Middle East

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…

Why Donald Trump's Iran sanctions won't work

3 November 2018 9:00 am

Trump’s sanctions on Iran are unlikely to succeed

Right, a page from the Hamzanama, c.1558-73, depicting Elijah rescuing Amir Hamza's drowning grandson. Left, 'The Raven addresses an assembly of animals', c.1590.

The true face of Islam won’t be found in mosques or Muslim schools, but at the British Museum

3 November 2018 9:00 am

In Britain today, Islam in its original essence is not to be found in mosques or Muslim schools, but on…

Former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and his wife Anisa with his children (l-r) Maher, Bashar, Bassel, Majd and Bushra. Photo: Louai Beshara/ AFP/ Getty Images

How did mild-mannered eye doctor Bashar al-Assad end up a mass murderer?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘How did this mild-mannered eye doctor end up killing hundreds of thousands of people?’ someone wondered about Bashar al-Assad in…

Did Jared Kushner punish Qatar because of a building on Fifth Avenue?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

New York Talk about high life this is not. I smelled a rat long ago, but then the scent got…

Benjamin Zephaniah once found the leg of a man in the back of a Ford Cortina

5 May 2018 9:00 am

‘For me rhyming was normal,’ said Benjamin Zephaniah, reading from his autobiography on Radio 4. Back in the 1960s, on…

BBC Arabic’s version of Woman’s Hour is rather different to Radio 4’s

10 February 2018 9:00 am

When the BBC’s Arabic-language network went out on air for the first time 80 years ago, on 3 January 1938,…

How Putin came to rule the Middle East

7 October 2017 9:00 am

Russia has pulled off a diplomatic coup and emerged with superpower status in the Middle East

A carefully sanitised account of Palestinian resistance: Taha at the Young Vic reviewed

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Shubbak, meaning ‘window’ in Arabic, is a biennial festival taking place in various venues across London. The brochure reads like…

Donald Trump’s big trouble in little Qatar

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Trump’s meddling in the Middle East could end very badly

Two refugee lovers take on the world

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Every nation has the right to control its borders, but we in the West are getting a bit too comfortable…

Sebastian Gorka: Trump's foreign policy is working

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Meet Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the 45th President

Israel is now the land of ‘Trumpportunity’

18 March 2017 9:00 am

On the Israeli side of the Syrian border, near al-Quneitra, you can watch the war. From my vantage point on…

We need another Eisenhower to bring an end to the madness in the Middle East

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Sixty years ago this week all hell broke loose: Soviet tanks rumbled into Budapest and put down a nationalist uprising…

Gloriously compulsive and maddening: Adam Curtis’s HyperNormalisation reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Adam Curtis believed that 200,000 Guardian readers watching BBC2 could change the world. But this was a fantasy. In fact,…

A ziggurat of bilge: Oil at the Almeida reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Ella Hickson’s new play analyses our relationship with oil using the sketch format. First, there’s a candlelit soap opera set…

Syria and the cruel farce of ‘humanitarian intervention’

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Air-powered ‘intervention-lite’ in civil wars like Syria’s isn’t just ineffective – it’s cruel and immoral

Muslim magic – Islam has always dabbled in the occult

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Islam has always dabbled in the dark arts, says Justin Marozzi

George Galloway is terrific in this meticulous demolition of Tony Blair

10 September 2016 9:00 am

I had been wondering where Gorgeous George Galloway might pop up next. Defenestrated from his seat in Bradford West, humiliated…

An object lesson in PR from David Cameron and Justin Welby

16 April 2016 9:00 am

I don’t think there is a Royal College of Public Relations, but if there were, it should teach a course…

Why are children in Guernsey extolling Islam to their parents?

27 February 2016 9:00 am

I have never been to the island of Guernsey. This is a large world and we have a finite amount…

Spectator letters: Bombing, Botham and Steven Spielberg

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Bombers without borders Sir: To define this week’s debate as being about ‘bombing Syria’ (‘The great fake war’, 28 November)…

The pretend war: why bombing Isil won't solve the problem

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Britain, France and America are in a protracted fight against Islamic radicalism. Pity our leaders have no idea how to win it

Charles Moore’s Notes: Jeremy Corbyn, fanatic

21 November 2015 9:00 am

When Jeremy Corbyn says it is better to bring people to trial than to shoot them, he is right. So…