Middle East and North Africa Publications

From Stalemate to Checkmate: What the Siege of Aleppo Means for Turkey

Feb 09, 2016
The siege of Aleppo has left Turkey with some hard choices: accepting the resumption of regime control over its common border with Syria or embracing the Kurds as partners.

Syria's 1956 Request for Soviet Military Intervention

Feb 02, 2016
Providing historical context behind Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria, Yair Even introduces a little known but important request from Syria for Soviet military intervention in 1956.

Is America Losing the Kurds?

Feb 01, 2016
The U.S. policy of compartmentalizing Syrian and Turkish Kurds is not sustainable. Washington needs to use its leverage over the Kurds and Turkey alike to bring them back to the negotiating table. Continued conflict between Turkey and the Kurds risks deepening chaos in the Levant.

Egypt: A Country Awaits a Revolution

Jan 26, 2016
The enduring challenges the Egyptian regime has encountered are likely to pave the way for another revolutionary wave, whose instruments and ultimate goals may well exceed those of the revolution of January 25, 2011.

MENA Women Quarterly Report (October-December 2015)

Jan 20, 2016
The MENA Women Quarterly Report covers women’s advances and setbacks in politics, economics, conflict situations, and human rights issues throughout the MENA region. This issue includes a special feature on Fatema Mernissi, noted Moroccan sociologist and Islamic feminist.

Is ISIS Going All Out on Turkey?

Jan 13, 2016
In a dramatic shift, jihadists calling themselves the Islamic State have moved their terror campaign to Istanbul, Turkey's commercial heart and a global tourism hub. Their aim is to warn Turkey away from recent moves to crack down on the group which has long used Turkey as a main transit route for weapons, cash, and recruits flowing into Syria.

Saudis Wield the Sword at Home as Abroad

Jan 07, 2016
Saudi Arabia’s New Year’s Day mass executions fits into a well-established pattern of taking exceedingly tough measures whenever its leadership has felt under intense foreign or domestic pressures. Its late hardnosed interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, once warned pro-democracy activists that the ruling House of Saud had come to power by the sword and if necessary was ready to wield it again to stay there.

Saudi Arabia’s Yemeni Quagmire

Dec 15, 2015
The Saudi-led Arab coalition fight to defeat Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who took over Yemen early this year has turned into a bloody and costly quagmire. After nine months of fighting, the two sides have reached a military stalemate. Under strong U.S. and international pressure, Saudi Arabia and its Yemeni allies began holding talks on December 15 under U.N. auspices with their Houthi enemies at a secret location in Switzerland to explore a way out of their impasse.

Saudi Women Go to the Polls—Finally

Dec 08, 2015
On December 12, for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, women are going to the polls nationwide to elect their local representatives and even stand as candidates. It has been a long time coming partly because of strong opposition from the ultra-conservative religious establishment and partly, too, because of a lack of interest among Saudi women to get involved in politics.

Why is the Idea of Female Western Jihadists a Mystery?

Dec 07, 2015
Hasna Aitboulahcen, a 26-year-old ISIS recruit, was among the terrorists associated with the November 13 Paris attacks. Tashfeen Malik is the woman accused of, along with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, killing 14 people in a shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2. Why are such women considered a “mystery” when the phenomenon of female jihadists—including Western female jihadists—is not new?