About the Middle East Program

The Middle East Program combines the intellectual grounding of its scholars with the power of its convening space to produce actionable ideas for policymakers around the world. Our Program offers a breadth and depth of programming on the prevailing economic, political, and social norms in the MENA region. We pay special attention to the role of women, the aspirations of the younger generation, and democratic and autocratic tendencies in governance. MORE

The Latest from the Middle East Program

Webcast

The Future of Syria: A History Lesson

Video //
Oct 24, 2014
Christian Sahner provides insight into Syria’s civil war and the impact of the emergence of the Islamic State through the lens of history. What can the country's past tell us about its future? more
Webcast

Impact of Low Oil Prices: Petro Power or Petro Poverty?

Event //
October 31, 2014 // 10:00am11:30am
As oil prices drop, The Wilson Center is focusing on the political and economic implications of lower petroleum prices, as long as they continue, in a number of key countries. Leading experts will speak to what the future could hold for Russia, Iraq, Nigeria, and Venezuela with an added perspective on Saudi pricing power. more

Saddam Husayn and Islam: Ba’thi Iraq 1968-2003 from Secularism to Faith

Event //
November 04, 2014 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Rather than beginning with the “Arab Spring,” the grassroots resurgence of political Islam began in Iraq in the early 1980s. It immediately exerted powerful influence over the policies of Saddam Husayn and his secular Ba’th regime. In a 1986 secret meeting of the Ba’th leadership, Saddam dragged his reluctant comrades screaming and kicking to accept an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, among the Ba’th most feared and despised enemies. In this he launched an incremental Islamization campaign that reached its peak just before the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The book attempts to explain why and how was it done and how it touched the inner souls of party and leader. It seems that ISIS represents a leap from Saddam’s Islamization campaign. Is ISIS, then, Saddam’s dead hand, thrusting out of his grave in Tikrit? more

MENA Women's News Brief

Article //
Oct 21, 2014
The Middle East Program will send out the latest developments on women’s issues in the Middle East and North Africa region on a bi-monthly basis. more
Webcast

Building Peace Over Water in the Lower Jordan Valley: A Sister Cities Coalition

Event //
October 17, 2014 // 3:00pm5:00pm
Since its launch in 2001, EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East's Good Water Neighbors project (GWN) has brought together Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian youth, adults, and municipal representatives to cooperate over transboundary water resources and jointly advance sustainable development in the region - most notably in the Lower Jordan Valley. EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East has recently partnered with Sister Cities International (SCI) and Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives (CDI) to create sister city partnerships between American cities and the partnering communities of the GWN project. These new partnerships will build on the previous successes of GWN to create and empower a broad, international citizen coalition for peace in the region. more

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