Feb 18, 2014
Sectarian tensions have become a major part of political life in the Gulf Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Shiites in each state suffer varying degrees of religious discrimination and political marginalization. Tensions are typically portrayed as a spillover effect of sectarian strife elsewhere in the region or Iran’s deliberate incitement of local Shiite communities. But they are only part of the story.
Aug 26, 2013
Hamas and Hezbollah have had a dramatic break-up after the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011. Part of the break-up is due to sectarian differences; another part is due to rival regional alliances. For the wider Middle East, the Hamas-Hezbollah split is a dangerous microcosm of a growing trend.
Jul 19, 2013
The Emir of Qatar abdicated in favor his 33-year-old-son on June 25, 2013. Six female leaders from four Arab countries — Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and Syria — were asked how the power transfer to Tamim bin Hamad al Thani could impact the region.
Jun 25, 2013
The Emir of Qatar abdicated in favor of his 33-year-old son on June 25, 2013. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani announced the long-rumored decision on national television. “Teach your children the best of what you have been taught for they have been created for a time different than yours," he told his people.
May 20, 2013
Blasphemy and apostasy laws were applied in a discriminatory manner in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in 2012, according to a new report by the U.S. State Department. “These laws are frequently used to repress dissent, to harass political opponents, and to settle personal vendettas,” Secretary of State Kerry said on May 20.
Apr 10, 2013
Fair pay, unemployment and rising living costs are top concerns of Arab youth, according to a new survey by Asada’a and Burson Marsteller. "Being paid a fair wage” is the top priority of 82 percent of respondents for the second year in a row. Owning a home, also for the second consecutive year, remains the second-highest priority of Arab youth.
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.
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.
Feb 07, 2013
Qatar has seized the opportunity of the Arab uprisings to expand its influence across the region. It moved into the vacuum after the revolutions caught the United States and other major powers by surprise. Despite its small size, it now aspires to a play a leading role in Arab politics.
Jan 03, 2013
In 2013, millions of Israelis, Iranians, and Arabs will vote in at least 10 pivotal elections that will, in turn, address basic issues facing the Middle East. These countries have vast political, religious, ethnic, and economic differences. But most confront a common trend—the rise of the right or the religious right—that will influence elections as well as policies both at home and in the broader region.