Middle East and North Africa

Must Read

Human Rights Watch: "I Wanted to Lie Down and Die"

"Since 2006, tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution in their country have ended up in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without problems and crossed into Israel. But over the past three years, Sinai has increasingly represented a dead-end comprised of captivity, cruelty, torture, and death."

See more in Egypt; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Testimony

Al Qaeda's Expansion in Egypt

Author: Steven A. Cook

In his testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Steven A. Cook addresses the current state of Egypt, the situation in the Sinai Peninsula, its potential to affect American national security interests, and what the United States can do to help the Egyptians meet the challenges they confront.

See more in Egypt; Counterterrorism; Homeland Security

Article

Tackling Unemployment in Egypt through Apprenticeship

Council on Foreign Relations

Isobel Coleman writes that the emphasis on vocational education and training (VET) in Egypt's new constitution's has merit, but other countries' struggles with training the workforce of tomorrow are sobering. Put simply, effective VET programs are hard to do.

See more in Egypt; Labor

Must Read

NYT: Rein in the Saudi Religious Police

Author: Manal Al-Sharif

"The government, for its part, is wary of clamping down on the mutaween for fear of inciting a conservative backlash and is walking a fine line between the religious police and an increasingly angry populace. While dismantling of the force is unrealistic, this delicate moment opens a window of opportunity for Saudis. By continuing to voice anger and disapproval, the public may provide Riyadh with the leverage it needs to demand police adherence to regulations already in place, and slowly weaken the commission's influence."

See more in Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights; Saudi Arabia

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NYT: Iran Must Embrace Religious Pluralism

Author: Camelia Entekhabifard

"Of the approximately hundred thousand Jews in Iran at the time of the revolution, only twenty thousand remain. Theyno longer felt welcome in their homeland. Today, despite promises by the new president, Hassan Rouhani, to protect the freedom of ethnic and religious minorities (and the appointment of an aide to focus on their affairs), the persecution continues."

See more in Iran; Religion

Op-Ed

When Reagan Cut and Run

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

On February 7, 1984, President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. Marines from Lebanon—an action that was "perhaps the most purposeful and consequential foreign-policy decision of his presidency," Micah Zenko writes. In this article, Zenko discusses the unclear and unachievable mission of the United States in Lebanon, and Reagan's subsequent decision to withdraw.

See more in Lebanon; History and Theory of International Relations

Transcript

Can Negotiations With Iran Succeed?

Speakers: Sen. Angus King and Margaret Brennan

Broad-based international economic sanctions on Iran have significantly impaired its economy and brought the regime to the negotiating table, but the recently concluded interim nuclear agreement remains controversial among many members of Congress.

See more in Iran; Global; Sanctions

Video

Can Negotiations With Iran Succeed?

Speaker: Angus King
Presider: Margaret Brennan

Broad-based international economic sanctions on Iran have significantly impaired its economy and brought the regime to the negotiating table, but the recently concluded interim nuclear agreement remains controversial among many members of Congress.

See more in Iran; Politics and Strategy

Audio

Can Negotiations With Iran Succeed?

Speaker: Angus King
Presider: Margaret Brennan

Broad-based international economic sanctions on Iran have significantly impaired its economy and brought the regime to the negotiating table, but the recently concluded interim nuclear agreement remains controversial among many members of Congress.

See more in Iran; Politics and Strategy

Must Read

National Interest: Can Egypt Handle Ansar Bayt al Maqdis?

Author: David Barnett

"The Egyptian government blamed its bitter political rivals, the Muslim Brotherhood, for the Mansoura attack, despite ABM's claim of responsibility…. With significant support for their actions against the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian government may not even care if ABM takes credit. With crowds calling for the Muslim Brotherhood's 'execution' after Friday's attack, to some respect it makes sense politically for the government to blame supporters of fallen Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, who continue to partake in efforts to delegitimize the new regime. This is why Cairo, which believes it is in an existential battle, declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization shortly after the Mansoura bombing."

See more in Egypt; Terrorism