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Kais Saied plans to transform Tunisia. It may go bust first

The president rules by decree as the economy seizes up Before he sent a tank to bar the doors of parliament, Kais Saied was a law professor who preached fealty to the constitution. It may seem a contradiction, but contradictions helped propel Mr Saied (pictured) to the Tunisian presidency in 2019. He was a populist with a patrician manner, a…

More violence, less income: Arab women bear the brunt of COVID-19, study finds

A new survey by Arab Barometer adds numbers to the narrative that COVID has led to a harsher reality for women in the Middle East and North Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned Heba Mordaa’s life upside down. “Ever since the lockdowns started in March 2020, my work has been deteriorating,” the 29-year-old manicurist and mother of three in Beirut says. “At first,…

As Tunisia risks losing its democracy, the US takes a ‘wait and see’ approach

As Tunisia risks losing its democracy, the US is expressing concern about the country’s stability and political institutions but not taking any specific actions yet. It all depends on how things evolve in the coming days, writes Brooke Anderson. Over the weekend, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Tunisian President Kais Saied to express his support for the…

Tunisia’s democracy in the balance after president’s power grab

Tunisia’s decade-old democracy hangs in the balance after President Kais Saied removed the prime minister and suspended Parliament on Sunday. Why it matters: Tunisia was the lone democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring. It remains the only democracy in the Arab world. But the country’s politics have been deadlocked amid an economic crisis and its worst COVID-19 wave, leading…

Mofeed-19: Interview with Amaney Jamal, PhD.

The Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) at CDDRL, in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute, is pleased to announce the launch Mofeed-19, a 19-minute video podcast that discusses research efforts pertaining to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Arab world. The podcast is part of the Mofeed-19 Project, an initiative that builds foundational resources for understanding how…

Shifting Political, Economic and Social Trends in MENA Post-Covid19

Join Dr. Sahar Khamis and her two guests, Dr. Abdul-Wahab Kayyali and Ms. Salma Al-Shami, in her program “The Bridge” this Friday, June 25th, from 8 to 9 a.m. (EST), LIVE on “U.S. Arab Radio” and Facebook simultaneously, as they discuss a very timely and important topic, namely: the shifts in the political, economic, social and media landscapes in the MENA region (Middle East…

Is the Middle East on the mend?

It is unlikely to last, but it is hard to remember the last time the Middle East has been as calm, relatively speaking, as it is today. Consider where we were just over a year ago. Some 3 million displaced Syrians huddled together in Idlib province, the last rebel-held territory, as the world feared the humanitarian catastrophe likely to result…

Soudan : la séparation de l’État et de la religion loin d’être gagnée

Le Soudan a mis un terme, en 2019, à trente années de dictature islamiste. Deux ans après l’éviction d’Omar el-Béchir, les lois demeurent cependant largement basées sur la charia. Deux groupes rebelles actifs dans le sud du pays, où la proportion de chrétiens, animistes et athées s’avère plus importante que dans le reste du pays, ont, par conséquent, conditionné leur…

Israel Faces Pressure to Follow U.S. Armenian Genocide Move Despite Turkey Ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing mounting pressure to ignore protests by Turkey and follow U.S. President Joe Biden in declaring the mass killings of Armenians and other minority groups a century ago a genocide. Biden’s historic genocide recognition made the United States the 30th country in the world to classify as such the ethnic cleansing that experts estimate…

Erdogan as Arab people’s choice reveals weakness of region’s leaders

After nearly two decades in power, first as prime minister then as president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has towered over modern Turkey. His mystique at home has been eroded by authoritarianism and a decreasing ability to provide his pious and conservative followers with prosperity. In local elections in 2019 he lost the country’s great cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, proving he is…