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April 25, 2015

Politics & Society


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


World Order
Tarek Osman

Circling the globe with Henry Kissinger Read More


Dark New Geopolitics of the Middle East
Hooshang Amirahmadi

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the European colonial order, a third wave of geopolitics has been making its way into the region's political geography since the end of the Cold War. Read More


Noble Jews and Bloodthirsty Arabs
Matthew Berkman

A dehumanizing portrait of Palestinians from an Israeli LiberalRead More


On the State of Nature
Graham Harman

Hobbes saw life as nasty and brutish, while Rousseau argued humans lack inherent differences in power and strength. A better framework for understanding division in modern politics: Truth Politics versus Power Politics. Read More


Constitutional Stories
Aaron Mills

Why are Canadians so ambivalent about the living conditions imposed on the country’s indigenous peoples, whose political communities survive despite being colonized and disempowered? A report from Turtle Island. Read More


#BlackLivesMatter
Reverend Charles Williams II

Conservative backlash against Barack Obama and continuing police brutality against blacks indicates the country's legacy of slavery has not been overcome. Read More


Bram Fischer's Legacy
Sir Nicholas Stadlen

Nelson Mandela’s leadership steered South Africa to the end of apartheid rule. But the remarkable rapprochement between the races can be traced to Mandela’s friendship with an Afrikaner Nationalist who helped save the country. Read More


After the Fall of Saigon
Ngo Vinh Long

The Vietnam War lasted twenty years and cost the lives of more than two million Vietnamese and 58,000 U.S. troops. In the forty years since the Communist victory and American defeat, a surprising friendship has followed. Read 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


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


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


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


Reflections of a Media Critic
Danny Schechter

The American political system is broken, and political journalism has played a part in that failure. 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


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


The Truth About Liberalism
Sophie McBain

Francis Fukuyama and the Dream of Democracy Read More


Putin the Spoiler
Lilia Shevtsova

With his undeclared war on Ukraine, the Russian president destroyed the post-Cold War system of mutual security commitments. In a quest to sustain his power, “Mr. Nobody” has released forces that he cannot contain. Read More


From Pinstripes to Tweets
R. S. Zaharna

Gone are the days when diplomats could control messages crafted to influence foreign governments and citizens of other nations. Thanks to social media tools, publics are talking back—and to each other. Diplomacy will never be the same. Read More


Hollywood's Bad Arabs
Jack G. Shaheen

For decades, American films and TV programs have vilified Arabs as villains and terrorists. Now a new generation of directors and producers is challenging racial, gender, and religious stereotypes—and making us laugh and think at the same time. 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


Watchdogs Unleashed
Brant Houston

Investigative journalism seemed doomed when the collapse of the traditional business model saw newspapers cutting staff and even closing down. But digital technology is giving determined reporters new opportunities to dig up stories and publish them. Read More


Death of the Newsroom?
Christopher B. Daly

It’s commonplace to hear that the Internet is the end of great newspapers and broadcasters. Reflect on this: media empires were crumbling long before the World Wide Web came along. Read More


The Promise of Digital
Dan Gillmor

People are getting their news on smartphones and laptops, increasingly via Twitter and Facebook. A requiem for serious journalism? A New Media guru explains why we should embrace the Online Age. Read More


Huffington’s World
Cairo Review

Arianna Huffington revolutionized journalism with the Huffington Post. She speaks with Managing Editor Scott MacLeod about the future of digital media, taking HuffPost global, and the Charlie Hebdo killings. 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


Oriental Hall, etc.
Rozina Ali, Owain Richards

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


Candygirl
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


Protests Cause Americans to Take Notice
Rami G. Khouri

When normal life and the economy are disrupted briefly, America takes notice. The status quo seems to endanger young black men in the first instance, but many other Americans sense they could be losers also.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


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


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


The Universal Horrors of Killing with Impunity
Rami G. Khouri

The United States reminds us now that killing with impunity is a terrible crime and a national failure, wherever it happens — Ferguson, New York City, the occupied Palestinian territories or elsewhere. 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


