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October 8, 2015

Middle East

Riddle of Sectarian Problems in Egypt
Basil El-Dabh

Establishing the proper rule of law, and de-politicizing the Coptic church, is the only way to stem Egypt’s rising sectarian violence. Read More

Twin Root Causes of Political Violence in Arab World
Rami G. Khouri

The two chronic threats of Zionism and foreign militarism remain the central causes of the Middle East’s political violence. Read More

Russia’s Long-Term Aims in Syria
Salam al-Saadi

Russia hopes its recent military support to Bashar Al-Assad will give it political leverage over the Syrian regime and counter Western military might both in Syria and globally. Read More

Palestinians Deserve Better than Netanyahu and Abbas
Rami G. Khouri

The behavior of the Israeli leadership is criminal. The behavior of the Palestinian leadership is incompetent. The Palestinian people deserve much better than this on both counts. Read More

Saudi Arabia's Yemen Gambit
Neil Partrick

Saudi Arabia’s lack of clear goals in Yemen is worsening the security vacuum and potentially undermining the kingdom’s national security. Read More

America Flunks Hard Lessons of War
Rami G. Khouri

A bad local situation is always made far worse when American or other foreign powers send in their armed forces and open fire at will, because they shatter the local political landscapes as well as the thin credibility of the United States as a useful or reliable partner. Read More

Demolitions in Sinai, New Walls in Beirut
Rami G. Khouri

Situations like those in Lebanon and Egypt require deep discussions among citizens and their public officials that address the serious grievances that have been put on the table. Home demolitions and concrete walls represent the most severe antithesis of serious political engagement. Read More

Hamas Hedging its Bets in the Region
Benedetta Berti

Hamas seeks to improve ties with Saudi Arabia while preserving its pre-existing regional interlocutors, including Iran. Read More

History Haunts Lebanon Crisis
Tarek Osman

"You Stink" protests are not just about the fight against political corruption, but the struggle to define Lebanon as a nation and an idea. Tarek Osman looks at how the country's long history of sectarian strife, and secular aspirations, weigh on today's crisis. Read More

Kurdistan’s Missed Chance for Reform
Christine McCaffray van den Toorn, Raad Alkadiri

Political deadlock within the Kurdistan Regional Government is hindering the shift from an executive to a parliamentary system. Read More

On Selfies with Refugees
Farid Farid

Selfies with refugees is the new “kissing babies”, at least for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has emerged as a hero embodying the matriarch “saving” Arabs from their leaders. The message is not lost on those suffering in Syria or Iraq—the reality is just too dire because their states have failed them miserably. Read More

Plague of Violence Is Everyone’s Problem
Rami G. Khouri

The Middle East today is in such bloody and tragic turmoil for many different reasons, but one of them is that the five major powers of the region and the two global powers are all at war simultaneously. Read More

Arabs Watch as Lebanon Navigates a Crucial Moment
Rami G. Khouri

The protesters vision of the role of the state and their rights as citizens is very different from how the establishment men in the national dialogue see the citizen and the state. Read More

No Exit: The Politics of Garbage in Lebanon
Nabeel Khoury

Jean Paul Sartre’s "No Exit", a play that was long ago staged in Arabic to entertain Beirut’s literati, captures the current dilemma: The way out of the morass is obvious but the political class in Lebanon, long trapped by their own selfishness and vicious internecine struggles, simply cannot leave their self-created inferno. Read More

What Do We Learn from the Iran Deal?
Rami G. Khouri

What lessons have we learned from the process behind getting the Iran deal through American congress? Perhaps not much new, but some clarity on old understandings of the relationship between the United States and Israel. Read More

The New Middle East, Iran Nuclear Deal and the Arabs
Nabil Fahmy

Nabil Fahmy says Arabs have to deal with the regional situation, including the Iranian deal, seriously and objectively. Simply making statements will not deter threats or safeguard interests. Egypt's former foreign minister calls for independent and concrete Arab proposals. Read More

War & Peace Over Lunch II
Rami G. Khouri

Saudi Arabia and Iran could lead a bold diplomatic process to shape a Gulf-centric, Middle Eastern regional security architecture that is modeled on the Helsinki Process of a generation ago between the American- and Soviet-led camps. Read More

War & Peace Over Lunch
Rami G. Khouri

A delightful lunch in which I disagree with the fundamental premise that our region is largely defined by the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Read More

Remembering Saud Al-Faisal
Nabil Fahmy

Saudi Arabia's longtime minister of foreign affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal passed away this Ramadan. He was among the kingdom's most influential men. The Egyptian former foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, reflects on the Arab statesman and diplomat. Read More

Repeating History in Syria
Rami G. Khouri

Just as Syria was created after World War One by negotiations among Western powers who decided the country’s composition and its leadership and power configuration, Syria today is being reconfigured in the image of other powers. Read More

Badr at the Forefront of Iraq’s Shia Militias
Kirk H. Sowell

The political rise of the Badr Organization and its leader, Hadi Al-Ameri, is paving the way for a garrison state in Iraq. Read More

Repression in Egypt from Mubarak to Sisi
Maged Mandour

Egypt under President Sisi is more autocratic and repressive than at any other point in the country’s history. Read More

