Middle East and North Africa News

American Perceptions of US Embassy Attacks

Oct 16, 2012
Following the massive Arab and Muslim demonstrations and attacks on American embassies in Libya and Egypt in reaction to an anti-Muslim video, the Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and the Program on International Policy attitudes conducted an American public opinion poll to study how the American public reacted to these events. A majority of Americans said the attacks were supported by extremist minorities but also thought the Egyptian and Libyan governments did not protect American diplomats and their staff. About three in ten Americans wanted to completely cut aid to Egypt and four in ten wanted to reduce aid.

Clinton Pledges Increased Support for Democratic Transitions

Oct 16, 2012
On October 12, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared that U.S. support for democratic transitions is a “strategic necessity” and not just “a matter of idealism.” She discussed the status of North African political transitions at a conference hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Clinton pledged to increase engagement with the region, despite the outbreak of anti-American sentiment in September 2012. She urged Congress to approve an additional $770 million in assistance to countries that enact political and economic reforms.

The Impact of Iran’s Currency Collapse

Oct 06, 2012
Calm has been restored for now, but Iran’s economic problems have not gone away just because protesters have left the streets of Tehran. Iranian businessman and observer Bijan Khajehpour provides insight into the nature and depth of Iran’s economic problems and where it all might lead.

Part I: Islam and the New State

Oct 03, 2012
This new series provides a platform for women to engage in a free and fluid exchange about pivotal Middle East issues. For the first piece, women across the region were asked to answer this question: What should be the role of Islam in your society? And what should be Islam’s role in your government?

Part II: Religious Leaders on Anti-Islam Film

Sep 28, 2012
On Sept. 9, the Salafi preacher and television host Sheikh Khalid Abdullah aired a YouTube clip of the "Innocence of Muslims" film on satellite channel al Nas. Religious leaders across the region condemned the film's offensive content. High-ranking clerics in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and elsewhere called for restraint after the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya on Sept. 11.

Part I: Governments on Anti-Islam Film

Sep 28, 2012
The leaders of Islamist governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have condemned attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates in reaction to the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” film. In public statements and private contacts with American officials, all three leaders assured the United States that the assaults did not reflect government policy or public opinion among the majority in their countries. Each of them blamed small groups of extremists.

Gallup: U.S. Approval Down Across the Region

Sep 24, 2012
On Sept. 24, Gallup released a poll showing that U.S. approval in the Middle East was already waning before the “Innocence of Muslims” film provoked widespread anti-U.S. demonstrations. The organization surveyed 12 countries between January and May 2012. All together about 20 percent of adults approved of the U.S. leadership’s “job performance.”

Erdogan Condemns Attack on U.S. Embassy

Sep 14, 2012
On Sept. 14, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for restraint in reaction to “The Innocence of Muslims” movie. The amateur film’s offensive portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed has prompted protests in more than a dozen countries in the region since Sept. 11. Erdogan condemned the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Gallup: Libyans Want Militias Disarmed Immediately

Sep 14, 2012
On Sept. 13, Gallup released a poll showing that 95 percent of surveyed Libyans want militias to turn in their weapons immediately. Gallup conducted more than 1000 face-to-face interviews with adults during March and April 2012.

IMF: Tunisia’s Economic Burdens

Sep 13, 2012
On Sept. 5, the International Monetary Fund published a report on Tunisia’s post-uprising economic and social challenges. Tunisia’s economic prospects are now improving due to increased government spending and tourism revenues. But unemployment remains high at 19 percent overall and more than 40 percent among youth.

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