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


Impressive Citizenship in Professor Horn’s Class in Boston
Rami G. Khouri

Public officials in the United States who seek sensible advise on how to govern should attend a few sessions of Professor Denise Horn’s introductory class on International Affairs and Globalization at Northeastern University in Boston. 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


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


The Rule of Law Triumphs — Sort of — in the USA
Rami G. Khouri

Punishing a few hired gunmen while ignoring the responsibility of the political leadership of the United States and Great Britain that waged this criminal war in Iraq in the name of their entire nations is a gross abdication of responsibility. 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


Images from a Land at War
Robert Nickelsberg

“Face to face with the fragility of the human condition”—a portfolio of a veteran photojournalist’s work in Afghanistan spanning twenty-five years. 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


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


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


The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas
Matthew Duss

The 9/11 tale of an American vigilante and his Bangladeshi immigrant victimRead More


Tray of Candies
Qais Akbar Omar

Kabul Memoir: An Afghan writer recalls family disagreements, and a wise patriarch’s way of settling them. Read More


Road to Gandamak
William Dalrymple

“Not one benefit, political or military, has been acquired with this war.” That was G.R. Gleig, writing in 1843 about the British retreat from Afghanistan. While the West may have forgotten the Afghan hatred of foreign rule, Afghans have not. Read More


New Threat to Afghan Women
Manizha Naderi

Afghanistan has recorded tremendous progress in women’s rights. The world must understand how this achievement is an essential component of the rule of law and advance to democracy. Read More


Compromise in Kabul
Thomas Barfield

Ashraf Ghani became the new president of Afghanistan in a power-sharing deal that followed a contested election. Can he now address poor governance, corruption and the Taliban insurgency? 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


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


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


The War about The War
Mark Perry

Israel’s public strategy has come in for widespread scrutiny, both during and after Operation Protective Edge. After Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire, the criticism continued to mount. Read More


Reactionary Satire in an Egyptian Zombie Flick
Meir R. Walters

A recent zombie film illustrates how such pro-regime messaging is making its way into commercial entertainment; it satirizes Islamists and leftists and glorifies the military. Read More


Turks and Arabs
Tarek Osman

The eastern Mediterranean, the region that separates Turkey from North Africa and the Gulf, is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Read More


Polarization and Solidarity Coexist in Arab Societies
Rami G. Khouri

Why is it that otherwise rational men and women cannot sit down together and hammer out agreements on fair power-sharing, representation, decision-making, and accountability?Read More


Strengths and Weaknesses in the Palestinian Initiative
Rami G. Khouri

Abbas is behaving more like a parent who promises his or her children a birthday surprise than a responsible leader who has been handed responsibility for the fate of some eight million Palestinians entering their fourth generation of exile, occupation and refugeehood. Read More


Panic or a Coming of Age in the Gulf?
Rami G. Khouri

The UAE air attack in Libya clarifies a major shift underway in the worldviews and self-perceived roles of leading Arab states, who now throw their weight around the Middle East in a direct manner they never did previously.Read More


The Riddle of Citizen Views on Arab Statehood
Rami G. Khouri

Citizens will rebel against their central state if they do not feel that their needs are being met equitably, or that they are being mistreated by the government and its military forces. Read More


Mubarak’s Last Word
Tarek Osman

The real value of Mubarak's trial lies in the debate it has unleashed among Egyptians—especially young Egyptians—concerning their attitude toward authority.Read More


Israeli Propaganda Starts to Wear Thin
Rami G. Khouri

More and more governments and observers around the world have realized that Hamas and Hezbollah have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, rejecting Israeli propaganda. Read More


An Alternative to Intifada
Hugh Lovatt

For Palestinians, this is a period of frustration over the status quo, limited political horizons, and the hollowing out of Palestinian democratic institutions. Read More


Iraq Is the New Proving Ground for Arab Statehood
Rami G. Khouri

Islamic State-type rule has no more chance of giving Arabs a decent life than did the centralized police state or the corrupt sectarian state that Arabs have endured for decades. Iraq is the place now where this issue will be put to the test.Read More