Historical Developments Visible in Turkey-Syria
Rami G. Khouri

The events Monday transcend domestic Turkish issues. In fact, they reflect the convergence of at least five important new trends in the Middle East that touch on Turkey, the Kurds, Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Mideast policies of the United States and other foreign and regional powers. Read More

Remembering Hiroshima, Amidst Hell in Syria
Rami G. Khouri

Mass killings by weapons of mass destruction matter more than ever in the Arab world because we seem to be the world’s most problematic arena for mass killings, refugee flows, and the use of violence by states and non-state groups that is rarely if ever subject to any accountability. Read More

Assad Letting Go of Syrian Unity
Rashad Al-Kattan

Assad may be relinquishing authority over certain parts of Syria he is unable to hold or recapture, but the war is sure to drag on for some time. Read More

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Syrian Diplomacy
Rami G. Khouri

The best available option now is to seek an American-Iranian-Russian-Saudi agreement on basic principles to end the fighting. This would allow Syrians themselves to forge a political path towards…well, nobody knows towards what. Read More

Venturing very far afield, to learn about home
Rami G. Khouri

Last month I ventured very far afield to read a tale of adolescent youth in ethnically mixed British society, whose main characters are two teenage British-Pakistani girls. Read More

Egypt’s Parties Face Marginalization Once Again
Khaled Dawoud

Egypt’s electoral system, which favors individual candidates and parties designed to increase President Sisi's populist appeal, will sideline pro-democracy parties.Read More

Can NATO Militaries Generate Mideast Stability?
Rami G. Khouri

The agreement between Turkey and the United States on a yet-to-be-defined plan to establish a sixty-mile-long Islamic State-free zone in northern Syria is at once decisive and dangerous.Read More

EU Separates Israel’s Security from its Settlements
Rami G. Khouri

Slow but continuing moves by the European Union — including two developments in the past week — place the Palestinian-Israeli struggle in the arena of international law, accountability and appropriate sanctions.Read More

Iran’s Post-Deal Dilemma
Tarek Osman

A major success in Tehran's foreign policy, the nuclear deal imposes an acute dilemma on the regime at home. So far, its leaders seem neither willing nor able to resolve the challenges facing them. Read More

Gen. Odierno speaks half the truth needed to defeat ISIS
Rami G. Khouri

The faster and more concretely the United States and Arab states play their parts in addressing the non-military issues that promote IS, the faster that 20-year horizon for destroying IS and everything it reflects will whittle down into a shorter time frame. Read More

Will Congress Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory?
Reza Marashi

Congress will have a sixty-day review period–until September 17–in which it can accept the deal, reject it, or do nothing. The White House has a fight on its hands, but one that it can win. Read More

Why Human Rights Is Good Business in Post-Deal Iran
Gissou Nia

Amid all the excitement over an Iran deal, there has been scant discussion of Iran’s dismal human rights record. The lifting of sanctions presents an opportunity not only for big profits, but gains in the country’s human rights standards. Read More

Nidaa Tounes Drifting Apart?
Omar Belhaj Salah

A disillusioned faction within Nidaa Tounes is drawing on distrust of leftist and conservative leadership to seek more influence within the governing party. Read More

Iran is drama, but Iraq is destiny
Rami G. Khouri

Their cooperation with American and Iranian elements suggests that Iraqis are determined to keep trying to work together for the common good of their united, pluralistic country, rather than to fight each other for the right to rule small ethnic provinces. Read More

U.S. and Iran: Overcoming a Hard Legacy
John Limbert

With the announcement of a nuclear deal in Vienna, a three-decade freeze in relations between the U.S. and Iran is beginning to break. A former American diplomat with a deep knowledge of Iran, John Limbert explains the way forward. Read More

ISIS Is Weak, but so Are Arab States
Rami G. Khouri

The political and sectarian problems that prevent military coordination also plague the constructive political development of countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine and others. Read More

The Brotherhood’s Post-Pacifist Approach
Abdelrahman Ayyash

The Muslim Brotherhood’s current leadership is neither able nor willing to find political alternatives to what the young propose: “smart violence.” Read More

Why Arabs Are Concerned About the Iran Nuke Bargain
Nabil Fahmy

The proposed nuclear deal with Iran is far from sufficient. It delays, but does not close the door on potential Iranian breakout. There is profound concern among Arab leaders, and for good reason. Read More

Hillary Clinton should stop lying
Rami G. Khouri

The BDS movement that includes divestment and boycott moves by leading American churches and European banks and even some governments is not trying to delegitimize Israel. Read More

Counting Islam: Religion, Class, and Elections in Egypt
Amy Hawthorne

A look at the ups and downs of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.Read More

Dark Geopolitics of the Middle East
Hooshang Amirahmadi

The region’s autocrats and foreign intruders created growing disorder. Democratic reform is needed to spare the region from a future of failed states, popular revolts, and religious extremism. Read More

Egypt, ISIS, Elvis and other inspirations
Rami G. Khouri

Anniversaries this week that inspire liberty, human rights, and the enjoyment of life. Read More

