05 Jul 2010
There are 22 players certain agreed upon rules and a referee. Players can play all they want but they cannot score goals. If someone does score a goal, he will be shown a red card, immediately, and sent off the pitch.     These are not new FIFA rules but the way in which Egyptian opposition p
28 Jun 2010
Iraq 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.   Many observers -- and several of the Iraqi leaders themselves -- believe there may not
20 Jun 2010
Despite growing repression, democracy activists in the Middle East continue to push for change. As democracy activists working in one of the most repressive regions in the world, we always knew that authoritarianism in our part of the world is a tough nut to crack. Our autocrats have everything a
28 May 2010
Shiite frustration with U.S. support in Iraq grew out of a failed uprising in the south following the first Gulf War. Shiites felt a Washington call to mount an insurrection against Saddam Hussein in March 1991 would be met by U.S. military support.They were wrong and the acrimony lingers. Meanwh
18 May 2010
On 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!") Th
04 May 2010
“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.” 1. The birth of Political Shi’ism: Al-Sadr and the dispossessed With these word
09 Apr 2010
Despite 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 inclusion of the words political and Islam together clearly suggests some sort of the political and Islam working in c
30 Mar 2010
On November 30, 2009, Hezbollah announced the release of a new comprehensive ideological and political platform, the 2009 Manifesto. Issued twenty-four years after the 1985 “Open Letter”—the group’s first public ideological document— the Manifesto’s significance lays in the fact that
14 Feb 2010
With 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. Up until 2000, economic practices were directed towards fulfilling nati
14 Feb 2010
United 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.  Although his appointment still needs senate approval, Ford is considered a strong Arabist at the State Dep