Middle East Revolution

Regime Change and Upheaval in the Arab World

America Is Stuck With the Mideast

Walter Russell Mead, Wall St. Journal

Libya: Short War, Long Shadow (PDF)

Royal United Services Institute

Why Democracy Is Still Winning

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians

Michael Oren, Wall St. Journal

Global oil markets and global commerce mean that American presidents will simply not be able to set this region off to the side....(full article)

Qatar is more and more assuming the role vacated by Egypt in trying to settle local and international disputes....(full article)

In spring 2011, Western military operations, backed by the Arab League, began against the regime of Muammar Qadhafi. Libyan rebels, after being penned in by the regime, began to ta...(full article)

The authoritarian urge to cross-dress in democratic clothes is an implied compliment to the democratic nations. That matters, because western democracies are going through a cris...(full article)

Just as Jews were once expelled from Arab lands, Christians are now being forced from countries they have long inhabited....(full article)


Most Recent Articles

A Nuclear Deal with Iran Is no Panacea - Kevin Sullivan, The Week

Washington wants Iran isolated and on the cusp of insolvency. Iranians are not oblivious to this fact, and in spite of their rather cosmopolitan disposition, Iranians overwhelmingl...

Morocco's History as a Haven for Gay Westerners - Richard Hamilton, BBC

Although some think the writers were rebelling against a soulless, suburban McCarthyite America, Hopkins says it was more straightforward. "They were after boys and drugs. That's w...

Tehran Should Keep Its Hands off Yemen - The National

Anyone who thinks the Houthis are acting in Yemen’s best interests is mistaken. They do not even have the right to speak in the name of all the Yemeni people. Rather, their strat...

Cairo Through the Eyes of a Garbageman - Peter Hessler, New Yorker

Many things in Egypt don’t work very well. Traffic is bad, and trains get cancelled; during the summer, it’s not unusual to have five electricity blackouts in a single ...

In Israel, Military Means for Political Ends - Kori Schake, Hoover

One can be sympathetic to the grievances of Palestinians while still allowing their choices to be self-defeating. By indulging revenge fantasies, Hamas collapsed belief among Israe...

Cold Wars Simmer in Islamic Middle East - Pierre Atlas, Indianapolis Star

The Muslim Middle East is increasingly divided along sectarian and ideological lines. In addition to the violent conflicts that make the nightly news, two "cold wars" are simmering...

The Fear of Greater Chaos - Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

Uust because autocracy has failed does not mean that democracy can work. And just because the tumultuous, dramatic weakening of central control in big states has not happened yet d...

Egyptians' Optimism Is Growing - Mohamed Younis, Gallup

Most see economy improving and have confidence in current government....

ISIS Extends Its Reach - Benjamin Barthe, Worldcrunch

Unlike al-Qaeda, which was always meant to operate on a global level, ISIS has been much more linked to its territory in Syria and Iraq. But that's now starting to change....

Yemen's Peril Is a Threat to the Whole Region - The National

Whatever it is that the Houthi rebels are planning in Yemen, it is certainly not going to be for the benefit of all Yemenis, or the GCC. That is the unmistakable impression of the ...

Kissinger's Last Appeal for Realism - Vartan Oskanian, Al Jazeera

The bear knows seven songs and they are all about honey - I don't know if that's an Armenian saying or a Russian one, but it's true for Kissinger as well. All of his songs are abou...

The Fatal Flaw in the Fight Against ISIS - Philip Stephens, Financial Times

The west is left leading an intervention that lacks a clearly defined political ambition and a military exit strategy. Stemming the jihadi tide to prevent the collapse of Iraq was ...

Where Is Algeria's President? - Aomar Ouali, Independent Online

The silence of Algeria's ailing president since the kidnapping and beheading of a French hiker by Islamic State-inspired militants has ignited new concerns over his health and whet...

Fighting the Purpose-Driven Jihad - Kevin Sullivan, NI

No matter how much lip service American presidents pay to the aspirations of Arabs and Muslims across the greater Middle East, the United States is -- and will likely remain -- hea...

