Jean AbiNader

Jean AbiNader is a Middle East analyst and writer who lives in the Washington, DC area. He produces blogs, position papers and policy studies related to US-Arab political, economic and security issues. He has been involved in US-Arab advocacy for more than 40 years, having been the first Arab American to lobby on US policies in the Middle East. He recently edited the Lebanon Policy Paper: Recommendations for a Sustainable Bilateral Relationship, a joint project of the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL) and the Middle East Institute. He has been traveling to the region since 1972. AbiNader consults on strategic communications and organizational change for both international and US clients; has led a graduate-level seminar at Georgetown University; lectures at American University on international development and challenges in intercultural negotiations; and leads a seminar on effective negotiations at Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco. His blogs can be found on www.atfl.org and his own website, www.abinaderadvisoryservices.com.

Lebanon’s Future as an Inclusive Democracy in Doubt

October 18, 2021

In Lebanon, October 17 marked the anniversary of the 2019 demonstrations against the government due to its mismanagement of the economy and widespread corruption. After two years, despite the fall of the government led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, there has been no investigation into the charges of corruption or...

Is Lebanon at Risk in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

May 25, 2021

Media attention has focused on the loss of life and property in the bombardment of Gaza, the domestic skirmishes between Jewish and Arab Israelis, and Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. Yet there are unique implications for Palestinian communities in Lebanon, too. In Lebanon, more than 470,000 Palestinians are registered with...

Expect an Uneven Rebound in MENA and Central Asia

May 20, 2021

Projections, no matter how well-grounded in analytics, are a messy business. Three years ago, COVID-19 was unheard of and then-US President Donald Trump’s politics caused uncertainty in international relations, with democracy in retreat across the world. Despite the best-informed prognostications, predictions failed to capture cross-border variables such as immigration and...

Lebanon Hits a New Milestone

March 05, 2021

On March 2, the Lebanese lira (or pound) eroded even further into becoming a failed currency, if there is such a thing. From an official exchange rate of 3,900 pounds per US dollar for importers and manufacturers of essential food items, the “cost of scarce dollars hit 10,000 Lebanese pounds...

Not All Quiet on the Western Sahara Front

November 24, 2020

On October 21, groups of Polisario Front’s supporters blocked the highway at Guergarat, in the extreme southwest of the Western Sahara. This is in the buffer zone between territory controlled by Morocco and the land claimed by the Polisario — the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and...

Does Saad Hariri Really Believe He Can Save Lebanon?

October 23, 2020

My parents used to say, “Eat with your mouth and not your eyes.” This may be good advice for newly-minted Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He is clearly unable to resist trying once again to raise Lebanon from its deathbed, and this time the consequences may be more disastrous than...

Reworking US Policy in the Middle East and North Africa

October 14, 2020

US foreign policy has shifted dramatically from just a brief 20 years ago. This is not the making of Donald Trump, Xi Jinping or Vladimir Putin. Rather, they are symptoms of forces that have been building since the post-Soviet era. With the ascendency of the US as the global superpower...

Morocco Looks to a Future After COVID-19

July 29, 2020

Many countries are facing declining growth rates due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Morocco is no exception. Given lockdowns and flight restrictions implemented worldwide from March, the tourism and hospitality sectors — usually the third-largest component of GDP — have suffered enormous losses and almost collapsed during the first 90...

There’s No Good News for Refugees in Lebanon

June 16, 2020

The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon is just the latest in a sequence of disenfranchisements that have plagued the Middle East for generations. In 1948, just years after Lebanon was founded, the Palestinians were pushed out of their homeland by the Israelis and the Lebanese granted them refuge. Over the...

The New Normal Is Nothing New

June 05, 2020

The phrase “the new normal” has been around, according to CBS News, since the end of World War I. Its use has escalated since the 2008-09 financial crisis and implies that life will never go back to the way it was, although one hardly notices any changes in the way...

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