Hello, and welcome to the May issue of Asfar’s e-journal in 2017!
So much has happened in the world of politics since the last issue was published. Britain has started to pursue new trading relationships around the world, France has chosen a new President, and we have seen a significant number of defeats of ISIS/IS/Daesh in Iraq and Syria. All of the events that have happened around the world since the last edition have some effect on the landscape of the MENA region – both small and large. And I would like to wish all at Asfar and our regular readers a relaxed and successful exam and dissertation submission period.
In this issue I verbatim copy aspects of the new policy document of Hamas. I have chosen to provide no analysis, nor praise or condemnation. I wanted to let readers make up their own minds on whether the document will be a success, where others have failed. For those who know me, and my pro-Israeli leanings, they could probably guess that I am personally not a fan of this Hamas document, but I have chosen to remain neutral for the sake of Asfar’s reputation. Let me know your thoughts on the policy document.
Regular contributor Rich Quinlan discusses the future of Syrian refugees in the Middle East, accounting for his assessments by considering historic events – focusing particularly on the decisions made at the Evian Conference in 1938.
New contributor Tania Monica Zucconi Ruiz educates readers about the lasting ethnic and political divisions that she discovered on an ad-hoc trip to Belgrade, Serbia. Tania finds that some Bosnian communities living within Serbia, and Serbian communities living in Bosnia, are reminding other citizens of the deep divisions and tensions that have dominated Serbia and Bosnia for so many years.
Our second new contributor in this issue, Anastasia Maniglio, talks about historic mysticism and new age spiritualities, and assesses whether these are truly faith or lifestyle. Anastasia offers her personal insights into what exactly Mysticism is, how it is practiced, and its relations with the Islamic faith. This is a thought-provoking and interesting read.
Just a quick side note: For any UK-based readers, I was briefly famous for 30 seconds when I spoke in the audience of BBC Question Time on Thursday 4th May!
I hope you enjoyed reading the May 2017 issue of our e-journal, and as ever, if you have any ideas for the next edition or would like to know more about Asfar you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org