Category Archives: Articles and Papers

SYRIA: The seven-year crisis

The enduring and tragic impasse in the Syrian conflict is making it difficult to imagine a bright future for the country. Superpowers have agreed to resolve some aspects of the conflict that would serve their own specific interests, but the civil war rages on and continues to destabilise not only Syria but also the region and beyond. Read the rest of this entry


Trump and the Palestinian State

REUTERS/Mike Segar

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Donald Trump’s election victory was a real shock, not only for decision-makers in every single capital in the world, but also for experts and observers who saw nothing but a win for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. Shortly after his victory, Trump announced his readiness to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Many Israeli officials weren’t shy about saying that the Trump White House will signal a golden age for Israel-US relations, and that the chances of establishing a Palestinian state had now all but disappeared. Read the rest of this entry

Soft Power in the Middle East: THE INVISIBLE SKIRMISH

The Middle East remains of a major geostrategic importance. Global powers found in the recent developments an opportunity to chart their way into the region; sending troops and reinforcements, rebuilding alliances and restoring old relations. Amidst this chaotic environment, a number of regional forces opted to adopt a different approach: soft power. It is obvious that such forces have found in soft power an efficient tool that can achieve what tanks and jets failed to do. In this article, four soft power models in the Middle East are assessed and analysed: Iran and Oman. Read the rest of this entry

Oman: A Peaceful Oasis in a Flaming Region


In a fractious, unstable region rife with conflicts, one country appears to be unscathed. It is telling that Oman emerged not only intact from the ramifications of the Arab Spring, but also shied away from the tense polarisation that has hijacked the rest of the Middle East. Oman’s position on the various regional issues is self-evidently peaceful and different from the other Gulf monarchies. In fact, behind this peaceful and unique position lies a hive of activity of which many are unaware. Read the rest of this entry

Putin’s “Completely Fulfilled” Task in Syria

Since Russia has been declared officially in the Middle East, and following the extended presence of its military in all forms in Syria, speculations splashed media platforms across the globe. Observers saw in Russia’s decision to enter Syria a long-term strategy, albeit the abrupt announcement of Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw most of the Russian forces from Syria put friends and foes alike in bewilderment. Read the rest of this entry

The Middle East: Was the Turkish Model replaced by an Iranian Role?

turkey and iran

Since 2003, Turkey has appeared as a valuable asset for global powers to invest in and as a leading actor in a region long described as sluggish towards democratic transformations. However, with the advent of the Arab Spring, things changed and the role portrayed for Turkey by the United States has been declining, especially in light of the rise of another regional power: Iran. Read the rest of this entry

Russia is officially in the region: A new Order has just begun


Since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, Russia has limited itself to its traditional role of providing arms as well as military and logistical experts to its Arab allies. As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime weakened, the Russians intensified their military support dramatically. Recently, the Russian ‘Caesar’ opted to expand his role in Syria to include direct intervention against enemies of the regime. The move towards direct intervention constitutes a revolution in Russia’s role in the Middle East and portends a deeper shift in the region. Read the rest of this entry

ISIS: Ambitions and Constrains

ISIS-rebels-marching-in-syriaSince its inception, news of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/Daesh) has splashed across the world’s media. The nascent entity emerged suddenly and expanded quickly. Its brutality has commanded widespread attention and generated mounting concern. A few months ago, Daesh entered its second year, demonstrating a unique ability to survive despite being targeted by joint international efforts and military campaigns. This article digs deep inside the life of Daesh, assesses important details such as its structure and formations and highlights facts that may be important to the general reader and decision-maker alike. These features reveal the complexity of the composition of Daesh which it has managed to build in record time. Read the rest of this entry

When regional stars wanes, others rise in the Middle East


In 2011, Turkey was seen as an unstoppable regional power and a rising star led by its Development and Justice Party (AKP). But the arrival of the Arab Spring heralded a deep change in the region. Turkey’s prominence began to fade and Iran’s potential appeared to be rising with the progress it is making in nuclear negotiations. Further developments in the region have continued to surprise observers, especially the emergence of the ascendant force that is the Islamic State (IS). Read the rest of this entry


time to decide

On August 27th, headlines splashed global newspapers that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and nine other top officials resigned from the ruling Executive Committee (ExCo) of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Talks about an emergency or a regular session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) followed. Although PNC Chairman Salim al-Zanoun announced Sept. 14-15 PNC meeting in the West town of Ramallah, few days ago al-Zanoun announced postponing the meeting for three months. These developments raised many questions; the most important is what the actual reason behind convening this meeting in the first place. Read the rest of this entry