Middle East & North Africa

424 Items

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Saturday, May 20, 2017, on their arrival to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

White House

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The United States Cannot Afford to Pick a Side in the Shia-Sunni Fight

| June 25, 2018

While many Shia movements may have differences of opinion with Iran, as long as the Trump presidency uncritically supports Saudi Arabia and the threat of military conflict with Iran remains on the horizon, it is unlikely that any popular Shia group will side with the United States. The administration’s narrow focus on Iran will provoke precisely what the Trump White House aims to prevent—a more cohesive regional Shia movement under Iran’s protection and aggrieved Shia supportive of countering U.S. influence in the region. In other words, the current U.S. course is narrowing policy discussions both within individual Shia organizations as well as across transnational Shia alliances by closing the door to pro-U.S. policy alternatives. This further consolidates Iran's position as the center of the Shia world and its long-standing partnership with various Shia transnational movements throughout the Middle East such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, many of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and Yemen's Ansarallah (the Houthis) all of whom are engaged in critical regional hotspots.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Symposium Aims to Reduce Sectarianism in Muslim World

| Summer 2018

The Belfer Center’s Iran Project presented the First Annual Symposium on Islam and Sectarian De-escalation at Harvard Kennedy School on April 14-15. The symposium was organized by Iran Project director Payam Mohseni and co-sponsored by Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, the Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, and the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. 

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

Creative Commons/© Simon Mannweiler

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

Usurpation!

| Dec. 07, 2017

Why, in order to follow Trump and Netanyahu, must responsible people in the United States and Israel, be called upon to embrace a monstrous falsehood. Jerusalem belongs to three religions — Muslim, Jewish and Christian.

Airstrikes target Islamic State positions on the edge of Mosul's Old City

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

ISIS' Intelligence Service Refuses to Die

| Nov. 22, 2017

"In Iraq, the war of weapons is over, but the war of information is not. First of all, many of the most experienced and dedicated Emni members were able to escape when ISIS fell. Compared to ISIS fighters, they enjoyed relative freedom of movement, so when the Iraqi operation in Mosul started, many agents moved to liberated territories, from which they updated ISIS on the movement of Iraqi forces. Even now, their presence is no secret to local civilians."

A poster of Prime Minister Saad Hariri hangs on a street in Beirut, Lebanon

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Why Lebanon's Prime Minister Resigned

| Nov. 08, 2017

"Competition within confessional groups often explains why different leaders in Lebanon are willing to temporarily forego their differences and form alliances with political rivals. Hariri's recent resignation resembles a move in October 2004 by his slain father, Rafiq Hariri. Only months before his assassination, Rafiq Hariri resigned to distance himself from pro-Syrian candidates and signal his intent to form a broad and cross-sectarian alliance that would implement U.N. Resolution 1559, which among other things called for Syria to withdraw its armed forces from Lebanon."

mosul

AP

Magazine Article - New Scientist

Anatomy of Terror: What Makes Normal People Become Extremists?

    Author:
  • Peter Byrne
| Aug. 16, 2017

"Mironova trained as a mathematician, game theorist and behavioural economist....she is one of few researchers to venture directly into combat zones to examine the roots of jihadist terror. Her work has been funded variously by the US National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), George Soros's Open Society Foundations, the United Nations and the World Bank."