Turki al-Faisal and Dan Meridor Talk Instability in the Middle East and Regional Cooperation

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In a rare sight this Monday, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Saud al-Faisal, former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States and Dan Meridor, former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, addressed a public audience together at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The former statesmen discussed instability in the Middle East, potential areas for regional cooperation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and nuclear proliferation. HRH Prince Turki opened the discussion by noting that for years, the international community has been more concerned with managing, rather than resolving crises in the Middle East. Reflecting recent Saudi frustration with U.S. leadership in the...
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Call for Submissions – January 5th Deadline

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  JMEPP 2014-15 Call for Submissions JMEPP is now accepting submissions for its print and online publications. JMEPP is a nonpartisan policy review published at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Journal presents a diversity of scholarship and commentary on issues of policy relevance to the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. We are committed to presenting new perspectives on pressing problems, addressing complex issues with insightful analysis, and exploring emerging trends shaping the region. We are interested in policy writing that is forward-thinking, empirically-grounded, and accessible. Submissions may discuss trends in politics, economics, development,...
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Perspective: How Nuclear Negotiations Could Change U.S.-Iranian Relations, an Interview with Harvard’s Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni

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After years of tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, the United States and Iran have held the highest-level talks since the 1979 Revolution to negotiate the status of Iran’s nuclear program and have set a November 24 deadline to come to a deal. The Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy’s Lauren Leatherby asks Dr. Payam Mohseni, director of Harvard Belfer Center’s newly inaugurated Iran Project, about the meaning, outlook, and impact of these negotiations for U.S.-Iran relations and Iran’s role in the international community.   From a macro level, what do these negotiations represent for the two parties? This...
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Review: When God Speaks, Does Anyone Listen? Evidence from Egypt: A Discussion with Dr. Tarek Masoud

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University hosted a talk by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Tarek Masoud on Monday, November 9. The lecture, entitled “When God Speaks, Does Anyone Listen?” was based on a study Dr. Masoud conducted on one of his recent trips to Egypt. Dr. Masoud began the presentation by displaying images of Egyptian political cartoons drawn in the early 20th Century. The first cartoon panel featured a politician speaking to a disinterested crowd, proclaiming campaign promises. The politician’s audience is portrayed as skeptical of these so-called guarantees, proclaiming: “We have had our fill of...
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The Triumph of Democracy in Tunisia

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Tunisia’s parliamentary elections, held on October 26, resulted in Nidaa Tounes garnering 39.71% of the vote and Ennahda receiving 31.79%, robbing the Islamists of their leading seat. Nidaa Tounes’s victory has been widely hailed in the media as a victory of secularism over Islamism. This discourse fits neatly into Western conceptions of modernization and secularization that accompanies it. In their framing, Tunisia’s transition is succeeding precisely because the people have kicked out the Islamists and voted in the seculars, embracing the liberal principles of separation of state and mosque, and commencing on a path to modernity akin to the West’s...
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The Turtle’s Rage

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“The Turtle’s Rage,” directed by Pary al-Qalqili, is a raw, intimate look into one man’s anguish over the loss of his homeland. That man is Pary’s exiled father, who recounts for his filmmaker daughter what it means to be Palestinian, to be in constant conflict with Israel, and what the realities of return look like for a displaced and disenfranchised population. The story of Pary’s father begins when he leaves his family in Berlin to go back to Israel, and, in his words, to “fight for Palestine’s freedom.” But after the Israelis expel him, he returns defeated to Germany, where...
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Is the Middle East a Lost Cause?

  “Arab civilization, such as we knew it, is all but gone.” Those are the words of Hisham Melham, Washington bureau chief of Dubai-based media outlet Al-Arabiya. In a 2,000-word piece for Politico, Melham argues that Arab civilization has collapsed, and that it won’t be revived in his lifetime. Is this gloomy outlook overwrought, or simply the expression of a painful reality? The vast majority of recent media reports from the region sadly seem to confirm Melham’s argument. Syria is into its fourth year of a horrific civil war, with no end in sight. In August 2014, the United Nations...
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Call for Applicants: 2014-15 JMEPP Editorial Team!

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Interested in Middle East politics? Want to work with Middle East experts? Interested in interviewing politicians, academics, activists, artists, and business leaders from the region? Want to try your hand at publishing an up-and-coming journal? Consider the Harvard Journal of Middle East Politics and Policy​ (JMEPP)​! JMEPP is one of eight student-run journals at ​the Harvard Kennedy School, featuring writing by students, policymakers, and faculty on policy issues facing the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. Last year JMEPP launched its online presence, and we are excited to continue developing new content for both the website and the print publication...
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Contextualizing the Arab Awakenings: An Exclusive Interview with Srjda Popovic

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Srdja Popovic was a founder of the Serbian nonviolent resistance group Otpor! that led the successful campaign to unseat Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000. Popovic later served a term as a member of the Serbian National Assembly 2000-2003. In 2003, Popovic and other ex-Otpor! activists started the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, CANVAS (www.canvasopedia.org), a non-profit educational institution that has worked with people from over 50 different countries spreading knowledge on nonviolent strategies and tactics. In 2012 Popovic was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. JMEPP editor Nada Zohdy interviewed Srdja Popovic on January 15, 2014....
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The Plight of Syria’s Children

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Dr. Suzan Bartels is a co-author of the report ‘Running Out of Time – Survival of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon’ that was published by FXB center last January.  She is board certified in Emergency Medicine in both the U.S. and Canada and is currently an attending physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as well an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. As co-appointed faculty at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and a Visiting Scientist at the FXB center, Dr. Bartels is actively involved in international projects and public health research, primarily in conflict and disaster affected areas, with the...
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