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

Eight Hopeful Legacies of the Arab Spring - John Cassidy, The New Yorker

More than three years after the Arab Spring began, the political situation in the Middle East is depressing. In Syria, a brutal civil war continues, with the forces of Bashar al-As...

The Two Wise Men of Tunisia's Transition - Emily Cadei, Ozy

Even though the country boasts one of the Arab world’s most liberal and cosmopolitan societies — where women are as likely to be out and about in jeans and a ponytail as they a...

The Slaves of Sinai - Geoffrey Clarfield, National Post

Between 2009-2013, it is estimated that 25,000-30,000 people were victims of Sinai trafficking and that they and their relatives overseas have paid ransoms to their Sinai Bedouin c...

In Libya, Politicians Live in Fear of Powerful Militias - Maggie Michael, AP

In a humiliating video, Libya's top politician - the head of parliament - is seen begging with a militia commander, trying to explain to him why he was caught with two women in his...

Keeping an Eye on Algeria - Geoff Porter, New York Times

Despite its low profile, Algeria is an important strategic relationship for the United States. Libya, with which it shares a long border, has descended into chaos. Mali, Algeria&rs...

Food Prices Are Going to Topple More Governments - Josh Keating, Slate

The Arab Spring may become the textbook example of the geopolitics of food prices -- the food riots and subsequent revolutions transfixed the world. But shifts in food price may be...

The False Promise of Arab Regime-led Reform - Rami Khouri, Daily Star

This approach of feigned reforms from the top has been used by most Arab autocrats during the past decades of rule, and never, ever has it resulted in real change. Talk of reform o...

Why Street Protests Don't Work - Moises Naim, The Atlantic

Aerial photos of the anti-government marches routinely show an intimidating sea of people furiously demanding change. And yet, it is surprising how little these crowds achieve. T...

Bihani: Pacifist Yogi or al-Qaeda Threat? - Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald

Ghaleb al-Bihani is either a one-time, gun-toting cook from war-torn Afghanistan turned yoga-practicing pacifist inside Guantánamo’s communal prison blocks — or he is a traine...

Can Libya Stay Together? - Musa al-Gharbi, The National Interest

Notwithstanding reductionist narratives about the so-called “Arab Spring,” the uprising in Libya began as a struggle for succession of the east—a struggle which had been ongo...

Egypt Must Change Its Repressive Ways - Los Angeles Times

The U.S. should push Cairo's military rulers to stop the crackdown on opposition groups and talk with them instead....

Don't Ignore Women's Struggles in Muslim World - Margaret Wente, G&M

Most Western feminists are curiously silent about these issues. It seems they’d rather spend their time warning about “rape culture” and denouncing the misogyny, ...

The Scoop That Helped Save Tunisia - Thomas Bass, The Daily Beast

The most famous investigative reporter in Tunisia is a 32-year-old blogger named Olfa Riahi. She broke the country’s biggest post-revolutionary news story—known as Sheratonga...

Why the Saudis Are Panicking - Trita Parsi, The National Interest

Riyadh’s opposition to the Iran nuclear talks has largely been understood in the context of the larger Saudi-Iranian and Sunni-Shia rivalry. Consequently, Saudi’s negat...

Egypt Could Be a Global Terror Exporter - Lee Smith, Tablet Magazine

Three years after Mubarak’s fall, the country is toying with global irrelevance—except as a possible terror exporter....

The U.S.-Saudi Relationship Is Fracked - Joergen Moeller, Yale Global

Shale oil and gas has been labeled a game changer. Statistics would suggest that, yes, the new technologies and discoveries associated with hydraulic fracking change the energy pic...

Egyptian Murder Verdicts: Repression Under Law - Boston Globe

If the lives of hundreds of Egyptians weren’t at stake, the death penalties imposed upon 529 people Monday in a perfunctory trial would be almost comical. After holding two heari...

Libya's Old Divisions Reawaken - Gwynne Dyer, Japan Times

Libya has been a chaos of rival militias holding down local fiefdoms ever since the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship in 2011, but in the past month the dis...

Botching North Africa - Michael J. Totten, World Affairs Journal

The United States government is putting another alliance at risk—this time with Morocco, which is a little like screwing up Canada. The White House is partly to blame, but the ...

Spare Us the Nasser Imagery in Egypt - Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

Anyone in Egypt who truly believes that Abdel-Nasser was a historic figure worthy of emulation is deeply and dangerously mistaken. I say this because in retrospect we see that the ...

Saudis Push Pakistan Deeper into Fanaticism - P. Ravichandran, Pragati

The idea of Pakistan being a secular republic with citizenship rights accorded to all minorities was a brief one that never stood a chance against the more orthodox followers of Ji...

It's Up to Obama to Fix U.S.-Saudi Ties - The Daily Star

Obama now needs to do his part to save this relationship. On Palestine and on Syria especially, the U.S. is going to have to make some tough decisions. Saudi Arabia has changed in ...

Egypt's Mass Travesty - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The promise of the Arab Spring that swept through much of North Africa and the Middle East two years ago has yet to be realized. Although dictators and autocrats found their regime...

