• Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Oct 25, 2021Imad K. Harb Isabella Absi

    Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky introduced the Combating International Islamophobia Act (H.R.5665). The bill mandates that the State Department create a special …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    A New Cycle of Reform in Jordan

    Oct 21, 2021Curtis Ryan

    Jordan’s latest reform committee completed its work this month on modernizing the Jordanian political system. As with the many earlier reform committees and ca…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections Are Over. Now What?

    Oct 21, 2021Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraq’s fifth parliamentary election since the 2003 US invasion is procedurally over. The polling stations have closed, but the fight over the results has just …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Jordan: Uptick in Diplomacy amid Pandora Papers Revelations

    Revelations in the so-called Pandora Papers about King Abdullah II’s substantial real estate acquisitions of luxury homes in the United States and United Kingd…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeySecurity and Defense

    Drumbeats of Turkey’s Next Military Invasion of Syria

    Oct 20, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish officials continue to repeat their warning that a military operation in northern Syria may be imminent, blaming both Washington and Moscow for not fulf…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Oct 18, 2021Imad K. Harb Isabella Absi

    The House subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa on October 15 held a briefing on “Tunisia: Examining the State of Democracy and Next Steps for U.S. …

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon Courts Civil War, Again

    Oct 14, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Once again, Lebanon teeters on the abyss of a civil war, this time over conflicts related to the investigation into the disastrous August 4, 2020 explosion at …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Foreign Influence in Lebanon and the Third Miqati Premiership

    Oct 13, 2021Joe Macaron

    For the third time in 16 years, Prime Minister Najib Miqati comes to office as a consensus candidate in a country with deep divisions within the Lebanese polit…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    The Conflicted Role of Lebanon’s Central Bank

    Oct 12, 2021Sabine Kik

    Over the past few decades, public debt, sectarian nepotism, and fixed exchange rates have been three significant challenges to the Lebanese economy; albeit the…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Erbil Conference: Iraq Rejects Normalizing with Israel

    On September 24th, some 300 Iraqi tribal and political leaders, mostly from Iraq’s six Sunni-majority governorates, met at a conference in Erbil, capital of th…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Oct 12, 2021Imad K. Harb Isabella Absi

    Earlier this week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) blocked an accelerated vote on the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (H.R. 5323). The senator’s…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Palestine in Speeches at the UN General Assembly: Reading between the Lines

    Oct 8, 2021Yousef Munayyer

    The speeches of the US president, the Israeli prime minister, and the Palestinian president during general debate of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)…

  • Policy Analysis
    Tunisia

    Saied’s New Decree Deepens Tunisia’s Crisis

    Oct 7, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Two telling events unfolded in Tunisia on October 3rd. The first was a demonstration by thousands of flag-waving citizens proclaiming their support for Preside…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Elections in Iraq: Getting Closer to Democracy?

    Oct 6, 2021Rend Al-Rahim 

    Iraq’s parliamentary elections, set for October 10, 2021, represent the sixth national poll since 2003. Iraqi President Barham Salih described them1 as “critic…

  • Policy Analysis
    Justice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A “Crisis of Relevance”: UN Failures in the MENA Region

    Oct 5, 2021Yara M. Asi

    On September 21, 2021, in front of the same green marble tile where many of his predecessors and other prominent world leaders have spoken, US President Joe Bi…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Biden’s Yemen Conundrum

    Oct 5, 2021Nabeel Khoury

    US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan traveled to Riyadh on September 27 and was accompanied by US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. The visit highl…

  • Viewpoint
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Syria’s Return to the Arab League Is Imminent

    Oct 5, 2021Imad K. Harb

    A decade after the start of the Syrian revolution against authoritarian rule and the suspension of Syria’s membership in the League of Arab States, the country…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Oct 4, 2021Isabella Absi

    The Libya Stabilization Act (H.R.1228) passed the House of Representatives in a roll call vote. Initially introduced in late February of this year by Rep. Theo…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Palestinian Youth and the Futility of the Two-State Solution

    Sep 30, 2021Kerent Benjumea

    Following Israel’s expulsions of Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and its war on Gaza this year, pro-Palestine movements revitalized the …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Growing Relations between Egypt and Russia: Strategic Alliance or Marriage of Convenience?

