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

How the Middle East Got to This Point - Conrad Black, National Review

The entire kaleidoscope of countries and movements between Libya and Turkey and Pakistan and Yemen is perhaps more complicated than ever. This is an attempt to review how we got to...

Shattering Myths About the Arab World - Jack Shaheen, The National

Vibrant film offerings are providing audiences with a better understanding of the Arab world and are also helping to shatter Hollywood’s stereotypical Arab images....

Yemeni Factions Will Form Government - Al Jazeera

Political blocs, including Houthis, sign deal authorising president and PM-designate to form government of technocrats....

Tunisia's Victory - New York Times

The Muslim world has a lot to learn from Tunisia. Even before the official results of the country’s parliamentary elections were revealed this week, Rachid Ghannouchi, the le...

Why Is Tunisia Succeeding, and Not Egypt? - Fareed Zakaria, WaPo

More than 20 years ago, the scholar Samuel Huntington established his “two-turnover test” for fledgling democracies. A country can be said to be a consolidated democracy, he ar...

Egypt Levels Homes for Buffer Zone - Kareem Fahim & Merna Thomas, NYT

The demolitions, cutting through crowded neighborhoods in the border town of Rafah, began with orders to evacuate Tuesday and were part of a sweeping security response by the gover...

Saudis' Quest for Hollywood Movies - Rym Ghazal, The National

There is an old Arabic saying that goes, “Al Mamnou Marghoub”, or the forbidden is desired. Nothing illustrates this better than when­ever my friends and relatives come over f...

Tunisia's Carthaginian Summer - Austin Bay, Creators Syndicate

Tunisia continues to demonstrate that Arab Spring 2011's revolts can indeed seed democratic change....

Now Tunisia Needs an Economic Revolution - Bloomberg

Tunisia, the birthplace of the 2011 Arab Spring, has since then conducted two free and fair elections. More impressively, this week, Ennahda, the Islamist party that won three year...

North Africa Warily Eyes Falling Oil Prices - Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy

The bears that barged into the oil market and knocked crude prices down one-quarter from their summertime highs appear to be hunkering down for a lengthy stay. Big investment banks...

Tunisia, the Model Middle East State - Mustafa Akyol, Hurriyet Daily News

Tunisia, the North African country that initiated the “Arab Spring” in 2011, continues to be the only democratic success story in the Arab world....

Tunisia's Shining Example - The National

Amid all the turmoil caused by the Arab Spring, it would be easy to underappreciate what has just happened in Tunisia....

The Benefits and Risks of Falling Oil Prices - Economist

THE collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had many causes. None was as basic as the fall in the price of oil, its main export, by two-thirds in real terms between 1980 and 1986....

Tunisia's Costly Battle Against Militants - Tom Stevenson, Al Monitor

Tunisia, praised internationally for post-revolution stability, cracks down on militants with the public's support, especially since the assassination of secular opposition leaders...

The Arab World Needs Israel's Help - Jake Wallis Simons, Jerusalem Post

After decades of corrupt dictatorships and rising Islamism, a brief glance across the region reveals that the blood of Sunni and Shi’ite spatters almost every cobblestone fro...

Tunisia Boldly Embraces Democracy - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post

Tunisia is the apparent anomaly in a Middle East where the terrorist Islamic State and its authoritarian rivals battle over the carcasses of Syria and Iraq....

Libya Following in Iraq and Syria's Footsteps - Noman Benotman, Telegraph

Libya is now in the throes of an extreme political crisis. If the conditions remain unchallenged and, hence, unchanged, it will turn into another Syria or Iraq. While ISIL has mana...

Mubarak Nostalgia Supplants the Arab Spring - Eric Trager, New Republic

In a political environment that seeks a return to the status quo ante, the Mubarak-era political strategy that Hout embraces—leveraging his patronage network and governmental...

The Brutality of the 'New Egypt' - Mona Eltahawy, New York Times

The Pyramids are face-lift flawless, the grass is almost neon bright and even the air itself appears to have been retouched. This portrait of perfection, an ad introducing a &ldq...

