New Perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa

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...

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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...

Sahrawi refugees sip on tea. Image taken from Wikimedia

Ban Ki-Moon Has Sparked a Diplomatic Crisis in Western Sahara

Tom O’Bryan is a U.K. Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Researcher at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, analyzing stabilization strategy and conflict zone transformation. He is also the co-author of Narrating the Arab Spring (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Ban Ki-Moon has sparked a...

Refugees on a boat crossing the Mediterranean sea, heading from Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, 29 January 2016. Taken by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46776361

Amending Inadmissibility for Syrian and Iraqi Victims of ISIL

Living Under ISIS Under existing United States law, asylum-seekers having given material support to designated terrorist organizations cannot apply for asylum in the United States. This is called the material support statute under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and is meant to protect the United States from admitting potentially...

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Middle East Weekly Roundup: April 11th, 2016

    The Levant and Turkey Israel IDF Colonel Yisrael Shomer was cleared of all charges in the shooting of a Palestinian teenager, Muhammad al-Casbah, this past week.  The incident occurred last July, in the town of a-Ram, when al-Casbah hit Col. Shomer’s vehicle with a rock, was subsequently shot,...