    Sep 27, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On August 22nd, Egypt’s Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohammad Zaki made a trip to Russia with a high-level military delegation. Zaki attended th…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Sep 27, 2021Isabella Absi

    Progressives in the US House of Representatives attempt to block $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile system while Austin gives assurances to Gantz of the…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A New Strategic Architecture Is Emerging in the Gulf

    Sep 24, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As the Gulf crisis of 2017 recedes into memory, following the reconciliation in January at the “solidarity and stability” summit in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula on th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran’s Hard-liners Pursue a Complex Resistance Strategy

    Sep 23, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    While the election of Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency and the appointment of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as foreign minister signal a clear victory for th…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Southwestern Syria Tests US-Russia Cooperation

    Sep 22, 2021Joe Macaron

    The US-Russian agreement of July 2017 that led to a fragile stability in southwestern Syria has recently unraveled, testing President Joe Biden’s approach in S…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement Still Has a Long Way to Go

    Talks in Baghdad between officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have been held periodically since April, have fueled speculation that these two regional pow…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    President Biden’s Mixed Policies for the Middle East

    Sep 20, 2021

    Marcus Montgomery writes that President Biden is reversing some US policies regarding the Middle East, such as declassifying information on Saudi Arabia’s role…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Sep 13, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    A bipartisan group of House members introduced H.R. 5148 to establish a joint US-Israel center to study and develop artificial intelligence. This bill, which i…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    No Rest for the Weary: Lebanon’s Miqati Must Hit the Ground Running

    Sep 10, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Najib Miqati, the billionaire tasked over a year ago with forming the Lebanese government, has finally finished putting it together, but not before President M…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    “Shoulder to Shoulder with Sorrow”: Afghan Refugees, Past and Present

    Sep 9, 2021Yara M. Asi

    For weeks, images and stories of Afghans leaving their homeland have flooded all forms of media. Recent events only emphasized just how difficult life is for t…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Arab Women Political Prisoners Jailed by US Middle East Allies

    Sep 9, 2021Sahar Khamis

    When President Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20th as the 46th president of the United States, America’s friends in particular hoped that his administration…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    US-Israel Relations: Time for a Reset or Reevaluation?

    Sep 8, 2021Yousef Munayyer

    As Israel’s prime minister for nearly 12 years in a row, Benjamin Netanyahu greatly shaped the US-Israel relationship in recent history. After his exit from th…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    The fallout from the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been fierce and partisan. Although it is largely symbolic and has no effect on US policy in the Middle …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    Jordan’s Decade-long Path to Democracy Might Have Just Begun

    Sep 3, 2021Daoud Kuttab

    In June, Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a 92-member commission, headed by former Prime Minister Samir Rifai, and charged it with creating a plan to modern…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Prepares for a New “Great Game” in Afghanistan

    Sep 2, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Until the horrific August 26 attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, Iran’s bottom line on a new Afghan political order was in fact similar …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Kadhimi Tries to Boost His Domestic Standing

    Sep 1, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As a basic principle, foreign policy serves as an extension of a country’s domestic politics and an instrument wielded by policy-makers to enhance their domest…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Relentless Bid for Afghanistan

    Aug 31, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Taliban’s astonishing seizure of all of Afghanistan dashed the Turkish government’s earlier hope to take charge of Kabul Airport. Turkey’s President Recep …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Aug 30, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Democratic members of the House draft legislation to help Iraqi and Afghan refugees settle and find employment in the United States; progressive members’ criti…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    Morocco Consolidates Its Authoritarianism

    Aug 26, 2021Houda Chograni

    Al-hogra, a North African colloquial term meaning humiliation, degradation, and abasement, drove another vulnerable Moroccan to self-immolate out of utter powe…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Foreign Policy

    Humanitarian Lessons from a Century of Conflict in the Middle East

    Aug 26, 2021Yara M. Asi

    For most of the past 20 years, the heavy presence of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan remained in the backdrop of public discourse. While some poli…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    Lebanon’s Energy Crisis Fuels US-Iran Tensions

    Aug 25, 2021Joe Macaron

    In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Aug 23, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress Congress is still observing its August recess. The House is expected to make an earlier return than previously scheduled to consider President Joe …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bennett’s Agenda on Palestine: Shrinking the Conflict

    Aug 20, 2021Khalil E. Jahshan

    Even before winning formal approval on June 13, 2021, the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid rotation government has raised many questions as to its durability, the un…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Risky Business: Kais Saied’s Regional Alliances

    Aug 20, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Three weeks after President Kais Saied used Article 80 of the constitution to impose what can be called a ‘state of exceptionalism,’ Tunisians are waiting for …

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    After Afghanistan, a New Biden Middle East Doctrine Takes Shape

    Aug 19, 2021Imad K. Harb

    If there are lessons to be learned from the disastrous end of the American war in Afghanistan, they would be most applicable to the countries of the Arab Middl…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptEnergy and Economics

    Will Egypt Live with GERD as a Bitter Reality?