Debating a Kurdish State
Serhun Al

Prospects for an independent Kurdish state are hampered by security challenges, internal competition, and insufficient international support. Read More


Letter from El-Sahel
Tarek Osman

Since the mid-1990s, El-Sahel’s 250-kilometer strip has become the prime summer destination of Egypt’s upper classes. Read More


Zionism vs. Arabism, Not Hamas in Gaza
Rami G. Khouri

It is easier for American-Israeli propagandists to highlight Hamas’ militancy rather than to grapple with the fact that all Palestinians — and most of the world, actually — support the demands that Hamas has articulated and that have been negotiated by the all-inclusive Palestinian delegation in Cairo.Read More


Revived PLO Is Now a Top Priority
Rami G. Khouri

The most important political action the Palestinians should take now is to rapidly reconstitute the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), so that Palestinians speak with one voice and benefit from the total backing of the eight million or so Palestinians around the world. Read More


The Islamists Ahead in Morocco
Maâti Monjib

With the exception of the Islamists, Morocco’s political parties have failed to take advantage of the post-2011 openings in political space. Read More


A Ceasefire Would Beckon Real Leaders to Act
Rami G. Khouri

If any real leaders and statesmen and women exist out there who can respond to this challenge, now is the time to stand up and act.Read More


Sisi’s Dilemma
Scott Williamson

As long as Sisi remains heavily dependent on the military and other state institutions, he can neither push too hard against their interests nor count on them to always back his policies. Read More


From Biblical Wars to Justice for All
Rami G. Khouri

This round of attacks by Israelis and Palestinians may prove to be most significant for pushing all concerned to seek a permanent resolution of this conflict, rather than letting it fester in 19th Century colonial mode. Read More


Legitimizing Crackdown on Dissent in Jordan
David Bishop

Proposed amendments to Jordan’s anti-terror law threaten free expression and may exacerbate the very problem they are hoping to address. Read More


Washington Absurdity, Arab Helplessness
Rami G. Khouri

Washington’s quest for a ceasefire in Gaza while wholeheartedly supporting and arming Israel’s onslaught against Palestinian civilians reflects the frightening extent of bankrupt Arab diplomacy and the true nature of the US government siding with Israel. Read More


Islamic State in Syria, Back With a Vengeance
Hassan Hassan

The Islamic State is trying to consolidate its presence in Syria and gain territory using new strategies during its latest push. Read More


A Century of Zionist-Palestinian Wars
Rami G. Khouri

Exiled and subjugated communities like the Palestinians behave in ways that seem strange to middle class consumers in faraway lands. This can only be understood by appreciating the nature of “resistance” and the allure of “liberation.” Read More


Hamas and Israel at the Brink
Benedetta Berti

A mutual desire to show strength has escalated the conflict, and although neither side wants another war, it may already be too late to pull back. Read More


Local Sentiments, As Always, Will Shape the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri

This eclectic, unpredictable, wildly gyrating human will to survive that treats borders, invading armies and local rulers as just one more threat to resist or one more party with which to make a deal. Read More


Concept Pop
Ganzeer

Pop Art is fun. But does it embody meaning? The same question can be asked of higher-brow Concept Art. Some Egyptian artists are taking objects like soda cans and bottle caps and making statements relevant to the masses. It could change everything. Read More


Revolution to Revolution
Nadia Radwan

Artists have spent a century claiming Egypt for the Egyptians. Now the powerful murals of January 25 have created a new public space dedicated to every citizen. Read More


Tehran Bazaar
Joobin Bekhrad

The capital of the Islamic Republic is the new art mecca? When it comes to culture, it’s not your ayatollah’s Iran anymore. Despite continuing pressures including censorship, the country’s art scene is flourishing. Read More


Collapsing Certainties
Partha Mitter

Art history that presents the Western canon as universal creates a world of inclusions and exclusions, undermining local voices and practices. Let us consider a redefinition of cosmopolitanism that demands the study of art in its social and cultural setting. Read More


The Art Effect
David Joselit

Art in our age is more than the Mona Lisa. The construction of major new museums like the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar and even an outpost of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi reflects the expansion of a global civil society. Read More


