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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

Getty Images (Thaer Mohammed)

February 10, 2016

"Aleppo’s frightening reminder of wider threats, and older glories"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Aleppo today is frightening almost beyond description and comprehension. One of the world’s ancient centers of civilization is bombed, sieged, tortured, and starved to death, and hundreds of thousands of fleeing refugees do not know if they will find shelter or live another week. Even then, Aleppo is not the most frightening thing we have to understand these days in this realm of modern urban warfare."

 

 

AFP/ Amer Almohibany

February 6, 2016

"Intriguing opportunity and dangers of ground forces in Syria"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"This week was full of omens that Syria in its already fractured and suffering condition should look forward to more misery, due to the actions of Syrians as well as foreign powers, amidst slow-moving negotiations for ceasefires and a future political transition. The most intriguing sign of things to come was the official announcement that Saudi Arabia is willing to provide ground forces to fight “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria, if the anti-ISIS countries that will meet in Brussels this month agree on a coordinated ground-and-air strategy."

 

 

AFP (Tim Sloan)

February 4, 2016

How can a 2-state solution calm our troubled region?

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"It was a more than fascinating coincidence that last week both the French government and the UN secretary general called for serious and urgent international action to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through a negotiated agreement that leads to the creation of a Palestinian state living in peace adjacent to Israel. Both gestures were dramatic, and deserve our full attention, because they affirm the pivotal link between the unresolved status of Palestine and the continued deterioration of conditions across the Middle East..."

 

 

Creative Commons

January 30, 2016

"Fear trumps facts in this U.S. presidential year"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The role of foreign policy issues in the American presidential campaign is both serious and frivolous, and appears to be a cause for concern, given the many contentious and negative issues involved. Yet things may not be as they appear, and we probably should not be very worried about what we are hearing these days."

 

 

Getty Images/M. El-Shahed

January 27, 2016

"On January 25, we recall beloved Egypt, and ourselves"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"January 25 is probably the most meaningful moment to recall the Arab uprisings of 2011, because it captures the dynamics within Egypt that ultimately shape sentiments and events across much of the Arab world. Egypt remains at once both iconic and foundational to the Arab world, in so many realms — politics, economy, culture, sports, religion, secularism, civil society, the role of the military, and, most importantly, citizen rights and the exercise of power in the public sphere..."

 

 

Getty Images/J. Mitchell

January 23, 2016

"The full dangers of refugees and migrants are within us"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"How should we view and respond to the growing flow of refugees and migrants from, within, and beyond the Middle East? Is this mainly a temporary humanitarian challenge? An occasional security threat? A cultural and political concern for mostly white and Christian Europe? All of these are significant issues that need to be addressed, but perhaps the most important dimension of the growing refugees/migrants situation is what it tells us about the modern condition of the Arab world, and more specifically its critical vulnerabilities in the quality of statehood and the fragility of citizenship..."

 

 

Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

January 20, 2016

"Finally, a sensible — but difficult — path to reducing terrorism"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The difference between the sensible and superficial approaches to tackling the scourge of terrorism and other forms of violent extremism by groups such as “Islamic State” (ISIS) was as clear as possible last week, in two efforts by the US government and the United Nations secretary general, Ban-Ki moon. For all those puzzled people around the world who ask what we must do to defeat ISIS and others like it, I suggest taking half an hour to read and really ponder the proposals offered by the UN secretary-general..."

 

 

Getty Images/M. Al-Dulaimi

January 16, 2016

"Think again, guys…’bomb away’ is not an effective policy"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The main problem is that foreign military actions tend to achieve exactly the opposite of the intended goals. Military assaults against terror groups, resistance movements, and just plain old civilian demonstrators or non-violent rebels — whether carried out by local governments or foreign powers, or both — tend to harden and expand the resolve of those who challenge the states in question..."

 

 

Getty Images

January 13, 2016

"2011-2016 Arab dashed hopes, opened eyes"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Many analysts this week have marked the five years since the fall of former Tunisian President Zein el-Abideen Ben Ali, the first of several Arab dictators who were toppled from office by a wave of spontaneous street demonstrations across Arab countries. This process of retrospective introspection is important, if it can clarify whether new upheavals will occur or why the revolt of 2011 has been beaten back for many years..."

 

 

Getty Images/Anadolu Agency

January 9, 2016

"Maturity must replace frenzy to achieve a Gulf grand bargain"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"A fascinating aspect of the escalating feud between Iran and Saudi Arabia is the variety of views and actions by the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Two of them (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) cut off diplomatic ties with Iran, three others only recalled their ambassadors, and Oman has maintained full diplomatic ties.

This instructive variety of responses shows the range of political attitudes and calculations among the GCC members, who follow their own self-interest rather than act like an unthinking herd. Four of the six maintain official communication channels with Tehran because it allows continued direct diplomacy at a moment when this crisis starts to shift towards trying to find a negotiated resolution..."

 
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.