This study focuses on the areas permanently under Kurdish control with regime presence. These areas have experienced a quite different trajectory because they have been least affected by military fighting. While the human losses and damage suffered at the hands of ISIS should not be belittled, this area has hardly experienced aerial bombardments or fighting on the ground. Kurdish actors, for a long time tightly controlled by the Syrian regime, have been able to develop governance structures in parallel to the ones set up by the regime. While none of the Kurdish parties has openly called for independence understood as separation from Syria, Kurdish actors have come up with governance structures that explore the possibilities of autonomy within a federal state. They have come up with a constitution and an institutional design, and as far as it is in the range of their possibilities, they have been working on implementing it.
This selection of quotation and thoughts translated from German to English and Arabic from his works aims to illustrate the impact and the legacy of Heinrich Böll. However, most of all they are intended to inspire thinking which, at best leads to action in line with tradition of aphorisms in the Age of Enlightenment. Our foundation is dedicated to the thoughts and actions of its namesake Heinrich Böll. His exemplary dedication spurs us on to fight for the dignity of each and every person, for their fundamental rights and to stand up for a living democracy.
Lebanon, with very little legislation regarding privacy rights to begin with, has not yet introduced legislation regarding the protection of personal data. What are the reasons for this circumstances and what barriers do they face in putting the issue of data protection and privacy rights on the public agenda? A paper by Katharina Schmidt.
Politics are brimming with metaphoric references to games – be it the famous “Great Game” as the diplomatic confrontation of great powers in Asia at the beginning of the 20th century was referred to, the understanding of strategic moves in a region as a “chess board,” war “theatres” or references to the “players,” the strong of them framed as “actors,” the weak as “pawns”, or the crazy ones behaving like “wild cards.”
Where is "home" for the permanently displaced? Haid N Haid, Syrian Columnists and Chatham House Fellow, presents the findings of his study on how (and where) citizens of Daraya see their future in light of the mounting pressure Syrian refugees are facing to return home with no clear plans to ensure the security or protection of returnees or any guarantees to ensure their right to return to their own properties.
Put ‘Minorities in the Middle East’ into any search engine and a huge volume of articles are displayed insinuating that ethnic, tribal, family and sectarian affiliations are the only relevant factors needed to aid an understanding of the politics and societies of the Maghreb and Mashreq. Be it the often praised ‘mosaic’ of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, or the explanation and anticipation of actual and potential conflicts in the Middle East, that are shaped by ethnic, tribal or confessional affiliations, the reading has a flavour of exoticism and orientalism. So for this issue of Perspectives, we decided to ask authors in a broader sense about minority-majority relationships that can, but do not necessarily have to, tackle ethnic or confessional subjects.
The Right to Belong to a Political Community: Syrian refugees in Lebanon face difficulties in their legal status and in the possibilities they have to claim rights. The reasons are complex and go far beyond the Lebanese context, however, that most of them are illegal is crucial since revealing themselves to the authority with any claim is a risk. Antonia Klein studied the impact of gaps in international law adapting to the world refugee situation and looks at patterns in Lebanon.