Middle East

The Tunisian Spark: Triggering the Fourth Wave of Democratization

Mohamed Bouazizi was a college graduate and yet at twenty-six years old he found himself selling fruit on the side of the street to support his mother, uncle and five siblings in their hometown of Sidi Bouzid.  According to a report by the New York Times,[i] a municipal inspector, Faida Hamdy, seized Bouazizi’s goods because […]

The Struggle for Kirkuk: Oil, People and Power

As the violence in Iraq slips from western headlines and the coalition mission appears accomplished, there is a false sense of calm in this troubled country. An unanswered question of who controls the Northern city of Kirkuk has threatened to throw the most promising region of the country into war. To ethnic Kurds, the most […]

The Syrian ‘Day of Rage’: A Revolution That Wasn’t

In a recent exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria stated, “When there is divergence between your policy and the people’s beliefs and interests, you will have this vacuum that creates disturbance.” He also said that despite the similarities between Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia, Syrians were different because they had […]

Iraq’s Huddles Masses: Iraqi Refugees and the Special Immigrant Visa Program

Many Iraqis face certain danger from armed militias and terrorist groups if they work for the American military or contractors. These groups threaten, hunt down, torture and kill Iraqis whom they know or suspect have worked for Americans.  Realizing this heinous trend, the US made it easier for Iraqis to come to America.  In 2007 […]

What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East?

In What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East, author Brian Whittaker has taken an unconventional and ambitious look into authoritarianism what is not so much the Middle East but the Arab world. The book asks: why is political order in so many Arab countries dysfunctional; why does political and religious violence spring from the region […]