Hello to The Cradle
An introduction to this news magazine. Who we are, what we will cover.
By Sharmine Narwani
August 02 2021

Hello to The Cradle.

Finally, a journalist-driven publication covering West Asia that represents the tens of millions of regional voices not heard in the world’s English-language media.

That’s not our only differentiator. We are also not owned by any of our donors, and so they have no say over what we write or don’t write.

We chose the name The Cradle as a reminder that the cradle of civilization was borne of this region, when men and women decided to settle in a single (no doubt, gorgeous) spot and grow their food. West Asia is the start of history in so many ways, but today the region has lost its roots largely because non-sovereign states act as pawns in the geopolitical calculations of The Other.

Bleak as the outlook may be, there is cause for optimism. For the first time in centuries, West Asia has within it a group of states and actors that demonstrate genuine efficiency and share common cause. You need a vision and a direction to extricate yourself from pandemonium, but it is efficiency that will help realize your objective. And so ‘efficiency’ is a word I place much stock in. As should you, our readers.

As the global geopolitical contest between Great Powers once more gets distilled into two poles, you will find that the winners will always be those with efficiency. It is because they start with the correct fundamentals: rock-solid alliances based on common objectives; smart diplomacy; leading with soft power but prepared to use the hard kind; respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law; and a clear vision of the world they seek. They’re also hungry for it.

They are today’s realists, and they are rising in West Asia, their goal to undo the chaos and eject The Other that creates so much of it. But don’t assume The Cradle will slavishly champion one side. We are journalists and analysts and seek mainly to make the battlefield apparent to all. We hope to provide transparency where it is lacking, name names, hold a fire under authority, and call a spade a spade. Journalism that doesn’t get into trouble with authority is not journalism at all. And we embrace that fighting spirit.

The Cradle will commence tentatively at first, to give ourselves the space to find what works, and to build up a stable of bold, well-respected journalists and experts. These are not so easy to find in the English-language as they have not had a platform before.

What we are discovering, however, is that there are gems in this region who have the kinds of connections and access that foreign-language reporters – who get all the plaudits – could not amass in a lifetime. There are a lot of secrets in this region and we plan to reveal them at every opportunity, because people need that information to make choices and form opinions.

The Cradle launches today and we hope, within three months, to be running at full throttle. Please consider contributing to The Cradle to support our journalism. Many of us entered the profession because we wanted to know much more about events surrounding us. Provide us with the means and we will do your legwork.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.
This Columnist's Reports
Sharmine Narwani is a Beirut-based writer and analyst of West Asian geopolitics, and a columnist at ...Read more