What Goes Unsaid
Marda Dunsky

American media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict is more even-handed than critics claim, but key contextual factors go unreported or underreported. Among them: the impact of U.S. policy on the conflict. Read More

Dining with Darius
Rachel Laudan

The tale of the Persian empire is one of vast farms, game reserves, and fisheries, elaborate kitchens staffed by thousands, and power. Centuries later, nations are still engaging in culinary politics. Read More

How to Feed Egypt
Perrihan Al-Riffai

A country with a bulging population faces crippling food security challenges. A high-level government commitment must address the availability of and access to food. Read More

Letter from China
John Battersby

The Beijing regime is nervous that digital technology in the form of social media and other tools is chipping away at the Communist Party’s authoritarian system of control. Read More

Foreign Policy, Interrupted
Lauren E. Bohn

To respond to a stark gender disparity in foreign affairs, a new non-profit works to get more women miked, quoted, and bylined. Read More

Oriental Hall, Etc.
Frank E. Bartscheck II, Salma Abdallah

Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo. Read More

Everyday Heroes
Frank E. Bartscheck II

A psychologist, known for his study of evil, is fascinated by what was good in the Arab Spring. Read More

Egyptian Reporters Reloaded
Amir-Hussein Radjy

Mada Masr, a progressive online news organization, is pushing against the shrinking space for political debate. Read More

After Ramadi, Militias in the Lead
Kirk H. Sowell

The fall of Ramadi on May 17 has had two key repercussions, neither of which will be reversed by simply retaking lost ground. Read More

Reflecting on a Week of Terror
Rami G. Khouri

Identifying more honestly the combination of reasons that drive ordinary citizens into the arms of killers has stumped Arab and Western authorities for decades, though any Arab teenager could probably explain in five minutes what ails them, and channels some of them into criminal acts. Read More

Netanyahu and the Iranian Threat
Owen Alterman

Some say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is obsessed with the Iranian nuclear issue. Some say he just cares deeply about it. Owen Alterman reflects upon how Jewish history influences the leader's policies today. Read More

How a Nuclear Deal Helps Democracy in Iran
Nader Hashemi

The debate on the Iran nuclear deal has largely ignored the effects that an accord might have on politics and society within the country. An Iranian scholar considers what the future might hold. Read More

Signs of a more effective Palestinian strategy?
Rami G. Khouri

Two initiatives this week may well point the way towards a more effective path of political and diplomatic struggle that could overcome the constraints now suffered due to Palestinian fragmentation. Read More

How Iraq is Driving Itself to Hunger
Hadi Fathallah

The fight against the Islamic State has disrupted food production in Iraq, but the Iraqi government is in no shape to fill the food gap. Read More

Good Grief: ISIS Cannot be Fought with Facebook Likes
Rami G. Khouri

ISIS and Al-Qaeda can only be fought by cutting out from beneath their feet the combination of policies and conditions in the Arab region that deeply offend and threaten ordinary citizens, and ultimately turn a very small number of them into ISIS recruits. Read More

To Obey the Law or Continue Criminal Actions?
Rami G. Khouri

Four very different approaches on to how to resolve situations of violence, atrocity, and occupation. Read More

Ending the Iranian-Saudi Cold War
Reza Marashi

Renewed diplomacy between two regional powers is critical to building durable security in the Middle East. Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court Wisely Upholds the Law
Rami G. Khouri

The Supreme Court's recent decision could prove consequential in the years ahead, as the political battle between Israelis and Palestinians continues to find its way into American courts. Read More

The Brotherhood's Changing Approach
Abdelrahman Youssef

The Brotherhood’s youth wing is pushing the group toward confrontation with the Egyptian state. Read More

Iran's Stakes in Syria's Economy
Salam al-Saadi

Although political considerations are the main drivers of Iran’s policy toward Syria, economic interests are playing an ever greater role. Read More

The Spirit Lives, in Gdansk and Beirut
Rami G. Khouri

Remembering the life and work of the late Samir Kassir, who was assassinated ten years ago in Beirut. Read More

Hamas's Islamic State Woes
Benedetta Berti

The rise of the latest manifestation of the Salafi-jihadi camp in Gaza is politically worrying for Hamas. Read More

ISIS Attracts Because Arab Systems Repel
Rami G. Khouri

Along with strong military actions, the Arab world must take parallel political steps to defeat ISIS. Read More

A New Role for the UN in Western Sahara
Jacques Roussellier

In the absence of open dialogue on the Western Sahara issue, the United Nations is pursuing a middle-of-the-road approach to accommodate the demands of both Morocco and the Polisario. Read More

The Moroccan Left's Dilemma
Imad Stitou

Although the Moroccan far left recognizes that boycotting elections will marginalize them further, their anticipated participation is unlikely to secure them any gains. Read More

Egypt's Liberal Economic Agenda
David Butter

Egypt is back in the favor of global business, but will it be able to sustain that interest? Read More

Attack ISIS' Drivers to Defeat It
Rami G. Khouri

It’s not the war against ISIS that is “long,” it’s rather the conditions of inequity, oppression, imperial reach, state violence, and mass deprivation that have gone on for so long that they have finally erupted in the form of the terrible revenge called ISIS. Read More