100 Days of al-Sisi: Where Egypt Stands - Katulis, Awad & Lang, CAP

President Sisi’s success or failure to strengthen the Egyptian economy will affect both the tenuous security situation and the incomplete political transition. The economy is...

The West Wins, in Spite of Itself - Conrad Black, National Review

A merciful confluence of events is softening the impact of the foreign-policy errors of the United States and its traditional allies. It must be allowed that U.S. foreign policy in...

13 Years of Costly Foreign Follies - Robert Merry, National Interest

The gnawing question is: What accounts for so many years under two presidents when foreign policy turned out to be one fiasco after another?...

Why Syria's Moderate Opposition Is Useless - David Kenner, Foreign Policy

Syria's moderate rebels are brawling among themselves in the streets of Turkey. And these are the people the White House wants to arm?...

It's Hard to Say Libya Is Better Without Gadhafi - Adam Taylor, WaPo

In a confusing, chaotic situation, fighting is split among Arab nationalists, Islamists, regional militias and more. Recently, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have intervened mi...

Libya: The War Nobody Can Win - Jason Pack & Rhiannon Smith, Al Jazeera

While the world's attention has been fixed on the appalling developments in Syria and Iraq, Libya has quietly mirrored the Levant's transformation into a proxy battlefield. A tug-o...

ISIS Is on the Path to Defeat - Hussein Ibish, The National

In spite of its technical competence and impressive adaptability, the militant group may have overreached. The range of territory controlled by its fighters involves vulnerable sup...

Cheaper Oil: A Boon or a Bane? - Economist

The oil price is tumbling. Is that good or bad news for the world economy?...

When the Bell Tolls for the Petrostate - Daniel Altman, Foreign Policy

It's fair to assume that revenue from selling oil and gas will decline within a few decades in countries that are unlikely to find much in the way of new reserves....

Obama Must Recalibrate Syria Strategy - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

The administration should abandon its lofty rhetoric and make clear that it is focused on a strategy against the Islamic State that is actually achievable: containment....

Thank the Saudis for $3 Gas - Steven Butler & Tracy Moran, Ozy

Oil prices are plunging these days — in fact, they hit a four-year low this week — and it’s thanks in no small part to Saudi inaction, a new strategy of doing not...

Good Prospects for Saudi-Iranian Relations - Ali Mamouri, Al-Monitor

A common enemy brings Iran, Saudi Arabia closer....

The Global Community Stops Protecting Innocents - C. May, Wash Times

Why has R2P not been invoked to stop the slaughters being carried out in Syria and Iraq? Why isn’t it mentioned in regard to the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani, which, as I wr...

Libya's Government Holed Up in 1970s Hotel - Tim Whewell, BBC

Three years after Western military intervention helped topple Col Muammar Gaddafi, many believe Libya is rapidly turning into a failed state. There are two rival governments, and t...

British Vote on Palestine Won't Change Much - Azriel Bermant, Guardian

Britain would probably do better by taking its cue from the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who has a stronger grasp of the realities in the region, and has called for a r...

Hold the Abettors of Jihad Accountable - Jamsheed & Carol Choksy, RCW

Only the Muslim nations that ignited jihadism can now defuse it, working with moderate Iraqis and Syrians who are directly affected by it....

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...

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

As Iraq woos tribes, jihadists sow

As Iraq seeks support from powerful tribal leaders against the Islamic State group, the jihadists ha...

DNA study dates Eurasian split from

BERLIN (AP) — The human populations now predominant in Eurasia and East Asia probably split betwee...

EU warns Israel, Palestinians over

Israel deployed more than 1,300 police across troubled east Jerusalem Friday as the EU's new to...

US hits al-Qaida affiliate in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — American aircraft bombed al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria on Thursday, and activis...

Israel reassures Jordan on Al-Aqsa

Israel on Thursday promised Jordan that it would not allow Jews to pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa ...