Rabaa Square in Retrospective: The Victory of Fear in Egypt

September 12, 2014

Egypt’s authoritarian state is playing off fear to coopt the revolution and justify ruthless oppression. In summer 2013, Tamarod activists, with megaphones on street corners and in metro stations, collected signatures en masse calling for an end to the presidency of Mohammed Morsi and sparked...

Lesson of Lebanon Can Help Solve Syrian Crisis

February 19, 2014

Could Lebanon's 15-year conflict prove to be a lesson for Syria? Lebanon’s civil war, which cost some 150,000 lives, was brought to a much needed if unsatisfactory end by the Taif Agreement, or National Reconciliation Accord. It had become clear to the warring Shi'a, Sunni and...

Press Freedom at a Crossroads in Iraqi Kurdistan

February 08, 2014

Despite appraisal for Iraqi Kurdistan’s thriving democracy, journalists are under threat. It appears there are two ways to depict life in Iraqi Kurdistan. Western journalists covering the area commonly invoke the region's new luxury hotels and airports as symbols of its progress and prosperity....

Syria’s Implosion Shakes Jordan

January 29, 2014

Syria presents Jordan with complex social, political, economic and security challenges. The ongoing conflict in Syria is impacting the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in numerous ways. Jordan tends to present an image of political stability and social cohesiveness in an otherwise turbulent...

Time for Iraq to Take Responsibility (Part 1/2)

January 26, 2014

Blaming foreign influences and a lack of introspection has dogged Iraq’s history for far too long. Any window of opportunity that may exist for the Iraqi military to execute a full assault on the city of Fallujah appears to be closing. The US Congress has a grip – albeit a...

Egypt’s Black Bloc: The Arrival of Anarchism in the Middle East?

December 08, 2013

The Egyptian Black Bloc is not the first example of anarchism in Egypt. When in January 2013, Egyptian protesters commemorated the two-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a mysterious group emerged in Cairo. Protesting against the Morsi regime, the newly-formed anarchist...

The Egyptian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood: A Complex Relationship (Part 2/2)

November 21, 2013

Pragmatism shapes the relationship between the Egyptian army and the Brotherhood. As mentioned in part one, the Egyptian army is both a military institution and a profit-oriented company. Because of that, it reasons in terms of costs and benefits. If a certain...

Caught Between Two Identities: Women’s Movements in Morocco and Tunisia (Part 1/2)

September 19, 2013

Women’s movements in Morocco and Tunisia are at a crossroads. This is the first of a two part series. “This is a critical time. There are two steps in a revolution: You break it and then you build something new. That’s the hardest.” Moroccan and Tunisian women’s...

Egypt: The Emperor Has No Clothes

August 20, 2013

Egypt's army and the technocratic elites have also exposed the old face of authoritarianism. Two years ago, at the first meeting of my MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University, the Arab Spring – the transnational domino revolution – was all over the place and on...

India and a Secular Egypt

August 06, 2013

India should resist condoning any electoral democracy that is not secular. States and civil societies usually perceive external events through their domestic values and histories. In recent years, India's discourse has highlighted the importance of democracy as a factor worth cherishing in its...

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