Middle East and North Africa News
Sep 11, 2012
Three years after Facebook launched an Arabic interface, charismatic Muslim sheikhs are gaining a new generation of followers by tapping into interactive media. Since 2009, hundreds of 21st century preachers have created digital forums that allow distant audiences to communicate with them—and with each other. Tweets and Facebook updates keep the faithful engaged with Islamic content even if they miss their favorite sheikh’s television program.
Sep 07, 2012
In just ten weeks, President Mohamed Morsi has gone from political unknown to one of the most powerful leaders in the Middle East. The U.S.-educated engineer—a former parliament member and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council—is proving to be both unpredictable and politically savvy.
Aug 24, 2012
In this chapter from The Iran Primer, Haleh Esfandiari provides an historical overview of the women's movement in Iran.
Aug 23, 2012
“Iran is reverting to the failed policies of the past,” says Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari in a Q&A on the decision of 36 Iranian universities to limit access to or altogether bar women from certain academic fields.
Aug 21, 2012
Not all Islamist political parties are to be feared, but an extremist strain called the Salafis have a warped vision of a new order in the Middle East, writes Robin Wright in The New York Times.
Aug 16, 2012
As the world’s largest exporter of corn, soybeans, and wheat, the United States is vital to the global food market. But this summer has seen the country’s worst drought since 1956, and several other key grain-producing regions have been affected by abnormal weather this year as well.
Aug 10, 2012
On August 10, the Treasury Department sanctioned Hizballah for supporting the Syrian government on the basis of Executive Order 13582. “This action highlights Hizballah’s activities within Syria and its integral role in the continued violence the Assad regime is inflicting on the Syrian population,” the Treasury Department said in its formal announcement.
Aug 09, 2012
Looking ahead to a post-Assad Syria, Aaron David Miller provides a preliminary scorecard of who the winners and losers will be, both within the splintered nation and among foreign stakeholders Russia, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, and the United States.
Aug 08, 2012
The Saudi official from the Ministry of Interior’s “ideological security” department was relaxed and confident. The government had uprooted scores of secret al-Qaeda cells, rounded up 5,700 of its followers, and deafened Saudi society to its siren call to jihad to overthrow the ruling al-Saud royal family. For the kingdom, the threat from Islamic terrorists had become manageable. So, what is the main security concern of the Saudi government today? The answer came as something of a surprise: the return of 150,000 Saudis who have been sent abroad to study, nearly one half of whom are now in the United States.
Aug 06, 2012
The reasons to intervene in Syria are just not compelling enough to offset the risks and the unknowns. For the United States to enter the fray as a quasi-combatant would make matters more complicated, not less, writes Aaron David Miller in Foreign Policy.