Inside the Newsroom newsletter- Weekly round-up of Middle East News

Inside the Newsroom is a newsletter on international news, a podcast about the journalists behind them and a job board created by WSJ journalist Daniel Levitt. Together we co-write the Wednesday edition which focuses on the Middle East.

🌍 Inside The Middle East — April 1

Hello folks, happy Thursday and April 1st! Hope everyone continues to be safe and well. It was another busy week in the Middle East, so we’ll get straight into it… Today we’ll visit Palestine where the U.S. donated $15 million in aid to help fight Covid-19; Iran who signed an historic cooperation agreement with China; Jerusalem where Christians and Jews are celebrating Holy Week and Passover; Egypt where the cargo tanker blocking the Suez Canal is finally free; and the UK whose government is be

🌍 Inside The Middle East — March 25

Happy Thursday folks! It’s time for another edition of Inside The Middle East where we round up the latest news from the region. Make sure you read last week’s recap of the 10th anniversary of Syria’s devastating civil war, where we dissected why the war started in the first place, what’s happened since, and what’s next for the country of 17 million. Today we’ll visit the Persian world, who’s celebrating its new year by eating lucky foods and jumping over fires; Turkey whose government pulled o

🇸🇾 10 Years of Syrian Civil War

Hello folks. Today we’ll be switching things up slightly to remember the 10th anniversary of the start of the Syrian Civil War, which has so far killed almost 600,000 people and displaced more than six million, many of whom have been forced from their homes two or three times. But like most wars, we’ll probably never know the true cost of human life. We’ll answer as many questions as possible, such as why the war started in the first place? What are some of the worst atrocities to take place?

🌍 Inside The Middle East — March 11

Hello folks! Hope we’re all doing as well as can be, and remaining safe and diligent! Another full edition of Inside The Middle East for you today, where we’ll jump around the region to dissect the most important news. Today we’ll visit Afghanistan where a news broadcaster has temporarily stopped hiring women over a spate of recent murders; Iraq where Pope Francis made an historic visit; Saudi Arabia where new invite-only social media app Clubhouse could actually be harming freedom of speech; I

Inside The Middle East — March 4

Hello folks! Welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East, where today we have several pieces of explosive news, so we'll get straight to it. We'll visit Saudi Arabia where a new U.S. report concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman essentially ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; to Germany where Reporters Without Borders filed a criminal complaint against MBS on the back of the new U.S. report; to Syria where a German court convicted a former Syrian secret agent for

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Feb. 24

Morning folks, hope all is well! Daniel had a bad migraine yesterday, so apologies we’re a day late with this week’s Inside The Middle East. Don’t worry, he’s still alive and we have another action-packed edition for you today. We’ll visit Qatar where The Guardian revealed at least 6,500 migrant workers have died since working on construction for the 2022 Qatar World Cup; to Israel who reportedly paid Syria millions in vaccines in order to finalize a prisoner swap; we stuck around in Israel for

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Feb. 17

Hey there folks, Happy Wednesday! We have a seriously packed edition today with so much happening on multiple fronts… We’ll travel to the U.A.E. where explosive footage shows Princess Latifa has been held in solitary confinement for almost three years by her own father; to the Kurdish region of Iraq where a series of rockets hit a U.S. military base; to Saudi Arabia where a prominent women’s rights activist was released from prison after more than 1,000 days; to Egypt where the oldest mass-prod

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Feb. 10

Hello everyone! Happy Wednesday and welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East, where we’ll round up the most important news from the past week, from the most important region in the world. Today’s slate sees us travel to Saudi Arabia who has purchased another £1.4bn ($1.92bn) in arms from the UK, despite the U.S. freezing its own exports last week; to Libya whose new transitional government could mean an end to the country’s civil war; to Palestine where the International Criminal Co

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Feb. 3

Happy Wednesday folks, it’s that time once again… Welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East, where we dissect the most important news from the most important region in the world. Be sure to check out this week’s job board update (more details below) with more than 400 new jobs added. Tomorrow we’ll have the first Data Corner of the new year, rounding up all the cool datasets we used in January. And keep an eye out for a special edition on Friday, when our Sophie Foggin will detail he

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Jan. 27

Happy Wednesday folks! Hope we’re all doing well. Lots to get through today, so I’ll cut the waffle and get straight to it… I wanted to flag our call for help in sourcing and scraping new datasets to expand Data Corner. If you like numbers and want to get paid to find datasets, email us at daniellevitt32@gmail.com. No need for a cover letter, but do include a CV/résumé to speed things up. In today’s newsletter we look at the end of the U.S. travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries, as w

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Jan. 20, 2021 + New Jobs

Hello folks! Happy Wednesday and welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East, where we dissect the most important news from the most important region in the world. In today’s edition we’ll visit Lebanon where three Syrian businessmen have been linked to August’s devastating explosion in Beirut; Palestine who announced it will hold its first elections in 15 years; Israel whose government will trade private medical data for more Covid vaccines; Iran who is blaming its air pollution and e

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Jan. 13

Hello folks! It’s that time of the week again and we have another meaty edition of Inside The Middle East, where we dissect the most important news from the most important region in the world. This week we’ll travel to Yemen where the outgoing Trump administration has declared the Houthi rebel movement fighting the Saudi-led coalition a terrorist organization; to Iran where South Korean warships have arrived as negotiations to release a Korean oil tanker have begun, as well as the news that Ira

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Jan. 6

Hello folks! It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for our very first edition of Inside The Middle East of 2021! And exciting news: We’re going to be spinning off into a separate newsletter in the coming weeks, so we can focus even more on the most important region in the world! Until then, join us as we visit Qatar who ended its diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt; Iran who seized a South Korean oil tanker; Israel who is leading the global vaccination race, and w

Inside The Middle East — Dec. 16

Hello folks! Happy Wednesday and welcome to Inside The Middle East, where we dissect the week's most important news from the world's most important region. This week’s edition will be the last of the year 😢, before we take a two to three week break over the holidays to rest our little brains. Until then, enjoy. ✊ Today we’ll travel to Lebanon whose interim prime minister is among those charged with negligence over August’s explosion; to Israel who added Morocco to its list of Arab nations it ha

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Dec. 2

Hello! Happy hump day (is that still a thing?) and welcome to Inside The Middle East where we dissect the week's most important news from the world's most important region. Another bumper edition today as we summarize what went down in Iran on Friday when the country’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated, plus we have reactions from all the key players in the region. We’ll also travel to Turkey where another 82 military officers have been detained in connection to the failed 2016 military co

🌍 Inside The Middle East — Nov. 25

Hello folks and happy Thanksgiving-eve to our American friends! Welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East where we dissect the week's most important news from the world's most important region. On today's docket we round up reactions to U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo's visit to the region; we travel to Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly net with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; to Palestine where the Palestinian National Authority has agreed

🌍 Inside The Middle East — November 11

Hello folks, welcome to another edition of Inside The Middle East where we dissect the most important news from the world’s most important region. We finally have a president-elect in the U.S., which means we’ll run through the reactions to Joe Biden’s win from all the top political heads in the region. We’ll also visit the U.A.E. who has relaxed several Islamic laws in the gulf state; to Afghanistan where yet another bomb has killed multiple people, this time a former journalist; and to Palest

🌍 Inside The Middle East — November 4

we’ll visit Saudi Arabia where a security guard was stabbed outside the French consulate; to Afghanistan where ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting at Kabul University; to Turkey where a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck off the Aegean coast; to Israel who marked the 25th anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin; and we finish with the news that long-time Middle East journalist Robert Fisk has passed away.

🌍 Inside The Middle East — October 28

Today we visit Saudi Arabia whose attempt to join the UN Human Rights Council ended in failure, to Palestine where a top official in the Palestine Liberation Organisation is in critical condition with Covid-19, to Iran whose 13-year arms embargo has expired, to Yemen where the largest prisoner swap in five years took place between government and Houthi forces, to Egypt where a comedian vlogger has been released from prison after two years, and we look at the latest IMF economic forecast for the region amid multiple Covid second waves.
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Solutions Journalism - Communities

Cherries and Snow: Hammana Artist House breathes life back into a small Lebanese village

In the middle of a snow storm, four days after Christmas, Suraia Abud arrived in Hammana. She came to the village to investigate the cultural significance of food as part of an art residency at the Hammana Artist House. Initially, locals couldn’t understand her interest. “People were telling me that there was nothing to do in winter, that I had to come in summer. They didn’t appreciate the knowledge they had,” Abud recalls. Though officially there are 8,000 inhabitants, at the peak of summer f

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Culture

The “Is Europe back on track?” Train Edition 🚂

The history of Canfranc and its heroism is well-known in Spain, but few have heard of the railway station in the rest of Europe. Considering its 241 meters of length, 12 of width, a classic 19th-century architectural style, and 365 windows, you would expect to find Canfranc in a European city. However, it is located 1194 meters above sea level, in the Spanish Pyrenees, far away from big towns on either side of the border. That is why it became a European spy hub during World War II.

Barcelona’s “La Mercè” festival celebrates Beirut’s customs and culture

Barcelona celebrates La Mercè, the city’s main festival honoring the Virgin of Grace (Mare de Déu de la Mercè), patron saint of the city, every year around September 24. Sometimes called the “festival of festivals” in its week-long run, it gathers between 1.5 and 2 million people. Every year since 2007, a foreign city has been invited to present its culture and arts. After Istanbul, Lisboa and Quito, it was Beirut’s turn to be the guest of honor at Barcelona’s biggest and most popular celebratio

Other

How independent media in Lebanon covered the 2019 protests

Unrest had been boiling in Lebanon for many months. The economic crisis was worsening, and the government was accused of a lack of ability or will to stop it. At the same time, wildfires swept through western mountains and areas south of Beirut, but the state was unable to intervene because its firefighting helicopters were grounded due to lack of maintenance. In October 2019, when the government proposed new austerity measures, including a WhatsApp tax, it was the final straw. On October 17, 2

Parisians Going Buck Wild

When Netflix released “Emily in Paris” in October, Parisians eagerly checked the show’s Instagram, looking for cultural misunderstandings to make fun of and be slightly offended about. The account had posted a picture of two beloved French pastries: pain au raisin and a chocolate croissant, which it called “chocolatine.” Ask any Parisian, or 84% of all French people, and they’ll tell you there’s only one name for that pastry: pain au chocolat.

The true crime story that sold out at newsstands across France

It has been a gloomy year for magazines in France. Besides diminishing circulation, Presstalis, one of the two companies responsible for print distribution in the country, faced a debt moratorium and internal strikes, which disrupted readers’ access to print publications and magazines’ revenue. Even in the midst of these challenges, French bi-monthly magazine Society published a two-part investigation that journalists had been working on for five years.
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