Daniel Gerlach

Obituary: Christoph Sydow

A keen-eyed observer of the Middle East who asked the right questions and found answers to many of them. A sportsman you could rely on. But above all, our dear friend and colleague. We mourn Christoph Sydow. 

Christoph Sydow
Der Mann, der an Soleimanis Seite starb
Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

In 2017, zenith’s editor-in-chief, Daniel Gerlach, met Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, “the Engineer” behind a prominent Iraqi paramilitary organisation, who was killed on 3 January by a US drone strike in Baghdad. Who was he and what drove him?

Gilles Kepel and the Middle East
Gilles Kepel and the Middle east

Gilles Kepel’s latest book on ‘getting out of the chaos’ in the Middle East can be read as an account of the interplay of authoritarian rule and Islamist mobilisation. Or as a critical appraisal of Kepel’s own intellectual journey.

Members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces marching in Iraq, November 2016.
Jihadism vs Muqawamism

The ideology of resistance is a distinct feature of powerful armed groups in the Middle East. It is time to introduce a new concept and, probably, a new term.

Candid co-founder Katja Brinkmann (1969-2017).
Obituary for Katja Brinkmann

Katja Brinkmann was an Arabist who explored the Middle East of all ages. She hoped that, one day, she could write another history of Syria. We mourn our dear friend, colleague and co-founder.

A Russian Su-25 crew at the Hmeymim airbase in the Latakia governorate in western Syria.
Russia's Involvement in the Syrian Conflict

Once perceived as a mere spoiler, Russia has become an agenda-setting power in the Middle East. Now that the US have pulled out politically, expectations are even higher. Can the Russians handle them?