from The Great Debate:

Russia’s fight in Syria reflects the Kremlin’s fears at home

By Paul Stronski
September 29, 2015

Russian Mil Mi-26 Halo helicopter flies over the Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow

Russian Mil Mi-26 Halo helicopter flies over the Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti

from The Great Debate:

Why Arab Spring made life better in Tunisia, failed everywhere else

By Ellen McLarney
February 18, 2015

A Tunisian fan reacts after Tunisia lost their quarter-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Bata

A Tunisian fan soccer fan. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Earlier this month, Tunisia's newly elected parliament cobbled together a coalition government led by a secular party that included its Islamist rivals, who had been democratically ousted from power. The new government, coming on the heels of a historic presidential election, a new constitution and the first democratic elections to be held during the Arab Spring, marks an astonishing democratic culmination in the birthplace of the movement. It has also proven hard to replicate.

from John Lloyd:

U.S. ‘soft power’ hits another hard reality in the Middle East

By John Lloyd
November 12, 2014

Relatives of detained activists cry and pray for them as the activists stand trial at a court in Cairo

On Sunday, June 22, 1941, Winston Churchill’s private secretary, John Colville, woke him with the news that Nazi Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. In a radio address that same evening, the British prime minister repeated his “consistent” opposition to communism, but said that “all this flashes away … the Russian danger is therefore our danger.” In a later House of Commons debate, Churchill quipped -- “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”

from The Great Debate:

The other Egyptian crisis

By Shirin Neshat
March 5, 2014

Like most artists, I often wonder what art’s place is in a world that seems consumed by violence during these times of social upheaval.

from Mark Leonard:

Seven reasons why the Arab uprisings are eclipsing western values

By Mark Leonard
January 21, 2014

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall -- an event that led Francis Fukuyama to predict the end of history and the beginning of universal western liberal values. It is three years since the Arab uprisings threatened to upend the Middle East and North Africa. Many at that time predicted that the region would embrace liberal democracy and human rights.

from The Great Debate UK:

Egypt’s treatment of women is a social nuclear weapon

November 15, 2013

There was widespread dismay at a recent survey that ranked Egypt as the worst Arab country to be a woman. The poll, conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found that an astonishingly high 99% of women and girls experience sexual harassment, and worst of all the perpetrators of this abuse often go unpunished. Egypt scored poorly in every category of the poll including violence against women, reproductive rights and their inclusion in politics and the economy.

from John Lloyd:

In Egypt, violence justified by a hope for democracy

By John Lloyd and Abdalla F. Hassan
August 27, 2013

CAIRO -- Alaa al-Aswany, one of Egypt’s most famous novelists, talks to visitors in a dental surgery room. Aswany, 56, was (and still is) a dentist by trade before, in middle age, rising to fame and controversy as a writer both of novels (The Yacoubian Building and Chicago) and opinion (long running columns in the independent and opposition press). He was dressed in a grey jacket and black shirt and, unusually for a dentist, smoked throughout the interview we conducted over the weekend.

from Ian Bremmer:

Can the U.S.’s limited military strike against Assad stay limited?

By Ian Bremmer
August 27, 2013

After Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech about Syria’s chemical warfare yesterday, it’s clear that the U.S. is going to attack Syria. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says U.S. forces are “ready to go.” Envoys are telling rebels that Western forces “could attack Syria within days,” per Reuters.

from John Lloyd:

General Sisi: An enigma without a dogma

By John Lloyd
August 19, 2013

CAIRO -- The man who presently rules Egypt, General Abdel Fattah Said al-Sisi, is an enigma. He’s even more inscrutable because he is not -- to misquote Churchill -- an enigma wrapped in a dogma. He's too slippery to be filed under any kind of label. Depending on where you sit, that’s either alarming or reassuring.

from David Rohde:

The Arab Spring is just getting started

By David Rohde
July 19, 2013

Amman, Jordan -- After the Egyptian army toppled President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the U.S. Congress expressed the sentiment of many in Washington.