Middle East

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Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar, claiming that Doha was violating a clause in the Gulf Cooperation Council charter not to interfere in the domestic affairs of fellow members. The decision, unprecedented in the council's history, hints at significant changes to come for the GCC and the balance of power in the Gulf.

Snapshot,
Victor Gaetan

Gulen has tried to develop a genuinely modern school of Islam that reconciles the religion with liberal democracy, scientific rationalism, ecumenism, and free enterprise.

Snapshot,
Eric Trager, Gilad Wenig

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi doesn't seem to have solutions to any of the problems that toppled Egypt's last two leaders. But if he wins the presidency, he will be much better insulated from uprisings than his predecessors.

Snapshot,
Barak Mendelsohn

Disowning ISIS came at some cost of reputation for al Qaeda, but the group could no longer afford to keep an affiliate that subverted central command. In the weeks and months to come, the United States would be wise to use the continued rift to promote its own interests in Iraq and Syria.

Essay, 2014
Bernard Avishai; Jalal Al-e Ahmad

In 1963, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, an Iranian writer popular with dissident Islamist clerics, traveled to Israel and wrote a surprisingly positive account of his trip. That a guru to the ayatollahs liked Israel now seems touching. But what he liked seems cautionary.

Snapshot,
Jeff Martini

A return to military dictatorship in Egypt seems all but certain. But two things could undermine the generals. First, as the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood recedes, it will become difficult for them to hold together a governing coalition of leftists, liberals, and Salafists that is built solely on its members’ shared antipathy for the Islamist group. Second, the new regime might overreach in its suppression of the opposition, inviting a backlash.

Snapshot,
Mara Revkin

When Egypt’s 31-year-old emergency law finally expired in May 2012, Egyptians hoped that the days of arbitrary arrests and crackdowns on dissent in the name of national security were over. But thanks to an unprecedented counterterrorism clause in Egypt's new constitution, those days are here to stay.

Snapshot,
Nina Easton

Saudi Arabia remains the only country on earth to prevent women from driving, but driving is not the only way to measure women's progress. In fact, they have made great strides in government, the work force, and education.

Snapshot,
Matthew Levitt

The need to target Israel has always featured prominently in al Qaeda rhetoric, but it has rarely translated into actual missions. And that is what makes the group's recent foiled plot in Jerusalem, which was traced back to al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, so significant.

Snapshot,
Joshua Stacher

Anyone who claims to possess full political power in post-Mubarak Egypt is lying. That even goes for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military’s commander in chief and Egypt’s current defense minister, whose impending presidential candidacy reveals the military's weakness more than strength.

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