Gulf Countries Shape a New Political Order
Tarek Osman

With its financial leverage and soft power, the Gulf has become an important orchestrator of the pace and direction of change in the Arab world. Read More

Narrow Ethno-nationalism Plagues All in the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri

The Middle East continues shifting toward increasingly narrow state identities and government policies that are defined by a combination of narrow ethnicity, increased militarism and religious conservatism. Read More

Postcard From Iran
Ann M. Lesch

Iranians are hopeful for a finalized agreement between Iran and the United States that will renew relations between the two countries. Read More

Egypt, 1984
Laila El Baradei

Today's Egypt looks troublingly similar to Orwell's dystopia. Read More

Vulnerable, Abused Citizens Lead to Unstable States
Rami G. Khouri

Arab societies are brittle, volatile, violent and fragmenting in many cases because there is no effective check on the exercise of power by indigenous or external powers, which leaves average Arab citizen totally exposed and helpless. Read More

Grasp This Window to Hold Killers Accountable
Rami G. Khouri

A UN report that addresses the actions of Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza war is an opportunity to dare to move towards holding chronic killers accountable. Read More

The Rise of Iraq's Militia State
Kirk H. Sowell

Amid the fight against the Islamic State, Iraq is witnessing another struggle for power between Abadi’s nationalist Shia factions and Iranian-backed militias. Read More

Threats and Responses in the GCC's New Militancy
Rami G. Khouri

Will the GCC’s new militarism respond to the long list of perceived troubling regional threats as well as it already responds to the GCC’s need to safeguard its own national interests? Read More

A Struggle for the Soul of Islam
Tarek Osman

In the post-revolution MidEast, Islam isn't only a refuge in a world in which all ideologies and systems have been crumbling, it's also a powerful cause to be defended. Read More

Our Homemade Weapons of Our Own Mass Destruction
Rami G. Khouri

Wildly flashing red lights telling us to stop building one-way highways to hell for tens of millions of our children who are denied the most important opportunity of their lives. Read More

Judicial Reforms in Tunisia
Sarah Mersch

Long-needed reforms to Tunisia’s judiciary may soon emerge, but structural reforms are just one of the many daunting tasks ahead of the branch. Read More

A Question About Policy in Yemen
Rami G. Khouri

America’s top officials seem comfortable continuing an approach in Yemen even though in the same breath they acknowledge its dangerous consequences for the Arab world. Read More

Iran Accord Could Spark Momentous Regional Changes
Rami G. Khouri

The consummation of a full, multi-decade agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is likely to have monumental consequences across the entire Middle East. Read More

Rare Courage, Respect, Reciprocity Drove Iran Deal
Rami G. Khouri

The agreed deal on Iran’s nuclear program that was reached Thursday represents a monumental achievement that affirms the power of reason and diplomacy over the ravages of fear and warfare. Read More

Keeping Egypt's Lights On
Alfred Jasins, Brendan Meighan

To address the country’s growing energy needs, the government is granting the private sector a leading role. Read More

Yemen's War is Debatable, but Probably Historic
Rami G. Khouri

Simultaneous adjustments at national, regional and global levels have been taking place across the Middle East region since the end of the Cold War. The Saudi-Yemen situation is important because it captures developments at all three levels. Read More

City of Lies
Holly Dagres

A study of love, sex, and death in Tehran Read More

Noble Jews and Bloodthirsty Arabs
Matthew Berkman

A dehumanizing portrait of Palestinians from an Israeli LiberalRead More

The United States and Palestine
Rashid Khalidi

Despite direct and continuous American diplomacy for decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has raged on and on. A Middle East scholar deconstructs seven decades of failed American policy. Read More

America's Middle East Challenge
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Mehrdad Saberi

Washington’s foreign policy rests on shaky ground due to longstanding mistrust by Arabs and Iranians alike. To ease tensions and fight terrorism, the United States should support a new order based on cooperation among regional powers. Read More

Egypt's Leaderless Revolution
David Ottaway, Marina Ottaway

The January 25 Tahrir Square uprising raised high hopes for change after years of dictatorship. But the failure of revolutionaries to organize and unite doomed the prospects for democracy. Read More

Arab Peacemaker
Cairo Review

Lakhdar Brahimi is the Middle East’s elder statesman. He speaks about the impact of colonialism, the rise of political Islam, and his life as a United Nations diplomat. Read More

Media Policy and Freedom of Expression
Nabil Fahmy

Discussing “freedom of expression” in the same conversation with “media policy” may imply that they are mutually exclusive concepts, but that is a false premise. Read More

Oriental Hall, Etc.
Owain Richards

Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo. Read More

Schooling Egypt
Sarah El-Shaarawi

The country faces an education crisis of what may well be historic proportions. Read More

Four Active Arab Wars Stem from a Common Malaise
Rami G. Khouri

Yemen is not really about the legally authorized use of force to ensure a calm Arab future. Rather, it is mainly a testament to the marginalization of the rule of law in many Arab countries in our recent past. Read More

The Islamic State's Strategy in Libya
Kevin Casey, Stacey Pollard

Lacking close ties to Libyan social groups, the Islamic State’s strategy focuses on accelerating state collapse rather than acquiring territory. Read More

