RICHARD SILVERSTEIN: When in office they’re ramrod straight security hawks but once they leave they suddenly become ‘seers’. But the criticism is unusual in its vehemence
NASEEM TARAWNAH: There is a sense of crisis in Jordan but it’s a sense that has led to paralysis in all sectors of society. So what does 2013 hold?
KHALED FATTAH, TABSIR: There is a lazy shorthand in much Western reporting on the Middle East, particularly when it comes to describing the influence of tribes
JUAN COLE: It’s been another extraordinary year across the Middle East. Here is my take on the most significant changes this year
STEVE ROYSTON: It’s by no means scientific or representative but here are the people and special moments that resonated with me this year
ESTELLA CARPI, TABSIR: Classes are being organised for refugee children and it’s clear that the Assads no longer feature in a Syrian present or future.
STEVE ROYSTON: If you look around the Middle East today you’d have to say the region is at its most unstable in the last thirty years.
JAMES M. DORSEY: This weekend’s Syrian victory over Iraq in a soccer match is being seized by the regime as ‘a great national achievement’.
DANIEL M. VARISCO: Another one eyed piece from Mr Friedman. Is it too much to ask that he simply recognises the realities of Palestinian life?
JUAN COLE: From Jordan to Tunisia, from civil war to pilfered Palestinian land the Arab world is in a febrile state.
NEWS FROM SYRIA: There was a time not too long ago when it was a symbol of our unity and of hope. Not any more.
NEWS FROM SYRIA: The discredited SNC has finally been subsumed by an organisation that has genuine potential to shape a new Syria
MICH CAFE: More than 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were damaged or destroyed last year by Israeli settlers. A well-thought through assault
SHELINA ZAHRA JANMOHAMED: The rituals of the Haj contain lessons for all of us whether Muslim or not. In these violent times their force is even greater
JAMES M. DORSEY: Sharp sectarian divides between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the Middle East constitutes the Achilles heel for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: Jordan’s precarious position both geographically and politically means that security will always be a vital issue. But this concern stymies debate.
AMINA BENKHLIFA, CGNEWS: Often associated with harsh weather and difficult economic conditions El Kef, my hometown, has a deep theatrical heritage
MICH CAFE: One is a lawyer and human rights activist the other is a leading author but the bravery of both women has been acknowledged by a wider audience
VIDEO: The Turkish parliament has responded to mortar fire from Syria by backing military action against its neighbour. But many Turks think this is a bad idea.