In The News

Johan Mooij November 29, 2017
Saudi Arabia, intervening in the Yemen civil war, has imposed a blockade with periodic openings to allow humanitarian aid. The war and the blockade adds to the challenges of delivering emergency relief, and New Statesman published the description of a typical day for Johan Mooij, the country director for CARE in Yemen. Basics like water, electricity, fuel, health services and food are in short...
Bruce Riedel November 28, 2017
Saudi Arabia as absolute monarchy and the United States as democratic republic are polar opposites in terms of political governance and culture. Yet the two nations have had close ties since 1943 when pragmatic leaders focused on shared security concerns. More than seven decades later, the relationship appears strong though less pragmatic. Each country, with internal divisions and long-term...
Asli Aydıntaşbaş November 27, 2017
In 2010 a Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest harassment that limited his ability to earn a living. His action triggered region-wide populist uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa that became known as the Arab Spring. Fleeting hopes for radical reconstruction of state and society now seems dead, buried and even forgotten. Asli Aydıntaşbaş observes...
Peter Beaumont November 23, 2017
Israeli military chief Gadi Eisenkot affirmed his nation’s commitment to a regional US-backed axis against Iran during an interview with the Saudi newspaper Elaph. Eisenkot described Iran as the major threat for a region destabilized by extremism, autocracies, wars and lack of economic opportunities. According to Eisenkot, Israel could share intelligence with what he called “moderate” Arab states...
November 23, 2017
In advance of UN-backed peace talks for Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi. The group claims the success against the Islamic State and foreign-backed opposition while giving little credit to Kurdish troops backed by the United States. “Turkey has been one of the main backers of the Syrian...
Saeed Kamali Dehghan November 16, 2017
An exhibition in Tehran showcasing Afghani artwork has shed light on a deep-seated problem in the country: the marginalization of Afghani peoples. Saeed Kamali Dehghan, writing for the Guardian, describes Elyas Alavi’s performance piece: He “invites participants to give blood. Samples are taken by a professional nurse and splashed on the wall next to each other.” Alavi was inspired “after his...
Martin Chulov November 13, 2017
The abrupt resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hairiri has raised numerous questions and exacerbates political tensions in the Middle East. As Martin Chulov observes for the Guardian: “Hariri’s unexpected departure has placed Lebanon at the heart of an intensifying power tussle between Riyadh and Tehran, and has alarmed allies of the fragile state who are scrambling to contain a move they...