Author Archive:

Sarah Ribbert is studying social sciences with the focus on intercultural relations at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. She is going to finish her BA this year. She works as a trainee for the MPC Journal.

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The Right to Have Rights

It was sunny in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday morning. A guest of the city’s opulent annual writers’ festival, I was about to tape a talk show at the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In the waiting area of the makeup-and-hair room, reading material was strewn on a low table: a few magazines, some flyers, and several copies of a precious pocket edition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a glossy baby-blue cover. The thirty articles of the Declaration fit onto fourteen tiny pages and still left enough room for an additional introduction, which said, in part, “These…
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A Lebanese election official empties a ballot box after the polling station closed during Lebanon's parliamentary election, in Beirut

Lebanon’s Elections and the Importance of Religion

On Sunday, Lebanese citizens will vote in national elections for the first time since 2009. These are the first elections since the passage in June 2017 of a new electoral law and the first since the 2016 Beirut municipal elections, when a grass-roots campaign won almost 40 percent of votes, challenging Lebanon’s long-standing patronage-based sectarian parties.

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GAY Rights Surface As Lebanon Prepares for Election

Ameen Rhayem could face up to a year in jail if he is charged with violating Lebanon’s Article 534 “simply for loving another man.”  The activist makes that point in a video produced by Beirut-based sexual-rights group the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) in advance of the country’s elections on Sunday, the first vote in nine years. 

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Tunisia’s Next Revolution

Protests are once again shaking Tunisia. A new finance law, which imposes drastic austerity measures on the country’s workers, has sparked a wave of resistance. Put into effect on January 1, this legislation meets the requirements of a $2.9-billion IMF loan by increasing prices on basic goods, reducing public sector employment, and hiking the value-added tax (VAT). The government is repressing the uprising harshly: it’s already killed a protester and arrested 800 others.

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Syria in the Rear-View Mirror: The Trouble with Optimism:

  It is a touching characteristic of the optimistic liberal soul that it perennially inclines to believe that bad situations cannot get worse. But of course they can and often do get worse. This would seem to make it hard to be an optimistic liberal for very long, but some people accomplish it for decades on end apparently without much effort. How do they do it?

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Female Domestic Workers in Gulf Countries

“I started ironing clothes and he started pulling me to try and rape me. I was lucky the younger brother came back and rang the doorbell–he then left,” 21-year-old “Basma N.,” (not her real name) told me. In February in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital, Basma told me that her male employer’s brother attempted to rape her twice in 2015 when she was working in Oman as a domestic worker. When conducting research on abuse of Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I spoke to 19 former domestic workers who said their employers or…
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Seasonal Sex Tourism in Egypt

Hundreds of under-age Egyptian girls enter temporary marriages with rich tourists from the Persian Gulf during the summer in return for money for their families. These unions – dubbed summer marriages – are not legally binding and end when the foreign return to their own countries.

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Inevitable Partition in Yemen?

Yemen has further split with Aden under the control of southern separatist movements. Fighting broke out after the government ignored a separatist demand for the Prime Minister and his cabinet to be dismissed. Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr was widely blamed for food shortages in the region, and this is also a major blow for Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is already battling Houthi rebels in the north. 

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Syria’s Lost Generation

As the world powers are busy carving up Syria’s new boundaries in Geneva and Sochi, a countless number of new lives and their future is not taken on priority.

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