Middle East Solidarity magazine

Issue 13 – Viral Resistance?

available from April 2020

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In this issue … Our collection of feature articles look back at a year of popular revolts and forward to the intensifying crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sudan continues to resist

Revolutionary organisations are stepping into the gap left by the failures of the state.

Algeria’s year in the streets

Shelagh Smith draws up a balance sheet of the popular movement and Kamal Aissat analyses Beijaia’s general strike.

‘We just want them all to go’ – Iraqi protesters

Irang Bak speaks to Iraqi activists about the wave of mass demonstrations demanding radical political and social change.

Refugees and the Lebanese revolution 

Sophie Chamas discusses the hopes and contradictions at the heart of Lebanon’s rebellion.

First person

‘You can’t liberate the land without liberating women’

Manar Raje and Haya Abu Shukhaidem speak out on violence against women in Palestine.

A letter from Raqqa

Khaled, who survived three years in hiding during the ISIS occupation of Raqqa sends a message of solidarity to locked-down London.

Gaza’s daily struggle for survival

Ibtisam speaks to Dave Clinch about Palestinians’ fears over coronavirus after years of Israeli attacks on Gaza’s health system.

News reports

Coronavirus crisis hits region

Hospitals in firing line in Syria offensive

Secret police benefit from Egypt-Israel gas deals


Saudi state spreads the virus of sectarian hate

The Shi’a community is being scapegoated by the regime writes Ameen Nemer. 

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 12

available from October 2019

Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to order from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a [ME_Solidarity_issue_12_FINALWEB] Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available). Screenshot 2019-10-20 at 21.59.40

Cover story

Outsourcing Fortress Europe: Sounding the Alarm for Solidarity

Thom Tyerman and Kashef recount the work of Alarm Phone, a project which helps save lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Libyan ‘coastguards’ who smuggle people

Julie Henri investigates how EU policies have benefitted Libyan pirates and people-smugglers.

Rebranding Sudan’s brutal militia

The Rapid Support Forces played a key role in the genocide in Darfur. Marwa Jalal analyses how the outsourcing of Europe’s border regime empowered them.


Is Algeria on the road to a second republic?

Ten months into the uprising, Samir Larabi assesses the balance of forces between the people and the state.

‘They take our flags: that’s why we continue to march’

Sheila Amrouche interviews Algerian teacher activist Henia Sadi about the struggle for justice.

Sowing the seeds of hunger in Iraq

How US agribusinesses reaped the rewards of occupation and war: Olivia Palmer investigates.

First person

‘The regime interfered in every aspect of life at university’

Dr Iman Hamza reports from the campuses in Sudan.


Syrian refugees face disaster as Turkey prepares for war

Erdogan’s plans to create “safe zone” in northern Syria aim to destroy Kurdish autonomy.

Last stand of the Syrian rebellion?
The Assad regime’s brutal assault on Idlib and Hama will not be forgotten.

News reports

  • Sudan’s new government courts Gulf support

  • Thousands jailed in Egypt after street protests over corruption

Campaign reports

  • Solidarity with Algerian political prisoners

  • DSEI arms fair’s “death market” challenged

Campaign guide

No more campus collusion with al-Sisi’s regime

Back page

What is driving Iraq protests?

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 11

available from July 2019

Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to order from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a pdf [Middle_East_Solidarity11_FINAL_WEB] Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available).

Cover story

Sudan: the regime strikes back
Bolstered by the support of their regional allies, El Bashir’s generals are trying to snuff out the mass movement, warns Anne Alexander.

‘Bullets cannot kill the desire for freedom’
The brutal attack on the sit-in at the army headquarters will not crush the desire for revolutionary change says Zeinab Ahmed.

Algeria: the storm breaks
A mass movement on an extraordinary scale seems set on a collision course with the military core of Algeria’s authoritarian regime. With Gianni Del Panta, Lemnaouar Hamamouche, Kamel Aissat and Selma Oumari.


