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In Focus

Sadrists: Unstable opportunists or pragmatic power brokers?

iraq1mapIraq is still without a government more than three months after Iraqi voters gave the secular Iraqiya slate of Iyad Allawi a narrow victory over the State of Law coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  
 

Don’t Rule Out the Activists!

empower_lthumbDespite growing repression, democracy activists in the Middle East continue to push for change.
   

Sadr's political role in Iraq

Moqtada_Sadr  Shiite frustration with U.S. support in Iraq grew out of a failed uprising in the south following the first Gulf War.
 

'We want to reform the system, not become the nineteenth...

laique_lebanesepride_lthumb_thumbOn Sunday April 25th, some 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up in downtown Beirut for a march demanding an end to sectarianism in Lebanon, carrying banners saying "Civil marriage, not civil war", and shouting slogans such as "Shu tayftak? Ma khassak!" ("What’s your sect? None of your business!")
   

Political Shi'ism: from engaging the state to replacing it

rsz_dsc00291“The essence behind the survival of nations is [social] justice and [citizen’s] dignity [...] we will start a new chapter in Lebanese history by pursuing the rights of those who are suffering dispossession1.”
 

Political Islam and Pragmatic Players

P1080329Despite the fact that the term political Islam has been used for many decades, it still often invokes looks of bewilderment, and intrigue, when mentioned in conversation.  
   

The Hezbollah Manifesto: Business as Usual for Israel?

videolinksheikhnasrallahOn November 30, 2009, Hezbollah announced the release of a new comprehensive ideological and political platform, the 2009 Manifesto.
 

Breaking from the past, Syria's economy moves forward

dardariWith international political relations now warming and a spate of top diplomatic emissaries having graced Damascus over the past 12 months, the Syrian economy is in the nascent stages of breaking out of its isolationist past.
   

The Good Old Days

obama-123_lthumbUnited States President Barack Obama's decision to name Robert Ford, as the new ambassador to Syria, to fill a post that has been vacant since 2005 has been warmly received by the Syrians. 
 

For Hezbollah, Lebanon is an afterthought

P1060528_lthumbTwo things were unsurprising about Hezbollah’s political document, unveiled on November 30 by the party’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, namely its content and characterization in the media.
   

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