Middle East and North Africa Publications

Saudi Arabia Forms a Pan-Arab Sunni Alliance Against the Houthis

Mar 26, 2015
Saudi Arabia has reacted to the attempt by Houthi Shi’ite rebels in Yemen to take over the entire country with Iranian backing by forming for the first time a pan-Arab Sunni military alliance against the Houthis. The Arab coalition has begun raining bombs down on Houthi positions across Yemen, and Saudi Arabia has amassed 150,000 troops along the Yemeni border. Now the Saudis and its Arab partners must decide whether and when to put “boots on the ground” in a belated attempt to stop the Houthi takeover. more

Is Tunisia’s Moderate Center in Danger of Collapse?

Mar 19, 2015
The Islamic terrorist attack on the Bardo National Museum in Tunis may have serious ramifications on the fragile moderate center of Tunisian politics. An entente between Islamists and secularists that produced the Arab Spring’s only successful transition to democracy is already shaky. Tunisia has also produced the Arab world’s largest number of jihadis for the Islamic cause in Syria and Iraq, challenging the assumption that democracy is the best antidote for stemming the rise of Islamic extremism. more

Expansion or Contraction? Women’s Rights in the MENA Region in 2015

Mar 06, 2015
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2015, 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, “Expansion or Contraction? Women’s Rights in the MENA Region in 2015” includes pieces from 43 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. more

ISIS: Many Faces, Different Battles

Feb 12, 2015
Ottaway writes that ISIS has at least three components: ISIS as a proto-state, ISIS as part of an Islamist network, and ISIS as a state of mind. These different aspects of ISIS cannot be fought with the same means, and policies that might help against one of these components may make attempts to combat the others more difficult. more

The Algerian Revolution and the Communist Bloc

Feb 10, 2015
The onset of the Algerian War of Independence in November 1954 was an important development in the international history of the Cold War. Coming as it did on the heels of the end of the First Indochinese War, the Algerian conflict further emboldened national liberation forces throughout the colonial and semi-colonial world, a region of increasing importance to policymakers in Washington and Moscow. Pierre Asselin introduces documents from the Algerian National Archives on socialist bloc support for Algerian National Liberation Front. more

Forming the New Tunisian Government: “Relative Majority” and the Reality Principle

Feb 03, 2015
After peaceful legislative and presidential elections in Tunisia toward the end of 2014, which were lauded on both the national and international levels, the attempt to form a new government reveals the tensions among the various political forces and the difficulties of constructing a democratic system in the country that was the birthplace of the "Arab Spring." more

Mohammed bin Nayef: Washington’s New Favorite Saudi Prince

Jan 30, 2015
Saudi Arabia’s longtime powerful ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has been stripped of all his security and intelligence duties within days of Prince Salman taking over as the kingdom’s new ruler. Bandar had been locked in a bitter struggle with Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef for the past two years over which of them was in charge of Saudi policy toward Syria and specifically whether to support rebel Islamic militants there, a Bandar strategy Mohammed had strongly opposed. Now Mohammed has emerged in charge of both domestic and much of Saudi foreign security to the great relief of the Obama administration. more

Egypt’s Fight Against FGM: Is There Hope After All?

Jan 29, 2015
On January 26, 2015, an Egyptian court handed a physician a two-year prison sentence with hard labor, a fine, and the closure of his clinic for one year. The ruling is the first of its kind since a law banned female genital mutilation (FGM) in 2008. The victim’s father also received a suspended imprisonment sentence. Moushira Khattab takes great pride in having been the initiator and chief engineer of this particular law, in a process which she considers ground-breaking. In this article she argues that only through education can a cultural paradigm shift put an end to such crimes. more

Regional and Global Energy Series

Jan 27, 2015
The Wilson Center's new Regional and Global Energy Series addresses the growing debate on international energy issues in their security, political, economic, and environmental dimensions. more

Saudi King Abdullah: An Assessment

Jan 23, 2015
King Abdullah, who died January 23 after a 10-year-long reign, was truly beloved by his people and the most highly respected leader of the Arab world. He started out as a reformer, propelling women into the all-male world of Saudi politics and sending over 100,000 Saudis abroad for higher education in hopes of speeding up the modernization of his ultra-conservative kingdom. But the Arab Spring brought an abrupt halt to the reform process and triggered a severe crackdown on all human and political rights activists. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.