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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

 

2015

Creative Commons

May 20, 2015

"Time to welcome — and assist — the Europeans"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"If Europe genuinely supports a two-state solution — and I believe it does — then Europe can individually and collectively affirm that by recognizing the “state of Palestine,” even though the Palestinians do not enjoy full control of the territory of their anticipated state in the Israeli-occupied or -besieged West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Highlighting formal recognition of a Palestinian state and then activating that status through issues like recognizing passports, trade accords and other means will hasten the day when a majority of Israelis comes to its senses and lives peacefully with the Palestinians in contiguous states. "

 

 

Getty Images

May 19, 2015

"US hosts Gulf allies in vain Camp David meeting"

Op-Ed, Aljazeera

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The Camp David summit last week among the United States and the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states ended with a fluffy communiqué whose mutual courtesies revealed no significant changes in either side’s positions. The troubling and ironic aspect of this event is that both sides were fixated on new security and military measures to address insecurities in the region — many of which exacerbated and some created by their own military policies and distorted threat perceptions. "

 

 

Creative Commons

May 16, 2015

"May 15 is an appropriate moment to remember…May 15, 1948"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"While a series of really serious new dangers like ISIS’ atrocities, the wars in Yemen, Syria and Libya, fighting in and near Lebanon, Iranian-Arab tensions, and an erratic governance transition in Egypt occupy the minds of most people around the Middle East, let me be the quiet voice that whispers in the ears of Middle East watchers: This Friday, May 15, marked the 67th anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian exile and displacement, which occurred as a result of the creation of the state of Israel. That fact matters still today, and we ignore it and its consequences at our peril."

 

 

Getty Images

May 13, 2015

"Attack ISIS’ drivers to defeat it"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"A frightening combination of elements shapes official and public perceptions of ISIS. This includes obvious gaps in knowledge about some aspects of ISIS and its operations; some frenzy about not being able to track or counter the multiple means of recruiting ISIS adherents via social media; and exaggerated fears that hundreds of ISIS members or supporters with foreign passports may be lurking in backyards, mosques or local grocery stores across American towns and cities."

 

 

Getty Images

May 9, 2015

"Narrow ethno-nationalism plagues all in the Middle East"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The last-minute agreement to form a right-of-center government in Israel headed by the Likud Party’s Benjamin Netanyahu is neither surprising nor shocking; rather, it is consistent with the trends of the past four decades that have seen the entire Middle East region shift towards increasingly narrow state identities and government policies that are defined by a combination of narrow ethnicity, increased militarism and religious conservatism."

 

 

Getty Images

May 6, 2015

"Vulnerable, abused citizens lead to unstable states"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Perhaps more useful than trying to identify a single phenomenon that explains the problems facing Arab societies at the macro level of states, religions or ideologies, would be an attempt to understand what drives human sentiments at the individual and community level. The collective emotions of hundreds of millions of individuals ultimately translate into political actions in the public sphere, whether violent and criminal actions like forming aggressive militias or peaceful and legitimate ones like voting in elections."

 

 

Getty Images

April 29, 2015

"Grasp This Window to Hold Killers Accountable"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"What happens when chronic violence and brutal aggression go unchecked for decades on end? We see an example of this in the release this week of the findings of a United Nations internal investigation of events during last summer’s war in Gaza. The report included the conclusion that Israeli attacks then killed 44 Palestinian civilians who had sheltered in seven United Nations schools. It also concluded that no weapons had been found inside those facilities, but rather in three other vacant UN-run schools that Hamas used to store arms, and from where it “probably” fired rockets at Israel."

 

 

Getty Images

April 25, 2015

"A Needed Intellectual Jolt to Israel-Palestine Justice and Peace"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"What should we make of these developments related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that occurred Thursday? Someone in Gaza fired a projectile at southern Israel and Israel’s military responded by attacking some Hamas facilities in northern Gaza. This happened on the day when Israel celebrated its national independence day, which Palestinians mark as their catastrophic day of national shattering, subjugation and exile. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Israel said that if Israel were ever in trouble, the United States would fight for it and protect it. In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a global trade bill but included in it a provision that the U.S. government should work to prevent Europeans from adopting measures to support any trade sanctions or boycotts against Israel because of its illegal exploitation of Palestinian territories. At the Palestinian Birzeit University, Hamas won the student council elections, reversing decades of Fateh control. The UN agency responsible for providing Palestinian refugees with essential needs, UNRWA, noted that eight months after the devastating Israeli destruction of many parts of Gaza, not a single destroyed home has been rebuilt, and 100,000 Palestinian refugees remain homeless."

 

 

Getty Images

April 22, 2015

"Threats and Responses in the New GCC Militancy"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to grasp how they see the world is the best way to understand their behavior. So I have been discussing conditions around the Arab world and the Gulf with friends and colleagues in Dubai this week, seeking to understand the reasons for the newfound militancy of the Saudi Arabian-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Yemen and other Arab lands. I left with much better appreciation for the domestic, regional and global developments that have pushed the GCC into its new orbit of concern and vulnerability — but also with more questions than answers about the perceived threats and whether war in Yemen is the most effective way to deal with them."

 

 

DFID (UK)

April 18, 2015

"Our homemade weapons of our own mass destruction"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"If there is one reason above others that helps explain the many situations of armed conflict, political violence and state collapse across the Arab world, it must be that tens of millions of hopeless young men wander through their own societies like ghosts, unable to enjoy either satisfying employment or meaningful citizenship. The supply of young men, some as young as 14 years old, who are eager to join armed groups, criminal cults, and extremist militias is staggering, as we witness in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and pockets of other countries across the region..."

 

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