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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

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July 17, 2015

"Why is the United States schizophrenic towards Iran?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The breathtaking intensity and variety of speculation on the future of the Middle East that were sparked by the signing of the nuclear technology/sanctions agreement this week between Iran and the P5+1 powers has revolved around a few key issues. Is Iran a threat to the Arab world because of its “hegemonic” aims, as some Arab states believe? Will its increased power and influence in the wake of this accord be used to “destabilize” the region? Will the United States slowly make Iran a major regional ally and recalibrate somewhat its relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt? Will the devious Iranians cheat during the years of the accord, and then sprint to build a nuclear bomb in its wake?"

 

 

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July 15, 2015

"Iran is drama, but Iraq is destiny"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The dramatic events surrounding the intense negotiations for a deal on Iran’s nuclear industry and the sanctions on it deserve immense attention because of what they tell us about two pivotal dynamics in the Middle East, namely the role of Iran in the region and the world and the more mature attitude of the United States towards countries and movements that it disagrees with, like Iran, Hizbollah, Hamas and others. Yet, despite the momentous impact of an agreement on Iran, the dynamic this week that I am watching much more closely is the offensive launched Monday by the Iraqi government to retake Anbar Province from the hands of “Islamic State” (IS). Anbar Province’s convoluted and fast changing condition in the past decade is a sign of wider stresses that plague Iraq, including the province’s successive anti-American, anti-Islamic State in Mesopotamia, and anti-Baghdad rebellions, its gradual loss to IS during the past year, and Baghdad’s current strategy to return it to the fold of the Iraqi state."

 

 

July 11, 2015

"ISIS is weak, but so are Arab states"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"One of the depressing mysteries of the day in the Middle East is why the many different parties involved in the struggle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have not coordinated more urgently to fight and destroy ISIS. You would think that Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, assorted Kurdish groups in several countries, Hizbollah, and other non-state actors with powerful military capabilities would join forces at a minimum level in order to definitively end ISIS’ mini-expansions into or towards their territories."

 

 

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July 4, 2015

"Egypt, ISIS, Elvis and other inspirations"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The common relevant element here to our troubled Arab condition is that individual human beings have always struggled, and often died, for the freedom and the right to be themselves, to achieve their full personal and civic potentials. This universal quest for personal liberty is not absolute, but ideally is defined within a constitutional framework of order and the rule of law that protects the equal rights of all citizens."

 

 

Getty Images

July 1, 2015

"The issues this week's terror menu raises"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The most dangerous and troubling among the terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait, France, Egypt and Yemen in the past week are probably the Kuwait and Egypt attacks. The bombing of a major Shiite mosque in Kuwait City by a young Saudi man and the assassination in Cairo of the Egyptian public prosecutor show the ease with which ordinary citizens in those countries can move about, cross borders, and kill at will. They also affirm that heavy security and spreading the wealth by munificent governments are unlikely to check the spread of this terrible new scourge of violence by “Islamic State” and others."

 

 

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June 27, 2015

"Signs of a more effective Palestinian strategy?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Efforts by non-governmental groups, including the Gaza flotilla and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, have generated some traction and support globally, but without significant measurable impact yet on Israeli decision-making and policies. This mirrors the condition of exile and dispersal that the Palestinians suffer, yet it is also a result of political dysfunction at a national level which dates back to the last 20 years or so, when the PNA effectively replaced the much more widely representative Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)..."

 

 

U.S. Department of State

June 20, 2015

"Good grief: ISIS cannot be fought with Facebook likes"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Rarely has amateurism in American foreign policy in the Middle East been as glaring and shocking as it has been in the past year in relation to Washington’s policy on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In the United States during the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to follow more closely than usual news, analysis and political discussions about how the U.S. should respond to the threat of ISIS, and the experience has been frightening."

 

 

Getty Images

June 17, 2015

"To obey the law or to continue criminal actions?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"What is the best way to achieve legitimate political goals that correspond at once to clear national interests, a domestic consensus, and international legitimacy? Several different events in recent days across the Middle East and North Africa region provide us with a fascinating menu of options to choose from; they suggest different levels of efficacy and legitimacy that any country or group of militants must assess in choosing their preferred means of action in the struggles they wage."

 

 

U.S. Department of State

June 13, 2015

"What prospects for Arab, American policy changes?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The respected Arab-American political activist and analyst Jim Zogby published a worthy article in Huffington Post this week entitled, “A smart new Washington project,” about the new "Middle East Strategy Task Force" (MEST) just launched by the Atlantic Council think tank. According to its co-chairs former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, MEST aims to develop a long-term U.S. strategy to assist the Middle East achieve stability and prosperity."

 

 

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June 10, 2015

"The US Supreme Court wisely upholds the law"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"One of the great battles that has been taking place within the United States in recent years has seen two separate issues meshed into a single confrontation: One is the powers of the Congress vs. the powers of the president in foreign policy decisions, and the second is whether the United States should stand squarely behind Israel in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or pay the role of an impartial mediator that seeks a negotiated peace based on international law that meets the security interests of both sides."

 

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