Editor’s Note – December 2014

Welcome to Asfar’s December 2014 edition of our e-Journal.

Our Editors, Writers and Contributors have been working hard over the last 4 months to bring this fascinating edition to all of our readers.

With a slightly new look, Asfar’s e-Journal continues to develop in leap and bounds.

Asfar’s December 2014 e-Journal, has evolved, unintentionally, into an almost Women-themed edition, with four articles out of seven published here, being on the topic of Women in the Middle East.

Women-themed articles include: Rich Quinlan’s article on ‘Abuse of Power: The Failure of Governments to protect Women from Domestic Violence and Harassment’ with particular focus on the Gulf States and Egypt. While Luke McManus provides readers with an insight on the ever worrying situation of refugees from Syria, especially women, through his article entitled ‘Syria’s Refugee Women in Crisis’.

New Asfar editor Sawsan Bastawy’s article ‘Women’s rights in post-revolution Egypt’ updates us on how the continued political changes in Egypt have affected women, and includes a useful background on women’s experiences under other government since the 1950s and Nasser.

Laura Cecilli has provided Asfar with a unique cinema-focused article on how women are represented in Iranian film and popular culture, with her article entitled ‘Exploring Iranian Women’s representation through a ‘Female’ and ‘Male Gaze’ in Iranian cinema’.

Away from the subject of women, Asfar’s latest e-Journal include three fascinating articles: one on Minorities, another on Jewish communities during the Roman period and a review of relations within the Persian Gulf.

Chris Grattan’s article entitled ‘Minorities and Borders’ reflects upon current issues between minorities in the Middle East, with an especial focus on Sunnism and Shi’ism. Thomas Oliver’s article ‘The limits of control: the Jews under Roman rule’ provides us with a historical overview of the Roman’s rule over the Kingdom of Judea and the Jewish-Roman Wars and how this still influences the region today. While Sara Masry’s ‘What wrong with the Persian Gulf’ article provides an in-depth review of the relations between states in the Persian Gulf, with particular focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, and considers how Islamic Philosophy further impacts regional situations.

All seven pieces, result in a real mix of articles and subjects in Asfar’s final 2014 e-Journal.

2015, will see unique changes at Asfar. First, as you can see from our e-Journal, Asfar has changed our website, so that it is more interactive. The aim behind this is to ensure that the e-Journal is published in a timely manner and to also allow Asfar to achieve its’ Community Re-investment goals.

Asfar’s Community Re-investment goals include the objective to support both Editors and Contributors to develop their skills in publishing. Asfar’s new e-Journal has been developed so that all Editors can update, following a small amount of training. These skills can then be mobilised for future employment opportunities and will especially increase IT, Online Publishing and Social Media skills, as well as Communication, Marketing and Editorial skills.

Furthermore, from 2015, Asfar is launching its first Senior Editorial Stipend scheme. Initially, aimed at University of Durham students and graduates, Asfar hopes to be able expand it throughout the University system, especially Higher Education Institutes that have a Middle Eastern Studies department, in the future. To learn more about the Stipend scheme, please email info@asfar.org.uk. Alternatively, further information is available on our website here: www.asfar.org.uk/e-journal/stipend-senior-editor/

Once again the dedication, motivation and expertise of Asfar’s Editors and Contributors have produced a robust, academic useful and interesting publication.

Thank you to everyone involved and I very much hope you enjoy reading Asfar’s December 2014 edition.

Sheniz Tan

Director & Senior Editor

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All writers' views in articles are their own and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Asfar team.

Published by Asfar in London, UK - ISSN 2055-7957 (Online)