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Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

 

By Date

 

2010 (continued)

February 1, 2010

"Arab Society and Men with Guns"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

AMMAN -- Every time I go to a conference or workshop on civil society and non-governmental organizations in the Arab world, I come away with the same mixed feelings of despondency and pride. I am despondent because decades of work and tens of millions of dollars of local and foreign money that have been spent on strengthening civil society have had very limited impact on the quality of life of ordinary citizens in our region. Civil society institutions continue to be almost totally at the mercy of state power and controls.

 

 

January 27, 2010

Signals of Change from Syria

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

DAMASCUS -- I have been traveling to Syria regularly for 40 years, and every time I visit Damascus I make time to go to the old city and the spectacular early 8th Century AD Umayyad Mosque. The timeless beauty and power of the place are always dazzling, no matter how many times you experience it.

 

 

January 25, 2010

The Arab Quest for Freedom and Democracy

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The epic story of the modern Arab world -- largely untold in our societies and unappreciated around the world -- has been the quest by ordinary men and women for reforms that would allow our societies to break the chains of three predominant trends that have plagued us: autocratic political regimes, a seemingly permanent state of post-colonial distortion and dependence, and an inability to tap our human and natural resources to match the Western or Asian developmental bursts that have left us coughing in their dust.

 

 

January 20, 2010

Low Marks for Obama’s Year One

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The first anniversary of Barack Obama’s presidency is a good time to review his performance in the Middle East, and the Middle East’s performance vis-à-vis the United States. The exercise is depressing, but useful, especially on the Arab-Israeli conflict that remains the central destabilizing factor in the wider region. It is unfair only to measure Obama’s performance, and ignore the Israeli and Arab principal players in this prolonged drama of stalemate and stagnation.

 

 

January 18, 2010

Will European Action Follow Rhetoric?

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- Just as the United States apparently is gearing up for phase two of its foray into Arab-Israeli peace-making diplomacy, some Europeans seem to be awakening from their long slumber on the issue. Several symbolic or rhetorical gestures in recent weeks indicate that the European Union wants at least to raise its voice and its profile on Arab-Israeli peace-making. Their approach is intriguing, given Europe’s potential to play a more activist role in promoting the rule of law as the basis for any negotiated agreement.

 

 

January 13, 2010

Students and Smoothies on Huntington Avenue

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- I am often asked why I maintain the slightly naïve expectation that the United States will one day pursue policies in the Middle East that are fair to all in our region, and also comply with international law and core American values. My answer is, in part: Professor Denise Horn’s Globalization and International Affairs class INTL 1101 at Northeastern University in Boston.

 

 

January 11, 2010

The US Media’s Misconception of Terrorism

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- It has been depressing this week to watch mainstream American television networks cover Yemen and wider issues related to tensions and terrorism in our region. It is depressing because -- with very few exceptions -- the mass media that provides the majority of Americans with their news and views of world events is covering the Yemen story with a shocking combination of amateurism, ideological distortion, and selectivity. If the mass media is a mirror of the political system in the United States -- and I believe it is -- then it is no wonder that the past two decades have seen a steady expansion of two related and symbiotic problems: the spread of terrorism in and from the Arab-Asian region, and the spread of the American armed forces and covert operations in the same region.

 

 

January 6, 2010

Wisdom in Yemen

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- When British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared a few days ago that the United Kingdom and the United States would soon convene a special summit on “stabilizing” Yemen in order to reduce the threat of terrorism emanating from there, I cried in my heart for Yemen. My fears were exacerbated when I read the following day that the US’ top military commander in the region had visited Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to offer support, and pledged more financial and military assistance to defeat the growing presence of Al-Qaeda’s operation in the Arabian Peninsula that is domiciled in Yemen.

 

2009

December 30, 2009

"From Yemen to Detroit, A Grim Year Ends"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- In my desire to get a fresh perspective on the Middle East and also enjoy a white Christmas and New Year's eve full of snow, my wife and I traveled to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and succeeded in achieving both aims, along with seeing some dear old friends. The view of Vilnius in the snow is enchanting, but the view back towards the Middle East is frightening. An end-of-year glance around the region suggests that -- hard as it may be to believe -- political conditions have deteriorated to a large extent in many parts of our region, and very few countervailing improvements can also be noted.

 

 

December 7, 2009

Is Turkey the Only Real Country in the Middle East?

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

ISTANBUL -- Every time I visit Turkey I ask myself what is it that makes me marvel at the many political and economic developments that make it stand out as the most impressive country in the greater Middle East. Watching Turkey's significant foreign policy initiatives these days to cement good relations with its neighbors, I think I understand why: This is the only country in the Middle East region that acts like a normal, mature country.

 

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