Middle East

The Cost of Freedom in Kurdistan

Spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “If we are free from attachment, we can easily recognize ourselves in other people, in different forms of manifestation, and then we don’t have to suffer.” Hanh’s words are dreams to the Kurdish people, who exist today fragmented, stateless, and in a forced union with Iraq. Against the […]

Avoiding a Lost Generation in Syria Through Tech Education

As the war in Syria continues, many fear that we are experiencing a “lost generation” of Syrian youth who will be uneducated and unable to rebuild the country, even after the war ceases. If a large-scale intervention occurs, in which Assad is deposed and the Syrian civil war ends, Syria will be left with a […]

Tech and Entrepreneurship: New Avenues for Female Leadership in Saudi Arabia

As falling oil prices continue to plague the Saudi Arabian economy, efforts to develop a system that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship are being put to the test. As a result, women are taking household roles that are less traditional, starting businesses, and working in industries from which they were banned not long ago. Gender inequality […]

Two-State Stagnation

Over the past two decades, the idea of a “two-state solution” has been proposed by countless intellectuals and political thinkers as the end-game to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, the idea of such a solution has been used to perpetuate a constant state of uncertainty in Israel-Palestine, thereby allowing Israel to continue the expansion of settlements […]

Traitor: A Study in Pakistan’s Cognitive Dissonance

Renowned filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy added another Oscar to her CV on February 28th for her documentary A Girl in the River, which highlights the issue of rampant honor killings in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis, including myself, see this as an important step towards breaking down the taboos surrounding violence against women. According to multiple sources, including […]

Revisiting Egypt’s Arab Spring, Five Years Later

Localized entrepreneurship and innovation is transforming the Middle East and empowering individual changemakers to create solutions to problems in areas such as education, healthcare, and web-based communication through technology. A regional youth bulge is pushing for change, and the newfound individual autonomy provided by communications technology is changing conversations in the region surrounding women’s rights, […]

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Where is the Humanity?

In the past week, I’ve watched in horror and bitter disappointment as governors from the two states I call home, New Jersey and Massachusetts, proclaimed that they will not accept Syrian refugees. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey became a leading voice for the opposition to the federal government’s plan for Syrian refugee resettlement, even […]

App-tivism For Syria

We are in the depths of one of history’s largest human rights crises. Syria is hemorrhaging refugees, and its citizens inside and out are being deprived of basic living, educational, and health resources. Humanitarian assistance organizations are overloaded with need, and strong Western governments need to step up to bridge the gap. Instead of focusing […]

Sheikhing Things Up: An Economic Approach to US-Saudi Diplomacy

Discussions of the Middle East are often synonymous with two topics: the commodity of oil and US involvement in the region. The United States and Saudi Arabia, two ostensible allies, face a conflict of interests as the US continues to engage in nuclear negotiations with Iran and Saudi Arabia deploys air assaults on the Iranian-backed […]

With Nationalism Comes Responsibility

Alexander Carlin is a participant in the Qatar Fellowship sponsored by the National Council on US Arab Relations, and recently completed a study visit to Qatar in conjunction with their US Embassy, in order to meet civil society leaders and members of the Qatari government.  From King Louis XIV of France’s bid to solidify power, […]