Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Vanessa Newby

Vanessa Newby is a Visiting Fellow at the ANU and is currently based in Lebanon.  She has a PhD in International Relations from Griffith University with a regional focus on the Middle East.  Her research interests include international security, peacebuilding, migration, the politics of religion and the international relations of the Middle East.  Vanessa has been researching and writing about the Middle East for ten years, and has lived in the region for three of those years.  She can speak, read and write Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Arabic.  Vanessa has published in international peer-reviewed journals such as International Peacekeeping and Contemporary Politics.

Articles by Vanessa Newby (19)

  • Lebanon's garbage crisis reveals political paralysis

    It's 2014 and it's a beautiful summer evening in Lebanon. As the heat of the day subsides, and the rubicund sun slowly sinks into the shimmering azure sea, breathe deep and you can inhale a malodorous scent that gently wafts up from the pile of burning trash emanating from the Karantina waste processing plant near the upmarket Christian suburbs of Achrafiyeh.  Good times. But those days are now over.
  • In Vienna, the US-Iran story comes full circle

    During the last round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US in Vienna, the shouting and hurling of accusations by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Zarif became so loud it could be heard from adjoining rooms. They were eventually asked by their aides to keep it down.
  • Summer in Lebanon: Holidays, beaches, clubs...and war?

    Spring is almost over and as summer fast approaches, Lebanon once again prepares for the massive influx of visiting diaspora that clogs the roads, snaps up all the holiday rentals, and fills the beaches by day and the rooftop clubs by night. The other great summer tradition in Lebanon is local speculation on whether this is the summer the unfinished war with Israel will be resumed. The Lebanese resort town of Jounieh, north of Beirut.
  • The shrinking space for piety without violence

    The deliberate recruitment of women by ISIS certainly brings a new twist to radicalism. It is something that al Qaeda never quite got the hang of. It is worrisome, because it reveals the long-term ambitions of the group – to create a new generation of radicalised men and women. Why is it working in some cases? As I noted previously, the acquisition of territory is key to recruitment for ISIS.
  • How does the Arab world view ISIS?

    Syrian friends here in Lebanon often tell me that some Syrian refugees have chosen to leave Lebanon and return to parts of Syria that are under ISIS control. These anecdotes usually emerge as part of a larger conversation about why ISIS still receives support in some Arab countries, albeit often tacit and inactive. When I ask why these refugees return, the response is always the same: 'They simply don't believe that the media reports of the atrocities taking place are actually true'.
  • Balancing act: Jordan's fight against ISIS

    When the video of the murder of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh was released, the King of Jordan was in Washington. This brutal act led directly to discussions about the need to resolve delays to existing US arms deliveries to Jordan. King Abdullah of Jordan attends the funeral of Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasabeh.
  • US in the Middle East: With friends like these...

    Here in Lebanon, three events have dominated the headlines over the course of the past few weeks. The death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the skirmish between Hizbullah and Israel in the Golan, and the desperately cruel murder of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS. All three issues are integral to the problems afflicting the wider Middle East. They are also all issues that involve important US allies in the region.
  • Peter Kassig: Charming, eloquent, and highly passionate

    It seems that anyone who spends enough time in the Middle East these days is destined to lose someone they know – a relative, a friend, or a colleague. Two years ago I wrote about the unfortunate death of Anthony Shadid, who lost his life on a trip to Syria and whom I had been fortunate enough to meet just before he passed.