    Aug 19, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On July 19, Ethiopia announced that it had completed the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). This unilateral step had been rejected b…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantViolent Extremism

    Although Diminished, the Islamic State Remains an Ongoing Threat

    Despite the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq a few years ago, which was heralded as a major achievement by the large in…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Aug 16, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Senate hearings on US arms sales to the Middle East and the state of human rights in Morocco; Department of State communications with Arab officials; new sanct…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Hezbollah Is Not Interested in a War with Israel

    Aug 11, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As Lebanon reels from seemingly unsolvable political, economic, social, and security crises, an exchange of rocket and artillery fire on August 6th between Hez…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Security and Defense

    Momentum Builds for War Powers Reform

    On August 3rd, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held its long-awaited open hearing on authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs). This marks…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    A Year after the Beirut Explosion, a Dreaded Civil War in Lebanon

    Aug 3, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Events over the last few days in Lebanon portended a serious escalation in sectarian tensions and a possible widespread resort to arms that could quickly lead …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Is Washington Rethinking Its Partnerships in the Middle East?

    There appears to be a slow but noticeable shift in Democratically-controlled Washington as to the countries with which the United States seeks to work closer a…

  • Policy Analysis
    Energy and Economics

    Challenges Facing Sustainable Development Goals in Arab States

    Jul 30, 2021Yara M. Asi

    The end of the twentieth century was a tumultuous period for much of the world. Many countries were experiencing economic turmoil, and many hard-won gains in h…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelMedia and Technology

    The Full Story behind the NSO Hack: The Israeli-Military-Allied Surveillance Industry and Transnational Repression

    Jul 28, 2021Tamara Kharroub

    The recent investigation into the NSO Group exposed a widespread global targeting of journalists and human rights activists and revealed evidence that their sm…

  • Viewpoint
    US Foreign Policy

    A Tale of Two Donalds: Rumsfeld and Trump

    Jul 28, 2021Laurie King

    In late June, a long forgotten name popped up in news broadcasts: former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had died at the age of 88 after enjoying a cha…

  • Policy Analysis
    TunisiaDemocracy and Governance

    Kais Saied Can Either Save or Destroy Tunisia’s Democracy

    Jul 27, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The political earthquake that rocked Tunisia July 25th—65 years after the country’s independence from France—seems all too familiar. Declaring that he was dete…

  • Policy Analysis

    Biden’s Yemen Peace Initiative at a Crossroads

    Jul 27, 2021Nabeel A. Khoury

    Off to a fast start in February, President Joe Biden’s Yemen initiative is now past the six month mark and stands to lose momentum if no agreement is reached, …

  • Viewpoint
    SyriaUS Foreign Policy

    Rearranging American Priorities in Syria

    Jul 27, 2021Radwan Ziadeh

    On July 17, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took his oath of office in front of parliament after winning the presidential election with 95 percent of the popu…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jul 26, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationBassam Barabandi Rewards for Justice Act. On July 20, the House overwhelmingly approved H.R. 1036, the Bassam Barabandi Rewards for Ju…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    King Abdullah’s Visit: Resetting American-Jordanian Relations

    Jul 22, 2021Curtis Ryan

    On July 19, 2021, King Abdullah II of Jordan became the first Arab leader to visit President Joe Biden at the White House. The symbolism alone was significant,…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Hamas and Its Regional Role Post-Gaza War

    Jul 21, 2021Joe Macaron

    As the Palestinian Authority, with Fatah at its core, is struggling to redefine its legitimacy and mandate, Hamas is emerging as a key player in the post-Gaza …

