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Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

Experience

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. His journalistic work includes writing books and an internationally syndicated column, and he also serves as editor at large of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper.

He spent the 2001–2002 academic year as a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and was appointed a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a research associate at the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflict at the Maxwell School,  Syracuse University (NY, USA), a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Jerusalem), and a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard University Divinity School. He also serves on the board of  the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University.

He was executive editor of the Daily Star newspaper in 2003–2005, and before that had been editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years, when he also wrote for many years from Amman, Jordan for leading international publications, including the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. For 18 years he was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, and in recent years served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archaeology, history, and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan. He often comments on Mideast issues in the international media and lectures frequently at conferences and universities throughout the world.

He has BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University

 

 

By Date

 

2016

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

November 16, 2016

"Trump presidency faces a very wild Middle East"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON — The election of Donald Trump as the next American president has added a major new element of uncertainty to a Middle Eastern picture that had already achieved its highest state of confusion, violence, and uncertainty in its modern history. The factors that will determine the policies Trump will pursue there are many, and they are all moving in unknown directions at the same time. Trying to predict the implications of the Trump presidency for the Middle East is a fascinating game that involves numerous Middle Eastern players and foreign powers, is mostly anchored in guesswork, wishful thinking, and conspiracy theories, and mostly ends up reflecting a lot of wild speculation.

 

 

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

November 2, 2016

"Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the anthropology and geology of Lebanon’s presidential election"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

 

 

AP/Bilal Hussein

October 12, 2016

"Time to explore new responses to war crimes"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

The military campaigns in Syria and Yemen have been characterized by non-stop brutality and indiscriminate attacks from the air that have killed and injured huge numbers of civilians. Not only have we witnessed the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria and thousands in Yemen, but the destruction of civilian infrastructure such as water and health systems means that millions of other civilians will suffer death, disease and injury that will set back these countries for decades. 

The international community has been unable to achieve more than brief cease-fires that last just hours in most cases. Events in the past week have reached such a high point of inhuman warfare and civilian death and suffering that we have started to hear calls for action to investigate and hold accountable those who may have committed crimes against humanity or war crimes.

 

 

AP/Sultan Al Hasani

September 28, 2016

"Shutting Arab minds and mouths leads to disaster"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Is there a single thing that helps us understand why the Arab world has turned into such a horror show of dictatorships and authoritarian governments, state and private political violence, corruption on a massive scale, social polarization, state fragmentation, and the associated phenomena of terror organizations and huge flows of refugees and displaced people? We can point to many candidates for this dishonor, including the legacy of military and family rule, presidents for life, and continuous foreign military interventions. But one underlying issue is the most important one that must be confronted and changed: the right of individuals to speak their mind freely and participate in the mechanisms of decision-making and consensus-building in the public sphere.

 

 

Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

August 31, 2016

"Statecraft lessons from Northern Syria"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The unprecedented combination of political chaos, cross-cutting military confrontations, and strategic contradictions in northern Syria reached a record-setting point two days ago. That was when Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, and the Department of Defense (DoD) said, 'we call on all armed actors to stand down and take appropriate measures to deconflict and open channels of communication.'"

 

 

July 27, 2016

"Arab summits remind us of our frivolous governance systems"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The sad spectacle of the truncated “summit” of Arab leaders in the Mauritanian capital Monday was even more embarrassing than usual for this recurring event. It highlights again the often-frivolous behavior of Arab leaderships, and the massive challenges they are failing to meet. The most troubling aspect of the event was its affirming again the capacity of Arab leaderships to ignore the actual, home-grown, causes of their countries’ problems, and instead to repeat clichés about fighting terrorism and seeking peace — two areas in which the Arab world has failed to make any headway..."

 

 

Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

July 23, 2016

"Syria becomes even more complicated"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The failed military coup in Turkey and the country’s many links with key regional actors in Syria, Russia, Iran, and NATO clarify how difficult it has become to achieve political solutions to individual conflicts, because local, national, regional, and global interests of any single party do not line up nicely in a coherent and clear balance sheet of desirables and undesirables..."

 

 

July 21, 2016

"Banning opposition groups is a failed Arab legacy"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The recent and ongoing spate of decisions by several Arab governments to dissolve and ban certain political groups (mostly Sunni or Shiite Islamists) is a reflection of two dynamics that need to be reviewed together: rising sectarian, political, and ideological tensions across the region, alongside continuing structural inabilities in every Arab country, except Tunisia to date, to accommodate a range of differing political views in a legitimate governance system..."

 

 

Getty Images

July 16, 2016

"When is the moment to ask for more effective anti-terrorism policies?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"What happens when, after another dozen major attacks, the chain of their barbarism outpaces the chain of our human solidarity? When is the permissible moment to start asking if we can muster as much wisdom and realism to fight terror as we do to harness emotions of solidarity? The recent increasing pace and widening geographic scope of terror suggest we are dealing with a qualitatively new kinds of terrorists — but the policy responses of governments and the emotional responses of entire societies suggest we have no idea how to respond to quell this monster."

 

 

Getty Images

July 13, 2016

"Egypt's bold but marginal, mysterious diplomacy"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Egyptian President Abdelfattah Sisi has suggested a regional diplomatic gathering to push ahead towards a permanent Arab-Israeli peace. But the proposed regional conference has not been formulated with widespread consultations among the key players or coordinated with other international initiatives on the table, and the positions of the principal Israeli and Palestinian parties remain too far apart to stir any hopes of success..."

 
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.