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 Islamic State Just Hit Saudi Arabia - Economist

Saudi Arabia has seemed more or less sheltered from the wars and sectarian bloodletting that have raged all around it in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. No longer....

Hey, Washington, What About Tunisia? - Josh Rogin, Bloomberg View

Thursday morning, before their Oval Office meeting, the presidents of the U.S. and Tunisia joined to co-author a Washington Post op-ed article affirming the closeness and strategic...

How Indonesia Could Help Solve Yemen - Rakhmat & Askar, The Diplomat

Jakarta is well placed to mediate a resolution....

Egypt's Religious Freedom Farce - Oren Kessler, The National Interest

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt presents himself as an Islamic reformer. He has challenged the sheikhs of Al-Azhar University—Sunni Islam’s preeminent...

Libyan Chaos Will Thwart Europe's Migrant Plan - Joshua Keating, Slate

Migrants often serve as the unwitting alarm bells of global crisis. It took the appearance of hundreds of unaccompanied minors at the southern border to wake U.S. leaders up to the...

Will Egypt Actually Kill Its Deposed Pres? - Joshua Keating, Slate

The backlash to the death sentence handed down to Mohamed Morsi on Saturday was swift: The EU and U.S. have condemned the trial of Egypt’s former president as inhumane and &...

Deplorable Egyptian Death Sentences - New York Times

Sometime in the near future, Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, could be hanged to death by the state. That would be a profound injustice, conside...

Egypt's Morsi Sentenced to Death - Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that to...

The Last Seven Jews in Egypt - Mina Thabet, Mada Masr

I was criticized for writing an article in Arabic entitled, "We are sorry, Jews." Some wondered how a Christian could defend Jews, who some blame for taking part in the crucifixion...

This Angry Arab Moment - Roger Cohen, New York Times

Iran these days is a greater focus of Arab ire and disquiet than Israel, a country with which many Arab states have aligned but unsayable interests....

Why Should the U.S. Suck Up to Saudi Arabia? - A. Bacevich, LA Times

The rocky turn in U.S. relations with two long-standing strategic partners has caused much hand-wringing. But is it really such a bad thing? Or does it hint at a long-overdue polic...

Extremists Target Tunisia's Islamic Mystics - Celine Lussato, L'Obs

In the capital of Tunis, Hedia is the caretaker of a sanctuary dedicated to Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that worships saints. Radical Muslims slit the throat of a colleague....

The Saudis Cut Adrift from Washington - Peter Baker & Michael Shear, NYT

WASHINGTON — The decision by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to skip a summit meeting called by President Obama reflects a new reality for two nations that for generations shared...

The Confused Person's Guide to Yemen - Karl Sharro, The Atlantic

“What the hell is happening in Yemen?” is now one of the most urgent geopolitical questions in the Middle East. Sadly, few people are qualified or knowledgeab...

Saving the Saudis from Their Yemen Disaster - Bloomberg View

After a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, Saudi Arabia announced a five-day cease-fire of its bombing campaign in Yemen. It's a step toward peace -- but only a...

Why the Saudis Are Right to Snub Obama - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary

The conceit of Obama’s strategy rests on more than a weak deal that he hopes will be enough to postpone the question of an Iranian bomb even as it essentially anoints Tehran ...

How Obama Taught the Saudis to Love the Islamists - Ben Avni, NY Post

Beyond the Saudi court’s generational shakeup, we too are responsible for Riyadh’s budding honeymoon with jihadists, by neglecting the region and, even more so, with ou...

The Story Behind Benghazi - Terry Atlas, Bloomberg View

A report capping a two-year investigation by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee was released in November. It repudiated “the swirl of rumors and unsupported alle...

Time for Politics in a Desperate Yemen - Dan Depetris, Sismec

Highly concerned that the security situation inside Yemen was no longer possible to ignore, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud made a decision that was highly uncharacteristic of Sa...

A Messy Yemeni Divorce Is Underway - Faisal Al Yafai, The National

In the south of Yemen today, every outsider is a northerner. The red star on a blue border, part of the old South Yemen flag, can be seen everywhere. The “northern occupation...

Iran and Saudi Arabia Are on a Collision Course - Farzin Nadimi, TWI

To prevent recent airline and shipping incidents from escalating into a wider military confrontation with Iran, all sides will need to exercise great caution in the Persian Gulf an...

The Royal Saudi Shakeup - Robin Wright, New Yorker

The House of Saud, one of the world’s largest and richest royal families, experienced a quiet coup within its ranks shortly before dawn on Wednesday. King Salman canned his C...

