Commentary

Is Criminal Justice Enough to Address the Yazidi Genocide?

Eight years after ISIS committed a genocide against the Yazidi community in Iraq, survivors are still waiting for an elusive justice for the horrific crimes committed against them. Out of the approximately 500,000 members of the Yazidi community in Iraq,...

Majority Perceptions of Minor Feelings in Egypt

On a hot July day in summer 2022, I sat with an upper-middle class folk historian and local photographer in Luxor, Upper Egypt, over lunch. Over our meal, we spoke about Coptic heritage in the south and the conversation veered...

When Unity Discourse Dismisses Systemic Sectarianism in Egypt

Amid a rise in violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt during the month of Ramadan in April 2022, Pope Tawadros II issued a public statement calling upon Egyptian officials to preserve inter-communal peace for all Egyptians. The usually diplomatic Pope...

Assad’s Illusion of Amnesty

On April 30, 2022, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued Legislative Decree No. 7 of 2022 granting a general amnesty for “crimes of terrorism” committed by Syrian citizens, provided that these crimes have not resulted in deaths. The decree was hailed...

The Politics of Sectarianism and Repentance in Egyptian Prisons: Notes from a Coptic Khidma

In the Coptic tradition and theology, khidma refers to services conducted in the name of Jesus, but also other members of the divine community who reside in heaven, such as Mary, the angels, and saints. It encompasses a wide range...

Improving the Education of Syrian Refugees in Akkar 

Hanane, 13, sat beside her mother in a cluster of multicolored tents strung together with rope, sheets, and tarp in Akkar, Lebanon. For the past year, with fuel prices skyrocketing across Lebanon, Hanane’s family has been unable to afford the...

Why the Beirut Port Deal with CMA CGM Is Business as Usual

In February 2022, the French-Lebanese company CMA CGM was awarded a 10-year contract to manage, operate, and maintain Beirut port’s container terminal in a deal the shipping giant says will see $33 million invested into the port. CMA CGM is...

The Illusion of Democratic Choice in Kais Saied’s New Republic

On July 25, 2021, and capitalizing on protests about failed management of the pandemic and ailing economy, President Kais Saied activated Article 80 and invoked a state of exception which granted him exceptional powers. However, in doing so, Saied also...

Promises and Pitfalls of Jordan’s Anti-Corruption Legal Framework

The founder of the General Intelligence Directorate in Jordan once claimed that the state’s founders dedicated 90 percent of their energies to state-building and a mere 10 percent to their personal affairs, as per Ali Mahafza, a historian and former...

An Unstable Middle East: Bare Minimum Goals for Biden’s Trip

On July 9, 2022, President Biden argued in his recent op-ed, “[t]he Middle East I’ll be visiting is more stable and secure than the one my administration inherited 18 months ago.” Unfortunately, in several crucial and important countries in the...