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Middle East

  • Perspective | My Mother Ran an Illegal Kindergarten in Iran
    Between the ages of seven and thirteen, I lived in an illegal kindergarten in Tehran, Iran. I know what you’re thinking. No, it wasn’t a child labor facility. Quite the contrary, my mother ran a high-end English learning center that offered a variety of classes, services, and care unlike any other in Tehran. What made it illegal was that everything was taught in English. The Iranian regime allows a few hours of English classes per day but forbids teaching classes like math, ballet, or music in English except in schools affiliated with foreign embassies. My mother’s subversive, entrepreneurial solution was to turn our family home into an undercover school. She made a profit by defying the regime.
  • An Evening for Salman Rushdie
    It has been almost three months since the British-American writer and faculty member of NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Salman Rushdie was stabbed on stage during a literary event in New York by Hadi Matar at the Chautauqua Institution. On October 14th, 2022, I virtually joined an event, An Evening for Salman Rushdie, organized by PEN International at the British Library to celebrate his strength and dedication as a writer and a champion of free expression. In a way, it was also an evening of reflection. As horrifying as the assault on Rushdie was, it was 33 years in the making. Upon the Satanic Verses publication, protests broke out in India, the novel was banned, and footage of book burnings was widely broadcast around the world. Above all, a fatwa was issued against Rushdie by the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini which sent him into hiding.
  • JPI Photography
    JPI Online is excited showcase photography by NYU students of events happening at or around Washington Square Park.
  • On Iran’s Ambitions, Gulf States and the US Keep Passing the Buck
    Much of the Middle East is facing a crisis of indecision on Iran. Despite extensive reporting on Iran’s expansionist ambitions, the Islamic Republic has been making bold demands with the expectation of both Western and Arab acquiescence. Iranian proxy footholds have long eroded the sovereignties of sectarian states. Regional tensions have further deepened due to Tehran’s insistence that a renewed nuclear agreement must preclude the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to investigate undisclosed uranium enrichment facilities.
  • Perspective | The Everyday Oppression of Iran’s Hijab Rule
    Iran’s compulsory hijab rule has always been about so much more than appearances and religious loyalty. It’s about allowing women the ability to experience so many of the joys in life that other women around the world take for granted – playing a sport comfortably outside on a warm day, feeling the wind in your hair, expressing yourself through your favorite outfit, taking off a layer when the weather finally thaws in early Spring, lying on the beach and feeling the sun bake into your skin. The women in Iran born after the 1979 revolution have never been able to experience those things in their entire lives, at least not while in their home countries. It’s the form of oppression that is experienced every day, multiple times a day, and that eats away at one’s humanity. It’s what women in Iran are now willing to risk their lives fighting against.
  • The Grim Status Quo: A Deep Dive into the Pervasive Racism Exposed by the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis
    The war in Ukraine, when viewed side by side with recent wars around the world from Yemen to Syria to Ethiopia, indicates disturbing global trends. There is far too little protection for civilians, and the detrimental impact is heightened for already vulnerable groups. Civilians displaced by war sit in limbo for years, and those lucky enough to escape their war-torn countries are relegated to overcrowded and under-resourced camps. The Council on Foreign Relations reports shrinking opportunities for refugee resettlement, a result of the international community’s inability and/or unwillingness to support them or resolve the conflict that caused their displacement in the first place. Refugees in camps can face intense discrimination and fall victim to starvation, illness, and human trafficking. And the perpetrators of all this global violence and suffering tend to be met with impunity. This is the grim status quo.
  • Syria and Ukraine: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
    As Russia continues its war against Ukraine, the similarities between Ukraine and Syria are striking. Specifically, Russia’s weaponization of civilians and refugees is a primary tactic that continues to be utilized to achieve geopolitical goals.
  • Hezbollah After Syria: More Lethal, Less Domestic Support
    This February, Arab Gulf states engaged in talks with Lebanon, spearheaded by Kuwait’s peace plan in an attempt to repair relations with the country.
  • Will China Become the New Middle East Power Broker?
    As the United States draws down its presence in the Middle East, many in the international community are wondering what actor might step in to fill the supposed power vacuum that will be left in place of the region’s main security broker.
  • What Does the Abraham Accord Mean for India?
    On August 13, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced normalization of their relations. This deal, known as the Abraham Accord, was brokered by United…
  • Panic in Morocco is Not (Only) Coronavirus Related
    The lives of thousands of men in Morocco have been turned upside down. Vulnerability, exposure and fear are some of the words that express how…
  • The Repercussions of Erdogan’s Gamble
    In the last few weeks, there’s been a serious escalation of the northwestern Syria conflict, with Syria and Russia intensifying their offensive in the Idlib…
  • Iran May Be Disappointed When China’s Commitment is Tested
    In his spare time, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif likes reminding his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Iran is finally ready to take on…
  • Is Lebanon Headed to More Secular Politics?
