Middle East Sun Feb 25 6:17 AM
Nissim Baruch Black: the rapper who gave up bling for Jewish redemption
The former drug dealer tells of his journey from a tough Seattle neighbourhood to an ultra-orthodox family life in Jerusalem. Once he rapped about gangs, guns and drugs. But since swapping his gold jewellery for a black hat, the message of Nissim Baruch Black's music has been one of hope and redemption.
Feb 25 12:04AM Guardian-MiddleEast

The Observer view on the UN failure to stop slaughter in eastern Ghouta | Observer editorial
As war in Syria enters its eighth year with an upsurge in death and destruction, the future of global governance looks bleak The world has come to expect brutality from the regime of Bashar al-Assad. As Syria's civil war enters its eighth year next month, the suffering of the besieged people of eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, is as extreme as anything seen since this appalling conflict began. Less expected, perhaps, is the shaming inability, or unwillingness, of the international community to put a stop to this latest upsurge in death and destruction.
Feb 25 12:02AM Guardian-MiddleEast

Waiting for Putin and Assad to run out of people to kill. Is that our plan? | Ian Bond
The response to years of atrocities enacted by the Syrian leader and his allies has been shameful. We should reconsider the use of force on them. It has been a quieter than average week in Syria.
Feb 25 12:01AM Guardian-MiddleEast

U.N. Security Council Votes in Favor of Syria Cease-Fire After Week of Bloodshed
The Council approved an immediate 30-day cease-fire after a recent bombardment of the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta killed hundreds of civilians.
Feb 24 9:28PM NYTimes

UN security council votes unanimously for month-long Syria ceasefire
United Nations votes to allow humanitarian access and evacuationsMoscow mired in Syria as Putin's gameplan becomes bogged down. The UN security council voted unanimously on Saturday for a month-long ceasefire across Syria to allow for humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation. Related: Syria death toll over 500 as eastern Ghouta bombing continues Continue reading.
Feb 24 8:35PM Guardian-MiddleEast

Two car bombs kill at least six and wound 43 in Yemen city of Aden
Isis says it carried out attacks, aimed at anti-terrorism camp and office of the separatist STC Two car bombs killed at least six people and wounded 43 in Yemen's southern city of Aden on Saturday, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State. The first bomb targeted an anti-terrorism military camp with detention facilities for suspected militants, while the other targeted an office for the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) which is also the residence of Aden's former governor, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, witnesses and officials said. Al-Zubaidi was not present when the bomb went off.
Feb 24 6:39PM Guardian-MiddleEast

Women Are Free, and Armed, in Kurdish-Controlled Northern Syria
Women wield significant authority in northern Syria in the police, the courts and the militias and the push for gender equality is spreading from Kurdish-majority areas to conservative Arab ones.
Feb 24 5:00PM NYTimes

Ex-imam says Muslim call to prayer shows power and control over the country
Tomas Samuel's analysis holds true not just for the call to prayer in Sweden, but all over the West. Ex-Imam about Muslim prayer call: 'Shows power and control over the country,' translated from Ex-imam om muslimska bneutrop: 'Visar p makt och kontroll ver landet,' by Anna Ernius, Samtiden, February 23, 2018: ISLAM.
Feb 24 2:35PM jihadwatch.org

India: Muslims beat Hindu women for passing too close to a mosque, three hospitalized
The treatment of this Hindu woman is based upon Islam's idea that Islam must dominate and not be dominated, and so kuffar must be punished if they look as if they're getting out of line. This is the treatment of women that Democrats are intent on bringing to the West, as they denounce as racist, bigoted and Islamophobic any attempt to stop it.
Feb 24 2:32PM Geller Report

Syria death toll nears 500 as eastern Ghouta bombing continues
Scale of attacks preventing recovery of bodies as medics struggle to treat injured Bombing raids have killed more Syrians in the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta before a delayed UN vote on a ceasefire to allow medical and food aid to reach civilians. Nearly a week into one of the most fierce assaults of Syria's long civil war, nearly 500 people were dead and hundreds more injured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Related: 'We can change this reality': the women sharing news of war in Ghouta In an attempt to convey the desperate and unyielding misery, the United Nations Children's Fund released a blank statement on 20 February.
Feb 24 1:23PM Guardian-MiddleEast