Why Egyptians Support the New Old Regime - Steven A. Cook, TNI

Over the last few years, Egypt has become an object lesson in how narrow interests, greed, and politics can quickly undo noble ideas and aspirations. The time since former Presid...

The Mysterious Rise of the Arab Crime Novel - Marcia L. Qualey, Al Jazeera

Why are gentleman-thieves and murder mysteries making a comeback in Arabic popular fiction?...

Why Is Abbas Playing Hardball with Hamas? - Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor

Abbas’ tactic is evident. He sees that Hamas needs him more than he needs it, and he has therefore pounced on this weakness. The Palestinian leader is hoping to be able to revers...

In Yemen, Fears of Anarchy or Civil War - Adam Baron , Al Jazeera

While the Houthis' military prowess obviously played a key role in their stunning victory in the capital, the importance of their political moves should not be dismissed: by aligni...

Nile Water Wars? - Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

In the 21st century, water could emerge as a more precious commodity than oil. As populations rise, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous century, water becomes a more valua...

Arab Nations Are Right to Join Fight on ISIS - The National

In many ways, the involvement of so many Arab countries in the battle against ISIL is a defining moment. In another sense, however, it is merely a natural response to the context o...

Iran's Coup d'Etat in Yemen - Daily Star

Yemen and other countries in the region have become the chessboard where Arab countries, Iran and states outside the Middle East are vying for influence....

The U.S. Is Leading a Robust Arab Coalition - Hussein Ibish, NOW Lebanon

According to the Pentagon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates directly contributed airpower to the attacks, while Qatar played a supporting role. So much fo...

Obama's Airstrikes Might Be Unexpectedly Effective - Fred Kaplan, Slate

The key to this war, like in all wars, will be political. It is highly significant that four Arab nations—Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain—participat...

The Long Battle Against ISIS Begins - The National

Air strikes have begun against the militant group. But more than a military solution will be needed....

Why Arab States Are Helping in Syria - Jane Kinninmont, Chatham House

For the US, it was vitally important to avoid strikes against Islamic State (IS) looking like another Western attack on a Middle Eastern country, and to emphasize that opposition t...

The Price of Abandoning Yemen - Ibrahim Sharqieh, New York Times

In 2011, Yemenis rejoiced at the toppling of their dictatorial president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled for 33 years. It was the third successful revolution of the Arab Spri...

Syria's Opposition Needs a Strategy - Hassan Hassan, Daily Star

The Syrian opposition is in a rare position of power, at least internationally....

America's Pointless, Never-Ending War - B. Chellaney, Project Syndicate

It is time for the US to recognize that since it launched its war on terror, the scourge has only spread. The Afghanistan-Pakistan belt has remained “ground zero” for t...

This Looks a Lot Like Another War in the Middle East - The Economist

Despite disagreement about what to call it, America is preparing to go to war with jihadists in Iraq and Syria....

ISIS Wants Saudi Arabia's Oil Wells - Claude Salhani, Time

For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it ha...

U.S. Enlists Saudi King in War of Ideas - Michael Crowley, Time

Sitting in a gilded room at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, Kerry sounded irritated at the media’s focus on air strikes and ground forces. “The military...

The Double-Edged Sword of Islamist Militancy - S. Chubin, The Daily Star

In an era of fluid and contested borders and indirect and proxy conflicts, the temptation for states to use radical groups for their own policy purposes is substantial....

More than Shock and Awe Needed in Iraq - T. Karon, The National

If Mr Obama’s declaration of limited war sounded a little unconvincing, it fits with a theme: the days when US megaphone diplomacy might prompt an adversary to think twice ar...

Barack Obama's Failed Leadership - William Kristol, Weekly Standard

We have a president who thinks of himself as community-organizer-in-chief, who thinks leadership can be from behind. This is, to say the least, unfortunate. The prospect of two mor...

The Saudis Can Crush ISIS - Nawaf Obaid & Saud al-Sarhan, NY Times

As ISIS continues to grow, many commentators have been pointing to Saudi Arabia as the source of the group, and most assume that the United States is the only force that can stop ...

