Home >> Middle East
Muslim world destined for greater interference in Obama’s second term
Abid Mustafa - 11/11/2012
America has just spent $6 billion dollars on the most expensive election in US history to re-elect the man that will give them more of the same. Despite the rhetoric of ‘change; or ‘moving forward’ nothing has really changed.
MID-EAST SWEEP: Libya, Syria, Egypt
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 10/12/2012
I. US likely raid in Libya
With the news abuzz with the imminent possibility of the US’ military action against Libya, the atmosphere in the Arab World has again become a bit tense because the likely fallout may be more of an insecurity and instability than of an effective deterrent in favour of peace and security in the region.
The defence and intelligence agencies of USA are reported to be busy in preparing the foundation and modalities for launching a penetrative raid inside Libya in order to capture alive or kill the militants involved in attack on its diplomatic mission in Bengh...
Lebanese Conflict: Lessons for Iraq
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 4/3/2012
The nature of conflicts in Lebanon and Iraq has much in common and it might be useful to compare them, in order to apply some lessons from the post conflict era in Lebanon to Iraq.
Iraq and Lebanon have similar heterogeneous sectarian divisions. For Lebanon, the Shiite, Sunni, and Christians represent the vast majority of the population.
For Iraq, it is the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds. In Lebanon, the sectarian proportions are more equally divided. However in Iraq, the Shiite have majority having 60% of the population, and the Sunni and Kurds are about 20% each...
Middle East Challenges Await Next President
Ron Coody - 2/22/2012
When President Carter sought reelection in 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran not only held dozens of Americans hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran, they wielded powerful influence over Carter's reelection hopes.
Prague's Havel is Gone - Where Are the Middle-East's Havels?
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 12/30/2011
As I was watching the carriage transporting the late Vaclav Havel, the first President of free post-Communist Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic, into the Prague Castle I was sobered and deeply moved. Having been a witness to major world changes spanning from the end of the twentieth to the start of the twenty-first centuries, I was now watching the departure of a giant of his time who happened to be a modest and a shy man leading a small Central European nation. His words, his life story, and his commitment to liberty have brought hope to many people around the world, far beyond those who speak Czech.
Middle East Studies failed to predict and address the "Arab Spring"
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 12/10/2011
When the young Tunisian burned himself in protest against authoritarian oppression and lack of economic justice, triggering massive demonstrations in this small North African country, commentators hesitated to coin the movement as an Arab Spring.
Arab Spring’s Silver Lining: A Search for the Soul of Arab Islam
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 12/8/2011
Non-Arab Muslims in predominantly Sunni Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey, representing two thirds of world Muslims, have a moderate and modern attitude towards Islamic dogma and Shari’a laws. They conduct democratic parliamentary elections and have had female prime ministers and presidents.
The West's Long War Over the Middle East
Abid Mustafa - 11/16/2011
"[We need an] Arab facade ruled and administered under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan and, as far as possible, by an Arab staff.... There should be no actual incorporation of the conquered territory in the dominions of the conqueror, but the absorption may be veiled by such constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer state and so on."— Lord Curzon
Ahmadinejad, Bashar and Skerrit
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 11/14/2011
Syria’s autocratic Bashar Al Assad visibly is in hot soup following Arab League latest move has decided to suspend Syria’s membership until Assad stop prosecuting civilians, who had been demonstrating against his rogue regime. The Arab League has also threatened Syria of facing imposing sanctions, if Bashar Al Assad regime will not immediately stop brutalities of the citizen of the country. It may be mentioned here that, Assad is continuing to murder civilians by using the armed forces of Syria for months, as the country is waking up against the rogue administration.
Arab revolution: Democracy or Islamic theocracy in the making
Abid Mustafa - 9/28/2011
The wave of revolt sweeping the Arab world has divided commentators and political pundits alike. Some speculate that this will lead to the democratization of the Arab world and are eager to make comparisons with the demise of the Iron curtain in 1989.
Would Russia Step in to Enforce Peace in Syria and the Middle East?
Lorna Thomas - 9/19/2011
Since mid March 2011 more than 2,200 people have reportedly been killed in pro-democracy demonstrations against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Remaking the Arab world in the West’s image
Abid Mustafa - 9/3/2011
"(We need an) ..Arab facade ruled and administered under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan and, as far as possible, by an Arab staff.... There should be no actual incorporation of the conquered territory in the dominions of the conqueror, but the absorption may be veiled by such constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer state and so on”--- Lord Curzon
Asian and European lessons for the Middle East
Shada Islam - 8/18/2011
As the Arab spring turns into summer and autumn, European and Asian policymakers can share experiences with their Arab counterparts on the democratic transformation of former communist eastern Europe and the transition to democracy in three leading Asian nations: Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea.
Duplicity of Political Agendas: Arab Leaders Exposed
Nizar Awad - 8/1/2011
Arab masses who have had enough of their leaders’ burdensome encroachment on their lives and livelihoods are finally saying to them enough is enough.
Arab Revolutions in Focus
Fathi El-Shihibi - 7/7/2011
Revolutions do not come from a vacuum but they always create their own novel phenomena. Despite the Arab and Islamic motifs that characterized recurrent Arab revolutions the reasons behind such mass movements in the Arab World are neither a desire to create Islamic orders nor expressions of anti-Western sentiments but rather the impulse to demand human rights and solutions to worsening economic blights.
G. Murphy Donovan - 6/10/2011
“We forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is men who are afraid of the light.” - Plato
Journey of Arab Revolutions From Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism to Pan-Secularism
Fathi El-Shihibi - 5/4/2011
The almost simultaneous popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya to oust entrenched authoritarian regimes and the escalating challenges to the Syrian, Jordanian, Algerian and Mauritanian regimes, have led to frenzy among Arab and non-Arab intellectuals to identify common denominators between the recent uprisings as well as future uprisings in the Arab world.
Counter Revolution by any other name would still look as Suspicious
Nizar Awad - 4/23/2011
Counter revolution as I see it refers to activities or positions adopted by governments, media or individuals to downplay or reverse gains by a given revolution. Nowadays counter revolutions are escalating rapidly in Arab countries that are more or less embroiled in popular uprising or full scale revolutions including Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Jordan.
Turkish Report to UN: Stash of Iranian Weapons Heading to Syria
Trevor Westra - 4/2/2011
Turkey has seized a secret shipment of Iranian weapons heading to Syria, documents submitted to the U.N. Security council and obtained by Reuters reveal. The discovery was made while officials were inspecting an Iranian cargo plane that had landed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir Airport on a technical stop, carrying what it declared as “spare auto parts”.
If One Extremist Gunman Can Do So Much Damage in America, How About Ten Million Such People In The Middle East?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 4/2/2011
When one crazed or ideologically obsessed gunman starts shooting in Arizona, people condemn him and start bemoaning their society. How about a place with ten million people like that who are treated as heroes?
Middle East: Tough road ahead
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 4/1/2011
The collapse of Soviet – style Communism and the break-up of the Soviet Union itself in 1991 freed numerous countries of East Europe, the former Republics of the Soviet Union and the Baltic states. Likewise, today, after the termination of the corrupt regime in Tunisia, then in Egypt, by citizens, united by social media, who refused to be intimidated by violence and who insisted on the right to participate in their own political future the ripples of changes are spreading in the Middle East- a region that encompasses North Africa and Western Asia.
Has Obama been caught flatfooted by the crisis Bahrain?
Trevor Westra - 3/18/2011
Political instability continues to rock the Kingdom of Bahrain, home of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet - a critical force in the Pentagon's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a tactical deterrent to the threat of a nuclear Iran.
Signposts in the Middle East
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/21/2011
1. Undeterred by international pressures and internal opposition, the Iranian government is cutting subsidies to essential goods that have cost a lot and eaten up capital that might have been used for investment and development.
Revolt in Tunisia: When Arab Regimes Do (And Do Not) Tremble
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/19/2011
May the good Lord protect us from news analysis and Middle East experts. Is the Arab world really in shock over the Tunisian upheaval? Is this really a symptom for a coming upheaval in the Arab world? Perhaps I'm wrong but a note of caution is in order. I think the answer is "no."
Why All Middle Eastern Politics Can't Be Reduced Merely to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/19/2010
I simply cannot comprehend why so many in the West refuse to see that Arabs can be revolutionaries. It is remarkable that so many who claim to be experts don't incorporate the idea that Arabs, like other peoples, might dislike their existing societies or be motivated by ideologies claiming to be the blueprints for utopias.
Poll Shows The Shocking Reality of Arab Public Opinion
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/11/2010
This is one of those stories about the Middle East that is totally amazing but not the least bit surprising. What, you ask, do I mean? From the standpoint of the way the region is portrayed in the West this information is incredible but if you understand the area it is exactly what you'd expect.
Middle East 101: Understanding Regional Political Logic
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/25/2010
A reader asks why Egypt insists on tying restrictions on the Iran's nuclear program with putting restrictions on Israel's program, including demanding Israel join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that the doors to Israel's Dimona reactor be opened to international inspectors, and that Israel must declare that it has nuclear weapons.
Kings, Emirs, and Shaykhs: The Survival of Traditional Regimes in the Persian Gulf
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/10/2010
During the early 1980s I was asked to give a briefing for the head of the Toyota auto company and other enterprises. It was just after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and during the height of the Iran-Iraq war, so regional instability was much on the mind of everyone.
Abu Dhabi's Nuclear Folly
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 6/30/2010
In December 2009, Abu Dhabi awarded South Korean companies a four-reactor BOT contract to generate 5,600 MW of electricity. In two contradictions, the emirate announced in February 2008 the plan to build Masdar City, a zero carbon, zero waste, and 100 percent renewable energy powered town; and in July 2009, it became the secretariat headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This article argues that Abu Dhabi's non-representative, non-participatory governance enables a poorly informed ruling elite enjoying rentier economic circumstances to reach such decisions. It concl...
Who Killed Khaled Sultan al-Abed?
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 6/15/2010
Once viewed as perhaps the most locked-down and policed city in the Middle East, the Syrian capital of Damascus has been the scene of a number of bombings and assassinations in the last few years. Most famously, of course, Hizbullah master-operative Imad Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in February 2008.
The Middle East in May 2010
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/26/2010
Why am I writing so much about U.S. policy and less about developments within the region itself lately? Because in a real sense not that much is happening right now in the region. A colleague remarked to me today that the world's political weather is set by the U.S. president. This seems very true right now.
Shameful: Libya on the UN Human Rights Council
Elias Bejjani - 5/18/2010
What an insult, a dire humiliation and a dismal disgrace to the essence, core and spirit of global human rights institutions, groups and efforts when a terroristic, fanatical, fundamentalist, and dictatorial country like Libya is elected by a majority of its fellow UN members to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Real Arab Stuff: Hussain Abdul Hussain Explains It All to You
Prof. Barry Rubin - 3/3/2010
Hussain Abdul Hussain gets it. He's one of the most interesting Arab journalists and he also writes in English. His latest article-published in the "Huffington Post"-entitled "Lonely Obama vs. Popular Iran" [but you don't have to use the link as I quoted practically all of it] he points out what the most realistic people and more moderate rulers in the Arabic-speaking world are thinking.
Middle East Wars in 2010
Elias Bejjani - 1/2/2010
Middle East analysts predict that the year 2010 could make the past nine years look laughable considering the kinds and ferocity of tragedies that might hit the region that has been a violent battlefield for four crushing wars.
One Wall Falls, Another Rises
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 11/17/2009
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a benchmark that made an impression on me, as it did on millions of people around the world. The sight of thousands of East Germans pouring into West Berlin, particularly the youths who had never experienced freedom before, was a surreal scene not only for the people of Europe, but also for those of us born in the Middle East.Westerners looked with shock at the peoples of East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union surging against totalitarianism. Central Europeans stared with awe at the countries who never surr...
