Apr 09, 2013
Iran hailed the 2011 Arab uprisings as an “Islamic Awakening” and considered the overthrow of U.S.-backed dictators a continuation of its own 1979 revolution. A new report claims that Tehran’s goals are to foster political Islam in the Arab world and Arab independence from U.S. influence—both elements of a broader strategic narrative ultimately radiating from Iran.
Mar 27, 2013
Egypt and Tunisia have “traveled the furthest on the road to democratic transformation,” according to a new paper by Adeed Dawisha, a former public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Both countries have held free and fair elections. They also formed parliaments tasked with writing new constitutions. Tunisia’s prospects for democracy, however, may be better than Egypt’s, Dawisha argues.
Mar 15, 2013
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are more educated than ever before, but their participation in the workface is 25 percent – about half of the world average, according to a new report by the World Bank. “Often what stands between women and jobs are legal and social barriers,” said Manuela Ferro, Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in the MENA region. But even some educated women lack the relevant skills currently in demand.
Mar 15, 2013
The Arab uprisings have “generated a spike in threats to U.S. interests… that will likely endure until political upheaval stabilizes and security forces regain their capabilities,” according to the U.S. intelligence community’s new worldwide threat assessment. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper delivered the report to the Senate on March 12.
Mar 07, 2013
Many women in the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing physical violence and are being pushed out of public life, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.
Mar 06, 2013
Iran is now viewed unfavorably in 14 out of 20 Arab and Muslim countries, according to a new poll by Zogby Research Services. The survey results show a growing antipathy towards Tehran, especially in Sunni countries. Majorities in all but four countries agreed that Iran is contributing to sectarian division in the Arab world.
Feb 27, 2013
The rise of Islamist parties in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings took most by surprise, including in some cases the Islamist parties themselves, which were more successful than they dared to hope. But the success of Islamist parties, coupled with the disarray of the secular opposition, augurs poorly for democracy.
Feb 25, 2013
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) offers a moderate political model that may be attractive to Arab Islamists, according to a new report by The Brookings Institution. The AKP promotes Islamic values without seeking to establish an Islamic state by embracing “passive secularism.” Islamist parties in Tunisia and Morocco are already close to the AKP model, since neither party calls for a constitutional reference to Sharia, or Islamic law.
Feb 14, 2013
Tunisians want their government to focus on employment, economic development and security, according to a new poll by The International Republican Institute. Some 77 percent of respondents said Tunisia is moving in the wrong direction.
Feb 14, 2013
Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party leading Tunisia’s coalition government, has prudently managed radical religious groups through dialogue, persuasion and co-optation, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. But the recent assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid has thrown the country into a crisis, and raised the threat of violence.