Obama's Coalition of Frenemies - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

The hardened rhetoric — and, more important, the expanded commitment it promises — came after the Islamic State beheaded two American journalists in Syria and brazenly dared ...

A Political Coming of Age in the Gulf - Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

The apparent airstrike against targets in Tripoli, Libya, last week by the air force of the United Arab Emirates, in conjunction with Egypt, must go down as one of the most intrigu...

The New Arab Cold War - Steven A. Cook, Jacob Stokes & Alexander Brock, FP

The popular conception of the Middle East is one of a region divided along sectarian lines pitting Sunni against Shiite, but another simultaneous struggle is underway among predomi...

Saudi Arabia's Dilemma - David Ignatius, Washington Post

With Iraq and Syria ablaze, the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia seems almost an afterthought. But Riyadh will be a crucial, if quixotic, ally as the United States seeks to mobiliz...

To Understand ISIS, Start with Wahhabism - Alastair Crooke, Huff Post

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th cent...

Anarchy Looms in Libya - The Economist

For those Libyans who complain about Western powers fiddling as their country slides into anarchy, the revelation that an Arab air force secretly mounted strikes against one side i...

Israel Still Mulling Iran Strike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday after sitting down with President Obama Monday to talk about Iran.Monday's discussion was important for ...

Syria Slams UN Draft Resolution

Inside VOA | Contact VOA News ...

UN Approves Air Strikes in Libya

A pro-Qaddafi crowd stormed a news conference given by Libya's deputy foreign minister at a hotel in Tripoli early Friday. The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to aut...

Gaddafi Planes Bomb Rebel City

Libyan students attend a pro-Gadhafi rally organized in the parking lot of the Rixos hotel where the foreign press is staying in Tripoli, Libya, Monday March 14, 2011. Teachers ...

Middle East Upheaval Timeline

 First day of major anti-government action:

  • Tunisia: December 18, 2010
  • Algeria: December 28, 2010
  • Saudi Arabia: January 21
  • Egypt: January 25
  • Yemen: January 27
  • Morocco: January 30
  • Bahrain: February 14
  • Libya: February 15
Rank Country


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.2/10
  • Population: 10.5 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 83.8% of people feel personal safety*
  • 14.8% of people find others trustworthy*

Saudi Arabia

(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 6.1/10
  • Population: 26.1 million
  • Political System: Monarchy
  • 78.2% of people feel personal safety*
  • 37.1% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 4.7/10
  • Population: 32 million
  • Political System: Constitutional Monarchy
  • 75.1% of people feel personal safety*
  • 58.5% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.6/10
  • Population: 35.5 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 39% of people feel personal safety*
  • 15.8% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.1/10
  • Population: 78.2 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 72.7% of people feel personal safety*
  • 18.2% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 4.8/10
  • Population: 24.4 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 65.6% of people feel personal safety*
  • 26.9% of people find others trustworthy*

Middle East from the Compass Blog

Seeing the Mideast Through a Cold W

While I took issue with Andrew Sullivan's idea that Vladimir Putin now "owned" the mess in Syria, ...

John Kerry's Priorities

According to Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, Secretary Kerry has spent "years" trying to nudge the Israel...

Saudi Arabia Expelling Handsome Men

Saudi Arabia engages in all manner of dubious practices: restricting a woman's ability to drive, c...

How the Israelis and Palestinians V

As President Obama stumps for a resumption of the peace process, Gallup has published some polling...

Kerry's Magic Words Will Keep Arms

Secretary of State John Kerry has a plan to stop Gulf state weapons from ending up in jihadist's h...

Latest News from Middle East

British MPs pass non-binding vote t

London (AFP) - British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestine as a state ...

Iran's president says nuclear deal

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday a nuclear deal with the West was b...

UK Parliament votes to recognize Pa

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers voted Monday in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state, a symbo...

Parents say hostage converted to Is

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of an Indiana aid worker threatened with beheading by the Islamic ...

Saudi top diplomat criticizes Iran

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Monday lashed out at regional ...