‘I am my own guardian’
Women are speaking out against Saudi Arabia’s oppressive male guardianship system, writes Ghadeer

First person

‘We will not be party to a war atrocity’
Gianni Del Panta interviews Genoa dockworkers who went on strike to stop a Saudi ship from loading military equipment.

Last stand of the Syrian rebellion?
The Assad regime’s brutal assault on Idlib and Hama will not be forgotten.

News reports

  • Court win boosts battle to stop Saudi arms sales
  • Morsi murdered by medical neglect
  • Moroccan teachers and medical students lead new wave of protests

Campaign reports

  • Sudan solidarity goes global
  • Algerian activists mobilise in London; Trade unionists rally support for uprisings
  • Ahed Tamimi in London; Campaign launched for Louisa Hanoune

Art Appeal
Fundraiser for injured Sudanese protesters

Back page
What lies behind the US drive to war with Iran?

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 10

available from March 2019

Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to order from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a pdf [MENA Solidarity issue 10_FINAL_WEB] Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available).

Cover story

Sudan rises
After thirty years of dictatorship and war, people across Sudan are on the streets demanding change.  Irang Bak analyses the roots of the current uprising.

‘We are no longer scared of death’
Fatima Joda reports from the frontline of protest in Khartoum

‘We want to see an African Spring’
Dr Sara Abdelgalil of the Sudan Doctors’ Union in the UK calls for solidarity


UKHE Plc: Universities scramble for Middle Eastern markets
Anne Alexander and Alice Finden explore how repressive regimes in the UAE and Egypt are set to benefit from universities’ overseas expansion while Ioana Cerasella Chis reports on how trade unions are challenging college managers’ drive to put profit before people.

First person

Four thousand years of Palestine
Historian Nur Masalha talks to Miriam Scharf about his new book


‘This regime has a phobia of revolution’
Egyptian activist Taher Mokhtar analyses the military dictatorship’s strengths and weaknesses.

News reports

Yemeni workers strike back
YouTube hit triggers repression for Moroccan cultural association
The new battle for Afrin  

Campaign reports

Giulio Regeni and Egypt’s disappeared remembered
Activist reinstated by Dudley Council after false antisemitism claim
‘No war, no warming’: protest hits BP’s exhibition sponsorship

Campaign guide

How you can support the Sudanese revolution; Egyptian executions

Background briefing

Israeli election rivals stoke regional tensions

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 9

available from October 2018

Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to buy from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a pdf [MESM_9_FINAL_lowres]. Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available).

Cover story

Resisting the Kingdom of Fear

The brutal rulers of Arabia have treated the country as their personal property for generations. Ameen Nemer assesses the state of resistance to Saudi rule.


Inside the military-academic complex

A special investigation in collaboration with Demilitarise Cambridge student group exposes the University of Cambridge’s complicity in war and repression across the Middle East

First person

‘We just bring out what is human’
Lead actor in ‘The Jungle’. Ammar Haj Ahmad interviewed about his journey from Syria to the West End.

Arts and Culture

‘The Jungle’ reviewed


Basra’s summer of discontent

The Iraqi port city of Basra has seen a major round of protests against corruption and lack of basic services

Promise of a dream?

How Sisi’s real estate salesmen are luring UK universities to Egypt

University of Liverpool: activists hit back at new ‘partnership’

Leon Rocha reports on a campaign against whitewashing human rights abuses

News reports

Mass protests greet conviction of Hirak activists in ‘judicial massacre’
What lies behind Trump’s attack on UNRWA’s support for Palestinians?
Freedom Flotilla stormed by Israeli Navy

Campaign reports

Trade unionists launch campaign against IHRA antisemitism definition
Hunger strike exposes brutality of Bahraini prisons
Egyptian lawyer’s detention extended
Farcical mass trial brings more death sentences

Campaign guide

Solidarity with Israa Al-Ghomgham; Demilitarise Cambridge

Back page

Open letter: ‘We will speak out against Israel’s history of racism’

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 8

available from May 2018

Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to buy from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a pdf [MESM 8 FINAL_lowres]. Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available).

