Middle East and North Africa News

Iran after Ahmadinejad: What to Expect From the Presidential Election

Jun 13, 2013
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on all Iranians to vote in Friday's elections. Last minute changes to the field of candidates and new endorsements for moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, have created “buzz” according to a journalist in Tehran. Will this late excitement have an impact on voter turnout, and more importantly, on the actual outcome? To gain insight into the field of candidates and the forces influencing the election, we spoke with the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Director, Haleh Esfandiari.
Egypt's first Islamist president Mohamed Mursi attends during his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the presidential palace in Cairo July 2, 2012. Egypt will approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions to help get its economy back on track once Mursi appoints a government, one of his financial advisers told Reuters.

Egypt's Fundamental Crisis of Legitimacy

Jun 06, 2013
Wilson Center Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway discussed the legitimacy of the outcome of Egypt's recent elections and the validity of the country's new constitution in a June 6, 2013 National Interest article.

Ghannouchi: Islamists now taking on Islamists

May 30, 2013
Sheikh Rachid al Ghannouchi spoke candidly about the new crackdown on Salafi extremists and other challenges Tunisia faces two years after the Jasmine Revolution. "We have to fight against this phenomenon [of extremist violence] through economic development, through the media," Ghannouchi said in Washington.
A Free Syrian Army fighter takes cover during clashes with Syrian Army in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 7, 2012.

Syria: No Good Options

May 30, 2013
"Governing is about choosing. When America acts, it has to ask itself two questions, not just, can it accomplish it? If we wanted to unseat the Assads, we could do it. The question is not just that, it's what will it cost? It's the second question that always needs to accompany the first," said Aaron David Miller.

The Woodrow Wilson Center Announces 2013 – 2014 Fellowship Class

May 30, 2013
Jane Harman, director, president & CEO of the Wilson Center, is pleased to announce the members of the 2013-2014 fellowship class. The 21 fellows, most of whom are expected to start September 2013, include scholars and practitioners from the United States, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

U.S. Report on Religious Freedom in Middle East

May 20, 2013
Blasphemy and apostasy laws were applied in a discriminatory manner in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in 2012, according to a new report by the U.S. State Department. “These laws are frequently used to repress dissent, to harass political opponents, and to settle personal vendettas,” Secretary of State Kerry said on May 20.

Dialogue @ the Wilson Center Wins Two Telly Awards

May 16, 2013
Dialogue at the Wilson Center is the recipient of two 2013 Telly Awards for the episode “Women and the Arab Spring,” featuring Haleh Esfandiari, Hanin Ghaddar, and Yassmine El Sayed Hani and for the episode “Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan,” featuring Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Pew: Egyptians Favor Major Role for Islam in Politics

May 16, 2013
At least 60 percent of Egyptians prefer democracy to any other kind of government, according to new poll by the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. Results suggest that Egyptians want Islam to play a major role in their democracy. About 58 percent of Egyptians say laws should strictly follow Koranic teachings while 28 percent contend that laws should reflect Islamic values and principles ― but not strictly follow the Koran. Only 11 percent do not think the Quran should influence national laws.

Pew: Egyptians Pessimistic on Economy

May 16, 2013
About 76 percent of Egyptians say economic conditions are bad, and 42 percent expect them to worsen in the coming year, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. Egyptians are split over whether or not the country is better off after President Hosni Mubarak’s departure.

Lebanon’s Sheikhs Take on Assad and Hezbollah

May 10, 2013
Salafis are shaking up the fragile political balance among Muslims in Lebanon. The ultraconservative Sunnis—whose religious and social models come from the 7th century—are now stealing the limelight from Sunni and Shiite movements that have dominated politics since Lebanon gained independence in 1943.

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