The Aftershocks of the Saudi and American Debacle in Afghanistan

September 09, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have a complex relationship. Their ties date back to the 19th century when Afghanistan became the first Muslim country to recognize the second Saudi state of 1824 to 1891. In 1930, Ibn Saud recognized King Nadir Shah’s rule in Afghanistan, in 1932, the two...

For Saudi Arabia, Iran Looms, Israel Beckons and the Taliban Cause Goosebumps

August 26, 2021

Prince Khalid bin Salman may not have planned it that way, but the timing of his trip to Moscow last week and message to Washington resounded loud and clear. By not postponing the visit, the Saudi deputy defense minister signaled that he was trying to hedge his kingdom’s bets by signing a...

Austerity for the Poor and Prosperity for the Rich

August 01, 2021

There has been a growing interest in social protection policies in the Arab region dating back to the 1990s. Yet the impact of such measures has not been empirically and independently assessed. Evidence shows that, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor have been getting poorer and the...

The New Generation of Arab Photographers

February 03, 2021

Discerning eyes have known for quite a while that the Arab world is more than it appears in conventional photography. The old visual language of minarets and souks, of unassuming eyes set deep in dark faces, of conceptual or actual “unveilings” and of non-consensual or ambivalent colonial...

Emmanuel Macron’s Dishonorable Legion

December 15, 2020

In recent years, France and Egypt have developed a close relationship based on common interests in the Middle East. Some might suggest that it harkens back to the tradition established with Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt at the end of the 18th century. It led to the future emperor’s...

Reworking US Policy in the Middle East and North Africa

October 14, 2020

US foreign policy has shifted dramatically from just a brief 20 years ago. This is not the making of Donald Trump, Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. Rather, they are symptoms of forces that have been building since the post-Soviet era. With the ascendency of the US as the global superpower and the...

US Must Call Out Egypt Over Human Rights Record

October 07, 2020

In 2013, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was overthrown in a military coup. At the same time, the 2012 Egyptian Constitution was suspended. Shortly after, in 2014, the former defense minister and commander of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a...

Africa’s Long Road to Democracy

July 18, 2019

The violation of human rights across the African continent began as a struggle for self-rule in the mid-20th century. Except for Liberia, which European countries assumed was an American colony, and Ethiopia, which was never colonized due to Haile Selassie’s resistance to Italian invasion,...

Blasphemy Laws: Sacrilege in God’s Name

May 07, 2019

Blasphemy laws create religious extremism, repress the people, bind the hands of government and paralyze the country at will. On February 25, 2018, Rome's ancient Colosseum was lit in red to condemn Asia Noreen’s death sentence. Commonly known as Asia Bibi, Noreen is a Christian woman in...

The Battle for the Future of the Arab World

April 24, 2019

Today’s protesters have a leg up on their counterparts from the Arab Spring of 2011. Momentous developments across North and East Africa suggest the long-drawn-out process of political transition in the region — as well as the Middle East — is still in its infancy. So too does popular...

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