Middle East and North Africa

Russia in the Middle East: A Conversation with Major General (Res.) Amos Gilead

Russia’s entry into the Syrian civil war in 2015 marked a new stage in Russia’s increasing assertion of its military and political posture on the world stage. The Syrian intervention secured for Moscow greatly increased influence throughout the region, which came to a large degree at the expense of U.S. and Israeli interests.

25 Years since Cairo: Making ICPD25 Relevant to Young People

“The ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Programme of Action is a promise. A promise that was made 25 years ago to young people, the intention of which was to give young people hope—hope that their rights, their needs, and their demands would be met,” said Kobe Smith, Vice President of the Youth Advocacy Movement at International Planned Parenthood Federation/ Western Hemisphere Region, at a recent Wilson Center event.

Enheduanna: Amplifying the Voices of Women in the Middle East

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we speak with Merissa Khurma, Project Manager of Middle East Special Initiatives, about the just-launched blog Enheduanna. The blog hopes to “inspire diverse women contributors from the Middle East to voice their thoughts and express their ideas about the state of women in their countries and their often ignored yet important work to advance women’s issues across the region.”



Feeding a Thirsty World: Harnessing the Connections Between Food and Water Security

“Food production is the largest consumer of water and also represents the largest unknown factor of future water use as the world’s population continues to balloon, and we face increasing weather-related shocks and stresses,” said Laura Schulz, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment.

Women Rising: Voices from the Middle East

In commemoration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Women’s Initiative invited a number of women leaders from the region to contribute to our newly established blog Enheduanna: Voices from the Middle East. We asked women leaders from the public, private and civil society sectors to share their views on the challenges facing women in their societies and the opportunities for sustainable progress in advancing women’s rights and achieving gender parity.

Back to the Future: Restoring Women in Leadership Roles

Women know a thing or two about facing challenges — and triumphing over them. That’s true in the Middle East, in the United States, and around the world. My political career began in one of those moments of triumph. I was first elected to the House of Representatives in the Year of the Woman, 1992, when we nearly doubled the number of women in Congress. In the Middle East — particularly Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Jordan — women have been elected to parliaments and appointed to cabinet positions since the 1960s.

Implementing the U.S. Global Water Strategy: A First-Year Review

In November 2017, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development released the first U.S. Global Water Strategy. With contributions from more than 17 U.S. government agencies and departments, the Global Water Strategy lays out four interrelated objectives to support a more water secure world: increase access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation services, and promote hygiene; protect freshwater resources; promote cooperation on shared waters; and strengthen water governance and financing.

About Enheduanna

Enheduanna is the world’s first woman poet and author from the 23rd century BC. The daughter of the King of Akkad, a central city in Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, she has been identified by world historians as the world’s first ‘named author.’ This blog is appropriately named after Enheduanna as her legacy inspires diverse women contributors from the Middle East to voice their thoughts and express their ideas about the state of women in their countries and their often ignored yet important work to advance women’s issues across the region.

Engineering an Endgame in Afghanistan

Last year, Pathways to Change – Pakistan Policy Symposium, a two-day event jointly organized by the Wilson Center and INDUS, convened expert scholars, academics, and practitioners from the United States and Pakistan to explore Pakistan’s recent achievements in economic, political, and foreign affairs as well as its opportunities to address current and future challenges. Speakers and panelists focused on identifying practical, innovative, and above all actionable policy solutions.