Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo. Photo source: Voice of America News: Scott Bob reports from Aleppo, Syria via Wikimedia Commons
Blog / Europe

Syria: Are there any Options?

Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo. Photo source: Voice of America News: Scott Bob reports from Aleppo, Syria via Wikimedia Commons

It seems that not a day goes by without news of fresh tragedy in Syria. Reports have emerged that Islamic State may have been responsible for chemical weapons attacks, two years after …

Americas / Blog

Continuity and Foreign Policy

Obama and Biden – The White House via Flickr


In 2008, Obama entered the oval office full of hopes, his campaign promises had included a completely different approach to foreign policy than his Republican predecessor. Obama had seduced American citizens and the world with his clear opposition to the war in Iraq, his recognition of …

Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Gulf Monarchies and the Arab Spring: The Reasons Behind Their Survival

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members before meeting via Wikimedia Commons

Mohammed Bouazizi – the Tunisian fruit vendor, famously known for his act of self-immolation due to severe living conditions he was encountering, along with the majority living there. His action outside the governor’s office triggered not only …

Few Against Many, Protest in Egypt - Via Wikimedia.org
Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Crackdown on Egypt’s Civil Society

Few Against Many , Protest in Egypt – Al Jazeera via Wikimedia.org

The Egyptian government suppressing civil society organizations (CSO’s) is nothing new. Ever since such organizations arose in Egypt, the authorities have used multiple intimidation methods to restrain their work and efficiency, on issues stretching from economic justice to women’s participation to human rights. …

Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Tunisia : Congratulations, but on what?


Man Waving the Tunisian Flag – Nasser Nouri via Wikimedia Commons

Tunisia’s recent successful legislative and presidential elections 2014 have raised questions about why Tunisia has succeeded in establishing democracy, while Egypt could not.

Fareed Zakaria’s “Why democracy took root in Tunisia and not Egypt” answer was that “Tunisia was just lucky” because the Ennahda party were perceived …

If only it were that easy...
Blog / International Development

Vive la Revolution? Think Again

If only it were that easy .Photo Source: mookiefl via Flickr Creative Commons.

There is something naïve about rejoicing at a revolution. Whether across the Arab world or in Ukraine, the fall of decadent regimes is met with euphoria. Euphoria and a tendency to forget that revolutions are often successions of failures, occasionally yielding something …

Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Syria, three years on: Revolution, narratives, and solidarity

Photo Source: Freedom House via Flickr Creative Commons.

Conference Report: ‘Syria – Correcting the Narrative, Building Solidarity’, 21 June 2014, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Three and a half years since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution, the ongoing conflict has left on the ground more than 100 thousand victims (the UN …

Blog / Middle East and North Africa

New footage shows Iranian involvement in Syria

Photo Source: Jilas.wox via Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian involvement into Syria has been widely speculated about for well over a year and a half. Iran’s relationship to the crisis has evolved over time and there has been a clear policy shift by the regime in Tehran. When the Syrian uprising began two and half …

Anne Patterson Get Out of Egypt.
Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Is General Sisi the new Hafez Al-Assad?

Photo credit: sierragoddess via Flickr Creative Commons.

Hafez Al-Assad was ‘respected’, not ‘liked’, as Patrick Seale tells us in his book ‘Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East’. He was a strongman who managed to hold Syria together; however his presidency was tainted with fear and bloodshed. The watershed moment where his reputation …

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