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In Focus

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”

“Do you want to go to Solidere?”: Architectural...

Solideres_human_camerasAt two decades after the end of the Lebanese Civil War, the reconstruction of Beirut’s downtown is approaching completion, with the opening in the last couple of years of the new Beirut souqs and considerable advances towards the waterfront.

Trust: the absent keystone in Lebanese democracy?

Pro-Syria_demonstration_Beirut_Lebanon._Photo_by_Bertil_Videt  Matilda Allen explains why trust between Lebanon's citizens is essential for the state's democracy to thrive.

Taking action through acting: Jenin’s Freedom Theater

some_of_the_theatre_students_on_a_morning_movement_classKnown as ‘The Martyrs’ Capital’ to Palestinians, Jenin Refugee Camp’s streets are lined with posters and awnings featuring somber portraits of the dead.  It is an unlikely setting for The Freedom Theater, a progressive institute that has challenged the concept of a viole…

The old and new lessons of Jordan’s November elections

King_abdullah_ii_of_jordanAfter King Abdullah II dissolved Jordan’s Lower House through a Royal decree in November of last year, he entrusted the government with preparing for a new round of parliamentary elections. More importantly, the king also asked the government to amend the temporary Electoral Law. 

Balancing and bandwagoning in Baghdad

malikiIraqi leaders announced a power-sharing agreement late on November 10 that left Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in power despite a narrow loss to the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate of Iyad Allawi in March parliamentary elections.  The Shiite prime minister survived the longest political stalem…

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