Opportunities for Decentralization in Morocco
Yossef Ben-Meir, PhD - 11/1/2009
King Mohammed VI of Morocco will deliver a highly anticipated speech this November 6th--the anniversary of the Green March of 1975 when 350,000 unarmed Moroccans crossed into the Western Sahara. On this same occasion last year, Morocco’s King presented his “roadmap” to decentralize “all parts of the Kingdom, especially the Moroccan Sahara region” and “usher in a complete change from rigid centralized management.” The roadmap expands upon the Kingdom’s 2007 proposal to the United Nations Security Council for a final settlement of the Western Saharan conflict. Morocco proposes to build the po...
Middle East: Things Look Catastrophic but It Will Work Out
Prof. Barry Rubin - 10/22/2009
Every day dreadful things happen in the Middle East and in the echoes of that region—diplomacy, news coverage—in the West. Yet things are by no means as bad as they seem. Precisely because a lot of what happens simply doesn’t reflect reality, ultimately the material effect is minimized.
Middle East Cycles: Are We Stuck in This Era?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/18/2009
After watching Middle East politics for more than 30 years, it is clear that these events—and the perceptions of them—move in cycles. At times, developments force a more realistic, and at other times a less realistic, understanding of what’s going on. Sometimes, sadly, it is only when things go wrong that people in the West wake up.
Middle East Politics: The Ideal, The Real, and The Imaginary
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/27/2009
A reader asks: Do we really want to promoting the making of deals with "moderate dictators" or are we better urging them to turn their countries into liberal democracies?
Morocco’s Local Elections and Decentralization
Yossef Ben-Meir, PhD - 7/27/2009
On June 12th, 2009, the same day that Iran had its contentious presidential elections, Moroccans also went out to polls to participate in local elections. In stark contrast, Morocco’s elections were viewed to be both free and fair, and boasted a 15 percent increase in turnout from the 2007 parliamentary elections.
In response to "Why the Arab World is not free?"
Iqbal Latif - 7/27/2009
A recent discussion and a dialogue spanning over few sittings with my Egyptian intellectual friend Dr. Wafik Moustafa and Father Michael Seed.
When Secularists Burn Heretics
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/6/2009
Ali Ahmad Said Asbar is a name almost no one knows but everyone recognizes him by his penname Adonis. He is probably the greatest poet in the contemporary Arab world. On October 13, 2008, he gave a lecture at the National Library of Algeria. A Syrian who now lives in Paris focusing on two themes: the radical Islamist attempt to impose its interpretation of the religion is wrong and also that religion should not dominate society.
Conspiracy Theories Mislead Many in Middle East
Ron Coody - 1/10/2009
Among the many conspiracy theories floating around the Middle East one that is particularly interesting is the Greater Middle East Project. Though this theory has many variations the basic theme is that the Western powers, mainly Israel and the US are working to establish some sort of unified presence in the Middle East under the banner of an Ottoman-like imperial rule, characterized by the emergence of a watered down coalition of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The idea is that the unified religion under the direction of Turks and other Westernized Muslims will finally pacify the region and bring much easier access to oil production.
The Looming Arab Food Crisis
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 12/31/2008
To set the stage, certain facts need to be stated. First, foodstuffs are an encapsulation of water, virtual water. Generally, 1,000 tons of water (1,000 cubic meters (m3)) are needed to produce a ton of wheat, and 16,000 m3 of water is needed to produce a ton of red meat. Further, a ton of rice requires 3,400 m3 of water to grow; a slice of bread, 40 liters (kilograms); a cup of tea, 30 liters; an apple, 70 liters; and a glass of beer, 75 liters. It follows that the composition of one's diet determines the volume of water embedd...
Don't Flatter Your Enemies, Protect Your Friends
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/12/2008
In explaining why he was too fearful to vote in Jerusalem's mayoral election, an east Jerusalem Palestinian shopkeeper, Issam Abu Rmaileh, said, "I would have liked to vote because it's in our interest, but who's going to protect me and my family afterwards?"
The Arab World's Intellectual Mess: A Case Study
Prof. Barry Rubin - 10/12/2008
MEMRI has released report Number 1847 on September 8, 2008, entitled, "Egyptian Researcher Muhammad Al-Said Idris: The American Response to 9/11 Proves that the Official Version of Events Is False," the transcript of an interview he gave on Al-Rafidein TV on September 8, 2008. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1847.htm
The Mirage of Arab Democracy
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 9/29/2008
Arab democracy is fantasy. Democratic ideology cannot defeat Islamic theology. Notwithstanding that Arab rule is tribal, corrupt, and mired in favoritism and nepotism it is significant that Arab rulers typically stay in office until death, be it natural or resulting from a military coup. No Arab king or president, however, spares an opportunity, to display the loyalty of his subjects. While the presidents conduct stage-managed referendums in which they consistently manage to achieve near 100% approvals, the monarchs draw mile-long queues of happy-looking men (women are barred) on every nation...
The Bid For Dubai's Cyber-Rights
Naseem Javed - 8/26/2008
Under the latest ICANN's policy who would like to bid the highest amount for the exclusive global rights to the new domain suffix .dubai? Such a suffix will create a powerful domain root that will corner some 180 services underneath it, like go.dubai, hotel.dubai, job.dubai, cars.dubai or fly.dubai. Who would be the next global cyber-branding leader of this new millennium? Are auctions the right methods to sell such mega marketing channels? ICANN the Internet Authority is looking into auctioning off such popular name identities. A billion dollars going once? Billion dollars going twice…sold to the person from Russia with the diamond-studded cell phone.
Labor in Kuwait
G.M. Solaiman - 8/18/2008
Last week in a rare development in Middle East, thousands of Bangladeshi workers went to strike protesting poor living conditions, serious abuse and human rights violation. I hope you were not surprised with the aftermath of this. Instead of addressing the human rights abuse issue that has been happening for
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 8/3/2008
Over the last two months, Israeli security forces have arrested six young Arab men suspected of seeking to form an extreme Islamist cell for the purpose of carrying out high-profile terror attacks in the capital. Two of the six held Israeli citizenship, while the other four were residents of east Jerusalem. It appears that they were radicalized through involvement in an Islamic study circle and via the Internet. Two Arab Israeli citizens from the town of Rahat were arrested in recent weeks on similar suspicions.
Irreconcilable Enemy? Examining Hamas and Hezbollah
Nicholas M. Guariglia - 7/17/2008
It isn’t smart to walk alone late at night on the outskirts of Newark, New Jersey. I discovered this for myself last October, when I was returning home from a friend’s house. Just one hundred yards from my apartment, and ironically just two hundred yards from a police station, a man jumped out of some dark bushes near the side of the road and attacked me.
The Cyber Highway To Dubai
Naseem Javed - 7/16/2008
Right now, the global business community at large is very curious to discover the charm of Dubai, and what it is about its business community that works so well. The outside world wants to know who these people are, how they run their projects, and what they do exactly that is so grand and magical.
Book Review of: 'The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East'
Susan Froetschel - 6/27/2008
A book's small size can be deceptive. In selecting "The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East," a reader must be prepared to release old assumptions and sort through a multitude of paradoxes and a maze of global connections, some more readily apparent than others.
Islamist Political Activism in Jordan: Moderation, Militancy and Democracy
Prof. Curtis R. Ryan - 6/9/2008
While democracy has proven to be a fragile and elusive form of politics in the modern Arab world, Islamist movements have flourished--ranging from grass-roots pro-democracy activism to militant jihadism and terrorism. Whether Arab politics witnesses more political liberalization in the near future will depend in large part on the nature of Islamist movements, as well as ruling regimes' reactions to them. This article examines the broad range of Islamist alternatives within one of the more liberalizing Arab states--the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan--with a view to understanding the depth and breadth of Islamist forms of political mobilization.
If they can't fool you, they can't defeat you
Prof. Barry Rubin - 3/13/2008
Radical forces in the Middle East have rewritten the international rulebook in a way designed so "they can't lose." That is, there’s no easy response to their behavior and strategies.
