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March 31, 2015

Politics & Society

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

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

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

The Government and the Ostrich
Laila El Baradei

Rather than working on clearly identifying and recognizing problems, many Egyptians seem to prefer a different approach based on denial, and pointing fingers at others. This reminds us of the proverbial tale of the ostrich burying its head in the sand. Read More

Desert Flowering
Rozina Ali, Fernanda Uro Aboites

Saudi Arabia made its first-ever submission of a film for an Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood. Wadjda, which was submitted in the Best Foreign Film category, failed to earn a nomination, but it made history as the first feature movie to be filmed entirely in the country. Read More

Tahrir Tech
Deena Refai

Over the past three years, Tahrir Square has become a symbol of revolt, the scene of countless political protests and, too often, violence and bloodshed. If a bold new vision succeeds, the neighborhood around the square will soon be buzzing with innovators and entrepreneurs, a symbol of Egyptian economic progress. Read More

Oriental Hall, etc.
Rozina Ali

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

An Egyptian in Space
Aaron T. Rose

Omar Samra is reaching for the moon. He was the first Egyptian to ascend to the summit of Mount Everest. He was also the first of his countrymen to climb the highest peaks on the other six continents. Soon, he plans to go even higher. In 2015, Samra is set to become the first Egyptian in space. Read More

A Resurgence of Tunisia’s Counterrevolutionaries?
Omar Belhaj Salah

Despite curbing polarization and driving the country out of political impasse, negotiations between political elites raised Tunisians’ fears of a regression of the revolutionary tide. Read More

Israeli Extremism or Zionism’s True Colors?
Rami G. Khouri

We will see more people around the world react to the latest extreme Israeli moves in the months ahead. Some people will conclude that Israel is veering off into strange and dangerous ways—others that Zionism’s core is racist. Read More

Cure Rot by Exposing It to Fresh Air
Rami G. Khouri

I applaud the decision to withdraw the honorary degree invitation, because Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s wild and mostly false criticisms of the Islamic faith should not be honored with a degree from a quality university like Brandeis. Read More

Another Hollow Arab 'Reform' Promise"
Rami G. Khouri

Despite a few Arab dictators having been toppled or challenged by their own disgruntled citizens, the remaining ones appear not to have learned any lessons, and persist in their cruel ways in one hapless country after another. Read More

What Will a Sisi Presidency Bring for Egypt?
Sada Debates

Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El-Sisi formally declared his intention to run for president of Egypt on March 26 and is widely expected to win. Yet his administration will have to confront a range of delicate issues within a deeply divided political climate. Read More

Hints for a Workable Negotiating ‘Framework’
Rami G. Khouri

I am disappointed that the Palestinians, Israelis and Americans have been unable to get beyond the old, failed approach to diplomacy. Read More

Egypt’s Wiretapping Scandal
Mohamed Abdel Salam

Egypt’s reaction to the domestic wiretapping of activists and politicians does not bode well for the future of citizens’ rights and the rule of law. Read More

Turkey’s Democratic Future in Suspense
Kerem Öktem

Turkey's local elections were hotly contested, taking place amid a controversial official ban on YouTube and Twitter. What was it that made these elections somewhat less local than usual? Read More

Exclusive Q&A: Kerry's Mideast Policies
Cairo Review

Ambassador Thomas Shannon is described by colleagues as a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s inner circle. He calls himself a “utility infielder” on Kerry’s team, and last week he was in Cairo talking with Egyptian officials about economic issues. He is currently counselor of the State Department. Cairo Review Managing Editor Scott MacLeod interviewed Shannon in Cairo on April 3, 2014. Read More

Zionism’s Fanatics Face New Landscapes
Rami G. Khouri

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey apparently went for the Buffoon of the Year Award when, after he had accurately referred to the Palestinian West Bank as the “occupied territories"—and later apologized. Read More

America's Jewish Mainstream Goes Rogue
Matthew Berkman

An increasingly panicked and isolated right-wing donor base is waging a scorched earth campaign against the very foundations of contemporary American Zionism. Read More

Tunisia Polices Cyberspace
Karina Piser

Despite the ouster of Ben Ali, Internet freedom remains limited in Tunisia, stifled by inefficient institutions and insufficient political will. The widely praised constitution, which lacks provisions specifically protecting personal data, does little to mitigate these risks. Read More

Mass Death Sentences in Egypt Highlight Need for Judicial Reform
Sahar Aziz

An Egyptian judge issued a death sentence for 529 defendants without a proper trial on March 24. The judiciary’s legitimacy was the 530th casualty. Read More

Please Spare Us the Gamal Abdel Nasser Imagery
Rami G. Khouri

This week’s announcement by ex-Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi that he will run for the presidency of Egypt was fully expected since the massive, sustained cult-like hero worship campaign for him first materialized last June. Read More

The Media’s Effects on BDS
Adam E. Gallagher

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanction movement (BDS) has been increasingly presented in the media as a legitimate social movement aimed at securing rights for Palestinians in Israel, "under occupation," and in the diaspora. Read More

Palestinian Refugees and the Siege of Yarmouk
Natasha Hall

The siege of Yarmouk, which started in July 2013, changed the dynamics of the Syrian conflict. Not only has it discredited the Assad regime as a champion of the Palestinian struggle but also Palestinians’ own leadership. Read More

The Double Agony of Syria As Arab Mirror
Rami G. Khouri

Syria encapsulates all of the ailments and distortions that have shattered the modern Arab world. Read More

The Dangers of Alienating Egypt’s Youth
Mustafa Hashem

Egyptian youth are growing more disillusioned following the government’s crackdown on opposition demonstrations and jailing a number of secularist and Islamist opponents. Read More

The Shame of Ailing Old Arabs Who Cling to Power
Rami G. Khouri

Is there no limit to the assault on the basic rights and fundamental humanity of Arab citizens? The latest insult to common human decency and the struggle of hundreds of millions of Arabs for democratic and accountable governance emanates these days from Algeria, where Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced earlier this week that he is running for his fourth consecutive term as president. Read More

The Unparalleled Magic of City and Stage
Rami G. Khouri

I attended the excerpted readings of the first English translation of the late Syrian writer Saadallah Wannous’ play 'Rituals of Signs and Transformations.' Not an earth-shaking event, but I was struck by the tremendous power that cultural performances can have in creating appreciation and respect among Americans and Arabs who otherwise spend much time mocking, abusing and killing each other. Read More

Questions for Egypt's Next Vote
Magued Osman

I do not normally engage in hypotheticals. But questions of “what if?” open the door to self-examination, to lessons learned from experience. It is on this basis that I want to ask “what if?” to evaluate the Egyptian constitutional referendum, which passed in January. Read More

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