Through a Hole in the Wall
Dorinda Elliott

Ai Weiwei’s work sweeps from sculpture and installations to Instagram images. Confined to China, he has been hailed as the most powerful artist on the planet. He speaks with journalist Dorinda Elliott about modern art, Chinese culture and snapping subversive selfies. Read More


A Street Called Mohammed Mahmoud
Amanda E. Rogers

The walls of Mohammed Mahmoud Street, with their vibrant murals portraying the unflinching gaze of blinded protesters, or the serene smiles of winged martyrs, are witness to the wounds of Egypt’s ongoing revolution. Read More


Theory Y and Egypt’s Bureaucracy
Laila El Baradei

If employees are treated with respect, fairness and equity, they will become committed to the organization. In the real world, it turned out not to be that simple, especially in our Egyptian public service organizations. Read More


Oriental Hall, etc.
Rozina Ali, Anny Gaul

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


Reimagining Limits
Rozina Ali

Since Ezzedine Choukri Fishere began publishing fiction in 1995, he has come out with six novels exploring themes from freedom and destiny to identity; critics have viewed his work as indictments against repression, injustice and suffering in Egypt. Read More


Failures Everywhere in Western Asia
Rami G. Khouri

Moving decisively to bolster legitimate local forces breeds success; moving gingerly to identify people who will friend you on Facebook is really stupid.Read More


U.S. Actions in Iraq Refute Obama’s Fine Rhetoric
Rami G. Khouri

American policies in the Middle East reflect confusion and some dishonesty at three levels, leaving Obama’s sensible rhetoric and analysis largely invalidated by the impact of American actions on the ground. Read More


The Rise of ISIS, a Golden Opportunity for Iraq’s Kurds
Sirwan Kajjo

As Iraq’s central government struggles against ISIS, the Kurds quietly take another step towards independence. Read More


The Arabs’ 100-Years War
Rami G. Khouri

Groups like ISIS have no future in the Middle East, but they will be a major problem for some years to come, until legitimate statehood and efficacious governance take root—which will happen only with the validation of states by their own people. Read More


More Than ISIS, Iraq’s Sunni Insurgency
Hassan Hassan

Maliki’s alienation of Sunni actors is at the heart of ISIS’s success in Iraq. Read More


Iran: Syria’s Lone Regional Ally
Karim Sadjadpour

For Tehran, the Syrian conflict is at the center of an ideological, sectarian, and geopolitical struggle against a diverse array of adversaries. Read More


ISIS and the Anbar Crisis
Raed El-Hamed

Despite recent success in Mosul, ISIS is still trying to solidify its fragile gains in Anbar province, particularly following heavy losses in Syria. Read More


A Painful Guide to Arab Decay...and Rebirth
Rami G. Khouri

The situation in Iraq is the most agonizing because it captures the tragic and combined failures of successive regimes that transformed what should have been a showcase of modern Arab development. Read More


Syria’s Very Local Regional Conflict
Yezid Sayigh

The highly localized nature of the Syrian conflict means that its evolution and eventual resolution will elude the control of outsiders. Read More


Bahrain Between its Backers and the Brotherhood
Ibrahim Hatlani

The recent efforts to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization puts Bahrain’s leadership at odds with its domestic ally against the Shia opposition. Read More


The Unserious Yet Durable Arab Electoral Spectacle
Rami G. Khouri

Nowhere in the normal world do elections result in victories of such magnitude as the high 80s and 90s percentile that routinely occur in Arab “elections.” Read More


Islamist-Secularist Divisions in Morocco
Mohammed Masbah

Recent cases of violence at Moroccan universities expose the depth of the rift between Islamists and leftists, a rift that strengthens the regime’s hand. Read More


Eight Points about Egypt’s Presidential Election
Laila El Baradei

We need to act more prudently in responding to criticisms and observations about the election process and the democratic environment in Egypt at large. As a nation striving towards a greater degree of democracy, we should respect differences in opinion. Read More


The Palestinian Unity Government Will Shape Its Own Fate
Rami G. Khouri

Though Israel’s reaction remains hostile, the international community will judge the new Palestinian national unity government by its policies. Read More


