New Perspectives

CSU, CWRU, KSU and Oberlin Collaborate: New Perspectives on Muslim and Middle Eastern Societies

Like our own communities in Northeast Ohio, the Middle East and the wider Muslim world represent diverse cultures, societies, and politics.

To disseminate scholarly research on these societies, engage public discussion and educate the area community about this region, four faculty members from regional higher education institutions have launched the Northeast Ohio University Consortium for Middle East Studies (NOUCMES).

The consortium includes, Pete W. Moore, department of political science, Case Western Reserve University; Neda A. Zawahri, department of political science Cleveland State University, Joshua Stacher, department of political science, Kent State University; and Zeinab Abul-Magd, department of history, Oberlin College.

With financial support from the Social Science Research Council, and in partnership with Civic Commons, Ideastream, and the City Club of Cleveland, NOUCMES will host a series of public addresses and community discussion events entitled, “New Perspectives on Muslim and MiddleEastern Societies.”

The goal is to invite established intellectuals and promising young scholars from top research universities in the U.S. to address several themes: “Muslim Voices and Publics,” “Women in the Muslim World” and “Muslim Societies in Transition.”

The faculty members said they felt Ohioans are quite familiar with the polarized but contested character of public debate in America. Yet a similar understanding of the complexity that exists in the Muslim world is largely absent.

“Our hope is to provide an opportunity for the Cleveland area to explore new perspectives and questions on Middle Eastern and Muslim societies and start conversations,” said Moore, who will direct the consortium from the group’s base at Case Western Reserve.

The consortium’s outreach also has community support from The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Cleveland, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Cuyahoga Public Libraries, InterAct Cleveland, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Cleveland, and The First Church in Oberlin.

Unlike standard talks on college campuses steeped in academic language, these speakers have been given the charge to present their research in an accessible manner to help the general public understand the issues, said Moore.

Each speaker will give a general address at the City Club of Cleveland, followed by a second public town hall or conversation with students, faculty and members of the public at venues around the area.

The Consortium’s fall speakers are:

Rami Khouri directs the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at American University of Beirut and is the editor-at-large for Daily Star, a Beirut-based newspaper. An internationally syndicated political columnist and author, Khouri graduated from Syracuse University and has written extensively on political change in the Middle East and U.S. policy. He will speak Oct. 4 at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and on Oct. 5 he will deliver a City Club sponsored address.

Sherine Hafez is assistant professor of women’s studies at the University of California at Riverside. A rising star among anthropologists studying the role of women in Muslim societies, Hafez’s second book, An Islam of Her Own: Reconsidering Religion And Secularism In Women's Islamic Movements, was published by New York University Press in 2011. Hafez’s work challenges simplistic portrayals of the role of Muslim women in political movements and more specifically how women participated in the 2011 Egyptian uprisings. Hafez will speak at the City Club and at one of the Cuyahoga Library system branches in early November.

Toby C. Jones is a historian of the modern Middle East at Rutgers University. He has held positions at Swathmore College and Princeton University and was an analyst for Gulf affairs for the International Crisis Group. His first book published by Harvard University Press, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, is widely praised as one of the best new books on that important country. His current project, America’s Oil Wars, will also be published by Harvard. Professor Jones will speak at the City Club on Dec. 16.

Spring 2012 speakers include:

Amaney Jamal is an associate professor of politics and director of the Workshop on Arab Political Development at Princeton University. Professor Jamal studies how Arab and Muslim Americans become engaged in civic life in the U.S., and has expanded that research interest to patterns of citizenship in the Arab world. She is the author of Barriers to Democracy which explored the relationship between professional associations and democratization in the MiddleEast and she is co-author of Citizenship and Crisis: Arab Detroit after 9-11. Her current project is entitled, Living Poverty: The Urban and Rural Poor in Comparative Development. Professor Jamal will speak at the City Club on Feb. 10.

