17 Jul 2024

The UAE: A Global Magnet for Wealth

With solid inflows from the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the top global destination for wealth, attracting businesses, investors, and high-net-worth indi...
15 Jul 2024

The Attempted Assassination of Donald Trump

The assassination attempt on Former President Donald Trump is the closest a president or presidential candidate has come to being assassinated since the shooting of President Ronald Regan by John Hinc...
9 Jul 2024

Futurescapes Issue 2 – MENA at a Crossroads: Unveiling Looming Risks

At this pivotal juncture, the MENA region stands at a critical crossroads. The region is experiencing a decisive moment that will shape the future dynamics of inter-country relations and regional secu...
8 Jul 2024

BRICSPHONE: A Cultural Call to Unity to End Western Hegemony

The roots of Western cultural hegemony trace back to the age of European colonialism in the 15th century, a period marked by the forceful imposition of Western languages, norms, and customs upon the c...
3 Jul 2024

Foreign Policy Challenges for 10 Downing Street’s Next Resident

While most electoral debates focus on domestic politics, foreign policy remains a crucial aspect. It seems, however, that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was aware of this when he appointed David Cameron a...

Programmes

Sacrifice Sustainability – Does it Impact Hajj Rituals?

3 Jul 2024
Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a highly anticipated ritual for many Muslims. As the global Muslim population grows and financial conditions improve, the demand to perform Hajj has increased. However, pilgrims encounter numerous challenges, particularly regarding the ritual of sacrifice. After completing the stoning of the Jamarat, pilgrims perform the sacrifice—slaughtering a sheep, cow, or camel—as an act of devotion to Allah Almighty. This analysis seeks to explore the specific challenges associated with the sacrificial ritual.   To be considered valid, a sacrificial animal must meet several criteria. It must be livestock—camels, cows, sheep, or goats—and adhere to Islamic age requirements: at least six months old for camels, two years for cows, one year for sheep, and six months for goats. The animal must be free from defects, including lameness, blindness, illness, or severe emaciation. It must be slaughtered in designated holy locations and within the timeframe set by Islamic law, from after Eid al-Adha prayer until the final days of Tashreeq (the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah.)

The UAE: A Global Magnet for Wealth

17 Jul 2024
With solid inflows from the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Europe, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the top global destination for wealth, attracting businesses, investors, and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) for the third year in a row. The UAE’s strategic blend of political stability, a welcoming cultural environment, a thriving real estate market, favourable tax regulations, and economic stability accounts for its resurgence as the top destination for affluent individuals in 2024. Strengthening its position as a leading hub for investment and wealth migration, the country’s forward-thinking vision and dedication to innovation and development ensure its sustained appeal to global wealth. The UAE is expected to gain significant economic advantages as more wealthy individuals and their families relocate there, thereby increasing the country’s appeal and influence on a worldwide scale.

Iran’s Presidential Election: Intense Competition and High Stakes

27 Jun 2024
Iranians are voting in a snap presidential election on June 28, following the sudden death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May. This situation is not unprecedented for the Iranian regime, which has faced similar scenarios. In 1981, Iran’s first president following the Islamic Revolution Abolhassan Banisadr, was removed from office by the Islamic Consultative Assembly for political incompetence. Later that year, his successor, President Mohammad-Ali Rajai, was killed in a suitcase bombing. Thus, the current political and constitutional vacuum is not new to Iran. This pattern of instability has occurred twice before during significant periods of political upheaval.   Ebrahim Raisi was one of the few figures who enjoyed the trust of the security establishment and the regime's cleric guards. He was expected to oversee the rise of a new supreme leader after the death of Ali Khamenei or perhaps become the supreme leader himself. Therefore, Raisi's death poses a significant challenge to the mullahs' regime, especially given the internal and external challenges that Iran has faced recently.   On the other hand, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei paved the way for the presidential elections by selecting only six candidates who passed the examination conducted by the Guardian Council. This council, comprising 12 clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader, nominated by the judiciary chief, and approved by parliament, filtered the candidates based on loose criteria that it interprets and explains. Out of 80 candidates who applied for the position, only these six were allowed to run, with the Guardian Council having the final say in choosing or excluding candidates.   For instance, while the Iranian Constitution does not explicitly bar women from running for president, the Guardian Council effectively prevents them from doing so. Despite four women registering candidacies in the current and past 13 presidential elections, none have been approved.   Article 115 of Iran’s Constitution requires the president to be “a politician and cleric of Iranian origin, an Iranian citizen, a director and a wise man, who enjoys a good reputation, honesty, and piety, and believes in the foundations of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country.” Additionally, criteria related to administrative capabilities are considered. Beyond these criteria, it is widely believed that Khamenei favours a loyal and conservative president who aligns with his views and adheres to the principles of the regime, including obedience to the Supreme Leader.   Therefore, this analysis aims to clarify the significance of these elections, the management process, and the priorities that voters and the regime seek in the next president.