The United States Should Now Respond to the Arab Peace Plan
Rami G. Khouri

The Obama administration is doing something that no other American administration has ever dared to do, which is to confront and challenge Israel in public on the core issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Read More

One Arena and Two Players
Rami G. Khouri

After a strong victory by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and a consolidation of rightwing sentiments, Israeli-American relations is the critical arena, and the European and Palestinian leaderships are the two pivotal actors to watch. Read More

What's Next for Netanyahu?
Lisa Goldman

Recent Israeli elections may spell victory for the prime minister, but his pre-election moves could create challenges for his government. Read More

Four Middle East Cities Today Might Define Our Fate
Rami G. Khouri

The fate of this region remains in the hands of its people. How current events in Tikrit, Cairo, Tel Aviv and Tehran play themselves out will shape our fate for generations to come. Read More

The Challenges of Mobilizing Sunni Tribes in Iraq
Raed El-Hamed

If Iraqi parties cannot agree on a unified vision for the National Guard, options will remain limited for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State. Read More

Syria Reflects Wider, Older Arab Troubles
Rami G. Khouri

The Middle East is likely to endure many years of dislocation and violence until local authorities re-establish order that is based on a more credible social contract among citizens who feel they belong to a state. Read More

Will the March Investment Conference Launch Egypt’s Economic Recovery?
Amr Adly

Egypt’s leaders hope that foreign investors, led by the Gulf states, will provide much-needed capital. But the fall in oil prices may make it difficult for them to help. Read More

Drama Becomes Farce in U.S.-Israeli Ties
Rami G. Khouri

Netanyahu just tore up the rulebook, and nobody is quite sure what will happen next in U.S.-Israeli relations. An unsanctioned, thriving Iran that is not a nuclear threat would force a new balance of power in the Middle East. Read More

Sisi's Parliamentary Fears
Mohamed El-Shewy

Driven by its distrust of organized political groups, Sisi’s regime has gone to considerable lengths to depoliticize the parliament and the country’s new “political” elite. Read More

Another Blow to the Farcical 'Peace Process'
Rami G. Khouri

All concerned should be braced for some bad things to happen in the arenas of security, political rhetoric, administration, finances and economy, and physical and psychological well-being of citizenries on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Read More

Netanyahu's Grand Speech, to Uncertain Effect
Owen Alterman

The Israeli Prime Minister's speech to the United States Congress stole the show in American media, but it will likely have little impact on policy or Israeli elections. Read More

The Battle Forces Against ISIS Remain Incomplete
Rami G. Khouri

If ISIS and other such movements are to be defeated, we need to see tangible signs of change in the way Arab societies are governed. Read More

The Egyptian Pope's Risky Partisanship
Johannes A. Makar

Pope Tawadros II, the main political voice of the Coptic community, has seemingly allied with President Sisi, but this comes at the expense of defending Coptic rights. Read More

A Milestone in United States-Israel Relations
Rami G. Khouri

The fact that we now see strong, public criticisms of Netanyahu from the belly of the Israel-loving beast that is the U.S. Congress suggests that a significant political and historical marker has been passed. Read More

Kurds' Electoral Gamble
Mustafa Gurbuz

Kurds will benefit from the HDP’s decision to run as a party in Turkey’s parliamentary elections, but the party will bear most of the risk. Read More

Sisi's Joint Arab Military Idea is Stunningly Idiotic
Rami G. Khouri

The idea of joint Arab action for common security needs is a good one in principle, but given the legacy of Arab military actions at home and abroad, it makes no sense whatsoever, on many counts. Read More

Honesty and Dishonesty in Fighting Violent Extremism
Rami G. Khouri

Unusual for American senior officials speaking about the Middle East or Arab-Islamic dynamics, a case of refreshingly accurate, honest and relevant talk from a U.S. president. Read More

Only Fools Confuse Religion with Criminality
Rami G. Khouri

Declaring that Islam is at war with itself, or that we witness a battle for the soul and heart of Islam, is vulgar, reductionist and essentialist. Read More

An Interview on Moroccan Salafi-Jihadists
Mohammed Hakiki

Mohammed Hakiki talks about Morocco's efforts to crack down on recruitment networks for ISIS in the country.Read More

Rep. John Yarmuth Matters and Deserves Our Respect
Rami G. Khouri

The American representative will not be attending Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress. It's worth understanding his reasons. Read More

The Fight for Mosul: Learning from the Past
Renad Mansour

The Islamic State will only be ousted from Iraq’s second largest city if Sunni tribal forces join the fight. That will require rebuilding their trust in Baghdad. Read More

Tunisia's Majority Unstable Government
Sarah Mersch

Tunisia’s new coalition cabinet is hardly a beacon of stability, confronting ideological differences between four different parties. Read More

How to Innovate Islamic Thinking
Tarek Osman

The solution is for religious institutions to widen their scope of research, limit their scope of social supervision, and open their doors. Read More

Yemen and the Agony of the Modern Arab Era
Rami G. Khouri

While Yemen is a telling lesson in how not to practice stable statehood, it also requires more urgent attention because it poses real and major danger to others in the region and the world. Read More

