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The Emerging Middle East: Risks and Opportunities with Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora


On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, the Fletcher School’s Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies and Program in International Negotiations and Conflict Resolution hosted Lebanese statesman and businessman, Fouad Siniora.  Mr. Siniora served the Hariri government as Finance Minister in two separate stints, eventually rising to the position of Prime Minister between 2005 and 2008. Known […]

Scorched Earth in Iraq and Syria


This week’s ouster of so-called Islamic State (ISIS) forces from the Syrian city of Palmyra sparked cautious optimism from some observers. Aside from the destruction of the city’s ancient ruins, Palmyra appeared less damaged than had been originally feared after its takeover by the Islamic State. Yet under the surface of this reclaimed land lies […]

Human Rights

Can King Abdullah Keep Jordan out of the Fire?


While a March 2016 raid in Irbid, Jordan by the country’s security services resulted in the successful apprehension of 13 accused terrorist plotters[i], events both inside the Hashemite Kingdom and throughout the region may threaten the stability that has earmarked Jordan and its King as a vital ally in the U.S.-led fight against Islamist extremism […]


Interview: Amir Ashour, Founder of Iraqueer


Amir Ashour is a human rights activist and the founder of Iraqueer, the first and only organization for the LGBTIQ+ community in Iraq and Kurdistan region. IraQueer aims at increasing the visibility and the awareness amongst and about the local LGBTIQ+ community. In a region where homosexuality is criminalized and queer people face horrific violence, […]

Gender, Race and Identity

Paradigm Shifts Between Iran and Iraq  


Introduction The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has strategically used Iraq’s unstable geopolitical and security landscape to rise from obscurity to become a powerful and ruthless organization. This terrorist organization has developed the capability to acquire vast stretches of territory and intends to continue expanding. As a result of its territorial ambitions […]

International Relations and Security

An Alternative Strategy for Ankara in the Levant


Under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has secured its position as a major global actor. The country benefited from robust economic growth in the early 2000s and strengthened its ties with the region, the European Union, Africa, and the United States. Turkey rose to prominence with its “zero problems with […]

The End Times Experiment: A Review of The ISIS Apocalypse


Despite their prominence in America’s daily news cycle, the leaders of the Islamic State remain misunderstood.  Many pundits and analysts seem to fail in differentiating their brand of Salafi Islam from the practices and beliefs of the vast majority of Muslims, while others overcorrect and artificially separate the Islamic State’s actions entirely from religion. In […]

International Relations and Security

Little Green Boots on the Ground: Russia in Syria


  Chapter 1: Why are Russian troops in Syria? Putin has always been in Syria’s civil war. Long before Bashar al-Assad’s troops fired the first shots that set off the Syrian rebellion, Russia was stocking the armories that assured the Assad family’s minority Alawite sect’s grip on power. When Syrian blood flowed through the streets […]

International Relations and Security

Where Does France Go From Here? A Manifesto For Another Debate


This is an open letter signed by French, Francophone and Francophile members of the Harvard community. This page will be updated with more signatures: if you’d like to add your name to the list, please contact Hugo Zylberberg. The dust of the explosions has hardly settled in Paris and it is still hard to put […]

Kurdistan: A New Player in the Middle East?


The Fletcher School’s Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies had the pleasure of hosting Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Representative to the United States, this past week. Her father, Sami Abdul Rahman, was a former deputy prime minister of the KRG and a leader in the Kurdish struggle against Saddam Hussein. Ms. […]

International Relations and Security

The Prospects and Perils of the Coalition’s War on ISIS


Faysal Itani is a Resident Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Itani is a Middle East analyst who focuses on the Levant including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. His expertise includes the conflict in Syria and its regional impact, sectarian politics, and political economy. Before joining the Atlantic Council, […]

International Relations and Security

The Line in the Sand: Is Sykes-Picot Coming Undone?


Michael Wahid Hanna is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. He works on issues of international security, international law, and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia. He has published widely on U.S. foreign policy in newspapers and journals, including articles in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the […]

International Relations and Security

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