Most Read

Why the EU Elections Matter
Programmes
16 May 2024

Why the EU Elections Matter

The stakes are high for the EU elections which are set to take place on June 6. Since the last elections in 2019, the bloc has faced a significant number of complex challenges with the COVID-19 Pandemic and ongoing Russia-Ukraine War shocking the bloc’s economy and energy security, bringing to surface critical questions about common foreign and defence policy and triggering a crisis of misinformation, potential foreign extortion, and anti-EU sentiment to name a few. While the 2024 elections are expected by many to be a difficult test for European solidarity and resilience, they also have implications that reach beyond the bloc.
Has Moscow’s Control Over Europe Become Uncontrollable?
Programmes
8 May 2024

Has Moscow’s Control Over Europe Become Uncontrollable?

It appears that Russian influence has been steadily spreading across Europe, stretching from the eastern regions of the continent to its central and western borders. Moscow's reach isn't confined solely to nations within its sphere of influence; it also affects broader European foreign policy and the trajectory of the bloc's future.
Macron’s War Rhetoric and his Desperate Quest for Prestige
Programmes
10 Mar 2024

Macron’s War Rhetoric and his Desperate Quest for Prestige

“Nothing should be ruled out” said French President Emmanuel Macron when asked about possibilities of sending troops to Ukraine. By speaking about going to war, Macron may have aimed to dispel a long-standing joke about the French always surrendering. However, both French and NATO leaders have publicly rejected the idea of sending European or alliance troops to Ukraine. Prominent figures such as U.S. President Joseph Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and others have asserted that such action is not on the table. The widespread domestic and regional opposition implies that even if Macron was genuinely considering sending troops to Ukraine, he would not receive the necessary support for such a radical decision.
The War on TikTok: Security Concerns and Anti-Semitism
Programmes
22 Apr 2024

The War on TikTok: Security Concerns and Anti-Semitism

Social media has played a pivotal role in reshaping the narratives of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the outbreak of Oct. 7. The dissemination of news and information now extends far beyond traditional media outlets. Instead, social media platforms have emerged as potent influencers, surpassing the resonance of weapons and delineating a global divide between Israel and Palestine. These platforms have become arenas of contention, with users segregating into supporters and opponents, rendering them susceptible to content-related pressures amid the war. The war on Gaza has once again thrust TikTok into a heated discourse regarding the application's dangers and impact as a global forum for ordinary individuals to voice their opinions while also serving as a battleground for political factions to vie for narrative control. This debate assumes added significance as the audience of traditional news outlets continues to dwindle.   Recently, numerous TikTok videos concerning the war on Gaza garnered widespread attention, accompanied by pro-Palestinian hashtags, prompting Israeli President Isaac Herzog to engage in discussions with TikTok executives in February 2024. Expressing apprehension over the surge in antisemitic content on the platform since the onset of the Israeli war on Gaza, they assured President Herzog of their commitment to address the issue in the future. In a related context, social media companies based in the United States have already demonstrated a readiness to censor pro-Palestinian content. Human Rights Watch, in its December 2023 report, documented over 1,050 instances of content removal and suppression on Instagram and Facebook by Palestinians and their supporters between October and November 2023.   In this context, U.S. legislators, conservative activists, and technology investors have voiced calls to ban TikTok in the U.S., citing escalating concerns. These calls gained significant traction on March 13, 2024, when the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favour of a bill. The bill places ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, with two options, both fraught with implications: either sell the application to a U.S.-based company or confront a ban on distribution through significant platforms and application stores. President Joseph Biden voiced his backing for the bill and signalled his readiness to sign it into law pending Senate approval. However, the U.S. initiative this time brings forth broader concerns beyond national security, encompassing the application's ramifications on Israel's reputation. The country's standing has been damaged due to the swift dissemination of content depicting Israel's crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip.   This analysis aims to elucidate the reasons behind the shift in the U.S. perspective on TikTok, moving from security concerns to the perception of promoting antisemitism. What repercussions would the embargo have on both the United States and Israel?
China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications
Programmes
23 May 2024

China’s Economic Slowdown: Strategic Responses and Global Implications

China, despite being the second-largest economy globally, encounters challenges such as a distressed real estate sector, reduced domestic consumption, and high debt levels. In response to these obstacles, the government is enacting policies aimed at encouraging domestic spending, mitigating the real estate downturn, and cultivating innovation to ensure sustainable development. The way these measures are implemented will not only impact the economic trajectory of China, but also that of the entire world.

Publications

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Economic Researcher

19 Jun 2024

Senior Early Warning Researcher

19 Jun 2024

Political Researcher

19 Jun 2024

Security and Stability in the Mediterranean in Athens, Greece 2024

13 Jun 2024

What’s Next for Iran?

20 May 2024

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