New Perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa

The retaking of Fallujah. Taken from http://www.wsj.com/articles/iraq-begins-assault-on-islamic-state-in-fallujah-1463956289

Middle East Weekly Roundup: June 24th, 2016

The Levant and Turkey Israel Israel and Turkey will announce an agreement between the two nations to end their six-year diplomatic crisis and normalize relations later this week. After intensive diplomatic efforts by both sides, a compromise has been reached on the partial lifting of Israel’s blockage on the Gaza...

A Popular Mobilization fighter. Taken by Ahmad Shamloo Fard/Tasnim News Agency

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...

Hezbollah's flag. Image sourced from Wikicommons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hezbollah_Flag_(48708926).jpg

The Death of Hezbollah

Death of Hezbollah’s Military Commander Signifies a Disturbing Trend for the Shiite militia May 2016 came in with a bang; this time, the leadership of the Shiite militia Hezbollah is at the receiving end.  The cousin and brother-in-law of the late terror mastermind Imad Mougniyah and head of military operations...

The Doha Skyline at night. Photo taken by Sam Bollier.

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...

Ambassador Dennis Ross, speaking at Emory University in 2007. Image taken from http://bit.ly/1TKJSh0

Diplomacy in the Middle East with Amb. Dennis Ross

In Spring 2016, JMEPP Associate Editor Satgin Hamrah interviewed Ambassador Dennis Ross, the special Middle East Coordinator under former US President Bill Clinton during his visit to the Middle East Initiative at Harvard’s Belfer Center. Below is an excerpt from the interview on diplomacy in the MENA region as well as his role in...

The city of Aleppo, earlier in 2016. Taken from http://bit.ly/1WCS9pE

Middle East Weekly Roundup: May 2nd, 2016

    The Levant and Turkey Israel This past week saw the UN Education, Science, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) pass a resolution weakening Jewish claims to the Temple Mount area, also known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif,  in overwhelming favor, 33 to 6. The UNESCO resolution, authorized by the executive...

Image courtesy of: http://bit.ly/1qW8TMQ

Middle East Weekly Roundup: April 19th, 2016

    The Levant and Turkey Israel Following last week’s transfer of two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz viewed the move as a positive diplomatic breakthrough between the Jewish state and the Saudi Kingdom.  Saudi...

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Iranian Influence in MENA: Interview with Dr. Banafsheh Keynoush

Banafsheh Keynoush is an international geopolitical consultant, foreign affairs scholar, and author of “Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes?” (Palgrave Macmillan, February 2016).  The book is based on dozens of interviews with Saudi and Iranian leaders, politicians and decision makers, and rich archival material collected and made available for...