Matthew Petti, JHU: The roadmap to peace is now littered with detours. The international ceasefire agreement on Syria, which took effect in February, seems to have broken down completely. For a brief moment it seemed that a political solution to the war was in the works, but hopes of that have all but been dashed. […]Read more "Ceasefire in Syria: A Post-Mortem Report"
Giana Dawod, JHU: Moscow’s decision earlier last week to end its combat mission in Syria fell on the grim 5th anniversary of the country’s conflict. What began as political protest spiraled into a civil war, sparking the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades, and spawning a new global terrorist threat. Starting as peaceful anti-government demonstrations, […]Read more "How Western World Involvement Intensified the Crisis in Syria"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: Over the past several months, the refugee crisis stemming from the Middle East has reached unprecedented proportions. Europe and Turkey have been among those areas most affected by the overwhelming numbers of displaced persons, causing their leaders and citizens alike to struggle in determining the best response. However, this past week, European […]Read more "The E.U.-Turkey Refugee Deal: More Harm than Good?"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: For many years, Turkey has stood as a unique outlier within a politically and civilly turbulent region. Until Tunisia’s systemic shift during the Arab Spring, many considered Turkey to be the lone example of a stable democratic government in the ideologically charged Middle East, surrounded as it has been by authoritarian regimes […]Read more "Blocking Social Media and the Restriction of Democracy in Turkey"
Ahmed Eissa, UMBC: There are a lot of reasons to be afraid of Iran’s nuclear program, and there are a lot of reasons not to be. Unfortunately, sensationalist media outlets and people with ideological biases highlight all the wrong reasons, and fail to discuss the correct ones. These emotional, knee-jerk responses – often void of […]Read more "Re-evaluating the Threat of a Nuclear Iran"
Dana Ettinger, JHU: There is a French movie called “Une Bouteille à la Mer” (the English title is “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea”) that tells the story of a young woman living in Jerusalem who writes a message in a bottle and throws it into the Gaza Sea, where it’s found by a young […]Read more "When Brokering Peace in Israel, Bias Prevents Progress"
Dana Busgang, Goucher College: The news coming out of Yemen in recent months has been troubling. Late last year, the news broke that the Houthis, a Zaydi Shiite militia, also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), had taken control of Yemen’s capital Sana’a. In the past few weeks, President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi fled […]Read more "The Houthi Rebellion: Main Players, Key Questions, and Consequences"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: For several years, Tunisia has stood as an outlier within the broader Middle East and North Africa. Whereas post-revolutionary violence, ethnic and sectarian divisions, and institutional frailty have plagued many of its neighbors in the wake of the Arab Spring, Tunisia has enjoyed a relatively bloodless and stable transition towards democracy. Yet […]Read more "The Aftermath of Bardo: Searching for Answers, Facing Uncertainty"
Author: Ashby Henningsen, UMBC _______________________________________________________________________________________ While much of the world has been gripped by images of airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, an equally lethal and equally worrisome conflict unfolds in the peninsular country of Yemen. There, sectarian division and civil unrest threaten to completely dismantle the existing government, which already […]Read more "The Overlooked, Emerging War in the Middle East"