Middle East and North Africa News

Tunisia's Jebali on Traumas of Transition

Jun 19, 2013
Hamadi Jebali was Tunisia’s first prime minister after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution. Often compared to Nelson Mandela, he spent 17 years in prison for his involvement with the Islamist Ennahda movement. Jebali reflects on post-revolution achievements and failures and future challenges in two interviews and a public appearance.

Iran’s Surprising Election: Has the Reform Movement Been Reborn?

Jun 17, 2013
With just about everyone expecting the need for a runoff, it came as a significant surprise when moderate presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani captured more than 50 percent of the vote. A late surge of enthusiasm and some key endorsements gave Rouhani the victory and seems to have given new life to Iran’s reform movement. Haleh Esfandiari, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Director, provides context.

Change May Be Greater Than Anyone Expected

Jun 17, 2013
By choosing the candidate least identified with the recent policies of the ruling system, a majority sent a strong message to the Supreme Leader and the regime, writes Haleh Esfandiari, in the New York Time's "Room for Debate" section.

Learning from Iran’s elections

Jun 13, 2013
The field of candidates may be limited, but the outside world can still learn a lot from Iran's 2013 presidential poll, writes Robin Wright in a ForeignPolicy.com op-ed.

The New Problem From Hell

Jun 13, 2013
"The commentariat is looking for ways to press the administration to act. Their arguments are largely correct: Syria is indeed a moral, humanitarian, and strategic disaster. But their prescription for action is long on generalities and short on specifics," writes Aaron David Miller in a Foreign Policy op-ed.

Iran after Ahmadinejad: What to Expect From the Presidential Election

Jun 13, 2013
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on all Iranians to vote in Friday's elections. Last minute changes to the field of candidates and new endorsements for moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, have created “buzz” according to a journalist in Tehran. Will this late excitement have an impact on voter turnout, and more importantly, on the actual outcome? To gain insight into the field of candidates and the forces influencing the election, we spoke with the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Director, Haleh Esfandiari.
Egypt's first Islamist president Mohamed Mursi attends during his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the presidential palace in Cairo July 2, 2012. Egypt will approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions to help get its economy back on track once Mursi appoints a government, one of his financial advisers told Reuters.

Egypt's Fundamental Crisis of Legitimacy

Jun 06, 2013
Wilson Center Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway discussed the legitimacy of the outcome of Egypt's recent elections and the validity of the country's new constitution in a June 6, 2013 National Interest article.

Ghannouchi: Islamists now taking on Islamists

May 30, 2013
Sheikh Rachid al Ghannouchi spoke candidly about the new crackdown on Salafi extremists and other challenges Tunisia faces two years after the Jasmine Revolution. "We have to fight against this phenomenon [of extremist violence] through economic development, through the media," Ghannouchi said in Washington.
A Free Syrian Army fighter takes cover during clashes with Syrian Army in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 7, 2012.

Syria: No Good Options

May 30, 2013
"Governing is about choosing. When America acts, it has to ask itself two questions, not just, can it accomplish it? If we wanted to unseat the Assads, we could do it. The question is not just that, it's what will it cost? It's the second question that always needs to accompany the first," said Aaron David Miller.

The Woodrow Wilson Center Announces 2013 – 2014 Fellowship Class

May 30, 2013
Jane Harman, director, president & CEO of the Wilson Center, is pleased to announce the members of the 2013-2014 fellowship class. The 21 fellows, most of whom are expected to start September 2013, include scholars and practitioners from the United States, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

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