Middle East and North Africa | Wilson Center

Middle East and North Africa

Economic Outlook for the MENA Region: A Conversation with the IMF's Dr. Jihad Azour

Countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to face the challenge of generating inclusive and long-lasting growth in the environment of low oil prices, ongoing conflicts, and concerns regarding regional security. For the region’s oil exporters, the challenges are particularly acute, as fiscal consolidation plans must be calibrated and structural reforms designed to diversify away from oil and promote private investment.

The War on ISIS: The Forgotten Need for Congressional Authorization

In the words of Defense Secretary James Mattis, the war on ISIS has shifted into the “annihilation” phase. While there is broad consensus for aggressively pursuing the terrorist group, the legal grounds upon which the president can expand the use of military force against ISIS are more tenuous.

MENA Women News Brief

The Middle East Program will send out the latest developments on women’s issues in the region on a bi-weekly basis.


August 1 - August 15, 2018



August 9: Sexually-Harassed Bahraini Women Only Themselves to Blame, Officials Imply

The Trump Administration Embraces the Saudi-Led War in Yemen

President Trump enthusiastically promised Saudi Arabia wholehearted support for its campaign to roll back Iranian influence in the Arab world during his visit to Riyadh May 20-21, offering a $110 billion arms sale package to prove it. And it will shortly begin re-supplying the Royal Saudi Air Force with $500 million worth of smart bombs and other munitions in preparation for what is shaping up to be a make-or-break battle in the stalemated Yemeni civil war.

Jerusalem: Is There a Solution? And Are Israelis and Palestinians Ready for One?

No other issue in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is more fraught and tougher to resolve than Jerusalem. The fate of the city has many dimensions — Jerusalem as a municipality, as a political issue, and as a spiritual and religious one. Is there a comprehensive solution to Jerusalem and are Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs ready for it? Three veteran analysts with deep knowledge and experience in the politics of the Jerusalem issue discussed the realities on the ground, possible futures for the city, and its role in negotiations.

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Tensions in the Gulf: Implications for U.S. Policy

The dramatic decision by Saudi Arabia, key Gulf states, and others to isolate Qatar is part of a deeper problem that has been brewing for years. How big a challenge does this recent turn of events, including the first major ISIS attack in Iran, portend for U.S. policy and interests in the region? Is this just a headline or does it represent a significant trend line that could reshape Arab politics and power balances?

In this ground truth briefing, three veteran analysts and practitioners of U.S. policy in the Gulf and the region share their views on these and other matters. 

The Global Six-Day War

Fifty years ago, war transformed the Middle East. Today, Sources and Methods presents new sources and analyses of the war’s global impact

The events of June 1967, now called the 1967 War or Six-Day War, shocked combatants and outsiders alike. The crushing defeat of a three-nation Arab coalition by Israeli forces reshaped the Middle East. Its consequences rippled around the world. As some leaders struggled to cope with the significance of these events, others leapt to take advantage.