Arab Ideological Doctrine Syndrome: A Crippling Plague
Prof. Barry Rubin - 3/6/2008
One of the things least understood by people in the West is the framework--or should I say straitjacket?--of the dominant ideology in the Arabic-speaking world in shaping thought, speech, and political alternatives. This shows up in the smallest of exchanges. But atoms, too, are very tiny yet make up all the wide variety of things in the world.
Middle East Pressure Points
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/28/2008
Ironic, isn’t it, that radical forces threaten a wide range of violence, sanctions, and other behaviors against democratic states while insisting—along with their Western apologists—that any attempt by their victims to put any kind of pressure on them is useless.
War of Muslims Against Muslims, Arabs Against Arabs
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/22/2008
Following up on article Who Owns the Palestine Card in which a high-ranking Iranian official claims the battle against Israel as a Shia and non-Palestinian monopoly now comes a Hamas statement which also indicates the deep divisions among Muslims and Arabs. At the same time, in contrast to the bragging (or is it whistling in the dark?) of Iran and Hizballah, it shows the high sense of despair among radical forces.
Moroccan Democracy Process: The Will Needs Citizens’ Trust
Ahmed Jazouli, Ph.D. - 2/18/2008
On January 23th, the Moroccan Lower House closed its first session. Officially, the elections that led to its election knew the lowest after rates of participation in Morocco’s history (37 percent).
Take Me To Your Leader!
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/12/2008
The day of giants—though some of them were ogres—is certainly over among Middle East leaders. In fact, what is most remarkable fact is how unremarkable the current rulers are. There is both good and bad in this situation, since while there is no one capable of turning around a whole country Samson-like that also means there is no one likely to pull down the temple and crush everyone underneath. That is, with one possible exception we will discuss shortly.
Morocco's 2007 Elections
Samir Ben-Layashi - 12/22/2007
This article discusses the social and political context of Morocco's 2007 parliamentary elections, which brought surprising results. It attempts to explain why the moderate Islamic party, the PJD, did not achieve an overwhelming victory as was expected. It also explores why the formerly undefeatable socialist party, the USFP, lost popularity. Finally, it examines the remarkable comeback of the historically conservative Independent Party, the IP. The article points out that while the PJD may have lost on the national scale, it won in most of the big cites--the political, economic, and intellect...
Survivor, Gulf Style
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/18/2007
Let's say you rule an Arab state in the Persian Gulf--Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. How does the world look to you right now?
How Arab Regimes Defeated The Liberalization Challenge
Prof. Barry Rubin - 10/13/2007
This article examines democratization efforts in the Arab world and how governments neutralized, utilized, or adjusted to them. The reactions of Islamists and the liberal movements themselves are also examined. In general, the regimes were able to defeat the demands for reform by using a number of classical techniques and new adaptations.
Franchising & Novou-Consumerism in Middle East
Naseem Javed - 9/25/2007
Two things; firstly among all of the great business concepts of the last few decades the franchise model has always surfaced to the very top. Secondly, over the next decade the introduction of hundreds of fresh, locally nurtured franchise concepts emerging within Dubai and the Gulf States will set the stage for a great revolution of nouvo-consumerism. So what are the four key factors driving this movement?
Nationalists Versus Islamists: The Middle East's Core Issue
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/21/2007
The Middle East is in a new era, very different from the politics and strategic situation we have been used to for so long. For 55 years the region has lived under Arab nationalist dominance. Every Arab regime, except perhaps Sudan, is Arab nationalist, governed by that basic system and world view. Of course, these regimes have governed badly, not keeping pledges to unite the Arab world, minimize Western influence, destroy Israel, or bring rapid social and economic progress. Still, they know how to stay in power.
Reading the Middle East in Bangkok
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/5/2007
A fascinating way to try to improve one's own understanding of the Middle East is to try to explain the region to people from a totally different culture and history. I've done this in several far-flung places around the world but Thailand provides a particularly interesting example of the particularity and--in global terms--bizarre nature of the Middle East.