Securing the Syrian Regime
Kheder Khaddour

The Syrian regime’s institutionalization of local militias bolsters their loyalty and ensures the regime’s hold on the militias’ communities. Read More


Changed Ties with Iran Will Reconfigure the Middle East
Rami G. Khouri

If Iranian-Western and Iranian-Saudi relations shift from confrontation to peaceful coexistence and then active cooperation, they will impact heavily and positively on conditions throughout the Arab region. Read More


The Public Will Decides Egypt’s Fate
Rami G. Khouri

The force of the public will—the consent of the governed—will ultimately define the nature of Egyptian public politics and governance, and who leads the government. Read More


A Checklist for Arab Change
Rami G. Khouri

One recent short text best captures succinctly the heart of the drivers of the uprisings in the Arab World for over three years. Read More


The ICC Beckons Palestine-Israel
Rami G. Khouri

Seventeen respected international human rights organizations have urged the Palestinian government to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and use it to end a lack of accountability for alleged crimes committed by both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Read More


The Nour Party’s Precarious Future
Abdel-Rahman Youssef, Mostafa Hashem

Egypt’s Salafi Nour Party is looking to replace the Muslim Brotherhood as the leading Islamist political force, all the while trying to weather the backlash against Islamists. Read More


To the Judges of Egypt: Why do you do this?
Rami G. Khouri

The conduct of the courts and judges in Egypt during the past three years stands out for me as a critical element to watch as the country continues its tortuous route to a pluralistic constitutional democracy. Read More


Vulnerable Palestinians Also Have Opportunities
Rami G. Khouri

This moment is an opportunity for the Palestinians on three important fronts: national unity, coordinated political resistance, and mobilizing international support. Read More


Yemen’s Fraught Constitution Drafting Committee
Ashraf Al-Falahi

Though working on the premise of federalism, Yemen’s Constitution Drafting Committee is only reinforcing central presidential control. Read More


Catastrophe Ahead After Peace Talks Collapse
Rami G. Khouri

The many consequences of this series of events will take some time to clarify, but they are likely to be destructive. Read More


Texts: Tunisia’s Political Transition
Rozina Ali

In Tunisia, where the Arab Spring uprisings began in 2010, the National Constituent Assembly voted 200 to 12 with four abstentions on January 26, 2014, to approve a new constitution. The full text of the document. Read More


Trouble in Western Sahara
Tom Stevenson

Investigating the myths surrounding the struggle over the Western Sahara Read More


The Tunisian Experience
Rachid Ghannouchi

The leader of the Ennahda Movement, hailing the adoption of a new constitution in January, explains why Islam and democracy are compatible. Read More


A New Palestinian Strategy
Daoud Kuttab

Neither armed struggle nor negotiations have achieved justice and independence. The failure of the latest American mediation effort may give further impetus to another means: civil resistance. Read More


Egyptian Dreams
Tarek Osman

The 2013 uprising against Muslim Brotherhood rule signaled a resounding defeat for political Islam and victory for the entrenched pillars of the republic. Yet, if the socioeconomic demands of the people remain unmet, protesters will fill the streets again. Read More


The Call of Pluralism
Marwan Muasher

Defeating despotism is only one goal of the Second Arab Awakening. The region must also embrace political, cultural, and religious pluralism, good governance, the rule of law, and inclusive economic growth. Read More


Arabs, Engage!
Rami G. Khouri

It is difficult to predict the outcome of the region’s transformation, but at least one thing is clear: we are witnessing the birth of Arab citizens who express themselves in the public sphere. Read More


Age of Darkness
Cairo Review

Ali Ahmad Said Esber, known by his pen name Adonis, is widely acclaimed as the greatest living Arab poet. From exile in France, he speaks with Scott MacLeod and Jonathan Randal about the destruction of his native Syria and the decline of the Arab world. Read More


Rise of the South
Vijay Prashad

Within the decade, the United States will no longer be the largest economy in the world. What will end, and has already begun to end, is not U.S. power but U.S. primacy. Read More


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