About the Middle East Program

The Middle East Program combines the intellectual grounding of its scholars with the power of its convening space to produce actionable ideas for policymakers around the world. Our Program offers a breadth and depth of programming on the prevailing economic, political, and social norms in the MENA region. We pay special attention to the role of women, the aspirations of the younger generation, and democratic and autocratic tendencies in governance. MORE

The Latest from the Middle East Program

Saddam Husayn and Islam: Ba’thi Iraq 1968-2003 from Secularism to Faith

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November 04, 2014 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Rather than beginning with the “Arab Spring,” the grassroots resurgence of political Islam began in Iraq in the early 1980s. It immediately exerted powerful influence over the policies of Saddam Husayn and his secular Ba’th regime. In a 1986 secret meeting of the Ba’th leadership, Saddam dragged his reluctant comrades screaming and kicking to accept an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, among the Ba’th most feared and despised enemies. In this he launched an incremental Islamization campaign that reached its peak just before the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The book attempts to explain why and how was it done and how it touched the inner souls of party and leader. It seems that ISIS represents a leap from Saddam’s Islamization campaign. Is ISIS, then, Saddam’s dead hand, thrusting out of his grave in Tikrit? more

MENA Women's News Brief

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Oct 21, 2014
The Middle East Program will send out the latest developments on women’s issues in the Middle East and North Africa region on a bi-monthly basis. more
Webcast

Building Peace Over Water in the Lower Jordan Valley: A Sister Cities Coalition

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October 17, 2014 // 3:00pm5:00pm
Since its launch in 2001, EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East's Good Water Neighbors project (GWN) has brought together Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian youth, adults, and municipal representatives to cooperate over transboundary water resources and jointly advance sustainable development in the region - most notably in the Lower Jordan Valley. EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East has recently partnered with Sister Cities International (SCI) and Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives (CDI) to create sister city partnerships between American cities and the partnering communities of the GWN project. These new partnerships will build on the previous successes of GWN to create and empower a broad, international citizen coalition for peace in the region. more

Analyzing ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’

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Oct 16, 2014
"Washington has finally named its latest military operation in the Middle East. The choice–'Operation Inherent Resolve'–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It also stands in stark contrast to the more optimistic names of the past three U.S. wars in the Middle East and south Asia," writes Robin Wright. more

The Coming Tunisian Elections: What Will Be the Role of Women?

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Oct 15, 2014
Since the revolution that led to the end of the Ben Ali regime in January 2011, Tunisian women have obtained political parity and participated, for the first time, in the writing of the country’s new constitution. With just a few weeks remaining until new elections that will determine the country’s political orientation over the next five years, a look at the experiences of women who have been involved in formal politics can help us understand the political culture of a society in the process of a democratic transition. more

Experts & Staff