Cover story
Jerusalem: whose capital?
Miriam Scharf debunks claims of 3,000 years of “Jewish sovereignty”

This is Bahrain
Right-wing Zionists, Evangelical Christians and Bahrain’s repressive monarchy are working together to burnish the royal family’s tarnished image.
The end of the two-state solution?
The Palestinian Authority has led the Palestinian movement into a dead-end, argues Richard Donnelly

Human rights at the crossroads
The Bahraini government is using the rhetoric of human rights to cover up ongoing abuses and repression
Resistance is still alive
Despite the difficulties of organising under intense repression, Egyptian trade unionists continue to fight back, says Fatma Ramadan

Knowledge itself is suspect
The Egyptian authorities’ fear of academic inquiry has led to tragic results, Khaled Fahmy argues.

First person
Eyewitness to Turkish state repression
‘B’ tells the story of how she was forced to flee her job as a lecturer for signing a peace petition
Anti-racist unity helped bring Ibrahim home
Memet Uludag tells the story behind the battle to free Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa from jail in Egypt
We will have justice for Giulio
Laurie Blair demands answers from the Egyptian regime on forced disappearances

News reports

  • Qatar: a major step forward for workers’ rights?
  • Airstrikes hit Syrian regime but aid money goes short;
  • Two years without Giulio marked by Italian protests
  • One of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists

Campaign reports

  • Demanding justice for Egypt’s disappeared
  • Standing up for LGBT+ in Egypt
  • Saudi prince not welcome

Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 7Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 09.28.05

Issue 7 available from October 2017

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop

A pdf version is available to download here: Middle East Solidarity issue 7

On the cover:

Striking back: Egyptian and Algerian working between repression and revolt

Despite harsh repression, the organised working class remain a key driver of social protest across the Middle East


Libya: from revolution to civil car

Richard Donnelly explores how a popular revolution turned into a bloody civil war stoked by regional and global powers

Mahalla defies Egypt’s generals to demand a pay rise

Anne Alexander and Tom Kay analyse the roots of a mass strike by textile workers in the Misr Spinning company in Egypt

Does Rouïba’s revolt herald Algeria’s coming storm?

Gianni Del Panta argues that a major walkout in October 2016 by workers in Algeria’s state-owned heavy industries has to be understood in the context of a much wider social rebellion

First Person

Bil’in’s creative resistance to injustice

Saeb Kasm speaks to Emad and Iyad about their struggle for justice


Women at work

Trade unionist Souad Jellal analyses the role of working women in Morocco in the struggle for liberation from oppression

News and campaign reports

Rif prisoners launch hunger strike; Mass arrests target LGBT Egyptians; Bahraini activist’s family charged after five minutes in court; Cairo Islanders defend their homes; Solidarity with Egyptian workers; Arms Fair arrests; Trade unionists back Rif petition

Middle East Solidarity magazine Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 09.06.32

Issue 6 available from July 2017

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop

A pdf version is available to download here: Middle East Solidarity issue 6

NB. Bookmarks bookshop is closed the week beginning 3 July, but print copies are available from Student Central. Print copies will also be available from Duck and Dive bar throughout the Marxism Festival, and from the week beginning 10 July back at Bookmarks.