How Libya Continues to Flummox Europe - Anne Applebaum, WaPo

Libya disintegrated into civil war — and disappeared from Europe’s political agenda altogether. The British prime minister, who actively supported the Libyan revolution...

The Misplaced Nostalgia for a Libyan Dictator - Rolla Khalaf, FT

Tragic loss of life at sea is no excuse for some to wish dictator was still in charge...

The Saudi Monarchy's Big Reshuffle - Ahmed Al Omran, Wall Street Journal

RIYADH—Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said King Salman bin Abdulaziz had removed his crown prince and foreign minister, as part of a dramatic reshuffling of his top officials....

A Taunting ISIS Approaches Tunisia - Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast

It used to be known as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Now, Tunisia could become the latest addition to the so-called Islamic State....

Is the House of Saud on the Brink of Collapse? - Dan Drezner, WaPo

There’s an appealing logic to these claims. It’s not like the Middle East is a beacon of stability at the moment. The House of Saud is dealing with rising Iranian influ...

The Hangover Cure from Ancient Egypt - Lucy Vernasco, Project Syndicate

According to a medical papyri from ancient Egypt, the leaves of the Alexandrian shrub chamaedaphne are the answer. If you’ve never heard of them you aren’t alone. The d...

A Catastrophe in Yemen - New York Times

Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen’s civil war was always a risky gamble. Now there’s evidence showing just how damaging four weeks of airstrikes have ...

The Unjust Persecution of Mohammed Morsi - Guardian

Western countries should protest against the relentless judicial pursuit of the former president and his colleagues...

For Obama, Iran Detente Always Wins - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary

When Americans heard on Monday that the United States had diverted two capital ships from their stations in the Persian Gulf to new positions off of Yemen, it sounded as if the Oba...

The Yemen Trap - Fred Kaplan, Slate

The civil war in Yemen is a messy power struggle that will likely get worse before it gets better....

Egypt's Revolution in Reverse - David Graham, The Atlantic

Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, a former general is head of state, and charges against Hosni Mubarak have been dismissed—it's like 2011 all over agai...

My Libyan Friend Didn't Have to Die - Ann Marlowe, Daily Beast

The corruption and incompetence of Libya’s “leaders” and the world community has spawned a massive migrant flow into the deadly Mediterranean—and killed my ...

The New, Turbocharged Saudi Foreign Policy - Ray Takeyh, CFR

Saudi Arabia’s incursion into Yemen reflects a new foreign policy that assertively presses Saudi claims in the Middle East and even uses its own armed forces to ensure its in...

Iran Weaves a Middle East Nightmare - Benny Avni, New York Post

In pushing for a deal to stop Iran from getting nukes, Washington hopes to reform Iran so it will “take its rightful place in the community of nations.”...

Our Bad Saudi Friends - Kelley Vlahos, American Conservative

Why is the United States obligated to support the wars and wishes of its brutal, terror-funding client state?...

How Yemen Became a Stage for Proxy Battles - Michael Petrou, Maclean's

Yemen, already the poorest country in the Middle East, is falling to pieces....

America's Failed Strategic Approach to Chaos - Anthony Cordesman, CSIS

The United States now faces a rapidly evolving world filled with new challenges at a time when real-world defense planning is focused on budget cuts, when U.S. "strategy" lacks pla...

Yemen Shouldn't Become Iraq - The National

The first visit to Washington by Haider Al Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, has been anything but dull. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Al Abadi took aim at Yemen and spe...

What's Behind the Latest Saudi-Iranian Spat? - Joshua Keating, Slate

Iranian citizens are pretty isolated from their country’s main global enemies, the United States and Israel. But they are much less cut off from Iran’s regional rival S...

Yemen's President: Save My Country - Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, NYT

Riyadh — My country, Yemen, is under siege by radical Houthi militia forces whose campaign of horror and destruction is fueled by the political and military support of an Ira...

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

Iran adviser says US has 'no will'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The chief of an elite unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard has accused the ...

Only Iran is confronting Islamic St

The general in charge of Iran's paramilitary activities in the Middle East said the United States an...

US Defense chief's criticism of Ira

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group's takeover of the Iraqi provincial capital Ramadi h...

Defense chief: After Ramadi, Iraq's

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group's takeover of the provincial capital of Ramadi is s...

Top Muslim body urges protection of

Leading Sunni Muslim body Al-Azhar said Sunday the world must unite in a "battle of all humanit...