Observations on Arabs
Stephen W. Browne - 7/11/2007
Well, the war has come, as some of us knew it would. We have fearlessly trodden into a conflict in a region that God’s holy angels have regarded as a punishment post for millennia. And libertarians, though we appear to be divided on this issue, have typically produced a crop of military and Middle East experts – most of whom have never served in the military or lived in the Middle East.
It's Hard to be an Arab
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/5/2007
Once, many years ago, I stood outside the door of a Middle East Studies Association meeting addressed by the late Edward Said as he thundered against those he deemed "the enemies of the Arabs." He even provided a list of names. Strange it was to think this was supposedly an academic meeting, not a rally of some extremist totalitarian political party.
Where Are The Billions? Saga Of Misisng GCC $542 Billlions
Iqbal Latif - 6/12/2007
From 2002-06, the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) made about $1.5 trillion from oil exports, twice as much as they made during the preceding five years. Around $1 trillion of that cash was exhausted on imports. The rest—a snowballing current-account surplus of $542 billion—went abroad. Where?
Theme-Based Real Estate Branding in the Middle East
Naseem Javed - 5/23/2007
With some one thousand theme-based-cities being developed at a phenomenal rate here in the Middle East, the branding and name identities of such projects become nightmares. As in size, except a very few, they range between a few acres to even a single large dwelling. Now this requires a new definition of the term 'city' so not to confuse the customers with other traditional metropolises. For example, the introduction of Dubai Media City has become great success story, which extends the souk concept to its infinite extremes. But with the emerging jigsaw of cities, it will make it difficult to d...
The SME Revolution Begins in Dubai and GCC
Naseem Javed - 10/13/2006
The Western economies realized decades ago that small and medium enterprises are really the main drivers of the economy. While big businesses are necessary to preserve and maintain structure within the economy, surely they have considerable problems of their own. Mega corporations of the earlier era have increasingly lost their edge to smaller, nimbler organizations, which have spouted all over the Western landscape. The Middle East is now a new turning point for SME’s to begin a grassroots revolution.
Economies of the Middle East
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/18/2005
On February 24, 2003, in the Islamic Financial Forum in Dubai, Brad Bourland, chief economist for the Saudi American Bank (SAMBA), breached the embarrassed silence that invariably enshrouds speakers in Middle Eastern get-togethers. He reminded the assembled that despite the decades-long fortuity of opulent oil revenues, the nations of the region - excluding Turkey and Israel - failed to reform their economies, let alone prosper.
Middle East: Polls Alone Don't Make A Democracy
Ahmed Jazouli, PhD - 10/15/2005
Whenever elections are held in any Arab country, there is the fear of the Islamist majority. Democrats are ready to turn to dictators when assumptions give these movements an up-coming strong force !!
Al-Jazeera Presents Arab Point of View, Not Bias
Samer Zouehid - 6/9/2005
The Arabic language news channels have come under fierce criticism recently from the American administration for their portrayal of events in the Middle East, especially in Iraq. The criticism seems to be getting louder and louder, and it appears as if a full-fledged campaign by different parts of the American administration to discredit Arab media stations such as Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya are underway.
A Window Into the Middle East: Interview with Haim Harari
Ryan Mauro - 4/13/2005
In 2004, internationally known physicist Haim Harari was invited to address the advisory board of a major multinational corporation. In a short speech he offered a penetrating analysis of the components of terror, and presented a passionate call for a new era in the Middle East. The speech, entitled "A View from the Eye of the Storm," was not intended for publication, but when a copy was leaked and posted onto the Internet, it caused a worldwide sensation, eventually being translated into more than half a dozen languages. In his upcoming book "A View From the Eye of the Storm,", Harari includ...
Russian Stereotypes of Arabs
Aliheydar Rzayev, Ph.D. - 3/22/2005
Following the breakup of the USSR, one of the countries where tens of thousands of Soviet-born people, including myself, made residence has become the United Arab Emirates. Close examination of the laws, traditions, customs, religion and the style of life in UAE and the Arab world in general, shakes the generalized stereotype of the "Arab" created over the decades in the Soviet Union.