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In Focus

Plausible and implausible aspects of Jordan’s protests

Movie_001_0001Recently, deprivation and lack of satisfaction in the daily life of the population have generated waves of protests among Arab states in the Middle East. Nowadays, Jordan resembles a drama, as protests seem to be erupting on a schedule known beforehand. Mass protests are permitted in Jordan, but the…

Understanding Syria's unrest

Syrian_flagIn January, Syria’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, claimed in The Wall Street Journal that “you have to be very closely linked to the beliefs of the people.” In the following weeks, and as North Africa asserted an unprecedented people's revolution, Syria remained quiet. But a couple o…

The Islamic Banking System: From the crisis’ threats to...

Faisal_Islamic_Bank_Khartoum_Photo_by_Petr_Adam_DohnalekFor more than a quarter century, Islamic banking and finance has been developing from an idea and an expression of Muslims’ distinct identity to a mature and fast-growing industry. With the latest global financial crisis, Islamic banking and finance became one of the most debated issues around…

Online and on the streets, Egyptian youth keeps guessing

The_Egptian_Army_was_wildly_popular_during_the_uprising_photo_by_Heather_MurdockMore than a month and a half after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and almost three weeks since I left Egypt, my Facebook page remains crammed with posts from Egyptian activists.  Proud of the revolution that ousted much of the old regime, and anxious about the future, they say only one t…

Can the kingdoms survive?

Arab_kings_in_2003_with_Mubarak_and_BushThe Arab world is asserting itself in a manner never before witnessed. It is only a matter of time before Muammar Gaddafi joins Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali as a deposed dictators.  Is it possible we could soon wittness the fall of the region’s m…

Stronger in opposition?

Saad_HaririDemonstrators from the March 14 political bloc wore white baseball caps with the word ‘No’ emblazoned in red on them as they gathered in Martyr’s Square, Beirut on Sunday morning.

Political stability: the mysterious case of Qatar

qatar_mapThe stability of Arab Gulf monarchies has been remarkable given the high level of regional conflict and internal unsteadiness in the Middle East. These states have survived and successfully prevented conflict. It is noteworthy that stability is sometimes more difficult to understand than conflict.

Egypt Revolts: The Valley of Tears and the Camel Intifada

Protests_in_Egypt_image_by_Heather_MurdockIn the years to come, what will they say about what happened in January 2011?  Will they say this month began a revolution that ousted dictators and forced Western governments to stop supporting authoritarian regimes? 

Why Egypt isn’t ripe for a Jasmine Revolution

2008_Protest_in_Egypt_image_by_James_BuckIn a previous article, I argued that the events of Sidi Bouzid are rooted in an accumulated heritage of social struggles and, in turn, will provide inspiration for social struggles throughout the Arab world. But will the Jasmine Revolution necessarily mark the beginning of an ‘Arab Spring&rsqu…

Is Sidi Bouzid really unprecedented in the Arab World?

Tunisia“The most spectacular thing about the events in Tunisia is that they make everything uncertain, but they also make everything possible”

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