The Middle East Channel is Born!

Welcome to the Middle East Channel!  Some of you may have wondered why I haven’t been posting much lately.  Part of the reason is that I’ve been working hard on putting together the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com.  Creating this site has been my dream for a long time.  With today’s launch, it’s finally come ...

572674_MECbanner2.jpg
572674_MECbanner2.jpg

Welcome to the Middle East Channel

Some of you may have wondered why I haven't been posting much lately.  Part of the reason is that I've been working hard on putting together the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com.  Creating this site has been my dream for a long time.  With today's launch, it's finally come true, after half a year of hard work, with the enthusiastic support of the leadership at Foreign Policy  and a vibrant partnership with Daniel Levy and Amjad Atallah's Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation.  It's also sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science, a new network of political scientists specializing in the Middle East which I have been putting together with the support of a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation -- much more on that soon! 

I can't think of a better way to explain what we're trying to than to quote in full the "Welcome" post which we've put up to announce the Middle East Channel:

Welcome to the Middle East Channel

Some of you may have wondered why I haven’t been posting much lately.  Part of the reason is that I’ve been working hard on putting together the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com.  Creating this site has been my dream for a long time.  With today’s launch, it’s finally come true, after half a year of hard work, with the enthusiastic support of the leadership at Foreign Policy  and a vibrant partnership with Daniel Levy and Amjad Atallah’s Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation.  It’s also sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science, a new network of political scientists specializing in the Middle East which I have been putting together with the support of a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation — much more on that soon! 

I can’t think of a better way to explain what we’re trying to than to quote in full the "Welcome" post which we’ve put up to announce the Middle East Channel:

The world is hardly lacking for opinions about the Middle East. But quantity should not be mistaken for quality: Too much of the public debate about the issues of the Middle East is dominated by partisan bickering and poorly informed punditry.

Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel is something different: a vibrant and decidedly non-partisan new site where real expertise and experience take priority over shouting, where the daily debate is informed by dispassionate analysis and original reporting all too often lacking from the stale and talking-point-laden commentary that sadly dominates most coverage of the region today. Its contributors range from academics to former policymakers, from journalists on the ground to established analysts — with an emphasis on introducing voices from Middle East itself. Most importantly, the Middle East Channel comes to you doctrine-free, open to political viewpoints of all kinds — but demanding honesty, civility, and genuine expertise.

Our scope is broad: Israel and its neighbors, Iran’s nuclear program and domestic politics, Iraq, Islamist movements, the Gulf, Turkey, and North Africa, and the struggle for reform and democracy. The Middle East Channel will highlight links between issues and areas of this diverse region of 400 million — as well as provide a unique perspective on America’s challenges there. We’ll have regular interviews with Middle East and Washington players, sharp commentary on the news of the day, and original analysis of new ideas and trends in the region.

The Middle East Channel is edited by Marc Lynch of George Washington University and the Project on Middle East Political Science and Amjad Atallah and Daniel Levy, co-directors of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation. Lynch, who writes the Abu Aardvark Middle East blog on ForeignPolicy.com, is an expert on Arab media and politics and is the author most recently of Voices of the New Arab Public: Al-Jazeera, Iraq, and Middle East Politics Today. Atallah is an expert in the law of conflict and post-conflict situations and a former advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team. Levy was an advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and is a leading commentator on Israeli politics and Middle East peace.

You can follow the site on Twitter, sign up for our RSS feed, and subscribe to our twice-weekly email updates to get the latest on what’s happening on the Middle East Channel and beyond.

I’ll still be blogging here under my own name, while co-directing and co-editing the Middle East Channel.  Feel free to send me your ideas for stories or feedback.   Here we go!  

Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).

He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements. Twitter: @abuaardvark

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