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Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

 

By Date

 

2011 (continued)

February 10, 2011

The Historic Moment of Reckoning

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- The moment of reckoning for Egypt and the modern Arab world is upon us -- this weekend in mid-February of the 11th year of the 3rd millennium AD, in the land of Egypt that has known nearly six such millennia of urban rule and nationalist sentiment.

 

 

February 9, 2011

Confronting Arab Old Men with Guns

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- The historic developments on the streets of Egypt in the past two weeks appeared in the last few days to reflect the modern Arab tradition of the enduring incumbency of men with guns. In the face of unprecedented challenges to the ruling elite, the government headed by President Hosni Mubarak is reminding the Arab world as a whole that this region must continue to be ruled by old men with guns. So in the ongoing battle for the destiny of Egypt and the modern Arab world, this week we can identify four principal issues that have risen to the surface of the debate about what should happen next in Egypt; two of them are bogus diversions, and two others are critically and historically important.

 

 

February 5, 2011

The Arab Military Is Not the Solution

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- Two of the most interesting things going on these days around the crisis in Egypt are happening outside Egypt. In the Middle East, leaders throughout the Arab world are anticipating demands for changes in their countries and are responding with pre-emptive measures that they expect will gain them enough time to remain in power and make sufficient adjustments to deflect popular discontent.

 

 

February 2, 2011

The Arab Freedom Epic

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

LONDON -- What a supreme irony it was for me to be in London and Paris between Saturday and Tuesday this week, as the popular revolt against the Hosni Mubarak regime reached its peak in Cairo, Alexandria and other Egyptian cities. To appreciate what is taking place in the Arab world today you have to grasp the historical significance of the events that have started changing rulers and regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, with others sure to follow. What we are witnessing is the unraveling of the post-colonial order that the British and French created in the Arab world in the 1920s and 30s and then sustained -- with American and Soviet assistance -- for most of the last half century.

 

 

January 31, 2011

Hizbullah’s Government

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The new Lebanese Prime Minister-designate, Najib Mikati, has been widely portrayed in the international media as “Hizbullah’s man,” and his mandate to form the next government has generated considerable speculation about the consequences of a government formed in the shadow of Hizbullah, which means Iran and Syria to most people. Indeed, critics of Hizbullah and the Mikati appointment -- especially Sunni supporters of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri -- speak disdainfully of Mikati as the wilayet el-faqih prime minister, referring to the formal title (“rule of the jurisprudent”) of the Iranian supreme leader system. Hariri and many of the Lebanese Sunnis he represents see the events of the past weeks as a successful coup by Hizbullah to take over the government.

 

 

January 31, 2011

Tunisia Was the Trigger, Egypt Is the Prize

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- In the long-delayed modern Arab revolt for dignity, rights and freedom, Tunisia was the trigger, but Egypt is the prize. The Arab popular struggle against autocratic security and police states that was finally initiated earlier this month with the revolt that overthrew former Tunisian President Zein el-Abedine Ben Ali has reached a critical point in Egypt during the past three days. Events reached their tipping point Sunday and are likely to lead quickly to a political transition that replaces President Hosni Mubarak with a new leadership that more accurately reflects political sentiments in the country.

 

 

January 26, 2011

The Palestine Papers

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

DOHA -- The Palestine Papers being published this week by Jazeera Television and the Guardian provide important but many, often problematic, insights into several key aspects of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to achieve a comprehensive, permanent peace agreement. Reading through the entire archive of over 1600 documents -- as I have had a chance to do at Jazeera Television in Doha this week -- provides a useful overview of, and insights into, the three principal actors in the process: the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government, and American officials.

 

 

January 21, 2011

Lebanon: The Vitality and Poverty of Arab Politics

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- Six Arab countries today -- Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine and Somalia -- are engaged in intense domestic negotiations or confrontational dynamics that may determine, in some cases, whether these countries remain intact or devolve into new forms of decentralized sovereignty or even division into new states in the most extreme cases. A seventh -- Tunisia -- is in the midst of an exciting national rebirth whose outcome may well influence other Arab societies to democratize. The outcomes of these situations all remain unclear, and their distinct transformational mechanisms are very different. Sudan and Tunisia are the most heartening, reflecting refreshing different means of Arab nationals determining their own future. The situation in Lebanon strikes me as the most fascinating and regionally relevant, however, because it captures the best and worst of contemporary Arab politics and governance.

 

 

January 19, 2011

The Thrill and Consequences of Tunisia

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- Two great questions loom after the overthrow of the Tunisian regime of former President Zein el-Abedine Ben Ali: How smoothly and how quickly will the Tunisian people transition to a more democratic form of government that can address their grievances and improve their life prospects? How much, and what kind of, impact will the Tunisian popular revolution have on other Arab countries? Both of these questions will require some time before we have clear answers, but several important points already seem clear.

 

 

January 17, 2011

Arab Transformations Worth Watching

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The Arab world this week experiences three extraordinarily interesting models of political action and change -- in Sudan, Lebanon and Tunisia -- that share only a common problem, but do not offer insights into the best solution. The common problem is that the existing political and economic order in the Arab world is unstable and unsustainable, because it is unsatisfying to a majority of citizens. These three models of change -- not to mention drastic others, like invaded Iraq or shattered Somalia -- provide very different transformational paths that attempt in their own ways to narrow the gap between state and citizen, and activate to some extent the principle of “the consent of the governed.”

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.