  • Policy Analysis
    KuwaitDemocracy and Governance

    Kuwait Muddles through Its Confusing Politics

    Nearly a year has passed since the death, on September 29, 2020, of Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah, the respected elder statesman of Gu…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jul 19, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery reports on House and Senate hearings on the US Agency for International Development’s role in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon; Senate…

  • Policy Analysis
    SomaliaDemocracy and Governance

    Many Challenges to Address as Somalis Go to the Polls

    Jul 19, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The recent agreement on Somali presidential and parliamentary elections is a good but insufficient sign that Somalia’s many antagonists will allow the credible…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    US Middle East Influence in Afghanistan’s Shadow

    Jul 15, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Will the departure of some 3,000 American troops from Afghanistan be a harbinger of a more fundamental realignment of US Middle East security policy? Presently…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanUS Foreign Policy

    King Abdullah Visits Washington amid Jordan’s Woes

    King Abdullah II’s upcoming meetings with President Joe Biden on July 19, and subsequently with leading members of Congress, come at a time when the Hashemite …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    Misunderstanding Evangelicals and Israel

    Jul 14, 2021Gary M. Burge 

    The dramatic shift in Israel’s leadership this summer, following former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s departure, gave pause to many American evangelicals…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jul 12, 2021Marcus Montgomery

     I. CongressCongress was away on recess for the July 4th holiday.1) Personnel and CorrespondenceCODEL Travels to Israel, Occupied Territories, Qatar. Afte…

  • Viewpoint
    Palestine/IsraelArab Americans/ Muslim Americans

    The Changing Arab American Activism for Palestine in the United States

    Jul 12, 2021Hani J. Bawardi

    Advocacy for Palestine in the United States has entered a new phase, given the higher level of veracity social media injected into coverage of the latest Israe…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Moroccan Normalization with Israel: Temporary Deal or Permanent Peace?

    Jul 8, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On June 16, 2021, King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent a congratulatory letter to Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett. This might not have been surprising…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is a Saudi-Emirati Rift on the Horizon?

    Jul 7, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appears to be approaching another unwelcome rift, this time between its two most vocal and influential members, Saudi Arabia…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    House Democrats Outline Foreign Policy Priorities in FY22 Budget

    The Democratic-controlled House Appropriations Committee last week passed the federal government’s fiscal year 2022 budget. Some notable changes could affect U…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaDemocracy and Governance

    Algeria Reestablishes Authoritarianism through Elections

    Jul 1, 2021Imad K. Harb

    On June 12, Algeria held an early parliamentary election whose results reflected both Algerian voters’ apathy about the system they inherited from former Presi…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Oman’s Diplomatic Agenda in Yemen

    Jun 30, 2021Giorgio Cafiero

    A flurry of diplomatic activities and high-level meetings between Omani officials and their counterparts from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, the United Sta…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Global Health and Health Policy

    On Capitol Hill, COVID-19 Recovery Aid Seen as Potential Weapon

    Jun 29, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Included in Arab Center Washington DC’s June 21 report was a brief description of a kerfuffle between Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) and some of his constituents…

  • Viewpoint
    Iraq

    Iran’s Presidential Election as Viewed in Iraq

    All political developments in Iran have serious repercussions in Iraq, and the election of Ibrahim Raisi as president of the Islamic Republic is no different. …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Raisi’s Election Creates Opportunities and Pitfalls for Iran’s Islamic Republic

    Jun 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In the weeks leading up to Iran’s June 18 presidential elections, one joke making the rounds was that Ebrahim Raisi, then a candidate and now the winner, was r…

  • Policy Analysis
    Regional Relations and Geopolitics

    US-Russian Cooperation in the Middle East after the Biden-Putin Summit

    Jun 24, 2021Joe Macaron

    The June 16 summit between President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, was meant to defuse tensions between the United States and Russia, …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Doubts Surround Egypt’s Draft National Human Rights Strategy

    Jun 24, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    Long hounded by international criticism of its deteriorating human rights record, the government of Egypt is preparing to respond by launching a new national h…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Polisario Front, Morocco, and the Western Sahara Conflict

    Jun 22, 2021Houda Chograni

    The simmering 46-year-old conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, a Northwest African area of around 25…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Rebuilding Gaza, Yet Again

    Jun 17, 2021Yara M. Asi

    In 2012, the United Nations issued a dire warning: change the situation, now, or the Gaza Strip may no longer be a livable place by 2020. Unemployment, poverty…