Daniel Gerlach

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?

Der Mann, der an Soleimanis Seite starb
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.

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?

Olga Georges-Picot was the great-niece of François Georges-Picot, the diplomat who was a driving force in the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
101 Years on From the Sykes-Picot Agreement

It’s time to look beyond the “original sins” of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and European interventions in the Middle East. Europeans should calmly make plans for the region’s future, but explain their intentions clearly.

Hagia Sophia
Confronting the Middle East’s Bloody Past

Without a proper appraisal of the past, the violence in Middle East will continue to echo throughout the region and cause ever greater devastation.

Bashar al Assad poster
Propaganda and the Palmyra Military Prison

The extremist Islamic State group has exploited its takeover and destruction of the Palmyra military prison for its propaganda purposes. To understand why this has been so effective, one needs to look back at what happened there in the summer of 1980.