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Embattled Land

Dozens of wars, endless peace negotiations, terrorism and oil: The Middle East is a tinderbox of competing national and international interests beset by religious strife. The top international interests include stabilizing Iraq's fledgling democracy and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Lifting the Veil: HowáWorkingáWomenáAreáRemaking Saudi Arabia

Lifting the Veil: HowáWorkingáWomenáAreáRemaking Saudi Arabia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 23, 2015

A growing number of women in Saudi Arabia are joining the workforce and chipping away at discriminations enshrined in its laws. But they face conservative opposition and -- even now -- a ban on driving. By Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Samiha Shafy more... Comment ]

The New Kingdom: Saudi Arabia's Contradictory Transformation

The New Kingdom: Saudi Arabia's Contradictory Transformation

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 19, 2015

During his reign, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has created a new leadership role for Saudi Arabia. But his changes are filled with contradictions -- and may only make the region more unstable. By Bernhard Zand more... Comment ]

Emrah and his Brothers: Germany's Struggle for the Soul of Returning Islamists

Emrah and his Brothers: Germany's Struggle for the Soul of Returning Islamists

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 20, 2015

German Islamists are returning from war abroad, some reformed but others more dangerous than ever. Social workers, imams and extremists are fighting for their souls -- and for Germany's safety. Government officials have few answers to the problem. By Ízlem Gezer more... Comment ]

Interview with Iranian Foreign Minister: 'We Will Have Differences with US No Matter What'

Interview with Iranian Foreign Minister: 'We Will Have Differences with US No Matter What'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 16, 2015

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discusses his optimism that a deal will be reached over Tehran's nuclear program. But he warns this does not mean the country is seeking rapprochment with the West. Interview Conducted by Christiane Hoffmann more... Comment ]

Interview with SaudiáPrince Turki Bin Faisal Al Saud: 'We Try To Learn from Our Mistakes'

Interview with SaudiáPrince Turki Bin Faisal Al Saud: 'We Try To Learn from Our Mistakes'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 13, 2015

In a SPIEGEL interview, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud discusses Saudi Arabia's push for modernity, its role in the Yemeni civil war, anti-Iranian sentiment and the human rights situation in the Gulf's powerful but conservative monarchy. Interview Conducted By Bernhard Zand more... Comment ]

Syria'sáMercenaries: The Afghans Fighting Assad's War

Syria'sáMercenaries: The Afghans Fighting Assad's War

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 11, 2015

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is running out of soldiers and is forced to rely on mercenaries in his ongoing battle against rebels. Many of his foreign fighters come from Afghanistan -- men like Murad, who is now being held in Aleppo as a prisoner-of-war. By Christoph Reuter more... Comment ]

Germany's Dilemma: Critics Want Tougher Berlin Stance Against Israel

Germany's Dilemma: Critics Want Tougher Berlin Stance Against Israel

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 06, 2015

Relations between Germany and Israel are at a crossroads. Is it possible for the German government to continue to steadfastly support the country even as Jerusalem continues to refuse to allow the Palestinians to establish their own state? By Nicola AbÚ, Christiane Hoffmann, Horand Knaup, RenÚ Pfister and Christoph Schult more... Comment ]

The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State

The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 18, 2015

An Iraqi officer planned Islamic State's takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. They portray an organization that, while seemingly driven by religious fanaticism, is actually coldly calculating. By Christoph Reuter more... Comment ]

Interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi: 'The Liberation of Tikrit Is Very Encouraging'

Interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi: 'The Liberation of Tikrit Is Very Encouraging'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 03, 2015

In a SPIEGEL interview, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi discusses his disappointment over delayed American support in Baghdad's battle against the Islamic State and why it remains so difficult to prevail over the terrorist organization. Interview Conducted By Susanne Koelbl in Baghdad more... Comment ]

Proxy War in Yemen: Saudi Arabia and Iran Vie for Regional Supremacy

Proxy War in Yemen: Saudi Arabia and Iran Vie for Regional Supremacy

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 03, 2015

A Saudi Arabia-led coalition continues to bombard Yemen in an effort to stop the advance of an Iran-backed Shiite militia there. The conflict is becoming a proxy war for regional supremacy. The risks to the House of Saud are great. By Dieter Bednarz, Christoph Reuter and Bernhard Zand more... Comment ]

The Persian Paradox: Iran IsáMuch More Modern Than You Think

The Persian Paradox: Iran IsáMuch More Modern Than You Think

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 03, 2015

People in the West tend to have a monolithic view of Iran. But there's a lot more to the country than the mullah-led theocracy, and it often gets ignored. And national pride is alive and well. An Essay by Erich Follath more... Comment ]