Middle East

A Lebanese protester

Why Is Saad Hariri Back in Charge of Lebanon?

An entrenched sectarian political system, self-serving leaders leftover from the civil war, and a protest movement more ambitious than organized seem to have set Lebanon’s revolution back where it started.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrives to attend a church service for former French President Jacques Chirac at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris on Sept. 30, 2019.

Same Old Hariri, Newly Traumatized Lebanon

After a year of chaos, a familiar face is returning to the top of a country that desperately wants change.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (C) listens to a representative at the Russian pavilion during a visit to the Dubai Airshow on Nov. 17, 2019.

The UAE Is Turning Into the World Capital for Weapons Makers

Years of quiet development are finally paying off, and Abu Dhabi’s defense industry can largely stand on its own feet.

Joint plaintiffs are seen at the courtroom prior to the start of a trial against two Syrian defendants accused of state-sponsored torture in Syria, on April 23, 2020 in Koblenz, Germany.

Assad’s Horrible War Crimes Are Finally Coming to Light Under Oath

A German court is exposing Syria’s systemic atrocities—and ending any hopes of international reconciliation with the regime.

A power plant in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah.

Iraq’s Future Isn’t Oil, It’s Sustainable Electricity

As the country continues to grapple with the aftermath of the Islamic State insurgency, revolutionizing the country’s energy sector could be the key to long-term security.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the U.N. General Assembly.

Trump’s Foreign-Policy Adventures Haven’t All Flopped

For all the chaos, the Trump administration has notched some notable victories abroad. The question is whether they outweigh everything else Trump brought to Washington—and the world.

A picture shows the U.S. embassy complex, still under construction, in the heavily fortified Green Zone, on the west bank of the Tigris River in Baghdad on Oct. 11, 2007.

America’s Iraqi Embassy Is a Monstrosity Out of Time

The United States is threatening to close its outpost in Baghdad. It should have done so yesterday.

A woman carries a diabled man wearing a protective face mask the Sabra neighbourhood of Beirut where many Palestinian refugees still live, amid measures coordinated with Palestinian security forces to shut down all shops in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease, on March 22, 2020.

Coronavirus Is Pushing Lebanon Over the Brink

It’s time to add an uncontrolled outbreak to the country’s long list of woes.

Masked Palestinian militants carry what is supposed to be explosives for suicide bombers during a demonstrations marking the anniversary of the second intifada, in the northern West Bank town of Nablus on Sept. 28, 2003.

The End of the Age of Insurgency

A wave of insurgent Islamism arrived in the West 20 years ago—and disappeared just as quickly.

An airplane of Israel's El Al is adorned with the Emirati, Israeli, and U.S. flags and the word "peace" in Arabic, English, and Hebrew on arriving at the Abu Dhabi airport in the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE on Aug. 31, 2020.

Welcome to a Brand-New Middle East

Israel’s pacts with the UAE and Bahrain go far beyond the tenuous “cold peace” with Egypt and Jordan. They could even help end the conflict with the Palestinians.

Refugees displaced from Afrin line up to receive bread from the Syrian Red Crescent in Ahras, Syria, on March 25, 2018.

Syria’s Forgotten Displaced Aren’t Equipped to Fight the Pandemic

The regime has restricted aid to those who fled Afrin in 2018, leaving them without test kits, basic supplies, or access to specialist care.

Two members of Tunisia's Jewish community, one of the largest in the Arab world, light candles 09 May 2004 in the Ghriba synagogue, on the isle of Djerba, on the second day of the annual pilgrimage there.

The Arab World Is Having a Jewish Revolution

The real achievement of the Abraham Accords isn’t geopolitical—it’s cultural.

A Lebanese woman draped in a national flag

‘We Have Nothing Here’: A Collapsing Lebanon Sparks an Exodus of Despair

A country that previously took in refugees could become an exporter of people as government ineptitude and an economic cataclysm destroy all hope.

Niv Sultan in Tehran.

Israeli TV Spy Thriller ‘Tehran’ Flouts Stereotypes About Iran

Apple TV+ premieres series by the director of “Homeland” that captivated Israelis this summer.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan participate in the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 15.

Palestinians Can’t Stand In the Way of Israel’s Regional Integration

Deals with the UAE and Bahrain demonstrate the Palestinian issue is no longer a barrier to Israeli-Arab cooperation.

French President Emmanuel Macron gets off a plane as he arrives at Baghdad airport, on Sept. 2, 2020.

Macron Wants to Be a Middle Eastern Superpower

The French president is making a bid to shape the region—but does his reach exceed his grasp?

Iran's Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari points at a map during a press conference in Tehran on Dec. 22, 2010.

Israel’s Peace Deals Are a Strategic Nightmare for Iran

The Abraham Accord is threatening decades of foreign-policy planning in Tehran.

U.S Vice President Joe Biden meets with troops during a visit with Jordan's King Abdullah at a joint Jordanian-American training center on March 10, 2016 in Zarqa northeast of Amman, Jordan.

Under Biden, the Middle East Would Be Just Another Region

The Democratic presidential candidate would stop sucking up to the region's autocrats, but he also wouldn’t give much encouragement to liberals.

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