Middle East and North Africa News

Key Saudi Cleric Warns King in Open Letter

Mar 19, 2013
On March 15, Sheikh Salman al Oudah warned that Saudi government inaction on political prisoners, poverty and corruption could spark violence in the kingdom. “When tempers are high, religious, political, and cultural symbols lose their value. The mob in the street takes control,” the open letter said.

Muslim Brotherhood Denounces U.N. Women’s Declaration

Mar 15, 2013
A U.N. declaration on women’s rights contradicts “established principals in Islam” and would “lead to the complete disintegration of society,” according to a new statement by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The online statement warned that the ratification of the document would “be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries.”

Report: Female Workforce Participation 25 Percent in Mideast

Mar 15, 2013
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are more educated than ever before, but their participation in the workface is 25 percent – about half of the world average, according to a new report by the World Bank. “Often what stands between women and jobs are legal and social barriers,” said Manuela Ferro, Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in the MENA region. But even some educated women lack the relevant skills currently in demand.

Obama and Netanyahu: The Odd Couple No More?

Mar 15, 2013
One presidential visit won’t forge a reconciliation. But increasing pressures to manage the Iranian nuclear issue, the peace process and Netanyahu’s need to remain relevant in his new government just might, writes Aaron David Miller in The Washington Post.

U.S. Intelligence: Arab Spring Generated Threats

Mar 15, 2013
The Arab uprisings have “generated a spike in threats to U.S. interests… that will likely endure until political upheaval stabilizes and security forces regain their capabilities,” according to the U.S. intelligence community’s new worldwide threat assessment. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper delivered the report to the Senate on March 12.

Has the Arab Spring Become a Nightmare for Women?

Mar 13, 2013
In the wake of the Arab Spring, women are not participating in the drafting of new constitutions and political violence against them is on the rise. In this interview, Special Representative to Civil Society for the League of Arab States Haifa Abu Ghazaleh discusses the challenges women of the MENA region are facing in the post-Arab Spring period and prospects for their future.

Goldilocks Had It Right: How to Build Resilient Societies in the 21st Century

Mar 13, 2013
Some people, communities, and nations are able to weather and rebound from substantial shocks; they are, in a word, resilient. But what exactly does that mean? What characteristics confer resilience, and how can they be cultivated?

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Diplomacy Inches Forward

Mar 08, 2013
The last round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program proceeded with a positive tone and ended with an agreement to meet again. Is it possible that a deal is in sight? Or is Iran simply engaged in stall tactics while its nuclear research and development moves forward? Iran Nuclear expert Michael Adler assesses the recent meeting and looks ahead to the next round of negotiations.

Challenges to Women’s Security in the Middle East

Mar 07, 2013
Many women in the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing physical violence and are being pushed out of public life, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Poll: Iran Unpopular in Arab and Muslim World

Mar 06, 2013
Iran is now viewed unfavorably in 14 out of 20 Arab and Muslim countries, according to a new poll by Zogby Research Services. The survey results show a growing antipathy towards Tehran, especially in Sunni countries. Majorities in all but four countries agreed that Iran is contributing to sectarian division in the Arab world.

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