The Middle East At COP26

Plus: diplomatic tensions between Lebanon and the Gulf countries, Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah reject compromise.

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Countries in the Middle East are living in a paradox at COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow. They are not the main ones responsible for the problem, but all the region will be severely affected by extreme heat, drought, climate-driven migration, and widespread disruption to agricultural practices.

I want to suggest reading one of my articles published on The New Arab in August, following the IPCC report released in the same month. I wrote an analysis on which MENA countries have taken action to combat climate change and whether the Middle East can reach net zero emissions by 2050. Read the full article here.

Gulf-Lebanon row

A diplomatic row erupted over the weekend between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia as well as other Gulf states.

The row comes after Lebanon’s information Minister George Kordahi spoke about the war in Yemen in an interview on August 5, 2021, taped before the Mikati cabinet was formed but aired just last week.

Kordahi called the conflict in Yemen “absurd,” adding that Houthi fighters, opposed by Riyadh, were “just defending themselves and not attacking anyone.

On Friday evening, Saudi Arabia announced that it was recalling its ambassador from Beirut, asking Lebanon’s envoy to leave Riyadh and stopping all imports from Lebanon. Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE followed suit with their calling back of ambassadors. Qatar, for its part, has urged Lebanon's leadership to take immediate steps to repair ties with Gulf neighbors. Read the full story on L’Orient Today.


A group of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem rejected a compromise on Tuesday that would have allowed them to stay in their homes for several decades if they agreed to pay a nominal rent to a Jewish settler group that courts have ruled are the buildings’ real owners.

The four families from Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem that was annexed by Israel after the Arab-Israeli war in 1967, said in a statement that they were rejecting the deal. The agreement, proposed by Israel’s highest court, did not recognize them as the owners of their homes, they said, and it would obscure what they perceive as a wider Israeli strategy to displace Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

The threat of their eviction was one reason who eviction led to an 11-day war in Gaza. The conflict killed more than 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel and set off ethnic violence in several Israeli cities. Continue to read the full story by Patrick Kingsley published on the New York Times.

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About me

My name is Dario Sabaghi, a freelance journalist. I am interested in human rights and international news with a focus on the MENA region.

Check out my work at

You can follow me on Twitter: @DarioSabaghi

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Cover photo: Reuters