With one sentence, the New York Times raised dozens of Middle East pundits’ hopes that their words were reaching the most powerful man in the world. "At night in the family residence…Mr. Obama often surfs the blogs of experts on Arab affairs or regional news sites to get a local flavor for events," read Mark Landler’s account of how the Obama administration will attempt to use the killing of Osama bin Laden to recast the U.S. relationship with the Arab world.
Well, Mr. President, we have some late-night reading suggestions for you. First, of course, there’s Marc Lynch and the Middle East Channel – Foreign Policy’s own contribution to the fast-changing world of politics in the Arab world. But there’s also an entire community of Middle East bloggers who obsessively follow and comment on developments in their countries, and throughout the region.
Caveat emptor: Many of these authors will take you outside the comfort zone of the Washington policy debate. What’s more, if you tried to gather them all in one room, you’d be virtually guaranteed a fight. But these blogs will also give you a more realistic sense of the political conversation in the Arab world. Don’t stay up too late – you have a full-time job, after all.
Broader Middle East