The Trump Administration announced on August 31, 2018 that it was ceasing all US contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), rejecting what it termed “an irredeemably flawed operation.” 
The possible link between climate change and political upheaval in the Middle East has attracted increasing media attention and is generating a new wave of academic research seeking to demonstrate the link. An influential study that put forward this thesis was the 2013 report The Arab Spring and Climate Change, published by the Center for American Progress in Washington DC.
On December 22, 2013, 40 families living at 11 Boulevard de la Soummam -- the Champs Élysées of the western Algerian city of Oran -- took to the streets brandishing banners and shouting slogans against one of Algeria’s wealthiest businessmen, Djilali Mehri. Mehri had acquired the building when he purchased a Franco-Algerian real-estate holding company, Société Immobilière Française pour la France et l’Afrique du Nord (SIFFAN), nearly twenty years earlier. Having recently completed the renovation of the prestigious art nouveau Royal Hôtel, just up the street, Mehri planned to redevelop the historical boulevard into a high-end market.
In 2011, as Syria’s uprising spread, the Kurds living in the country’s northern provinces organized themselves to defend their neighborhoods and provide social services. The Kurds’ “local coordination committees” were similar to the bodies of the same name that sprung up everywhere in Syria where the popular revolt took root. In most places, these committees were eclipsed as Bashar al-Asad’s regime lashed out to quash the uprising and the opposition – largely peaceful at the outset – armed itself in response. In the majority-Kurdish areas of the country, the regime withdrew its forces and the local coordination committees became the administrative and security apparatus of a de facto autonomous zone known as Rojava.
The Palestinian Great March of Return, which began on March 30, 2018 and continued into June, was a popular mobilization of people of the Gaza Strip initiated by politically unaligned young men and women. The campaign of unarmed marches towards the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel demonstrated popular support for a new Palestinian political direction. It contrasts sharply with both the diplomatic impasse over Israel/Palestine and the emerging reactionary political realignment of the Middle East.
From May 30 to June 7, 2018 Jordanian protesters took the world by surprise. What had started as protests over a taxation draft law and an increase in gas prices quickly led to a popular rising against the neoliberal path on which the state has embarked. The rejection of neoliberal economic policy and the privatization of key national industries are not new to Jordan. But the centrality in which this analysis featured in the events of June’s rising (habbit  huzayran) is unprecedented. In the past, protests against the government’s economic nahj (path) were most strongly felt in workers’ circles, the governorates outside Amman and a few impoverished quarters inside the capital.
Over the first weeks of summer, a surge of popular protest reminded the world that political contestation is alive and well in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a country often described as a haven of tranquility in the strife-torn Arab world. It started with a call for a June 6 general strike by a coalition of professional associations and labor unions in opposition to the regime’s proposed amendments to the income tax law. But when the moment arrived a range of groups, formal and ad hoc, transformed it into days-long nationwide demonstrations demanding repeal of the tax law, reversal of price hikes on fuel and electricity, and dismissal of the prime minister.
In November of 2017, several dozen Kuwaiti opposition members, including a number of current and former MPs, were suddenly arrested on charges relating to the occupation of the Parliament building in 2011—even though they had been cleared of similar charges four years earlier.  The arrests swept up a number of politicians who had been the most visible anti-corruption campaigners in the country, and few doubted that the regime was trying to use the incident to discredit or imprison those who would embarrass the ruling family by airing its dirty laundry.  After a drawn out trial, which witnessed regular protests outside the Parliament building calling for the case to be dropped, the defendants were released on bail; the final judgment is due on July 8th. 
Lebanon recently held its first national parliamentary elections in nine years. The expectation was that there would be a major rebellion against the traditional sectarian-based parties. But the results were much less dramatic, reflecting four current political trends in the country.
In February and March 2016, nearly 35,000 Palestinian teachers initiated a series of strike actions across the West Bank. Classes were dismissed and students sent home as teachers marched through Ramallah’s streets and organized sit-ins in front of Ministry of Education field offices. Though short-lived, the strike had wide resonance as teachers utilized their waning social capital in ways they had not done since the second intifada, and encouraged members of other unions to organize industrial actions, particularly after the March 9, 2016 ratification of Social Security Law 6.