Anthony Shadid is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times. Widely recognized as the best American journalist reporting from the Middle East, Shadid is author of Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War and is currently completing a book on his family’s ancestral home in Lebanon. He will speak in Cleveland in early March 2012.

For more information, contact Pete Moore at 216.368.5265 or email him at


Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

News about the Muslim world and the Middle East

Arab League summit to begin in Doha
March 26, 2013

The Arab League is preparing for a two-day summit in Doha where opponents of President Bashar al-Assad will represent Syria for the first time. Arab foreign ministers met in Doha on Sunday to prepare for the meeting, which begins in the Qatari capital on Tuesday.

Four Questions On Immigration Reform: A Passover Reflection
March 26, 2013

Earlier this week, Jewish families throughout the world sat down at their dinner tables to celebrate Passover. As we do each year at this time, we recounted the exodus story that defines our past, shapes our present and inspires our future. It is our foundational story about the pursuit of freedom from oppression.

Welcoming the Newcomer: How Faith Groups Are Rallying the Religious Behind Immigration Reform
March 26, 2013

SOURCE: AP/Alan Diaz Advocacy around immigration reform continues to gain momentum, with bipartisan groups in Congress and President Barack Obama pushing to fix our nation's immigration system and provide a road map to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country.

Dexter Filkins: Can Hezbollah Survive the Syrian Crisis?
February 22, 2013

A REPORTER AT LARGE about Hezbollah's reaction to the Syrian crisis. Late last year, a memorial service was held for two young fighters from Hezbollah, who had been killed under murky circumstances. At the time of the service, Hezbollah had spent months denying that its men were crossing the border into Syria to fight for Bashar al-Assad's murderous regime.

The Failure of Obama's Syria Policy
February 22, 2013

The administration needs to chart a new course in dealing with the country's destructive civil war. Don't expect one anytime soon. Typhoid and hepatitis outbreaks are spreading. An estimated 70,000 people are dead, and another 850,000 are refugees. After covering the battle for Damascus for a month, Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic declared the situation a "bloody stalemate" earlier this week.

The Sound of Ideas: The Conflict in Syria
January 28, 2013

Posted Thursday, January 24, 2013 The Arab spring that brought regime change to several Middle East countries sparked bloody unrest in Syria, where sectarian violence has claimed the lives of some 60,000 Syrians while hundreds of thousands have either fled the country or live as refugees in their own land.

How the Army Won Egypt's Election
July 02, 2012

JUBILANT chants echoed far beyond Tahrir Square when the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was confirmed as Egypt's first civilian president last week. Mr. Morsi's election was lauded across the globe, and many are hailing today's "transfer" of power as a triumph for democracy. But there is little reason for celebration.

Report From Cairo: Protests Erupt in Egypt As Mubarak's Ex-PM Secures Spot in Presidential Runoff
May 29, 2012

Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports from Egypt where protests erupted last night after final results were announced in the country's first-ever competitive presidential election. The top two candidates in the first round of the race are Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister under Hosni Mubarak - who was ousted in a popular uprising 15 months ago.

Sticks now, carrots later
May 29, 2012

OPTIMISM, in the intricate and frustrating world of international wrangling about Iran's nuclear programme, is a relative concept. But the White House did call the opening of talks between Iran and the "5+1 group" (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Istanbul four weeks ago a "positive first step".

Houla massacre survivor tells how his family were slaughtered
May 29, 2012

An 11-year old boy has described how he smeared himself in the blood of his slain brother and played dead as loyalist gunmen burst into his home and killed six members of his family during the start of a massacre in Houla, central Syria.

Annan holds talks with Syria's Assad
May 29, 2012

Kofi Annan, the joint UN-Arab League envoy, has held talks with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, as the UN human rights office has declared that more than 85 people who were killed in the Houla region were "summarily executed".

THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Columnist :: Egyptians as they really are, for once
May 29, 2012

One of the important byproducts of the ongoing Arab uprisings, regime changes and national reconfigurations is the increased ability of many people around the world to view Arabs in their full, dynamic human complexity and nuance, rather than the one-dimensional, static, essentialist caricatures of Arabs and Muslims that have long dominated many Western views of our region and its people.Last week I mentioned a region-wide poll of the Arab world by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies that offered timely evidence of the multilayered views of key public policy issues among Arab citizens across the entire region.

Israeli Leader Urges Tougher Line in Iran Talks
May 29, 2012

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu took international negotiators to task for showing signs of compromise with Iran, potentially complicating U.S. efforts to advance nuclear talks.

Why Is Syria Locked In Endless Conflict? : NPR
May 29, 2012

The answer has to do with history, politics, and a growing class of entrepreneurs who are struggling to pick a side.

Eight stories you must read on the Syrian massacre - Latitude News
May 29, 2012

A bloody new chapter was written in Syria's political and humanitarian crisis as pro-government forces attacked the small town of Houla on May 25. Reports said at least 108 people were killed, 30 of them children, leading to the horrific photograph below that has shocked the world.

THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Columnist :: Arab disorder is a sign of vitality
April 23, 2012

The ongoing dramatic developments in half a dozen Arab countries where regimes have been overthrown or are being challenged by their own people continue to captivate the world. In the first months of the uprisings, many observers expressed amazement at the sight of Arab citizens daring to peacefully challenge their own authoritarian governments - and evicting them from office in some cases.

Bahrain court delays ruling in activists case
April 23, 2012

Bahrain's highest appeals court has postponed for a week the verdict of 21 pro-democracy activists convicted last year of plotting to overthrow the government. The Court of Cassation said on Monday that it will deliver its verdict on April 30; it offered no reason for the delay.

THE DAILY STAR :: News :: Local News :: Ban: Syria crisis risks shattering Lebanon calm
April 23, 2012

BEIRUT: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Friday he was deeply concerned about the potential impact of the Syrian crisis on the political and security situation in Lebanon, and expressed disappointment for the lack of progress in the implementation of Resolution 1559, including the disarmament of Hezbollah.

THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Columnist :: For minorities, now is the time to report
April 23, 2012

It is unfortunate that among those most anxiously observing the uprising in Syria (and not only Syria) have been members of the Middle East's religious and ethnic minorities. Indeed, Syria's Alawite leadership is perpetrating a butchery partly because it expects its community to be marginalized if Bashar Assad falls.

A band of heroes for region - The National
April 23, 2012

Nobody loves hearing a story of business struggle-and-success more than an entrepreneur. But while many builders of fledgling brands may be familiar with Naif Al Mutawa - the Kuwaiti creator behind The 99 comic book franchise - few are likely to have heard about his business strategies for the venture.

The Other Arab Spring
April 08, 2012

ISN'T it interesting that the Arab awakening began in Tunisia with a fruit vendor who was harassed by police for not having a permit to sell food - just at the moment when world food prices hit record highs?

Syrians Battle Near Damascus as Skepticism Grows About Assad Promises
April 06, 2012

People looked out from a building damaged by tank shells in Damascus on Thursday.

Muslim Brotherhood Attempts To Charm U.S. Skeptics : NPR
April 06, 2012

The political ascent of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has created some unease in Washington, and in an attempt to counter that, the group dispatched a delegation to the U.S. capital this week for meetings that range from administration officials to think tanks and universities.

Qatar's culture queen
April 04, 2012

THE starkly beautiful Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha, Qatar, is a fine setting for a dinner. Last month 200 dealers, collectors and curators gathered there for the opening of the first showing in the Middle East of work by Takashi Murakami.

Free Syrian Army Has the World's Support but No Weapons or Ammo
April 04, 2012

The two men sat on plastic chairs in front of a white tent in the southern Turkish town of Antakya. They introduced themselves as fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). They would like to fight, they said, if only they had guns.