Egypt's Christians Put Their Faith in Al-Sisi - Aryn Baker, Time

Now that Sisi is planning a presidential run, he can count on solid support from a Christian population traumatized by fears of continued communal attacks, no matter how many que...

Obama Calls the Shots in Saudi Arabia - David Blair, Daily Telegraph

Mr Obama has no need to feel inhibited when he encounters the Saudi king. He can try to quell the fires in the Middle East without heeding the humble nonagenarian who prefers to de...

Will Rome Bring Prosperity to North Africa? - Giovanni Faleg, TAI

Though the ancient Romans famously defeated the Carthaginians, today Tunisia, the modern-day location of Carthage, may depend on Italy for its survival as a newly democratic state....

Sisi 2014! Now the Hard Part... - Steven A. Cook, Foreign Policy

The country's trajectory is clearly authoritarian, but its politics are likely to be hotly contested, even under a President Sisi....

Obama Blesses Mideast's New Authoritarian Order - Haroon Siddiqui, Star

Fresh from condemning Russia for punishing Ukraine for daring to be democratic, Barack Obama goes to Saudi Arabia Friday to bless the squelching of democracy in the Middle East. T...

529 Reasons to Doubt Egyptian Justice - Louisa Loveluck, NY Times

It was the kind of mass death sentence that seems to come from another time and place. But the news on Monday that an Egyptian judge had handed down a verdict condemning 529 people...

Saudi Arabia Isn't America's Friend - Bloomberg View

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah tomorrow, and the president's critics have been sounding a warning: By parting with the Saudis on...

Resetting U.S.-Egypt Relations - Crown Center for Middle East Studies

Since the ousting of President Mohammad Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood regime on June 30, 2013, US-Egypt relations have been on the worst negative trajectory seen since President Anwar...

Egypt's Bloody Purge Is Just Beginning - Bel Trew, Foreign Policy

As hundreds of young men are sentenced to death for the killing of one policeman, the state is gearing up to crush its Islamist enemies....

A U.S.-Saudi Divorce Is No Option - Aaron David Miller, American Interest

Couples therapy is unlikely to work. But mutual dependence will prove its mettle. The relationship will remain troubled but still at least clingingly functional in a region where t...

The Saudi's Shame - Jerusalem Post

Why won't they acknowledge cooperating with Israel....

Why the Saudis Unfriended the U.S. - Peter Bergen, CNN

Why are the Saudis going public with their dissatisfaction with the Obama administration? The laundry list of Saudi complaints most recently is that the United States didn't make g...

Egypt: Death and the Deep State - The Guardian

The sentencing of 529 of the Muslim Brotherhood to death will send a shudder through those who cheered on the revolution....

A Death Sentence for Egyptian Democracy - Magdi Abdelhadi, Guardian

Ever since the interim government in Egypt declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood and designated it a terrorist organisation, it has pursued a course of action that has swelled th...

Next Test for Obama: Soothing the Saudis - Dennis Ross, LA Times

Riyadh has a raft of complaints for the president when he visits this week....

Libya: A Western Made Disaster - Owen Jones, The Guardian

Who could object to the removal of Colonel Gaddafi? But what has happened since shames western interventionists....

Let Us Count the Ways Arabs Are Dying - Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

How many ways are there to die in the Arab world today, other than through an act of nature or a natural death? Let me count the ways....

Can Russia Still Act Responsibly? - Christian Science Monitor

Despite its Crimea crime, Russia votes at the UN to honor Libya's sovereignty against rebel attempts to steal the country's oil. The world order still needs that kind of Russia....

Freedom of Religion Nonexistent in Egypt - Mahmoud Salem, Al Monitor

After June 30, 2013, many people thought that the end of Muslim Brotherhood rule would bring about military-enforced secularism, or more religious and personal freedom. Instea...

Libya Is Now a Bigger Disaster - Gene Healy, Washington Examiner

Libya suffered through an eventful St. Patrick's Day on Monday: car bomb attacks in Benghazi killed at least eight people, and the U.S. Navy SEALs scored “one for the Morning...

Libya: A Country on the Brink - The Guardian

Morning Glory's story makes grim reading for anyone who cares about the future of the country....

Sisi Has Plunged Egypt into Catastrophe - Yahia Hamed, The Guardian

The military coup in Egypt in July 2013 was predicated on three deceptively simple arguments: Mohamed Morsi's year in office was a disaster; the people demanded his removal; the ...

Egypt's Dubious Savior Eyes the Presidency - Toronto Star

As Egyptians prepare for presidential elections, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi confidently claims the support of the majority before the first ballot is cast....

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
48

Tunisia

(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*
49

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*
62

Morocco

(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*
79

Algeria

(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*
89

Egypt

(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*
105

Yemen

(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

Top Asian News at 8:00 p.m. GMT

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight...

Top Asian News at 7:30 p.m. GMT

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight...

Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight...

Top Asian News at 6:30 p.m. GMT

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight...

Top Asian News at 6:00 p.m. GMT

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight...