Events

Women and Change in the Middle East

In this conference, speakers discussed progress toward the empowerment of women in the Middle East and North Africa. The first panel examined the status of women in a select number of countries in the region, focusing on women's rights and civil society, and examining developments in women's political participation and legal rights. The second panel focused on the experiences of women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

MENA Women: Opportunities and Obstacles in 2014

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014, the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center invited a cross-section of women activists, politicians, academics, and entrepreneurs to give us their views on the situation for women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This publication, “MENA Women: Opportunities and Obstacles in 2014” includes pieces from 44 women from 22 countries including Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, and other countries in the MENA region, plus the United States, Austria, Indonesia, and Sudan, who shared with us their concerns and hopes for women.

For once, the situation in Iraq wasn’t caused by an intelligence failure

Was the sudden rise of the Islamic State insurgents, to use a loaded term, an “intelligence failure?” No, it wasn't writes Jane Harman. But no quantity of intelligence can fill the vacuum of a missing strategy.

Upcoming UN Meeting Revives Hopes for U.S.-Iran Dialogue

UNGA provides a convenient venue for foreign leaders to interact and has special utility for countries such as Iran that are estranged from the United States and thus have no embassies in Washington. With the election of a pragmatic new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, suspense is building again. Will Rouhani shake hands with U.S. President Barack Obama at the annual luncheon for heads of state? Or, at a minimum, will Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif—a U.S.-educated former ambassador to the UN—chat in the hallway with Secretary of State John Kerry?

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

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.

Global Authoritarians and the Arab Spring: New Challenges for U.S. Diplomacy

As the Arab Spring enters its third year, the contours of a new strategic landscape are taking shape in the Middle East. Reflecting the disordered state of regional politics, this landscape is far from stable. Yet it contains features that will pose significant challenges for U.S. diplomacy.

Small Surprise in UN Nuclear Report on Iran

The UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued today a long expected report on Iran and another on Syria. Public Policy Scholar Michael Adler comments on the reports.

Democratic Transitions and the Problem of Power (Spring 2014)

Ottaway writes that three years after the beginning of the Arab uprisings, Tunisia and Egypt are moving in different directions. Tunisia is moving in a democratic direction because well-established political and civil society organizations counterbalance each other, forcing compromise. In Egypt, politics pitted the Muslim Brotherhood against the military and other state institution, inevitably leading to the triumph of the state. A new process of democratization is unlikely to start without other uprisings.

Behind the Smiles in Geneva, No Concrete Progress in Iran Negotiations

U.S. and Iranian officials are praising nuclear talks in Geneva this week as a key diplomatic success, but the problems that torpedoed previous efforts to win guarantees from Iran that it will not seek the bomb appear undiminished, writes Michael Adler on The Daily Beast.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis is Pushing Lebanon to the Brink

The Syrian refugee issue in Lebanon is threatening to become the real humanitarian crisis in the region. There are more Syrian refugees in Lebanon than in any other country in the region. Straddled by a weak economy, domestic political infighting, and internal divisions over the crisis in Syria, Lebanon is finding it hard to cope with the evolving problem inside its borders. In the absence of a quick and sustained international support, the refugee issue in Lebanon could become a full blown crisis with domestic and regional implications for Lebanon.

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