U.S. Military Intervention in Syria is Not the Answer
April 04, 2012

PDF Version U.S. Military Intervention in Syria is Not the Answer "We believe the means that are used to seek change in society either create or obstruct the desirable ends." -FCNL Statement 03/18/2011 The Friends Committee on National Legislation is gravely concerned by the Syrian regime's violence against civilians and crimes against humanity, in addition to the potential for a protracted civil war.

'The future of Egyptian women is in danger' - Samira Ibrahim speaks out
March 29, 2012

The verdict over 'virginity tests' was a blow to the feminist struggle in Egypt. Here, the woman who sacrificed everything to bring the case to court, warns that women's rights are now under threat from two sides - the military and the Islamists

Egyptian Activists Push To End Military Trials : NPR
March 29, 2012

For Samira Ibrahim, and many other Egyptians, the struggle to remake their country didn't end with the ouster last year of Hosni Mubarak. Ibrahim, a 25-year-old from southern Egypt, was arrested by the military during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in March of last year, a month after Mubarak was overthrown.

Nada Bakri: Democracy Now! Interview with Wife of Anthony Shadid
March 16, 2012

In this Democracy Now! interview, Nada Bakri, the widow of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Anthony Shadid, speaks about her husband's passion for covering the Middle East and his posthumous memoir. "House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East" chronicles Shadid's rebuilding of his family's ancestral home in Lebanon.

Power to some other people
March 16, 2012

ON HIS drive home from work Morocco's prime minister, Abdelilah Benkirane, stopped by a mob of angry graduates demanding jobs. "We voted for you, and you send the police to beat and arrest us," they cried. Mr Benkirane apologised and promised that any police officers who broke the law would be punished.

Syria Puts On Mass Rally in Support of Assad
March 16, 2012

In the square, men flashed victory signs. Flags whipped in the wind: the black, white and red Syrian tricolor alongside the banners of Russia, China and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, some of Mr. Assad's most stalwart supporters.

Syria Permits U.N. Visit but Escalates Effort to Crush Opposition
March 06, 2012

's government made diplomatic gestures on Monday toward seeking an end to the uprising that has convulsed the country, agreeing for the first time to allow visits by the top relief official and by the newly designated envoy who represents both the United Nations and .

International Positions on Syria and Iran
February 27, 2012

Vetoed u.n. resolution against syria Have NOT called for Mr. Assad to step down Have called for Mr. Assad to step down China buys about 20 percent of Iran's oil, according to American estimates, and opposes trade restrictions against the country. China opposes measures that could lead to a military intervention or forced change of government in Syria.

Yemen Votes to Remove Ali Abdullah Saleh
February 21, 2012

The election comes after a year of antigovernment protests and conflict that broke the government of this already impoverished nation. In reality, it is meant to be more symbolic than democratic: the only candidate is Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi. "We want change.

Syrian Protesters Fill Streets of Damascus
February 19, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hundreds and hundreds of antigovernment protesters braved scattered gunfire from Syrian soldiers and a cold winter snowstorm to march through a middle-class neighborhood in Damascus on Saturday, the biggest such march witnessed close to the heart of the capital since the country's uprising started 11 months ago.

Anthony Shadid, a New York Times Reporter, Dies in Syria
February 17, 2012

Ed Ou for The New York Times Anthony Shadid, a gifted foreign correspondent whose graceful dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil, died, apparently of an asthma attack, on Thursday while on a reporting assignment in Syria.

Bloom is off Arab Spring: Tony George
February 17, 2012

After a year of bloodshed, the so-called Arab Spring is veering dangerously off course. The revolutions are seemingly more Khomeini and less Jefferson; theocracy is trumping democracy. U.S. policy appears to be more about wishful thinking than Islamic realism.

Basketball Great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On Diplomacy : NPR
February 16, 2012

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is perhaps one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He recently added another chapter to his storied career when he was named U.S. Cultural Ambassador by the State Department. Host Michel Martin speaks with the author and hall-of-famer.

