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2021 ◽  
Vol 41 (2) ◽  
pp. 253-257
Nurfadzilah Yahaya

Abstract Located at the intersection of four regions, the Middle East, East Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia, Afghanistan is a country whose legal history is sure to be diverse and exciting at the confluence of multiple legal currents. In the book Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires, Faiz Ahmed shows how Afghanistan could be regarded as a pivot for Islamic intellectual currents from the late nineteenth century onward, especially between the Ottoman Empire and South Asia. Afghanistan Rising makes us aware of our own assumptions of the study of Islamic law that has been artificially carved out during the rise of area studies, including Islamic studies. Ahmed provides a good paradigm for a legal history of a country that was attentive to foreign influences without being overwhelmed by them. While pan-Islamism is often portrayed as a defensive ideology that developed in the closing decades of the nineteenth century in reaction to high colonialism, the plotting of Afghanistan's juridical Pan-Islam in Ahmed's book is a robust and powerful maneuver out of this well-trodden path, as the country escaped being “landlocked” mainly by cultivating regional connections in law.

Infection ◽  
2021 ◽  
Ali Hamady ◽  
JinJu Lee ◽  
Zuzanna A. Loboda

Abstract Objectives The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel betacoronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was declared a pandemic in March 2020. Due to the continuing surge in incidence and mortality globally, determining whether protective, long-term immunity develops after initial infection or vaccination has become critical. Methods/Results In this narrative review, we evaluate the latest understanding of antibody-mediated immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and to other coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and the four endemic human coronaviruses) in order to predict the consequences of antibody waning on long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We summarise their antibody dynamics, including the potential effects of cross-reactivity and antibody waning on vaccination and other public health strategies. At present, based on our comparison with other coronaviruses we estimate that natural antibody-mediated protection for SARS-CoV-2 is likely to last for 1–2 years and therefore, if vaccine-induced antibodies follow a similar course, booster doses may be required. However, other factors such as memory B- and T-cells and new viral strains will also affect the duration of both natural and vaccine-mediated immunity. Conclusion Overall, antibody titres required for protection are yet to be established and inaccuracies of serological methods may be affecting this. We expect that with standardisation of serological testing and studies with longer follow-up, the implications of antibody waning will become clearer.

Valerio Raffaele

The geopolitical upheavals affecting the Middle East and North Africa at the beginning of the 21st century have created an arc of instability around the Balkan Peninsula, causing serious consequences for all the countries in the area as regards migration flows. Due to its peculiar geographical position, Greece has thus found itself at the forefront of the so-called migratory emergency, which has involved the European Union (UE) in the last few years. The Dublin Regulation first and then the closure of the borders, following the agreement on migrants between the UE and Turkey in March 2016, have made Greece a sort of first reception hotspot for the whole Eastern Mediterranean, giving rise at the same time to new Balkan migration routes managed by human traffickers. Historically a hinge between East and West, today’s Greece constitutes the ideal starting point to interpret in a multi-scalar perspective both the weaknesses of the paradigm on which the so-called ‘Fortress Europe’ is based, and the geographical variety of problematic ‘living spaces’ that recent migratory phenomena have contributed to build over time.

2021 ◽  
Carson Ezell

There are significant geographical disparities in activism throughout the world with respect to supporting the Uyghur cause against human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China. This paper introduces the history of Chinese rule of the Xinjiang region and examines the ways in which the Uyghur diaspora has spread. It then explores how geographical, cultural, economic, and religious relationships between Xinjiang and segments of the international community impact attitudes and levels of activism in response to recent developments in Xinjiang, particularly focusing on the weaker responses in the Middle East relative to the rest of the Islamic community. It then proposes recommendations for regional stakeholders in Middle Eastern civil society to encourage greater support for the Uyghur community.

Significance This is the outcome of the Greek foreign ministry’s consistent policy orientation for the last few years, of intensifying relations with the Arab world while building excellent relations with Israel. It is a consequence of Greece’s rivalry with Turkey, siding with states in the region that have similar concerns about the latter’s hegemonic regional ambitions. Impacts Athens and Cairo will together define the loose ends of their bilateral maritime agreement through thorough delimitation of exclusive zones. Greece will intensify military cooperation with Israel and the UAE, especially in the context of their air forces. A new tripartite Greece-UAE-India partnership is developing, a counterweight to the growing relationship between Turkey and Pakistan.

2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (4) ◽  
pp. 1-32

Seuls les principaux chapitres de la publication ont été traduits. Le reste de la publication figure dans la langue originale (Anglais). International travel largely on hold despite uptick in May 2021 International tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) dropped by 85% in January-May 2021 compared to the same period of pre-pandemic year 2019, or 65% over 2020, as travel restrictions remained high due to the coronavirus pandemic. This follows an unprecedented drop of 73% in 2020, the worst year on record for international tourism This sharp decline represents a loss of some 147 million international arrivals compared to the same five months of 2020, or 460 million compared to 2019. By regions, Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the largest decline with a 95% drop in international arrivals in the first five months of 2021 over the same period in 2019. Europe (-85%) recorded the second largest decline in arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-83%) and Africa (-81%). The Americas (-72%) saw a comparatively smaller decrease. Despite the weak results, international tourism saw a minor uptick in May 2021 with arrivals declining by 82% (versus May 2019), after falling by 86% in April, as some destinations started to ease travel restrictions and consumer confidence rose slightly. After an estimated 64% plunge in international tourism receipts in 2020, destinations continued to report very weak revenues in the first five months of 2021, ranging from 50% to 90% declines compared to 2019. However, several countries recorded a small uptick in the month of May following a minor improvement in international arrivals. In terms of outbound travel among the top 20 source markets, Saudi Arabia (-42%) and Belgium (-46%) saw relatively better results in January-May 2021, as well as the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Switzerland, all recording 50% declines in international tourism expenditure compared to the same period in 2019. France is also worth noting, with -54% in expenditure compared to 2019. International travel is slowly picking up from very low levels, though the recovery remains fragile and uneven amid much uncertainty. Domestic travel is driving the recovery of tourism in several destinations, especially those with large domestic markets. Domestic air seat capacity in China and Russia has already exceeded pre-crisis levels. Along with the ongoing vaccination roll-out, the safe and responsible restart of tourism will continue to depend on a coordinated response among countries regarding travel restrictions, harmonized safety protocols and effective communication to help restore consumer confidence.

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