Middle East and North Africa News

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.

Gallup: Poverty as Political Flashpoint

Nov 27, 2012
Over 80 percent of respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia hold their governments responsible for helping the poor, according to the results of a new poll by Gallup. But respondents provided differing reviews of their respective governments’ social assistance programs.

New Dangers in Familiar Gaza Violence

Nov 16, 2012
Confrontation between Israel and Hamas is an old movie. But the grim version playing out now -- with Hamas rockets, particularly use of a long range Fajr 5, aimed at Tel Aviv , Israeli airstrikes and the killing of a top Hamas official -- contains new and disturbing scenes. That said, there is reason to hope this won't turn into a complete disaster film. And Egypt may well be the key.

Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Islamic Law and National Identity

Nov 13, 2012
On October 31, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood announced, "We cannot in any way compromise in demanding to apply Sharia." Article 2 of the constitution already cites the "principles" of Sharia as the main source of legislation. But it does not define those principles. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood defined them as commandments mentioned in the Koran and instructions derived from the traditions of the Prophet Mohamed. The organization specified that only principles accepted by mainstream Sunni scholars should apply.

Former Interim Prime Minister of Libya Mahmoud Jibril at the Wilson Center

Nov 09, 2012
Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO at the Wilson Center, in a discussion with Mahmoud Jibril, Former Interim Prime Minister of Libya and Head of the National Forces Alliance.

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