Syria's Neighbors Fear That Fighting Could Spread : NPR
February 16, 2012

Now that the uprising in Syria has turned into a heavily armed conflict, many in the region are worried that the violence will spread beyond its territory. Syria borders Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, as well as Lebanon, where clashes erupted last Friday in the northern coastal city of Tripoli.

The long road to Damascus
February 13, 2012

Feb 11th 2012 | DAMASCUS AND DERAA | from the print edition SECURITY men, most in plain clothes, speckle the main market square of Deraa, a town of 350,000 near Syria's border with Jordan. Yet in the brief time given for visiting journalists to stray from a scripted tour that highlights "terrorist" attacks on state property, a few ordinary citizens dare to speak.

US closes embassy in Syria
February 06, 2012

The US has closed down its embassy in Syria and pulled all of its employees out of the country, amid reports that the Syrian military is intensifying its assault on the central city of Homs. The UK also announced on Monday it would recall its ambassador to Syria for what it called consultations.

Syrian Regime Has 'License To Kill' After Diplomatic Impasse, Activists Say : NPR
February 06, 2012

People in Homs, Syria, say government forces are shelling the city and that at least 15 to 20 people have died so far today. The renewed attacks follow an even deadlier weekend barrage - human rights groups say government forces killed about 200 people in Homs on Saturday, making it perhaps the bloodiest day since opposition protests began last spring.

How to Integrate Europe’s Muslims
January 24, 2012

TWO weeks ago, dozens of cars were set alight in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand after a 30-year-old truck driver, Wissam El-Yamni, was roughed up and then died while in police custody. The uproar underscored the hostility of young minority men toward authority across communities in Europe, an antipathy that has at times led to deadly violence.

Official: Yemen's Saleh leaves Sanaa
January 23, 2012

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's outgoing president, who announced during a farewell speech that he will go the US for medical treatment has left the capital, a presidency official told the AFP news agency."The Yemeni president left Sanaa one hour ago," the official said without specifying Saleh's destination."God willing, I will leave for treatment in the United States and I will return to Sanaa as head of the General People's Congress party," Saleh was quoted by the state news agency SABA as telling a meeting with party officials on Sunday."I ask for forgiveness from all my people, men and women, for any shortcomings during my 33-year-long rule," he added.Sources in Yemen told Al Jazeera that Saleh had either left the country, or is about to do so.'Execute the butcher'Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Yemenis staged protests against a law granting immunity for Saleh, from prosecution over a deadly crackdown on dissent.

Syria rejects Arab League transition plan
January 23, 2012

Syria has condemned a new Arab League initiative that calls on President Bashar al-Assad to cede power by holding early elections and forming a "national unity government". Syrian state television, quoting an unnamed official source, said early on Monday morning that the resolution, passed on Sunday night, contradicted the will of the Syrian people and was a violation of its national sovereignty.

First session for Egypt assembly
January 23, 2012

The first Egyptian parliament elected since President Hosni Mubarak resigned last February after a popular uprising is holding its inaugural session. Islamists dominated the elections held for the People's Assembly over the past three months, winning 73% of the seats.

Yemen 'amends' proposed immunity law
January 21, 2012

A Yemeni draft law granting immunity to the outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, from prosecution over the killing of protesters, has been amended to limit the protection his aides would enjoy, according to a minister.The new immunity draft law, which has been heavily criticised by rights groups, the UN and Yemeni protesters, will now shield the aides only in "political cases", Mohammad Makhlafi, the legal affairs minister, told the Reuters news agency.

In the Suburbs of Damascus
January 21, 2012

The normal pace of everyday life may surprise those who venture to visit Damascus these days. From the city center with its vibrant markets, the idea that observers from the Arab League are visiting the city to investigate serious human rights abuses seems almost unreal. Yet, something has changed.

Group blasts Gingrich for limiting hires to Muslims who renounce Shariah law
January 21, 2012

The largest Muslim civil liberties group in the United States on Wednesday condemned Newt Gingrich for saying he would only hire Muslims to his administration if they renounced the use of Islam's Shariah law as a tool for U.S. government.

Critics: Bill to shun foreign law in courts is anti-Muslim | |
January 21, 2012

A bill pending before the General Assembly has drawn the ire of Muslim rights advocates who say it's a thinly disguised effort to stigmatize Muslims and undermine their religious traditions. The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Friday claimed that legislation by freshman Del.

U.S. preparing to close embassy in Syria
January 21, 2012

The embassy will be shuttered, officials said, unless embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad provides enhanced protection that he has so far been unwilling to authorize. “Unless we see that, we have no choice,” said one U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak about internal planning on the Syrian crisis.

Egypt's Wael Ghonim: 'Revolutions Are Processes ... It Will Take Time' : NPR
January 17, 2012

It's been nearly a year since Google executive Wael Ghonim became one of the faces of the Arab Spring as his online organizing efforts and his arrest helped draw people and attention to the demands by many Egyptians for reform - a movement that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Alaa Al Aswany, Tahrir Square’s Writer
January 17, 2012

ABSTRACT: PROFILE of Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany. A few weeks after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, the novelist Alaa Al Aswany found himself arguing with Egypt's Prime Minister on live TV. The Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafik, had been in office only a month, having been appointed in a cabinet reshuffle that was among Mubarak's last, desperate efforts to appease the crowds in Tahrir Square.

Why Islamism Is Winning
January 08, 2012

EGYPT'S final round of parliamentary elections won't end until next week, but the outcome is becoming clear. The Muslim Brotherhood will most likely win half the lower house of Parliament, and more extreme Islamists will occupy a quarter. Secular parties will be left with just 25 percent of the seats.

Don't Stop at Iraq: Why the U.S. Should Withdraw From the Entire Persian Gulf
January 04, 2012

Our experiment in militarizing the region has made it more volatile, less free, and more costly to American interests and values

Egypt's Liberals and the Elections
January 04, 2012

While it is important to understand what advantages Islamists had in the elections, it is also important to understand where liberal and secular forces failed. "Panicked" does not even begin to describe the feelings of many of Egypt's more liberal and secular citizens.

The case against military intervention in Syria
January 04, 2012

Princeton, NJ - Looking back to 2011, the effect of the Arab Spring is still lingering. People have risen in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria and initiated a worldwide quest for political rights and social justice. Once characterised as politically and economically stagnant by neo-Orientalists, the Arab world set the regional and international agenda of the last year.

Egypt enters final day of voting
January 04, 2012

Egyptians go to the polls for a second day in the final stage of the election for the lower house of parliament, the first free legislative vote since military officers overthrew the monarchy in 1952.

Syrian Uprising Raises The Specter Of Sectarian War : NPR
January 04, 2012

A major factor in the Syrian revolt is the battle between sectarian groups. The Assad family and the minority Alawites have held the top jobs for decades, and feel they would be trampled if the majority Sunni Muslims come to power. These sectarian tensions are never far from the surface in the Middle Eastern nations going through upheavals.

December 27, 2011

More than half of American Muslims say the fallout from 9/11 has made it more difficult to live as a Muslim in the U.S.

Egypt: The military's revenge
December 20, 2011

Cairo, Egypt - Egyptian military and police have lashed out at young protesters over the past several days with vengeance. The clashes began on Friday in front of the Ministry Building, which is visible from Tahrir Square.

Growing steadily less peaceful
December 20, 2011

Dec 19th 2011, 10:47 by The Economist online | DAMASCUS NINE months into Syria's uprising and the peaceful protests against the regime of Bashar Assad are now accompanied by a growing insurgency. On Thursday, activists say that 27 loyalists were killed in clashes with army defectors in the southern Hauran region.

