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Middle East and North Africa

Arab citizens want better social services & protection for the poor, not just subsidies

Joana Silva's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        Source: Kamel Cakici

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity… poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” Many years later these words by Nelson Mandela still resonate with me in my work on social protection of the poor in the Arab world, where a growing middle class exists alongside severe poverty.

Go for a walk in the footsteps of Abraham

Ali Abu Kumail's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

World Bank

Tackling a myriad of challenges including cross border issues and escalating internal conflicts, the Middle East seems like the last place for serious integration – economic or otherwise. So, a long-distance walking trail across the region seems like an inconceivable notion. Even if it would exist, surely none would want to walk it. Not so, it appears.

The voices of the people: street art in MENA, a visual guide

Simon Bell's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Simon Bell

After decades of suppressed voice, an inability to say what one thought, to protest, to offer a contrary point of view or dissent – the Arab world is at last unshackled to say exactly what it wants and wherever it wants. Nowhere is this more true than on the streets of the Arab capitals where an explosion of graffiti is voicing the views of the people in both words and pictures.

Can the Arab Awakening change an entrenched culture of nepotism?

Yasser El-Gammal's picture
Also available in: العربية

                     Kim Eun Yeul

The question of nepotism is in the minds of many people in the Arab world. Some are hopeful that change can be brought by the Arab Spring, but others are doubtful. In a series of blogs, I plan to look into some of the ways nepotism, favoritism and other ills have become ingrained in Arab society.

Finding the trend in transition

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Kim Eun Yeul

Twice a year, we put together an economic outlook for Middle East and North Africa as part of the economic analysis we do at the World Bank. Over the last two years, a series of political and financial shocks have made the regional economic trends and turning points that we are looking for in these reports difficult to identify.

Pensions systems in Iraq: “You don’t have to pay to get good service”

Ghassan Alkhoja's picture
Also available in: العربية

        World Bank

While there have been positive development for beneficiaries of the pension system in Iraq, there are still challenges to improve services in Baghdad and across Iraq. It requires reforming the system to be responsive to the current and future needs of Iraq. Pensions systems are one of the most difficult areas in any country to reform and always involve a long term process fraught with political and technical challenges.

Freedom and the re-birth of a nation

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        Photo Source: World Bank

The very fact alone that this country and its people were in bondage for 42 years is unbelievable. The fact that the nation rose up against tyranny in spite of real danger, incredible losses and an uncertain outcome is a testimony to the courage and determination of a people to win their freedom.  And the fact that the Libyan people, and especially its young men and women, hold such incredible optimism about the future, speaks to the indomitable spirit of a nation.

"Democracy can never die"

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
                        World Bank

Beautiful ruins speak of a people steeped in history with a deep sense of time and an inherent understanding of change. And it was in this city that I saw without any shadow of a doubt the strength of Libyan determination for their new-found democracy and freedom to succeed.

Blood pressures boiling in MENA

Aakanksha H Pande's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français

        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Blood pressures are rising in the Middle East and North Africa and they show little sign of cooling down. They began simmering over shishas in el kahawi (coffeehouses) in Tahrir Square, Eqypt; steaming over fried malsouka snacks in Habib Bourguiba Street, Tunisia; and bubbling over smoke filled debates at Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain. People from all classes and walks of life are equally affected.

Omar Jaga: One of the "nowhere" schools of Djibouti

Simon Thacker's picture
Also available in: Français
        World Bank

Everyday more than 4,000 trucks carrying goods out of the ports of Djibouti-city head west towards Ethiopia. The route passes through a barren, austere landscape where temperatures can soar to 50c. The road is poor and the going laborious. About an hour out of the city, after miles of heat and emptiness, the road turns and a small schoolhouse appears.

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