Middle East Studies

Remembering Barry Rubin

Barry Rubin (1950 – 2014), author, scholar, journalist and political analyst, passed away on February 3, 2014 after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 64. Rubin was an expert on the Middle East and issues related to terrorism. Rubin earned his Ph.D. in Middle East studies from Georgetown University

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Peter Mansoor on the Iraqi Surge

“The subsequent failures in Iraq shouldn’t take away from what American troops accomplished during what may well be the biggest comeback ever in a guerrilla war….Mansoor provides the definitive account of how it was accomplished…Mansoor is superbly positioned to tell the story, not only because of his academic training but

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David Lesch: The Westerner Who Knows Assad

Watch David Lesch on C-SPAN2’s Book TV Around a year ago, David Lesch settled on a subtitle for his new book on the ever-changing Syria. He called it Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad. He admits to realizing, midway through the publishing process that Assad may not have fallen

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Democracy in Retreat: A Divided Egypt

Democracy has long been upheld as the ideal way to run a country. America, “land of the free” is revered for its representative government elected by the people for the people, and the US has committed to a mission of spreading and supporting democracy worldwide. In Joshua Kurlantzick’s newest book

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Leila Ahmed and Women’s Voices in Islam

What does it mean for a Muslim woman to wear a veil? What is the role of women in Islam? What is the relationship between culture and faith? Leila Ahmed, an author and professor at Harvard Divinity School, investigates these topics most recently in A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence,

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The Pride of the Veil

When one hears the term dress code, images come to mind of the French teenage media darlings of last winter, fighting for their right to wear skimpier clothes to school. A new school rule had stated that inappropriate clothing choices like short skirts, piercings, board shorts, and clothing with holes

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Benny Morris’s 1948 Reconsidered

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech ensconced in a dramatic performance in front of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday night. The highlight of Netanyahu’s delivery, which captured media attention everywhere, was the “clear red line” he drew over a cartoon-like bomb with a fuse, a diagram

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Understanding Players of Libya’s Recent Past

Last Tuesday, September 11, United States ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members were killed when violent riots broke out in Benghazi, fueled by a 14-minute YouTube trailer of an American-made film called “Innocence of Muslims.” Now, U.S. officials believe that the Benghazi riots were

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The Influence of Social Media on the Arab Spring

Since December 2010 countries across the Middle East have employed a variety of tactics that have brought down multiple dictators and irrevocably changed the region. In The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Era, Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren break down the timeline and

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Curator Helen Evans Tours the Objects of Byzantium and Islam

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th – 9th Century), the revelatory exhibition now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (accompanied by a rich catalogue of the same title), was recently lauded in the New York Times, praised specifically for “offering a soothing picture of artistic continuity.”  The

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