Ghada's Testimony on Being Tortured by the Egyptian Army
December 20, 2011

In this video, Ghada recounts details about being tortured by the Egyptian army as well as specifics regarding their behavior and tactics. The account includes disturbing details, including descriptions of what she witnessed while in ...

Egyptian women protest in Cairo against brutal treatment
December 20, 2011

Hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Cairo to protest against military rule and the brutal treatment of female protesters by Egypt's security services. The women rallied outside a government office complex on Tahrir Square - the scene of violent clashes earlier on Tuesday in which at least four demonstrators were shot dead by military police.

Repressing Democracy, With American Arms
December 20, 2011

WHEN President Obama decides soon whether to approve a $53 million arms sale to our close but despotic ally Bahrain, he must weigh the fact that America has a major naval base here and that Bahrain is a moderate, modernizing bulwark against Iran.

Violence Enters 5th Day as Egyptian General Blames Protesters
December 20, 2011

CAIRO - In a fifth day of unrest, Egyptian troops and riot police were reported to have attempted to remove demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, even as the country's military rulers faced calls on Monday from the United States, the United Nations and a newly united front of Islamist and liberal political leaders to stop the violence.

December 20, 2011

A shocking image from the clashes shows a woman wearing an Islamic robe being dragged, semi-clothed and unconscious, by soldiers.

The Arab Awakening and Middle East Unrest
December 19, 2011

In early 2011, uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt led to the overthrow of their heads of state and sparked a wave of protests throughout the Middle East and North Africa, now commonly referred to as the "Arab awakening." Brookings experts comment on the continuing unrest in the region, and its implications for relations with the United States and with the rest of the world.

Egypt’s Elections, Tahrir Square, and the Muslim Brotherhood
December 06, 2011

In Egypt, the euphoria surrounding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, last February, gave way, as the Arab Spring led into summer and fall, to a creeping realization that the regime had not been toppled at all. To many, it felt as if the popular revolution, waged by millions in the streets, were being turned into a soft coup.

Egypt’s movement for change has not lost its momentum by Tarek Atia - Common Ground News Service
December 06, 2011

While many see the recent events in Tahrir Square as a sign that Egypt’s revolution may have hit a stumbling block, Tarek Atia, Managing Director of the Egypt Media Development Program, points to signs that hope for change still outweighs the challenges ahead.

Syria Reportedly Detains Outspoken Blogger
December 06, 2011

An outspoken Syrian blogger was reportedly arrested on Sunday on her way to a conference in neighboring Jordan on press freedom in the Arab world. The blogger, Razan Ghazzawi, was detained by immigration officers at the Jordanian border, according to a statement from her colleagues at the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.

Egypt Military Tries to Woo Wider Public Beyond Protesters
November 26, 2011

CAIRO - Some call it the silent majority. In these days, the preferred term is the Party of the Couch. And in that ill-defined constituency, sometimes more myth than reality, Egypt's ruling military has staked its credibility as it seeks to fend off the greatest challenge yet from protesters seeking to force it from power.

Egypt's naked blogger is a bomb aimed at the patriarchs in our minds
November 21, 2011

By posing naked, Aliaa Mahdy has brilliantly challenged the misogyny and sexual hypocrisy of Egypt's leaders When a woman is the sum total of her headscarf and hymen - that is, what's on her head and what is between her legs - then nakedness and sex become weapons of political resistance.

The tide turns against Bashar Assad
November 21, 2011

Nov 19th 2011 | CAIRO AND DAMASCUS | from the print edition THE city of Homs, the third-biggest in Syria, is close to civil war. Sitting astride a sectarian fault-line between the city's mainly Sunni centre and an area to the north-west dominated by members of the Alawite faith, a minority Muslim sect whose followers form the core of Bashar Assad's regime, it is now the hub of the conflict.

