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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/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..."

 

 

Getty Images/Ahmad Al-Rubaye

June 8, 2016

"Anticipate a globalized Islamist virtual gangster cult"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The challenge of identifying and containing IS members in Europe or elsewhere who may be planning terror attacks is much more difficult today than was the (ongoing) counter-terrorism fight against Al-Qaeda during the past quarter century, for two main reasons. Deteriorating economic and political conditions in dozens of countries expands the pool of recruits, and, thousands of European recruits who have been thoroughly trained, indoctrinated, and given battlefield experience in the “Islamic State” return home with greater capabilities than earlier waves of terrorists..."

 

 

Creative Commons (Paolo Porsla)

May 11, 2016

"Yes, let us honestly assess Sykes-Picot’s ugly century"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

We are into the season when you will be flooded with articles and analyses on the 100-year anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement that was signed on May 18, 1916. That agreement between Great Britain and France, with Russian acquiescence, defined how they would divide the spoils of the crumbling Ottoman Empire in the East Mediterranean region.

 

 

Getty Images/Spencer Platt

May 4, 2016

"The fateful battle over Arab public space and ideas"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"It is not a good sign when a government says it promotes democracy yet sends its police to intimidate and arrest journalists and prevent peaceful public demonstrations. In this vein, the Egyptian government’s storming of the Egyptian Press Syndicate's offices on Sunday is only the latest and most dramatic move by Arab governments to use a variety of means at their disposal to control what citizens have access to in their media..."

 

 

Getty Images/Anwar Amro

April 20, 2016

"The delusion of copying Lebanon's political system"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"A flurry of press reports and analyses about the future of Syria, like the regular Elvis Presley sightings I always enjoy, are dramatic, captivating, slightly wondrous, and fill a basic psychological need. Most of what we hear about the future demographic configuration, borders, or ruling power structure of Syria is titillating speculation. The actual outcomes in Syria will reflect domestic, regional, and international factors that are all unknown today..."

 

 

AFP / Thomas Coex

April 12, 2016

Historic shifts in world’s view of Israel-Palestine

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

As Israelis and Palestinians continue to battle to the death in their contested land, it is important to note a historic shift in how the minds, hearts, and public politics of the world perceive the Palestine issue. . . . In many arenas and dimensions, far from dropping off the global political map, Palestinian rights are popping up in more venues around the world, with a regular public focus on countering and even sanctioning Zionist excesses and criminal actions, such as expropriating and colonizing occupied Arab lands.

 

 

Peter Macdiarmid

April 9, 2016

Persistent roots of Arab weakness and relinquished sovereignty

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

We are well into the start of the sixth year since uprisings and revolutions rocked parts of the Arab world in January-February 2011, and the balance sheet of achievements is very mixed, and mostly disappointing, beyond Tunisia. . . . The two most troubling aspects of what is going on in the other five countries that erupted into major street demonstrations and regime counter-attacks are the lack of any clear national consensus on how to govern the country, and the deep, militaristic interventions by foreign countries.

 
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.