Middle East and North Africa

This Is the America That Became My Home

With the stroke a pen on Friday, President Donald Trump wreaked havoc at major airports and entry points in America and many airports abroad. That day, with no warning, seemingly little planning, and no heed for the consequences, the president ordered an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees’ entry into the United States, a four-month ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—and a three-month freeze on the entry of all citizens from these countries.

Alumni Work Among New York Times Most Notable Books of 2016

Women Behind the Scenes: How Modernity is Catching on Before Law in the United Arab Emirates

On February 3, 2017 the Women in Public Service Project and Middle East Program hosted a panel discussion on “Women Behind the Scenes: How Modernity is Catching on Before Law in the United Arab Emirates” with Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi, the Minister of State for Tolerance of the UAE, and Kent Davis-Packard, Adjunct Professor, Middle East Studies and American Foreign Policy Programs, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Gwen K.

Putin and Erdogan’s Marriage of Convenience

It has been a remarkable turnabout. In November 2015, then-Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proudly took credit for ordering the shooting down of a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace for a grand total of 17 seconds. Russian retaliation in the form of stinging economic sanctions swiftly followed.

The Long Career of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who died in Tehran from a heart attack Sunday, January 8, was one of the dominant and enduring leaders of the Iranian revolution and the Islamic Republic: a fiery revolutionary, a member of parliament, a shaper of the Islamic Republic’s governing structure, and a moderate president who favored economic reform over religious dictates.

What Does the World Expect of President Donald Trump: The First 100 Days

The Takeaways


The first 100 days in office are considered a benchmark to measure the early success of a first-term president.  President Trump has outlined an ambitious set of plans including proposals related to immigration, trade deals, and defense policy. On February 1st, 2017 a distinguished panel of Wilson Center regional experts had a spirited conversation about the foreign policy expectations and challenges confronting the Trump administration.

Merkel Will Continue to Be Tested by German-Turkish Ties in 2017

The rocky path for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German-Turkish relations will continue into 2017 after a year of increasing tension. Despite a positive start to the beginning of 2016, ties were tested severely throughout the year. The worsening refugee crisis in the fall of 2015 reenergized bilateral relations as Merkel saw Turkey as a necessary partner to stem the flow of refugees seeking to reach Europe.

The Wilson Center Mourns the Loss of Intellectual, Political Activist, and Former Fellow Sadiq Al-Azm

It is with a heavy heart that the Wilson Center announces that Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, a Fellow at the Center from 1992-1993, passed away in Berlin on Sunday, Dec. 11th.  Apart from being one of the most celebrated public intellectuals the Center has ever hosted, he was also a dear friend to those who knew him.

White House Update on Counter-ISIS Campaign

On December 13, the U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (also known as the Islamic State, Daesh or ISIS), Brett McGurk, gave an update on the group’s loss of territory, leaders, fighters, revenue and more. The following are excerpts from his briefing.

Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk