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

The Cold Israeli-Arab Alliance Against Iran - Michael Totten, WA Journal

Israel and the Sunni Arab states inched closer together diplomatically and geopolitically last week when Egypt transferred control of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia....

Futile and Awkward: Obama's Saudi Moment - Ray Takeyh, Politico

Barack Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in what could be his last—and likely most futile—visit as president. It’s not just that there’s bad blood o...

Would a Mideast Marshall Plan Work? - Kevin Sullivan, RealClearWorld

Both Graham’s and Bono’s undoubtedly sincere efforts belie a deeply flawed understanding of what exactly the Marshall Plan was, and how and why it was so effective at h...

Obama's Mideast Legacy: Desertion of the Democrats - Alex Rowell, NOW

From Iran through Syria, Egypt and beyond, the net effect of Obama’s two terms has worked in favor of autocrats....

Obama in Saudi Arabia, Exporter of Oil & Bigotry - Nicholas Kristof, NYT

A college senior boarded a flight and excitedly called his family to recount a United Nations event he had attended, but, unfortunately, he was speaking Arabic. Southwest Airlines ...

Obama in Arabia - Bernard Haykel, Project Syndicate

PRINCETON – US President Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week, to attend the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, comes at a time when relations between th...

28 Pages Explain American Skepticism of the Saudis - Max Fisher, Vox

The recurring debates over the 28 pages are a reminder of why so many Americans still wonder, nearly 15 years later, whether our closest Arab ally might have shared responsibility ...

Obama's Rendezvous in Riyadh - Wall Street Journal

President Obama arrives in Riyadh Wednesday to meet leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and if he senses a chill it won’t be the air conditioning. America’s tradit...

Selling U.S. Assets Would Hurt Saudis Most - Binyamin Appelbaum, NYT

If Saudi Arabia follows through on its recent threat to sell off its investments in the United States, the financial maneuver could be painful — mostly for Saudi Arabia....

Why Obama Invests So Much in the Saudi Ally He Disdains - Eli Lake, BV

Saudi Arabia began to seriously target radicals after it suffered three major bombings in Riyadh in 2003, Riedel said. Since then, the Saudis have steadily improved their own campa...

Saudi Arabia Is a Great American Ally - Michael Pregent, Foreign Policy

While Tehran continues to sow anti-American terrorism across the Middle East, Riyadh holds the key to regional stability. This is not the time to back away from the House of Saud....

Will Islamic World Accept Turkey's Leadership? - Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit as a grandstanding opportunity to pitch his qualifications to lead the Islam...

Why Obama Kowtows to Saudi Head-Choppers - Robert Fisk, Independent

Poor old Barack. Off he goes to Riyadh to talk to his so-called ally, Saudi Arabia. The Sunni Wahhabi kingdom long ago run out of patience with the US president, who befriended Shi...

Obama's Big Damage-Control Tour - Michael Crowley, Politico

The centerpiece of Obama's trip will be a stop in Hanover, Germany, where his relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel is strong — the Atlantic described her as "one of ...

The Ever "Complicated" U.S.-Saudi Relationship - David Graham, Atlantic

As President Obama heads to Saudi Arabia this week, that hope is unfulfilled, and relations between the two long-time allies are extremely strained. Bush is long out of office and ...

Obama Is Visiting a Different Saudi Arabia - Faisal Abbas, Al Arabiya

The truth is that Saudi Arabia is undergoing a transformation, and whoever becomes the next US president will certainly have the advantage of working with a young, dynamic, outward...

Saudis Turn the Oil Weapon on Iran - John Kemp, Reuters

Saudi Arabia's decision to scupper negotiations on a coordinated oil output freeze in Doha on Sunday seems to confirm a significant shift in the kingdom's oil policy....

Egypt's Hollowed-Out Society - Gamal Eid, New York Times

CAIRO — On Wednesday, three judges in Cairo will decide whether to allow prosecutors to pursue their case against me and my co-defendant, the journalist and human rights advocate...

Willful Blindness and Our Saudi "Friends" - Andrew McCarthy, NRO

This deceit at the core of American counterterrorism efforts has led seamlessly to other frauds. Among the most grievous is this one: Saudi Arabia is a key counterterrorism ally of...

Reality Comes Back to Bite Trudeau - Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail

Every new government promises to be more principled and high-minded than the previous one. They were sleazy and corrupt. We are ethical and pure. They did the expedient thing. We w...

The West Has Handed Yemen to al-Qaida - Patrick Cockburn, Independent

As has happened repeatedly since 9/11, the US and countries like Britain fail to combat terrorism because they give priority to retaining their alliance with Saudi Arabia and the G...

Saudis Warn of Reprisals if U.S. Passes 9/11 Bill - Mark Mazzetti, NYT

Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or sen...

Obama Has Made the World More Dangerous - Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe

Since 2009, America’s credibility has been badly eroded and the world has become far more dangerous and unstable. The price of American retreat has been terrible, made all th...

Hillary Clinton Defends Her Role in Libya - CNN

Hillary Clinton was asked her opinion on the president's position that not being prepared for the aftermath of Moammar Gadhafi's fall in Libya, as being one of the great regrets of...

Is Israel Building an Arab Alliance? - Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor

The recent move — the transfer of the two islands to Saudi Arabia — reveals part of the dialogue that has been developing between Israel and its Sunni neighbors. A high...

Hillary Clinton Has No Regrets About Libya - Kim Ghattas, Foreign Policy

If Democrats prefer to tie the chaos in today’s Middle East, specifically the rise of the Islamic State, to the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, the Republican h...

U.S.-Saudi Relations Have Changed for Good - Cammack & Sokolsky, TNI

The new normal will be a more diffident U.S.-Saudi relationship. Both sides will harbor lower expectations of each other and continue to disagree, sometimes sharply, over important...

Turkey Plays Both Sides in Iran, Saudi Conflict - Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor

Ankara is developing a dual-track approach to the Middle East by simultaneously courting bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran to shore up its position in a region that has defied it...

Stop Sugar-Coating Canada's Saudi Arms Deal - Konrad Yakabuski, G&M

Canada has interests and, despite the Trudeau government’s promises to re-engage with rogue regimes the Harper government sought to shun, countering Iran’s growing infl...

Why Did Egypt's President Sell Islands to the Saudis? - Juan Cole, Nation

Even members of the usually supine elite are horrified; the dictator’s move could provoke much more widespread opposition....

Obama's Biggest Mistake Isn't Libya. It's Syria. - Josh Rogin, Bloomberg

President Barack Obama said Sunday that his biggest mistake as president was failing to plan for the day after the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya. But as bad as Libya looks to...

Al-Qaida Has Its Own Mini-State in Yemen - Bayoumy et al., Reuters

One unintended consequence of the war in Yemen: Al Qaeda now runs its own mini-state, flush with funds from raiding the local central bank and levying taxes at the local port....

U.S.-Gulf Ties: Frayed, But Not Beyond Repair - Hussein Ibish, National

Plainly, trust has been frayed. What's required therefore, particularly in the run-up to Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia and meeting with the GCC leaderships, is...

Against the Odds, Journalism Persists in Mideast - Sheila Coronel, CJR

In the past year, a group of Arab journalists has been working secretly in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen as part of a global network of investigative reporters mining the...

Saudi Arabia Tilts Toward India - Bruce Riedel, Al-Monitor

Pakistan, after refusing to supply troops for Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen, finds the Gulf kingdom improving relations with Pakistani archenemy India....

Libya Needs to United - The National

We have no way of knowing yet whether the militia-backed administration in Tripoli cedeing power to the United Nations-backed unity government will be the breakthrough that will en...

Saudi Arabia's Bitter Lebanese Divorce - Evans & McDowall, Reuters

Saudi Arabia spearheaded efforts to get Gulf Arab states and the Arab League to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization, which led to reports of Lebanese nationals being force...

The Libya Intervention Was a Success - Shadi Hamid, Vox

Libya and the 2011 NATO intervention there have become synonymous with failure, disaster, and the Middle East being a "shit show" (to use President Obama’s colorful descriptor). ...

Why Isn't There More Outrage Over Yemen? - Dan Larison, American Con

War crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen are treated as accidents even when they aren’t. Despite the fact that they illegally declared an entire region of the...

Italy's Search for a New Libyan Savior - Alberto Mucci, Politico EU

Rome hopes stability in the North African nation will protect its oil interests and stop the flow of migrants....

How Hosni Mubarak Divided the White House - Alan Philps, The National

Mr Obama considers his handling of the Egyptian revolution as a success in avoiding a bloodbath among the thousands gathered in Tahrir Square chanting for the president to leave. F...

The Saudi Reply to Obama's Weakness - Nawaf Obaid, National Interest

There are three elements one must understand about the Salman Doctrine: it has not spontaneously appeared, it is based on a solid assessment of history and it is bringing about sig...

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

Migrants seek new routes into Balka

By Fedja Grulovic IDOMENI, Greece (Reuters) - After weeks stranded at a closed border in northern Gr...

Economy, security crises in focus a

By Roberta Rampton HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Germany on Su...

Two Britons, one Indian held in Hun

Two Britons and an Indian were arrested in Hungary on Saturday night accused of trying to transport ...

Economy, crises in focus as Obama h

By Roberta Rampton LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is set to visit Hanover, Germany o...

The Latest: Obama says he was "robb

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's visit to the United Kingdom (all times l...