That’s right folks! It’s been five whole years since Muftah came into this world. It has been quite a rollercoaster ride for us and even more so for the region that inspired our creation.
The Middle East and North Africa haven’t seen days as good or as bad, as they have over the last few years. If you’ve been reading this website, you know the good and the bad are not mutually exclusive, no matter what part of the world you’re talking about. The Middle East and North Africa region is just as, if not more, complex and vibrant as it was before the revolutions broke out in December 2010. Though there have been setbacks, sometimes of devastating proportions, there have also been successes.
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani has brought a new mood of excitement and possibility to the country. Since his election in June 2013, there has been unprecedented progress in relations between Iran and the United States that will hopefully lead to a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in a few weeks. Tunisia passed a new constitution in January 2014 and witnessed a peaceful handover of power from the ruling Islamist Ennahda party to the secular Nidaa Tounes, this past fall. Though it has suffered near fatal blows over the last few years, Egypt’s revolution continues to hobble on for now. Amid instability and a growing humanitarian crisis, youth in Yemen are managing to advocate for their rights and the principles they believe in. Even in ISIS-controlled territory, people are doing what they can to resist authoritarianism and oppression.
At Muftah, we have also grown and experienced incredible changes over the last few years. We have regularly published compelling and engaging content on every single country in the Middle East and North Africa. Over the years, we have launched a number of provocative and thought-provoking themed special collections, including about LGBTQ communities in the Middle East and art and culture in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We completed a rebranding and redesign of our website in April 2014, led by the amazing team at MADEO. In September 2014, we expanded our coverage to include Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Only last week, we relaunched Muftah’s podcast series, with incisive interviews on topics like human rights violations in the Gulf and the U.S. Senate’s Torture Report.
And the good news keeps coming.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with powerhouse digital news organization, QUARTZ, to bring our content to even more people. We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with a publication that has completely embraced the digital era and is “obsessed” with covering the big, hard questions that face our global community. QUARTZ was kind enough to profile Muftah on its website today, so please do check it out and share it with your friends, family, co-workers, teammates, fellow travelers, co-conspirators, and anyone else who cares about the world around them.
Here’s to the next five years!