Cairo protesters battle security forces
November 21, 2011

Protesters calling for Egypt's military to hand over power have beaten back a new raid by security forces to evict them from Cairo's Tahrir Square after more than 48 hours of violence in the heart of the Egyptian capital.

"It's an intifada a la 25 Jan now . . . ": Brief Words and Images from Hossam El-Hamalawi
November 21, 2011

In a seeming repeat of an otherwise bygone era, today's military crackdown on demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square is a tangible reminder that the most delicate and strategic work for effecting a robust departure from the clutches of authoritarian rule is ahead of us.

The Hatred, and Hope, for Arab Christians
November 21, 2011

Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency NOT so long ago, I was in the town of Beit Meri for the baptism of a friend's daughter. The church, Mar Elias, was perched over Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea and built amid the Roman ruins of the town. Incense that symbolized prayers lifted to God filtered through the hall.

Syria faces suspension from Arab League as deal to end violence fails
November 11, 2011

The Arab League is under mounting pressure to suspend Syria from its ranks as it meets to discuss the country's steadily worsening eight month crisis. The League faces the calls, from both within its ranks and European nations, as the 22 member states meet in Cairo on Saturday after an earlier deal with Damascus to end the violence failed the desired result.

Activists Say 9 Die in Test of Syria’s Stance on Talks
November 04, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian forces killed at least nine people on Friday, opposition groups said, in protests that activists said would serve as a test of the Syrian government's commitment to a plan brokered this week to halt violence and begin negotiations.

Syria agrees to Arab League plan
November 03, 2011

The Syrian government has accepted several measures suggested by the Arab League aimed at halting the violence in the country, including the removal of tanks and armoured vehicles from the streets. The breakthrough was announced at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, where the regional body gathered to discuss plans to ease the violence and end the unrest in Syria.

Israel to 'prevent' aid ships reaching Gaza
November 03, 2011

Israel has announced that its navy will attempt to stop two boats carrying pro-Palestinian activists bound for the Gaza Strip, in the latest attempt by activists to break the four-year Israeli blockade against the territory.

Opposition to Yemen’s Government Spreads in Taiz
November 03, 2011

TAIZ, Yemen - This ancient city among the steep cliffs of central Yemen, once known as the commercial and intellectual hub of this south Arabian nation, has emerged as the violent center of a long political standoff between a president who refuses to step down and demonstrators who want him out.

We Will Not Pay the Debts of Tyranny
October 28, 2011

This article originally appeared in El-Shorouk in Arabic and was translated to English by Hesham Sallam] "In the transition from an oligarchy or a tyranny to a democracy…persons refuse to fulfill their contracts or any other obligations, on the ground that the tyrant, and not the state, contracted them"-Aristotle.

Islamists to the fore
October 28, 2011

Oct 29th 2011 | TUNIS | from the print edition LIKE many Mediterranean peoples, Tunisians are said to be prone to excesses of joy and despair. So it was scarcely surprising that the stronger-than-expected performance of Islamists in the country's first-ever open and fair election, and the first free exercise of political rights thanks to the Arab spring, prompted an emotional response.

A Portrait of a Revolutionary: Hossam El-Hamalawy on the Role of the Egyptian Army (Part 2)
October 21, 2011

Jadaliyya is hereby presenting the first installment in a interactive (see below) series called "A Portrait of a Revolutionary," featuring interviews with an Egyptian journalist and activist who was at the forefront of the Egyptian protest movement.

Blame the SCAF for Egypt's Problems - By Joshua Stacher
October 12, 2011

On Sunday evening, Egyptian plainclothes police and the army attacked a protest by peaceful demonstrators. Dozens were killed and hundreds wounded, while state television spread inflammatory news of Copts attacking soldiers. Many immediately concluded that sectarianism was to blame, rather than the military command which oversaw the bloodbath.

Resources for a new perspective

The Muslim world and Middle East have just undergone some of the most dramatic changes in centuries. We've gathered some of the best resources on the web to help you (and us) make sense of it all.

Learn more