On the cover:

Palestine: Resistance is Still Fertile

Following a mass campaign of solidarity with hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners, Abdulwahhab Sabbah finds a mood of defiance on the West Bank


South Yemen erupts

Mirfat Sulaiman explores the growing mood of social rebellion in Aden as pressure for Southern independence grows

The Egyptian deep state’s war on journalism

Aya Nader reports on the battle for media freedoms and the right to report has become a frontline in the struggle against repression in Egypt

First Person

Hostage to Libya’s people smugglers

Sudanese activist Asim Bahr Abyad recounts his nightmare journey through Libya to France

‘Speak out for Mohamed Ramadan’

Egyptian lawyer and former political prisoner Mahienour el-Massry appeals for solidarity with a campaigning lawyer who fought to defend the poor from property developers and protesters from the generals


The ugly face of Qatar’s beautiful game

Abuse of migrant workers remains at the heart of the 2022 World Cup project, despite promises of reform, reports Fabien Goa

Polarised futures?

Marc Owen Jones analyses how Trump’s visit to the Gulf has stoked sectarianism and repression while Anne Alexander examines Qatar-Saudi rivalries

News and campaign reports

Egypt’s Christians between terror and repression; Protests defy Sisi over Islands’ sell-off; Cement workers jailed; Rif rebellion comes to Rabat; Campaigners gear up for arms fair protests; Lecturers’ union discusses Egypt campaign

Arts and Culture

Sudan’s creative forces on display

Middle East Solidarity magazine Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 18.33.16

Issue 5 available from March 2017

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop
A pdf version is available to download here Middle East Solidarity Magazine Issue 5 – Web Version

On the cover:

Building the resistance to Trump: US activists speak

Middle East Solidarity talks to campaigners from across the US about the growing movement against the new president


Inside Egypt’s social crisis

Anger and frustration flares into strikes and protests as the Sisi regime imposes subsidy cuts, drastic austerity measures and attacks on workers’ living standards.

Rebellion rocks the Rif

Mehdi Rafiq analyses the state of Morocco’s social movements after a new upsurge of protest engulfs the impoverished North East of the country.

First Person

‘These attacks are war crimes’

The British government has blood on its hands for aiding and abetting the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen, says Kim Sharif


A struggle for dignity

Alberto Torres examines how Palestinian prisoners organise and resist, even within the walls of Israeli jails

News and campaign reports

Aden University students walk out over corruption; Protests across Italy mark anniversary of Giulio Regeni’s abduction; Hundreds of thousands flee Mosul; Activists rally for Sinai Christians; Bahrain executions spark fury at British complicity; Anti-semitism claims challenged; BDS movement victory at Manchester University; Egypt disappearances in the spotlight at campaign launch; Global solidarity for arrested Suez food workers

Issue 4 available from October 2016mesm4_cover

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop
A pdf version is available to download here (Middle East Solidarity Magazine issue 4 – web version)

On the cover:

Made in Europe: the arsenal of al-Sisi’s security state

Middle East Solidarity’s special investigation explores the European foundations of the Egyptian security state.


Infographic: al-Sisi’s arsenal

In figures, the arms and security deals which equip Egypt’s security forces and military.

A new phase in Bahrain’s counter-revolution

Luke G. G. Bhatia argues that the jailing of moderate opposition leaders and increased repression of human rights activists marks a change of strategy for the Bahraini regime

First person

Iraq: the legacy of occupation

Ali Ali reports on daily life for Baghdadis amid pollution and protests


Machinery of Injustice

Campaigning lawyer Mahmoud Belal reveals the inner workings of Egypt’s brutal justice system

News and campaign reports

Workers defy shipyard’s military bosses; “Court ruling won’t stop us”, say Egyptian rights activists; Global powers fuel Syria war; Italian campaigners vow to keep up the pressure for justice for Giulio Regeni, plus reports on the Truth for Giulio campaign in the UK, Lecturers’ union condemns attacks on Turkish colleagues, trade unionists take a stand for Alexandria Shipyard workers

Back page

One day in Greece

Life for Syrian refugees in the new military-run camps is harsh, reports Sara Olsson

MESM_frontcover_issue3Issue 3 available from April 2016

On the cover: Syria: imperialist powers from west and east plan a carve-up

Ceasefire talks involving opposition and regime forces in Syria will be driven by imperialist competition to dominate the country from without, not by the needs of its people, warns Ghayath Naisse.

