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Bashar al-Assad smiling

To Assad and his admirers, Trump offers ‘hope and change’


Donald Trump has vowed to end US support for Syrian rebel groups, delighting backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

International Relations and Security
Ofra and Amona settlements

Israel’s controversial ‘settlement bill’: A conversation with Richard Falk


Embed from Getty Images  Israeli riot police clashed with settlers living in the Amona “outpost” settlement in 2006 A controversial bill in Israel aims to legalize settlements in the occupied West Bank built on privately owned Palestinian land. The bill was proposed after an Israeli court ordered the demolition of the Amona “outpost,” a West Bank settlement […]

Human Rights
Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro

Middle East leaders mourn Fidel Castro


Fidel Castro, the revolutionary leader who ruled Cuba for nearly half a century, died on November 25 at the age of 90. Despite Cuba’s small size and the long distance separating it from the Middle East, Castro’s Cuba played an active role in the region in the 1960s and 70s. Claiming to act in promotion […]

Tunisian security forces

Watching the watchmen: A long way to go for security-sector reform in the Arab world


Embed from Getty Images Police brutality and the impunity of the security forces, though far from the only cause, were a major catalyst of the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010-11. In Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi’s humiliating encounters with local police led him to light himself on fire. In Alexandria, Egypt, Khaled Mohamed Said was […]

International Relations and Security

Syria: Why the shooting never stops


In Syria, a ceasefire negotiated by Russia and the United States quickly broke down last week. Although unstable from the outset, the truce crumbled after the US bombed a Syrian army position, in a move it said was accidental, and Russian or Syrian jets attacked a UN aid convoy near Aleppo. This ceasefire was just […]

International Relations and Security

Cyberspace: ‘Everyone can attack everyone else’


Eviatar Matania, the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, spoke at Harvard’s Belfer Center on the unique properties of the cyber domain, and how governments can bolster their defenses in cyberspace. Cyberattacks are nothing new. But they are becoming more sophisticated, and more frequent. This year alone, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were left in […]

Science, Technology and Data

President Trump: The Arab World’s Perspective


Since launching his presidential bid last year, Donald Trump has come under fire for promising to “take” Iraq’s oil, ban Muslims from entering the United States, and subject terrorism suspects to “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” So how does the Arab world – which is the focus of some of Trump’s most bellicose rhetoric – view […]


Is the Battle for Fallujah a Battle Against Fallujah?


Fallujah, located 40 miles west of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, has long been known as the “city of mosques.” But since its capture by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Shia militias fighting to take the predominantly Sunni city have bestowed other epithets on Fallujah. One militia leader compared it to a “tumor” […]

International Relations and Security

What’s Holding Up Labor Reforms in Qatar?


The Gulf state of Qatar has repeatedly promised to reform its much-criticized labor system. Yet two years after its government announced plans to make major changes, the raft of proposed reforms still has not been implemented. What explains the delays? It certainly cannot be chalked up to lack of international pressure. This March, the UN’s […]

Education, Training and Labor

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