Middle East Program
The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
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The Middle East Program's flagship initiatives include the MENA Workforce Development Initiative (MENA-WDI) and Middle East Women's Initiative (MEWI).
MENA Workforce Development Initiative
The Middle East and North Africa Workforce Development Initiative (MENA-WDI) aims to assess both current and projected challenges facing the region in developing the workforce and the implications for peace and stability.
The Middle East Women's Initiative
The Middle East Women's Initiative (MEWI) promotes the empowerment of women in the region through an open and inclusive dialogue with women leaders from the Middle East and continuous research.
Middle East Program Initiatives & Special Series
Abraham Accords Initiative
In September 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed to normalize relations with Israel, later joined by Morocco and Sudan. The Wilson Center’s Abraham Accords Initiative hones in on the challenges and opportunities of cooperation between the Arab countries and Israel.
Lebanon Ideas Forum
The Lebanon Ideas Forum houses dialogue and analysis on the latest developments concerning Lebanon, its relations with the United States and implications on the wider Middle East region.
Agents of Change Youth Fellowship
The Wilson Center's ACYF recognizes the significance of the MENA region when it comes to climate response and the potential for youth leadership in the region to shape a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for the world.
Protests and Mass Movements
We seek to understand the short- and long-term developments in protest methods, social movements, civil society, and competing ideas and narratives in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings of 2011-2015 as well as the recent wave of protests from 2019-2020.
Art in MENA: A Medium for Activism
This series features artists, filmmakers, dancers, and musicians to highlight the ways artistic expression is an especially powerful medium to provoke public debate and engage with local and international audiences.
The Middle East Program hosts multiple cross program collaborations, including two established websites cohosted with the United States Institute of Peace.
"The Islamists" is a book and website on the origins, evolution, and positions of Islamist movements in the Middle East. The movements are redefining the order and borders in the world’s most volatile region. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
The Iran Primer
The world’s most comprehensive website on Iran, “The Primer” brings together 50 experts—Western and Iranian—in concise chapters on politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and the nuclear program. It chronicles events under six U.S. presidents. It also has leader bios, timelines, data on nuclear sites—and context for what lies ahead.
Middle East and North Africa Experts
Distinguished Fellow; Director Emerita, Middle East Program
Program Director, Middle East Program
USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Fellow
Read more from Robin
Islamists in diverse forms—from Tunisia’s moderates to ISIS militants—have produced tectonic shake-ups across the Middle East, with a rippling effect world-wide.
Middle East Fellow
Read more from Marina
"The Shia crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon) is turning into a crescent of contagion. All countries in the arc are seriously weakened by political and economic crises and have been slow to react. The virus is spreading rapidly. The situation will turn particularly dramatic in Syria, where a large number of refugees from the fighting in Idlib are living in the open, without assistance. People weakened by hunger and lack of shelter in freezing temperature will have little resistance to COVID-19."
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