Middle East and North Africa News

U.S. Intelligence: Pragmatic Future for Islamists

Dec 13, 2012
Islamists are likely to be “more market-oriented” and entrepreneurial in the future, according to a new report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” explores what the world could look like in the coming decades. The report predicts that Islam and other religions will play a larger role in global politics. But in the Middle East, “political pragmatism could trump ideology helped by a growing civil society that will begin to produce a new cadre of pragmatic, entrepreneurial and social leaders.” If pragmatists fail to improve the economy, hardline Islamists could gain popularity by offering a non-Western model, the report says.

Pew: Arab Publics Most Likely to Express Views Online

Dec 13, 2012
Arab social media users are more likely to express their opinions on politics, community issues and religion than others in Europe, Latin America, the United States and Asia, according to a new survey by Pew. In Egypt and Tunisia, more than 60 percent of surveyed users share their political and religious views online. Less than 40 percent of European and U.S. users share their political and religious views.

New Offer to Iran Doesn't Look Like a Breakthrough; West Should Bend a Bit

Dec 11, 2012
The United States and its five negotiating partners can't decide how far to go in trying to entice Iran and time presses as Iran continues to amass significant nuclear stockpiles and capabilities, writes Iran Nuclear Expert Michael Adler.

Facebook Sheikhs: Egypt

Dec 11, 2012
Egypt’s Facebook sheikhs reflect the growing diversity within Islam. The new tech-savvy sheikhs range from rock-star street preachers to Salafi populists. Even the old clerics are finding they have to be hip to keep their flocks. Their television shows, broadcast on popular satellite stations, compete for viewers—generating new rivalries over who controls the Muslim message.

Women after the Arab Awakening

Dec 11, 2012
Women played frontline roles in the Arab uprisings, but have since faced growing political hurdles during the transitions. Nine female activists from Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya outlined the specific challenges to women’s participation at a meeting sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in October 2012. They also offered strategies for empowering women.

Women: What Countries are the New Role Models?

Dec 04, 2012
Women from across the Middle East – from Egypt to Bahrain, Lebanon to Iraq—responded to the following question: Is there another Muslim-majority country that you look to as a model? Why?

Egypt’s Draft Constitution

Dec 03, 2012
Egypt’s Constituent Assembly passed a draft constitution on November 30. President Mohamed Morsi then announced a national referendum will be held on December 15. “I renew my call for opening a serious national dialogue over the concerns of the nation, with all honesty and impartiality, to end the transitional period as soon as possible, in a way that guarantees the newly-born democracy,” Morsi told the Constituent Assembly.

A New Egypt Must Learn Political Compromise

Nov 29, 2012
"Too often, the "winner-takes-all" Mubarak model persists in Egyptian politics. Instead of engaging or working within the system, and compromising, opposition forces protest in Tahrir Square or boycott. While these tactics won a revolution, they will not build a democracy," writes Jane Harman.

Egypt's Emerging Democracy

Nov 28, 2012
In separate interviews, the Wilson Center's Jane Harman and Robin Wright discuss Egypt's fragile democracy.

A Changing Middle East: The View From Lebanon

Nov 27, 2012
Situated between Israel and Syria, Lebanon sits in the center of a region experiencing an unprecedented period of change. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Fuad Siniora discusses the impact of the Arab Spring on his country, the conflict in Syria, and the future of the region.

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