    Before the inception of the Lebanese republic, the Lebanese political system functioned as a multi-confessional system where power has been allocated to different religious communities.…
  • Tackling Corruption is the Best Way to Save Iraq
    In 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that IS was defeated in Iraq. Without IS holding it back, Iraq would have been on the…
  • The ‘Arab Spring’ has Sprung Again in the Middle East
    As you may have noticed on your morning commute, listening to your preferred daily news podcast, that stories of the Middle East have yet again…
  • Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Problem
    As the oldest political revivalist group in the Islamic world—and one of the most polarizing—the Muslim Brotherhood has the disputed status throughout the region as…
  • No Post-Conflict Decontamination Obligations Set Before UN First Committee Vote
    NEW YORK—The U.N. General Assembly’s upcoming vote on a resolution to address the effects and use of depleted uranium weaponry is its first since the…
  • A Case against Military Intervention in Iran
    The Trump administration defines Iran as one of its top foreign policy threats. This is mainly due to Iran’s support of proxies in conflicts such…
  • New Developments on the Stagnant Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
    Photo courtesy Office of the NKR President Bako Sahakyan, the president of a mountainous Central Asian de facto state roughly the size of Rhode Island,…
  • Why Do Cease-Fire Agreements Mediated by Third Parties Fail?
    The remains of a market in Maarat al-Noaman, in Syria’s northern province of Idlib, after an airstrike Tuesday. Dozens of people were reported killed. |…
  • Under Different Kinds of Attacks: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
    The camp in Dalhamiyeh is among hundreds of informal clusters of Syrian refugee tents in the Bekaa Valley | Photo courtesy Dylan Collins/Al Jazeera When…
  • Unfazed by Critics, the Crown Prince Reigns
    Prince Mohammed Bin Salman | Photo courtesy Saudi Press Agency On September 26, 2017—led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman—Saudi Arabia issued a Royal Decree…
  • Turkish Women’s Rights Struggle During State of Emergency
    A week ago the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, began a referendum campaign to support a bill that could transform the country’s parliamentary system into…
  • Lebanon’s Confessionalism is a Bulwark Against Democracy
    Two years, six months, and eight days. That was the amount of time needed for the Lebanese parliament to elect a new president. On October…
  • Insights | Gay, Palestinian, Israeli: Caught between conflicting identities
    Jake Witzenfeld presented his documentary Oriented at New York University’s Gallatin School, sparking a conversation about identity crises on the Mediterranean shores. In the opening…
  • Caught between two goals: Turkey’s Conflicting Quest for Sustainability and Economic Development
      Turkey has a long history of trying to stimulate its economy and protect fledgling industries through large-scale development strategies. A new 5-year plan is…
  • Western Women in ISIS: Naïve Victims, or Violent Terrorists?
    “It was a really hard life.” Said by a shaken 16-year-old named Marilyn Nevalainen, these words represent a girl’s realization about life under ISIS rule.…
  • Russia’s exit from Syria: Mission unaccomplished?
    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on March 14 that he would begin to remove his troops from Syria, claiming that he had achieved all of…
  • Peace in Syria? Don’t Hold Your Breath
    On Feb. 11 news broke of a potential breakthrough in the Syrian Civil War. Russian-backed pro-Assad forces and an umbrella group of U.S.-backed anti-regime rebels…
  • Arrested Development: The “new capital” in Egypt
    The most recent economic conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was a grand spectacle. Not so much because of the fanfare, well-decorated conference centers or…
  • Is Israel on the Brink of a Financial Crisis?
    [A version of this was originally posted here] Along with highly publicized remarks on the turnout of Arab Israeli voters and his support for a…
  • Why Is Israel Losing the Public Relations War
    [A version of this originally appeared here] Israel is losing the global PR war, reveals a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014.…
  • Libya: The Islamic State’s Pivot Point
    [This was originally published here] Thanks to Allah who kept us alive to see the dawn of the Caliphate state reemerge… And Allah’s blessing upon Libya…
  • How the Republicans Might Have Accidentally Helped Obama Get Closer to a Deal with Iran
    After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu’s March 3 address to Congress without an invitation from the executive branch, 47 Republican senators circumvented the White House…
  • Mali and the Sahel
    [Originally posted here] “You want to cut hands? Here are two! Cut them!” So dares a fishmonger to the occupiers of her hometown, theatrically presenting…
  • Insights | NYU Law Event: Iran, ISIS, and the Future of Gulf Security
    Iran, ISIS, and the Future of Gulf Security March 2, 2015 Furman Hall | The Center on Law and Security | NYU School of Law…
  • Kids on the Front Lines
    [Originally posted here] Because of manpower shortages, the Syrian conflict has given rise to yet another distressing phenomenon: child soldiers. Although all factions in the…
  • South Asia: Battle Ground Between ISIS & al-Qaeda
    [Originally posted here] Since the video statement by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri on September 3 announcing al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, South Asia has…
  • The Fate of Badawi
    [Originally posted here] With Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud laid to rest on Friday, a first test the direction the kingdom could…
  • A Middle Eastern Marshall Plan
    Rich nations should provide funds to help integrate Syrian refugees into their host countries. [Originally posted here] By Paul Mutter As violence in Iraq wages…
  • Middle East and North Africa Contributors
    Are you interested in Middle East and North African affairs? JPI is expanding and in addition to the Journal, published twice a year, we are…