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

Egypt and Gaza: No Longer a True Mediator - The Economist

It is no longer so easy. When Egypt brokered a ceasefire to end the last Israeli war with Gaza, in 2012, the then president, Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brother, enjoyed good relation...

Israel & Saudi Arabia: Possible Partnership? - Guzansky & Neubauer, TNI

To Saudi Arabia, the cost of open relations with Israel at this moment in time may be higher than the benefit, given the position of the Arab street, which rejects recognition of I...

The Last Great Myth About Egypt - Steven A. Cook, Foreign Policy

Cairo has never been a mediator between Israel and Palestine -- and today's regime actually benefits from the Gaza invasion....

The New Thirty Years' War - Richard Haass, Project Syndicate

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeki...

A Cataclysmic Purge in the Middle East - Hassan Mneimneh, GMF

The governments of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria must each assume some direct responsibility for the current unfolding horror. The Saudi government is locked into a quasi-sui...

The Arab Spring Proved Everyone Wrong - Michael J. Totten, World Affairs

Shortly after the Arab Spring broke out at the tail end of 2010, two narratives took hold in the West. Optimists hailed a region-wide birth of democracy, as though the Middle East ...

Time for a Truce in Gaza - Toronto Star

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nothing to lose by testing Egypt’s proposal for a brief ceasefire in Gaza to see if it can be turned into a durable truce that b...

Egypt Ceasefire Proposal Corners Hamas - Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel

Either the Islamists accept near-humiliating terms, or they risk isolation and a stepped-up Israeli military assault....

Why ISIS Has Eric Holder Spooked - David Francis, The Fiscal Times

When the Islamic State took western Iraq in a matter of days, President Obama downplayed the threat the insurgent group posed to the United States. “I think it’s important fo...

How the Saudis Helped ISIS in Iraq - Patrick Cockburn, The Independent

The difference between al-Qa'ida and Isis can be overstated: when Bin Laden was killed by United States forces in 2011, al-Baghdadi released a statement eulogising him, and Isis pl...

The Case for Monarchy in Libya - Mark Varga, The National Interest

The Western intervention in Libya that ousted Gaddafi came at the price of emboldening some of the least democratic elements in the Arab world. A return to the past could help....

U.S. Missing the Boat on Bahrain - David Weinberg, RealClearWorld

King Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain has finally confirmed the widespread rumors that his country is preparing to call elections. In so doing, this pivotal Gulf country will be se...

No Arab Democracy Without Arab Democrats - Jeff Simpson, Globe & Mail

False optimism permeated much of the early coverage of the Arab Spring. Too many Western journalists and writers believed that finally the time had come for long-suffering Arab pop...

Bahrain's Bad Decision - New York Times

Bahrain would seem an unlikely country to expel a senior American diplomat on a trumped-up complaint, since the Persian Gulf state is home to the United States Navy’s Fifth F...

Energy Brings Egypt Closer to Israel - Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy

Egypt is so desperate to finally come to grips with its energy and fiscal nightmares that its new government is doing the once unthinkable: rolling back generous domestic fuel subs...

Saudi Arabia's Family Feud - Simon Henderson, Foreign Policy

Inside the House of Saud's family feud....

Mideast Power Struggles Exploit Ancient Rift - David Kirkpatrick, NYT

This island nation off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia was the first place where Arab Spring demands for equal citizenship and democratic governance degenerated into a sectarian ...

The Stateless Western Sahara - Michael Totten, World Affairs Journal

On the West Coast of Africa, directly across the Atlantic Ocean from Cuba, is the region known as the Western Sahara, one of the few remaining on earth that isn’t recognized as...

Guess Which Country Will Benefit from Israeli Gas - Steve LeVine, Quartz

British natural gas company BG has signed a preliminarily deal to export $30 billion in Israeli natural gas to Egypt. The agreement deepens Israel’s business ties with its neighb...

A Woman Worth as Much as All Libya's Men - Anonymous, The Daily Beast

When you hear of the death of someone you admire, someone inspiring, someone formidable, and someone so courageous, there is always a sense of sadness. When that person is someon...

Secularists, Liberals Enable Egypt's Junta - Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star

Secularists and liberals, both in Egypt and the West, have a lot of explaining to do as the enablers of the army in Cairo that strangled a nascent democracy....

Why Iran & Saudi Arabia May Have to Get Along - Mark Leonard, Reuters

In a post-American Middle East, this kind of concert of powers is the only way to stop the bloodshed. But my instinct — after talks with Iranians and Saudis over the last few mon...

A Farce of Egyptian Justice - Tomas Avenarius, Suddeutsche Zeitung

Originally published in Suddeutsche Zeitung. MUNICH - It doesn't take a jurist to see how thin the evidence was against the three "Marriott cell" journalists. When news broadcasts ...

The Obama Administration Is Confused About Egypt - Bloomberg View

The timing of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting last weekend with Egypt's newly elected president, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was unfortunate. What it says about the confusio...

ISIS & Sisi: Two Arab Models, Both Doomed - Thomas Friedman, NY Times

Why two Arab governing models are doomed....

U.S.-Saudi Ties Getting Worse - Fahad Nazer, Yale Global

WASHINGTON: Those who expected the summit between US President Obama and Saudi King Abdullah to produce a "reset" button after unusually strained relations between the two nations ...

More Egyptian Injustice - New York Times

The conviction of three journalists by an Egyptian court on Monday for doing their jobs is the latest effort by the country’s military-backed rulers to crush all dissent. The...

Too Late to Get Right with Egypt - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary

If there has been one thing that has been consistent about the Obama administration’s policies toward Egypt, it has been bad timing. The latest shift in the U.S. attitude toward ...

Predictable Petropolitics Behind Iraq Crisis - Robert Fisk, The Independent

Saudi Arabia’s claim to be the greatest oil producer in the world is no longer threatened by Shia Iraq’s output, nor the undiscovered reserves which might turn Iraq int...

Beware Libya's 'Fair Dictator' - Ibrahim Sharqieh, New York Times

In the midst of this bleak situation, a Libyan general, Khalifa Hifter, has emerged and appointed himself as the rescuer of the deeply divided country. While he seems to respond to...

The Man Who Broke the Middle East - Elliott Abrams, Politico Magazine

The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the G...

America Needs a Clear Drone Policy - Christian Science Monitor

As the US again steps up drone attacks, the need for a clear policy on the use or sale of military drones becomes more urgent....

1 Attack Left This Country in Total Darkness - Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Forbes

The rapid advance of jihadists throughout Iraq unnerves us. The goal of establishing a radical Islamist caliphate – providing a haven to thousands of violent individuals with a h...

Why the Global Economy Still Needs Saudi Arabia - Steve LeVine, Quartz

The US shale oil boom is said to be reducing the world’s long-running dependence on Saudi Arabia. But the upheaval in Iraq appears to be reviving the kingdom’s centrality to th...

America's Middle East Dilemma - Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Whichever bad choice the Obama administration prefers, it should at least level with the American people. Every postwar occupation in our history has dealt with unappreciative and ...

Ahmed Abu Khattala Speaks - Mary Fitzgerald, The New Yorker

Abu Khattala has repeatedly denied leading or even taking part in the assault. He has acknowledged that he was outside the U.S. compound when it was besieged; in some interviews, h...

The Rise of Saudi America - Chris Sorensen, Maclean's

As U.S. oil output booms, some say the 40-year-old export ban is outdated...

Netanyahu's Pivot to China - Jon Emont, Tablet Magazine

A primary hurdle to Israel’s “Asia pivot” is that Israel’s infrastructure is oriented westward; it is designed to handle Mediterranean, not Red Sea, trade. Even though ther...

Time for a U.S. Triage in the Mideast - Adam Garfinkle, American Interest

As many have already noted, if the U.S. government uses force against ISIS on behalf of the Maliki government in Iraq, it will in effect be allying itself with Iran—not such a ho...

Killer Virus Demands More Saudi Openness - Washington Post

There is no known antiviral or vaccine for the MERS virus. So far it does not appear to transmit rapidly among humans in a way that could create a pandemic, although some transmiss...

Egypt's Shame: Violent Assaults on Women - Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail

At the dawn of the wretchedly misnamed Arab Spring, Westerners hoped the overthrow of a corrupt dictatorship would liberate Egypt’s women. Instead, it made things worse. Public o...

Egypt's New Pharaoh - Japan Times

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the former head of Egypt’s Army, won a landslide victory in presidential elections held last month. The retired field marshal was sworn in Sunday as Egy...

The Power of Crowds - Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

Always keep 1848 in mind. For with technology now providing a tipping point in a world of vast urban concentrations, and with more and more human beings living in dense, claustroph...

As you Were in Egypt - Daily Telegraph

Egypt has a military strongman at the helm. As this has been true for most of the past 60-odd years since the Free Officers Movement overthrew King Farouk in 1952 perhaps it should...

Where Gaddafi Is Still Revered - Isabelle Mandraud, Le Monde

He has the same curly mid-length hair, the same matte skin, the same sharp-eyed look. The likeness is unsettling. He says his name with a husky voice: "Saadi Muammar Gaddafi." Sitt...

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

FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and ou...

Marines investigate corporal who va

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) — Marine Corps officers have launched a formal investigation into whether ...

Militants order female genital muti

The United Nations, expressing deep concern, said on Thursday that militant group Islamic State had ...

Missing Air Algerie plane from Burk

By Hamid Ould Ahmed ALGIERS (Reuters) - An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouag...

Oil drifts down despite China manuf

The price of oil fell below $103 a barrel Thursday, giving back part of its gains from the day befor...