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While there is a broad range of Arabic and Persian language media outlets reporting stories from and about the Middle East, there is currently no affordable and reliable means for English speakers to gain access to this content. As a result, many 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 menu of translations 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
11-Dec-2017
Iraq
Opinion
“Iraq celebrates its victory on IS, but where is Al-Baghdadi…?”  (Website, Middle East)
Military and Defense - Terrorism
On December 11, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following editorial: “The Iraqi government officially celebrated today the conclusion of the war on the Islamic State, ISIL, as its forces have completely seized the Syrian-Iraqi borders. Mr. Haidar al-Abadi, the prime minister, said that Iraq’s next battle is against corruption. This is the largest victory for Iraq, its army and its people since the US occupation in 2003… Mr. Al-Abadi has every right to celebrate this achievement as it has wiped away a massive shame that the Iraqi state and army had suffered when this army collapsed like a spider’s web when the Islamic State’s forces marched into Mosul and the rest of the neighboring Iraqi cities… (Read More)
Politics
“Competition within Shi’i home over [Popular] Mobilization’s votes in upcoming elections”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)
Democracy and Party Politics
On December 11, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report from Baghdad: “The Iraqi blocs, parties and political figures are seeking alliances that would guarantee their formation of the next government and their earning of the prime minister’s post. Therefore, all eyes are turned towards the Popular Mobilization factions, which enjoy a wide popular base on the Iraqi street… At this level, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, and Secretary General of Badr Organization Hadi al-Amiri are considered to be the main Iraqi figures capable of drawing the Popular Mobilization factions into a political alliance that might be the largest in the coming phase, to form a new government and choose the next prime minister. And apparently, these political symbols will compete over the largest number of Popular Mobilization votes… (Read More)
Jordan
Politics
“Saudi ambassador launches violent attack on Jordanian parliamentarians…”  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy
On December 10, the electronic Rai al-Youm daily newspaper carried the following report: “The Saudi Ambassdor to Jordan, Khaled Bin Faisal attacked members of the Jordanian parliament without naming them over their criticizing of a statement issued by his embassy. He also launched a violent attack on the symbols of the Jordanian parliament about whom he said that “they do not read the legislations that they pass.” A member of the Jordanian parliament who represents the Al-Bokaa Palestinian refugees camp responded by inviting [the ambassador] to teach the American Administrations the rules of commitment to the international law since he possesses all these capacities in legislation… (Read More)
Lebanon
Opinion
“Qays Khazali in Lebanon”  (Al-Hayat, United Kingdom)
Military and Defense
On December 11, the Saudi-owned London-based Al-Hayat newspaper carried the following opinion piece by Hazem al-Amin: “Leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq Qays Khazali visited the Lebanese-Israeli border, inspected the positions of the “resistance” in it, and announced his readiness to respond to the call of the “Absent Imam” and deter the Zionist enemy once the mission of deterring the Takfiri enemy is over… Qays Khazali is in South Lebanon, Hezbollah’s military commanders are in Iraq, and Qassem Soleimani is in the Syrian Abu Kamal. So, ISIL is not the only one which believes that states are fake entities, and that borders, governments and laws are without value. But the only difference between them is in form, seeing as how Khazali came to Lebanon with an Iraqi passport, but while wearing his military uniform, and announced from South Lebanon that he was responding to the call of “the Lord of the Age… (Read More)
Politics
“Al-Hariri doesn’t seem eager to meet Geagea”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)   
Democracy and Party Politics
On December 11, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report by Hassan Salameh: “The Lebanese Forces and their Chairman, Samir Geagea, seemed in a difficult position over the past two weeks specially upon PM Sa’d al-Hariri’s return from Saudi Arabia as a result of the major “scratches” sustained by the Forces’ relationship with the Future movement as well as the Free Patriotic movement on the backdrop of Al-Hariri’s resignation from Al-Riyadh and the events that he had to deal with there… (Read More)
“The relationship between Al-Hariri, Saudi Arabia”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)   
Arab Diplomacy - Media
On December 11, the Ad-Diyyar daily carried the following report: “Nothing emerged at the level of the Saudi media indicating that the new Saudi ambassador to Lebanon has visited PM Sa’d al-Hariri at the cabinet’s headquarters or at Bayt al-Wasat. The Saudi media carried no news on any communication between the Saudi Kingdom or the Saudi officials on all levels and PM Al-Hariri… (Read More)
“Gebran Bassil: The speech of a powerful state”  (Al-Akhbar Lebanon, Lebanon)
Arab Diplomacy
On December 11, Wafik Kanso wrote the following piece in the Al-Akhbar daily newspaper: “At the meeting of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, two days ago, Lebanon, once again felt the blessings of a strong president, a president who is confident in the fact that Lebanon’s strength lies in its resistance and in its firm positions; and a president who snatches his prime minister back from Al-Riyadh’s clutches rather than a president whose utmost ambition consists of living in a palace and releasing a “declaration” under the slogan of “long lives the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… (Read More)
Middle East
Opinion
“…Two powerful messages to KSA, Egypt…”  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy - Unrest - USA EU
On December 9, Abdul Bari Atwan wrote the following piece in the electronic Rai al-Youm daily: “The US President Donald Trump was not the only one who made erroneous calculations and who failed to properly assess the Arab, Islamic reactions to his disastrous decision of acknowledging the occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli occupation state in addition to moving the US embassy there. Clearly, his closest allies in the region such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE committed a larger mistake by failing to take a powerful stand against him and warning him against the repercussions of this decision… (Read More)
Palestine
Politics
“Bahraini delegation expelled from Al-Aqsa and condemned on social media”  (Website, Middle East)   
Arab Diplomacy - Religion
On December 11, the electronic Al-Modon daily carried the following report by Adham Manasra: “Because it was the first public visit conducted in broad daylight and far away from any lagging, concealment or disguise, the Palestinian reaction – both in the media and on social media websites – was completely different and angrier this time around towards the visit conducted to Israel by a delegation from Bahrain, one which the Israeli Channel 2 said was not political, rather “an application of the message of King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa surrounding tolerance, coexistence and dialogue between religions.” The visit of the Bahraini delegation, which included 24 people and is affiliated with “This is Bahrain” association, came at the most critical time, as the Palestinians in the occupied territories are mad about US President Donald Trump’s proclamation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital… (Read More)
Saudi Arabia
Opinion
“What lies behind Saudi ambassador’s threat to Jordanians?”  (Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom)   
Arab Diplomacy - Religion
On December 11, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Amman Prince Khaled Bin Faisal Bin Turki issued threats to the Jordanians against the backdrop of slogans raised during the recent Jordanian demonstrations which attacked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and US President Donald Trump, thus assuring they had “insulted the symbols of the Kingdom.” Likewise, he attacked some Jordanian deputies who had recently criticized the warning issued by the Kingdom’s embassy to the Saudi nationals against participating in the demonstrations protesting American President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, thus accusing them of “not knowing their laws,” which prohibited foreigners from demonstrating… (Read More)
Politics
“Unlike mosques around the world, Jerusalem absent from sermons at Great Mosque, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi”  (Website, Middle East)
Religion
On December 8, the Palestinian Quds News website carried the following report from Saudi Arabia by its editing team: “Jerusalem City was absent from the Friday sermons delivered at the Great Mosque and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi [The Prophet’s Mosque], unlike the remaining Arab mosques where the sermons stressed their rejection of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation entity. Hence, the Great Mosque’s imam and speaker, Sheikh Maher Bin Hamad al-Mueaqly, settled for mentioning Jerusalem in one sentence at the beginning of his sermon, in which he solely addressed the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in showing solidarity with and protecting the sanctities of the Muslims. Al-Mueaqly thus said: “The Kingdom has always insisted and continues to insist on the legitimate rights of the honourable Palestinian people… (Read More)
“Prince Mutaib released following a mercy-seeking letter…”  (Ad-Diyyar, Lebanon)
Judicial Affairs
On December 10, the Ad-Diyyar daily newspaper carried the following report: “Prince Mutaib Bin Abdullah, the former commander of the National Guards, tendered his resignation to the Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense, Mohammad Bin Salman, coupled with a mercy-seeking letter where he asked King Salman for his forgiveness and pardon and for releasing him from his prison at the Ritz Carlton of Al-Riyadh… (Read More)
Tunisia
Politics
Imed Daimi on Essebsi’s summoning of US ambassador  (Website, Middle East)
Arab Diplomacy - USA EU
On December 8, Deputy Head of Tounes al-Irada [Tunisia Will] Movement Imed Daimi wrote the following on his Facebook page: “Highly Important: The news surrounding President [Beji Caid] Essebsi’s reception of the American ambassador in Tunis today “to convey Tunisia’s rejection of Trump’s decision” was widely circulated by local and foreign media outlets. The report had been quoted from Presidential Advisor Noureddine Ben Ticha, who is being prosecuted against the backdrop of fabrication charges, and who said that the president “summoned the US ambassador today on Friday.” However, the alleged meeting did not earn any media coverage, neither in the local news, nor in the paper and online press, nor even on the website of the presidency of the republic, which carried the president’s activities for the day. So, theoretically, we are facing one of four options… (Read More)
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