The Syrian teenager tweeting the horror of life in Ghouta - video
Muhammad Najem, a? 15?-?year?-?old ?resident of the ?devastated rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, is using social media to share videos of daily bombardments, and food and medical shortages. With hundreds of civilians killed this week alone, Muhammad's latest posts have called on the international community to take action and accused President Bashar al-Assad of killing his childhood'We can change this reality': the women sharing news of war in GhoutaUN security council fails to agree on Syria ceasefire after second day of talks Continue reading..
Feb 24 8:56AM Guardian-MiddleEast

'We can change this reality': the women sharing news of war in Ghouta
As bombs fall on the besieged area of Syria, women's voices are at the forefront When the bombs start falling, two dozen adults and children gather in one room in Bayan Wehan's home in besieged eastern Ghouta, Syria. They hold hands, hug each other and try to find hope. I put my brother's daughter in my lap, she is five-years-old, and I try to make her forget the shelling noises.
Feb 24 7:00AM Guardian-MiddleEast

Hard-Line Supporter of Israel Offers to Pay for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
The State Department is reviewing whether the offer by Sheldon Adelson to donate up to an estimated $500 million is legal.
Feb 24 4:11AM NYTimes

Lost Tapes' series examines Malcolm X through rare footage
Malcolm X was reviled and adored during his lifetime thanks to his views of black nationalism and "by any means necessary" approach to battle racial discrimination. Following his assassination, the civil rights advocate's popularity was revived by hip-hop artists in the late 1980s and early '90s and his image began appearing on clothing, college dorm posters and eventually in a Spike Lee 1992 biopic.
Feb 24 3:15AM ABC News

US brings forward Jerusalem embassy opening to May
Ceremony timed to coincide with 70th anniversary of Israel's independence The US expects to open its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem in May, officials have said, bringing forward Donald Trump's contentious plan forward by at least a year. US officials said the move was to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel. The country declared independence on 14 May 1948, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned at the embassy in mid-May.
Feb 23 5:45PM Guardian-MiddleEast

Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin? | David Graeber
Islamist militants - with Turkish army support - are wreaking havoc with a pocket of peace and sanity in the Syrian war. Three years ago the world watched a ragtag band of men and women fighters in the Syrian town of Kobane, most armed only with Kalashnikovs, hold off a vast army of Islamist militants with tanks, artillery and overwhelming logistical superiority. The defenders insisted they were acting in the name of revolutionary feminist democracy.
Feb 23 5:10PM Guardian-MiddleEast

Eastern Ghouta: Macron and Merkel urge Putin to back ceasefire
UN security council to vote on resolution to end bloodshed in rebel-held Syrian enclave Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel wrote to Russia's Vladimir Putin on Friday urging him to back a UN security council resolution for a ceasefire in Syria to end one of the deadliest bombing campaigns of the war, France's presidency said. The letter, sent while the French president and the German chancellor were at an EU summit in Brussels, asked Russia to support the draft resolution calling for a 30-day truce, mainly to allow aid to reach besieged eastern Ghouta and allow evacuations. Eastern Ghouta is the last rebel-held enclave bordering the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Feb 23 3:09PM Guardian-MiddleEast

Is Black Panther Islamophobic?
Wallahi (by God) I will shoot her right now," says the man, obviously Muslim from his Middle Eastern headgear, as he places a gun to a girl's head. Without spoiling the movie Black Panther for those who have not seen it yet, this is part of a scene in which the soon-to-be king attacks a convey of trucks carrying abducted women.
Feb 23 1:08PM Middle East Eye

Saudi Arabia Plans to Invest $64 Billion in Entertainment
Saudi Arabia is preparing to pump $64 billion into its nascent entertainment industry as part of Vision 2030, the social and economic reform program spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Construction is already underway on an opera house in the capital Riyadh, and the country plans to host 5,000 entertainment events this year, the BBC reports, citing the Saudi General Entertainment Authority.
Feb 23 6:15AM Fortune

Syrian Militias Enter Afrin, Dealing a Setback to Turkey
Pro-government militias entered the northwest enclave in support of Kurdish fighters to broad welcome from residents, but not from Turkey.
Feb 23 5:39AM NYTimes