On 3 February 2019, Nayib Bukele, a 37-year-old businessman, addressed hundreds of his followers in the heart of San Salvador. Just an hour before his speech, the country’s electoral authority confirmed that Bukele had won the presidential elections, having obtained a robust 53% of the total votes.
Five years ago, speaking from the pulpit of the ancient al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the rise of the “Islamic State” (IS). Under his personal guidance, the group was set to take control and expand its territories across Iraq and Syria, to establish a transnational “Caliphate” that was meant to be the home for all Muslims in the region and beyond. IS thus spread like wildfire all over the Middle East attracting foreign fighters from all over the world.
Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, collapsed and died on June 17th after addressing a state court during his trial for espionage charges. The ex-president and senior-figure of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood had been held in solitary confinement since his removal by a military-led coup d’etat in July 2013, and routinely denied access to medical care, family visits, and legal advice.
Because of its role as an important driver of both economic and productivity growth, development and maintenance of infrastructure network are usually a major concern to political agenda. Nevertheless, there is a widespread agreement that the current investment trend may not be sufficient to meet a constantly growing demand for infrastructures, driven by the rapid development among emerging markets. Estimates by Oxford Economics point to a structural gap that, from its 2016 level of USD 372 bln, will face an yearly average growth of 3.2% until 2040.
In early April 2019, General Khalifa Haftar instructed the Libyan National Army (LNA) to take Tripoli by force, initiating Libya’s Second War of Post-Qadhafi Succession. Drawing upon the Libya-Analysis proprietary real time militia mapping project, this paper examines the main armed groups involved in the war: ascertaining their strengths, weaknesses, command and control structures, motivations, alliances, military capacities, and financing. It illustrates how all armed groups in Libya exploit the country’s dysfunctional war economy.
Le elezioni nazionali del 12 maggio 2018, le prime dopo la sconfitta dello Stato Islamico (IS), hanno segnato un momento di grande importanza per l’Iraq, una sorta di spartiacque che ha chiuso una delle fasi più nere della storia del paese e ne ha aperta una nuova, segnata dalla voglia di riscatto e dal desiderio di ripartire.
Architecture and urbanism are definitely taking the centre stage in Saudi Arabia’s effort to increase its international outreach and visibility, as exemplified by the Kingdom’s decision to participate, for the first time, to the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Despite the geographic distance separating them, what happens in Yemen is of strong interest to Europe. And so it should be, if only for moral reasons. The human tragedy unfolding in this small nation of 28 million, bounded by the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia and Oman, should shake the conscience of humankind. While precise figures are elusive, tens of thousands of people have been killed in fighting, and tens of thousands, especially young children, have died from hunger and disease.
After four years of political and security turbulence, Iraq has now turned a new page with plenty of optimism for 2019. Back in 2014, Iraq was at the brink of failure, with the Islamic State (IS) occupying almost a third for the country, the army melting away, over three million internally displaced people seeking refuge, oil prices plummeting, Baghdad-Erbil relations at rock bottom and most Iraqis losing confidence in their ruling elite.