First person: Britain teaches our government how to cover up, says Farida Ghulam, a leading figure in Bahrain’s opposition al-Wa’ad Party, and wife of political prisoner Ebrahim Sharif, the party’s secretary-general.


Morocco – Sparks of resistance to austerity: Medical students and trainee teachers take on bursary cuts while candle-lit marches challenge electricity price hikes: Mohamed Boutayeb reports.

Western Sahara at the crossroads: Frustrations over the lack of progress in the struggle for freedom in ‘Africa’s last colony’ are reaching boiling point, Sahrawi activists tell Alice Finden and Sara Olsson

Challenging the climate of fear: Across Europe, governments are fuelling racism and Islamophobia through new counter-terrorism laws. Middle East Solidarity speaks to activists from Britain and France who are on the frontline of resistance to these tactics of divide and rule.

Plus news and campaign reports: Egyptian doctors strike against police violence, Unemployed protests erupt in Tunisia, Giulio Regeni’s case sheds light on disappearances in Egypt, Academics take a stand against Turkey’s war on the Kurds; Hundreds sign Palestine commitment;

Opinion – A thorn in the regime’s side: Khaled Abdelrahman exposes the hypocrisy of the Egyptian authorities’ persecution of campaigning NGOs

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop
A pdf version is available to download here (MESM_issue3_Spring2016)

MENA 2 front coverIssue 2 – Autumn 2015

On the cover: Egypt’s military dictator not welcome here Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell back the campaign to stop Sisi’s visit to the UK


LGBT lives in Egypt and Lebanon: surviving moral panics and state homophobia Alice Finden explores the complex and varied nature of campaigns of homophobic repression in Egypt and Lebanon

Global University Inc. Are UK universities are putting lucrative research and teaching contracts before human rights and academic freedoms?

Between two walls: Syrian refugees speak out: Courage and desperation behind the headlines: Nabil and Mohammed make the perilous journey to Europe

Letter: Mahienour battles for justice from inside Damanhour women’s prison

Opinion: Egypt’s gift to investors Mohamed Omran challenges illusions in the new Suez Canal

News reports: Irish teenager facing mass trial in Egypt; Bahrain prison’s revolving door; Egypt’s civil servants’ jobs protest; Union independence attacked; Anti-corruption movement shakes Iraq; Drones: lethal robots kill thousands

Campaign reports: Palestine drone protesters face court; BDS activists demand ‘Fair Play for Palestine’; Photostory: Egypt prisoner solidarity campaign goes global; Asylum win for Isa al-Ali; Bahrain Teachers’ leader denied medical care; Activists deliver Calais solidarity; New book: Bahrain’s Uprising; Academics and students under fire

Guest columnist: Lebanon’s rot starts at the top
Haytham Cero investigates the politics of Beirut’s rubbish crisis

Events in the Middle East often dominate the news, but it is the stories of war, sectarian violence and western military intervention which grab the headlines. Middle East Solidarity  shows a different side to the region. We report on resistance to repression and imperialism from Morocco to Yemen, covering the strikes and protests which are missed by the mainstream media. We hope to carry the voices and stories of the women and men who are still fighting for bread, freedom and social justice to new audiences. Our practical guides to campaigning and resources for activists aim to build a stronger solidarity movement.

Middle East Solidarity is a joint project of MENA Solidarity Network, Egypt Solidarity Initiative and Bahrain Watch, and is supported by funding from UCU, PCS, NUT and a number of Trades Union Councils and local trade union branches.

Print copies £3 each or £20 for 10 (plus postage). Order direct from Bookmarks Bookshop
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Previous issues:

MESolidarity_coverMay2015_webIssue 1 – Spring 2015 – download a pdf copy (large file 6Mb) MENA solidarity for web