Saudi Troubles in Sanaa
Khaled Fattah

To protect its security interests in the long term, Riyadh may have little choice but to engage with the Houthis. Read More

Syrian Refugees and Regional Security
Benedetta Berti

The international community has heavily invested in the armed forces of Syria’s neighbors, but hard security cannot be achieved without more robust humanitarian aid. Read More

Jordan Today Reflects Arab Strengths and Weaknesses
Rami G. Khouri

Jordan’s dilemma, which is on full display today, is that its strengths are also its weaknesses. Read More

Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt Offer Real Choices
Rami G. Khouri

Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt show us the options we face. I honor and choose Tunisia, as I suspect do most of the 360 million Arabs who can speak freely, if they are not in jail and have not had their citizenship revoked. Read More

A Generational Battle Among Brothers
Mostafa Hashem

Youth members are now assuming a more active role in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, pushing the group to escalate its call for revolutionary action against President Sisi. Read More

Limitless Ambitions of Yemen’s Houthis
Nabeel Khoury

The first of the Houthi wars started, in 2004, while I was the chargé at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. A decade later, the Houthis have taken over Yemen’s capital, pushing the fragile country toward an uncertain fate. Read More

No Succession Drama, But Plenty of Regional Drama
Rami G. Khouri

Regional and foreign policy is the arena where traditional conservative Saudi values and operating methods run up against the challenges of modern geopolitics and aggressive initiatives by many other states and non-state actors. Read More

After King Abdullah, Continuity
Frederic Wehrey

Despite the speculations over the effects of Saudi succession, the kingdom’s foreign policies are likely to remain unchanged and have been remarkably consistent since the reign of King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz. Read More

Egypt’s Two-Faced Policy on Human Rights
Sherif Mansour

Egypt’s attempted reconciliation with the international community and securing of foreign support, investment, and aid are not possible as long as Egypt holds at least 12 journalists behind bars. Read More

Israel vs. Hezbollah-Syria-Iran
Rami G. Khouri

Because of the tangled dynamics of Hezbollah’s relations inside Lebanon and around the Middle East, the Israeli attack in Syria — an almost routine event in the last few decades, sadly — actually hit three targets in one, namely Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Read More

The Libya Conundrum
Karim Mezran , Tarek Radwan

What is happening in Libya? And how will Egypt react? Read More

Should We Welcome, Fear or Ignore the Quartet?
Rami G. Khouri

The Quartet was a good idea that initially aimed to expand the circle of major parties that lent their weight to achieving a negotiated peace. That never happened for several reasons. Read More

Tests for Egyptian Journalists
Naomi Sakr

Despite hopes for greater press freedom after the 2011 uprising, Egypt today is one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters. Battling censors and evading detention is all in a day’s work. Read More

Dangerous Occupation
Joel Simon

Digital technology is enabling the spread of news and information across borders and around the world on an unprecedented scale. Yet, the challenges and risks facing professional journalists have never been greater. The executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists tells the story. Read More

Barack Obama's Lost Promise
Magda Shahin

Without a more consistent and effective implementation of the policy, the promise of a better American relationship with the Muslim World will remain elusive.Read More

Arab World on the Precipice
Nabil Fahmy

Now more than any time in recent memory, the Arab World as a political entity is confronted with ominous threats and hair-raising domestic and regional challenges. Read More

Oriental Hall, etc.
Rozina Ali, Owain Richards

Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo. Read More

Jonathan Guyer, Sarah El-Shaarawi

Mohamed Tawfik is the Egyptian ambassador to the United States. Literature, as much as diplomacy, is Tawfik’s passion. Read More

A Better Citizen
Rozina Ali

Mahmoud El-Gamal will be forever nostalgic about his days as an economics undergraduate at the American University in Cairo. In July, he became the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Read More

The Charlie Hebdo Dilemma and Islamic Institutions
Tarek Osman

In the vagueness of their response, Islamic leaders are missing an opportunity to lead the global conversation. Read More

Problems in Paris and Khartoum
Rami G. Khouri

A bad week in the continuing saga of an Arab world in search for decency, democracy and development, which remain elusive despite the proven thirst for these things across the region. Read More

Egypt-Gulf Ties and a Changing Balance of Regional Security
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

In the volatile post-Arab Spring landscape, Gulf Cooperation Council states have sought to influence developments in Egypt through aid and diplomacy. Read More

Time for Serious Palestinian Leadership
Rami G. Khouri

Serious issues of national fate require serious leadership, and Abbas does not fit that bill any longer. Read More

A Moment to Recall the Corrosion that Threatens Egypt
Rami G. Khouri

The Al-Jazeera journalists must be freed, but so also must the Egyptian and Arab people be freed from the crippling, deadly grip of military rule. Read More

What to Watch for at the UN Security Council
Rami G. Khouri

An important debate will soon take place at the UN Security Council on draft resolutions to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We should pay attention. Read More

How Fares the Global War on Terror?
Rami G. Khouri

The more the GWOT continues, the greater seems to be the expansion and impact of the very terror groups it seeks to defeat, with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra being the most recent examples. Read More

