Data rights groups are warning of privacy violations and risks to vulnerable communities after Abu Dhabi deployed scanners at border crossings, malls and other public locations that could detect COVID-19 in seconds.
No strangers to temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), Iraqis are adept at finding ways to stay cool in summer. But a spate of recent power cuts has exposed a deep divide between the heatwave haves and have-nots.
BEIRUT, June 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Syrian refugee girls are increasingly at risk of child marriage due to a surge in pandemic-linked poverty, legal loopholes and long-term displacement in countries across the Middle East and North Africa, charity Save the Children said on Friday.
BEIRUT, June 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After driving for days on the rough roads of southern Yemen, Radwan Hizam finally reached the idyllic spot where he hoped his bees could feed from flowering Sidr trees to produce their world-renowned honey. But he was too late.
BEIRUT, June 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With perfect prose, sizzling sarcasm and a host of anonymous accounts, Malcolm Bidali has waged a one-man social media campaign to improve working conditions for migrant labourers in Qatar for nearly a year.
“It kind of makes me feel like Batman or Superman. You can say the things you want to say, with your own voice and your own style,” said Bidali, 28, speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Doha.
[Produced alongside Thomson Reuters Foundation’s digital correspondent Avi Asher-Schapiro and published here on June 3, 2021]
When he was growing up in a small Egyptian town outside Cairo, Omar began feeling sexually attracted to other men. Too afraid to talk to family or friends, he turned to Facebook for help, shielding his identity with a false name.
Scouring social media for information and advice is a common recourse for young men and women who think they may be gay and live in socially conservative Arab societies.
But it can lead them to therapists, spiritual leaders and influencers promising to “cure the affliction” of homosexuality through so-called conversion therapy – practices that aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Money makes the world go round” is a well-known saying. In Iraq, however, it is “dirty money”. Even after more than a year living in Baghdad, I still got surprised by how much of public life in the war-weary country relied on the circulation of illicit funds – and how formalised this corruption had become.
May 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Conflict broke out this month between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip – and big tech has not been spared.
Instagram and Twitter have blamed technical errors for deleting posts mentioning the possible eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, but data rights groups fear “discriminatory” algorithms are at work and want greater transparency.
On May 19, I took part in a panel hosted by the UCLA Center for Middle East Development titled, “Can the US Still Promote Democracy in the MENA Region?” I noted the varied approaches to democracy promotion that the US has adopted across the Middle East – with little success. Watch the full panel discussion here: