian city of Jarabulus at the level of the relationship between the USA’s allies, the latter succeeded, at least for now, in preventing a clash between Ankara and the Kurds through the pressures that it exerted in order to force the People’s Protection forces to honor an earlier agreement whereby which that these forces will be pulling out to the eastern side of the Euphrates river after the liberation of the city of Manbij from the terrorist ISIL members. However, this pullout does not seem to include the Syrian Democratic Forces, which, according to the announcement made by the international counter-terrorism alliance, are bracing to liberate the city of Al-Rekka once and for all… (Read More)
Turkey
Opinion
“Will the prophecies of the Turkish “augur” Gen. Pekin become true…?”  (Website, Middle East)   
Military Defense - Peace Process
On August 25, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following piece by Abdul Bari Atwan: “The piece of news carried by the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper today (Thursday) was no surprise to us. Through this news, Mr. Ismail Hakki Pekin, a former Turkish diplomat and the vice chairman of the Patriotic Party, confirmed that he carried out five visits to Damascus where he met with prominent Syrian officials including President Bashar al-Assad in the framework of the efforts that he’s making to induce a rapprochement between the two neighboring countries… (Read More)
Politics
“Biden in Turkey: Fixing the bridges of the lost trust?”  (Website, Middle East)
USA EU
On August 25, the electronic Al-Modon daily newspaper carried the following report by Abdul Kader Abdelli: “The visit of the U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday to Turkey was not a mostly touristic visit unlike the previous times. Every minute of this visit can be considered to represent a message sent from one of the two American or Turkish parties to the other. There are too many messages starting with dropping the rank of the person who welcomed the U.S. vice president into a Turkish vice governor all the way to stressing on the deep friendship between the USA and Turkey… (Read More)
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