Middle East

Kuwaiti oil workers take on the ruling elite

Submitted by Matthew on 20 April, 2016 - 10:38 Author: Ralph Peters

By the time this paper goes to press over 13,000 oil workers in Kuwait will have been on strike for four days.

Strikes are exceedingly rare in the oil producing oligarchies of the Gulf States. The workforce, made up of mainly migrant workers, usually have appalling living conditions and no civil or trade union rights. This is the first major strike in Kuwait in many years, although the last months have seen growing activity from a number of Kuwaiti unions in tourism and from municipal workers.

Eurocentrism as a fig leaf, and the art of conjuring in politics AWL Sat, 02/06/2016 - 19:05


On New Year’s Eve 2015, simultaneous coordinated sexual attacks took place against women in public space in about 10 cities, mostly in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland… Several hundred women, to this day, filed a case for sexual attack, robbery, and rape. These attacks were perpetrated by young men of migrant descent (be they immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, or other) from North Africa and the Middle East.

Flags and solidarity

Submitted by Matthew on 20 November, 2015 - 11:27 Author: Michael Chessum

In the wake of events like the massacre in Paris, almost all responses seem inadequate or wrong — especially the official and establishment ones.

Solidarity with the French nation is an easy sentiment, but far from a simple one. And among a wide variety of commentators and activists — predominantly on the left — it has become usual to denounce the selective mourning of Parisians, as opposed to those killed in Beirut or Baghdad.

Corbyn and the Middle East: the hypocrisy of the right, a challenge for the left

Submitted by AWL on 21 July, 2015 - 11:47 Author: Sacha Ismail

The controversy sparked, or ramped up, by Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance on Channel 4 News on 13 July raises important issues for the left.

(You can watch it on the Channel 4 website here.)

Civil war in Yemen

Submitted by Matthew on 8 April, 2015 - 10:35 Author: Dan Katz

On 26 March a broad Saudi-led Sunni-Arab coalition began bombing opposition bases in Yemen.

The Saudi operation, named Decisive Storm, also involved moving 150,000 troops, plus tanks and heavy weapons, up to their border with Yemen. Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have threatened to invade to prop up their favoured regime, led by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and against Hadi’s Shia opponents, the Houthi militia.

Understanding the Muslim far-right in Algeria, and beyond AWL Wed, 03/11/2015 - 20:49

Marieme Helie Lucas is an Algerian sociologist. She participated in the national liberation from French colonialism and was close to the then-underground PCA (Parti Communist Algerien, Algerian Communist Party). She worked as a senior civil servant during the first three years after independence, before leaving to teach at Algiers University for 12 years.

Student solidarity with Qatari workers AWL Tue, 11/18/2014 - 18:05

Working conditions in Qatar, in particular for migrant workers, are at an appalling level.

Conditions have been recently compared by the International Trade Union Confederation to “modern day slavery”.

Should the left say: "Let the Kurds die!"?

Submitted by AWL on 4 November, 2014 - 1:39 Author: Dan Katz

Over a thousand Kurdish people gathered in Trafalgar Square, London, on Saturday 1 November, taking part in a day of international solidarity for the Kurds fighting ISIS (Daesh, "Islamic State") in Kobane.

Among the small number of people at the protest who were not Kurdish were a handful of representatives of the Socialist Party and SWP. Both these groups have a problem.

Support the Kurds! Resolution for trade union branches

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2014 - 11:21

The Central Line East branch of the RMT union has passed this motion in support of the Kurds. Could your union branch pass it too, or a version of it?

Support the Kurds!

1. We strongly oppose "Islamic State" and its attack on the mainly-Kurdish city of Kobani, Syria.

2. We support the Kurds of Kobani - including the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women's Brigades - in their valiant fight; we support their right to resist attack and to ask for help in doing so.

Construction death traps in the Gulf

Submitted by Matthew on 30 April, 2014 - 11:45

M worked as an architect on construction sites in Dubai. He told Solidarity what daily working life is like on those sites.

The major difference between a construction site in Dubai and one in Europe is the number of hours that they work. The workers are present on site from 7am to 7pm — twelve hours a day for six days a week, sometimes seven.