The Angels and Devils of Our Last Four Years
Rami G. Khouri

We know today about both our angels and our devils, and they will battle for our souls for some years to come. We have become normal countries, in the early years of our painful birth. Read More

The Case Against an Alliance with Assad
Heiko Wimmen

Realpolitik, rather than ethics, provides the most powerful arguments against the growing calls to forge a deal with the Syrian regime. Read More

Imperial Crimes in the United States and the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri

Is the United States the shining republic, or just another banana republic? Is this a moment of pride or shame for Americans? Right now, it seems to be a bit of both, but how it emerges in the longer term remains to be seen. Read More

Libya’s Southern Rivalries
Rebecca Murray

Rival factions in Libya have allied themselves with groups in the south, intensifying local conflicts and disrupting security in the border zone. Read More

More Simplistic Nonsense from the United States Government
Rami G. Khouri

Until Arab, Western and other foreign rulers accept that their policies were the main underlying reason that allowed ISIS and other such movements to come into being, statements such as John Kerry’s this week will only meet with ridicule and disbelief. Read More

Sinai Campaign a Boon to the Islamic State
Mostafa Hashem

Support for the Islamic State in Sinai and across Egypt has risen as youth grow convinced that the state’s violence can only be met with counter-violence. Read More

Egypt is Sad, But Still Hard to Read
Rami G. Khouri

The acquittal of former President Hosni Mubarak last weekend marks a symbolic nail in the coffin of the uprising and revolution that overthrew his government in February 2011. It is tempting but reckless to make definitive judgments about the meaning of the extraordinary stages of Egyptian political life since then.Read More

Obama’s Dangerous Embrace of War
Rami G. Khouri

Ignoring the US public’s sentiments, presidents continue to use the country’s enormous capabilities to wage war around the world at will — usually create more havoc and generating new dangers that did not exist previously.Read More

Imagining a New Arab Order
Tarek Osman

The Arab World is witnessing ideological, sectarian, and ethnic conflicts. A new Arab order will emerge out of these ruins, but it will take time. Read More

Important Lessons from the Iran Negotiations
Rami G. Khouri

Decisive yet sensible leadership among those involved in the talks has been able to triumph over extremist ideological positions of domestic foes, and scare tactics of perturbed foreign parties like Israel and Saudi Arabia. Read More

Only Active Citizens Can Save Their Precarious States
Rami G. Khouri

The precarious status of half a dozen countries, which run the risk of collapsing or fragmenting into smaller units, is a defining issue of the Arab world today. Read More

A New Sectarian Force for Iraq
Raed El-Hamed

Plans to build a national guard force risk widening sectarian divisions in Iraq and pushing more Sunnis toward the Islamic State. Read More

Algeria’s Police Riots
Abdallah Brahimi

The power struggle between the Algerian presidency and DRS prevents any fundamental reforms that could address the underlying demands of police protesters.Read More

Is Jerusalem the Last Battle?
Rami G. Khouri

Living in a political vacuum, Palestinians in Jerusalem have only themselves to rely on to defend their lands and rights, and in cases of extreme threats and violence used against them, they resort to violence such as we are witnessing these days. Read More

Brotherly Love in the GCC
Suliman Al-Atiqi

Renewed high-level diplomatic activity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia may end their historic row as the GCC seeks policy alignment, particularly on security issues. Read More

President Rivlin’s Important, Intriguing Gesture
Rami G. Khouri

One of the few times in recent memory that a senior Israeli official makes a personal gesture that touches the core of Palestinian pain. Read More

Houthis on the Rise in Yemen
Mareike Transfeld

Although the Houthis are well-poised to acquire new territories and increase their influence within Yemen, neither development will bring about peace or prosperity for the country. Read More

Egypt Follows U.S. and Israeli Failed Strategies
Rami G. Khouri

When heavy-handed anti-terror actions demean, kill, injure or ruin the lives of civilians, some of these civilians end up joining the militant groups, simply to exact revenge against those who attacked them. Read More

President Al-Sisi's Worldview
Marc J. Sievers

A former senior official at the U.S. embassy in Cairo describes how Al-Sisi's background is shaping his approach to domestic politics, counterterrorism, Israel, and other issues. Read More

Lessons from the Historic Tunisian Elections
Rami G. Khouri

The Tunisian elections were the most significant domestic and national political development in the history of the modern Arab world since its creation a century ago. Read More

The Challenges of Rebuilding Gaza
Mohammed Samhouri

Gaza cannot be rebuilt in a political vacuum; and conditions alone placed on international funding of Gaza’s reconstruction are not likely to work. Read More

Egypt’s 1984
Sharif Abdel Kouddous

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s steps to quash dissent exceed the Mubarak era’s in scope and intensity. Read More

ISIS is the Latest of Many Different Islamisms
Rami G. Khouri

ISIS, like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Gamaa Islamiya, non-violent Salafists, militant Salafist-Takfiris, Al-Qaeda and others before it, is a symptom of, and a reaction to, deeper ailments in Middle Eastern society. Read More

The Mideast: More Explosive than Ever
Tarek Osman

The Middle East’s strategic landscape has been changing at a rapid pace. Two recent events are noteworthy. Read More

New Hare-Brained American Ideas in the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri

Why does the United States repeatedly discard the relevance of human nature and history when it unleashes its guns and goes into action around the world? Read More

What Lies Ahead for Algeria?
Sada Debates

Algeria’s future is filled with confusion and concern. Four experts on Algeria take an in-depth look at the changes to come. Read More

Refugees Themselves Can Crack This Tough Nut
Rami G. Khouri

An ICG report, “Bringing Back the Palestinian Refugee Question,” is a timely and convincing reminder of why the Palestinian refugees must be central actors in the quest for a negotiated resolution of their conflict with Israel. Read More

In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Working to Beat the Clock
Reza Marashi

Thousands of miles away from the spin factories in Washington and Tehran, negotiators are working diligently to seal the deal. To hear the Europeans tell it, a deal is within reach. Read More

Three Questions to Ask before Unleashing the Military
Rami G. Khouri

If any foreign power asked about the legitimacy, the efficacy, and the consequences of its military involvement in other countries before actually launching such militarism, it might be possible to minimize the negative consequences that we have experienced in the Middle East in recent decades. Read More

Maher-Affleck Debate: An Islamic View
Tarek Osman

Bill Maher’s assertion that Islam inspires conflict is wrong. But Ben Affleck’s impassioned defense—that most Muslims just want to live peaceful lives—also ignores the fact that today the Islamic world is extremely violent. Read More

Tunisia’s Uncertain Elections
Sarah Mersch

Talk of Tunisia’s elections has focused on parties and individuals, not issues, leaving many citizens unsure for whom to vote. Read More

How to Assess Fragmenting Arab States
Rami G. Khouri

Seven issues gauge the real power and longevity of non-state actors, alongside the dilution of state authority. These seven are Identity, Sovereignty, Territoriality, Service-delivery, Legitimacy, Nationality, and Statehood. Read More

Turkey’s Waiting Game on the Syrian border
Nabeel Khoury

After three years of hesitation, Turkey has signaled its readiness to play a more active role in Syria and to join the recently formed coalition against ISIS. Read More

Desperate Netanyahu Sticks to Old Lies
Rami G. Khouri

The repeated mistake Netanyahu makes—or perhaps it is a deliberate lie—is to see any movement or rhetoric in the Middle East that references Islamic values as a dangerous threat.Read More

What’s at the Heart of Lebanon’s Troubles?
Sada Debates

Four experts on Lebanon take an in-depth look the country’s stability. Read More

Palestine’s Moral Force Needs Diplomatic Power
Rami G. Khouri

Abbas is making decisions on his own without consulting widely among all Palestinians, and he is using the ICC as a threat, when it should be a central component in any Palestinian strategy that seeks to hold Israel accountable to the international rule of law. Read More

An Arab Revolution, Born from Ruins
Tarek Osman

At a private gathering last week, the Middle East editor at one of the world’s leading newspapers described the Arab world as “a comprehensive mess.” Is it? Read More

Scramble for Iraq
Nabeel Khoury

America’s toppling of Saddam Hussein unleashed new forces in the Middle East. The latest fallout: the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Read More

Foreign Policy Mess
Cairo Review

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, is a harsh critic of the Bush administration he served from 2001 to 2005. The retired U.S. army colonel discusses the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the end of the American Empire. Read More

Back to the Future
Laila El Baradei

I have to wonder if we Egyptians are traveling backwards in a time capsule. Lately, we seem to have arrived in the 1960s. Read More

Oriental Hall, Etc.
Rozina Ali, Aaron T. Rose

Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo. Read More

Architecture for All
Fernanda Uro Aboites

Magda Mostafa, an architecture professor at the American University in Cairo, is a pioneer in practical solutions to the challenges of living with autism. Read More

The Man Behind "Unmanned"
Robert Greenwald

A Hollywood director tells how he tracked down an American drone pilot and Pakistani victims of drone strikes to make the powerful documentary film Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars.Read More

Creating or Evading the Gates of Hell?
Rami G. Khouri

Three principal developments in and around the Arab world: The combined American-Arab Gulf states air strikes in Syria, the control of the Yemeni capital by Houthi rebels, and the meeting in New York between the Saudi Arabian and Iranian foreign ministers. Read More

Shameful Hamas-Fateh Behavior Must Stop
Rami G. Khouri

That Hamas and Fateh do not consummate a unified Palestinian government does not only reflect irresponsibility and incompetence on their part, but in view of the difficult context for Palestinians as a whole it is nothing less than a crime. Read More

The Reluctant Posse
Rami G. Khouri

It is not surprising that when the threat becomes really serious, Arab leaders wait for the United States to save their skins. Read More

How to Defeat ISIS
Tarek Osman

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is the first jihadist group to control a major area at the heart of the Islamic and Arab world. But the group’s real novelty and peril lie elsewhere: in the sophistication of its operations. Read More

Liberty and Security in Tunisia
Omar Belhaj Salah

The increased role of Tunisia’s security apparatus is generating fears of a potential return of the police state. Read More

President El-Sisi Faces the World
Nabil Fahmy

I invite President El-Sisi to deliver a historic speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly appropriate for the magnitude of the challenges and the occasion—and Egyptian prestige. Read More

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