Middle East Articles

As his reign drew to a close in the late 1970s, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had few allies. He had persecuted the Communists, thwarted the advocates of liberal democracy, antagonized conservative landholders, and provoked the religious conservatives. Having publically opposed or oppressed almost every group in Iran, the Shah sowed the seeds of his own destruction. When the Islamic revolution broke out, he had few but his remaining loyal soldiers to turn to.

By Michael Mitchell  |  April 21, 2011

Globalization has increasingly wired the world for the rapid transfer of information. In Egypt, the Mubarak regime recognized that information is power and created repressive institutions to control these flows. Torture, censorship, and murder kept Egyptians in fear and impeded them from organizing and opposing Mubarak in a large-scale manner. But then, with the click of a button, the situation changed. Pictures exposing murders and torture were posted on blogs; groups and discussion forums criticizing the regime’s reactionary nature appeared. Moreover, the decentralized character of the Internet impeded Mubarak’s coercive apparatus from stopping this process.

By Rodolfo Diaz  |  April 19, 2011

Globalization has increasingly wired the world for the rapid transfer of information. In Egypt, the Mubarak regime recognized that information is power and created repressive institutions to control these flows. Torture, censorship, and murder kept Egyptians in fear and impeded them from organizing and opposing Mubarak in a large-scale manner. But then, with the click of a button, the situation changed. Pictures exposing murders and torture were posted on blogs; groups and discussion forums criticizing the regime’s reactionary nature appeared. Moreover, the decentralized character of the Internet impeded Mubarak’s coercive apparatus from stopping this process.

By Rodolfo Diaz  |  April 19, 2011

Malalai Joya is an Afghan human rights activist, writer, and former member of the Afghan National Assembly. In 2010, she was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.


How has Afghanistan changed since the fall of the Taliban? In particular, how have women’s lives changed?

By Winston Gee  |  April 10, 2011

Dr. Hussam Salama is a research fellow at the Dubai Initiative and an architect and urban planner. His research focuses on urban development in the Middle East during the era of globalization. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.

By Winston Gee  |  April 9, 2011

As the recent movements in Tunisia and Egypt unfolded, two questions pressed upon the public mind: why were these revolutions happening, and what might be to come? So too it was in 1979, when the Shah of Iran was overthrown. While these three revolutions are in many ways very different, by considering them together five common factors emerge.

By Abolhassan Banisadr  |  April 6, 2011
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MICHAEL S. BERNSTAM is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He has served as an economic advisor to the Russian government, the Azerbaijani government, and the Iraqi Ministry of Finance. He is currently affiliated with the Iraqi Institute for Economic Reform.

By Michael S. Bernstam  |  March 6, 2011
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Land disputes can hardly be called a novelty in the region between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, where Israel and Palestine have both made religious and cultural claims. While the Gaza Strip and West Bank areas have long witnessed the political ramifications of arms conflict, government controls, and economic sanctions, there is another deeper, though less tangible implication of these developments:  the Israeli occupation has taken a costly toll on the mental health of the Palestinian population.

By Divya Seth  |  March 6, 2011
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Land disputes can hardly be called a novelty in the region between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, where Israel and Palestine have both made religious and cultural claims. While the Gaza Strip and West Bank areas have long witnessed the political ramifications of arms conflict, government controls, and economic sanctions, there is another deeper, though less tangible implication of these developments:  the Israeli occupation has taken a costly toll on the mental health of the Palestinian population.

By Divya Seth  |  March 6, 2011

Author bio: Sam Sasan Shoamanesh is a legal adviser at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and co-founder and Associate Editor of Global Brief magazine. He served as the ICC’s first delegate to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The views expressed in this article have been provided in the author’s personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICC, ECHR or Global Brief.

By Sam Shoamanesh, Trita Parsi  |  February 23, 2011