Belfer Center Home > People > Rami Khouri

« Back to Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

 

By Program/Project

 

Harvard–Belfer on Syria

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/Spencer Platt

December 12, 2015

"What can we learn from the Trump and ISIS eras?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Donald Trump and Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi peddle similar fantasies to ordinary people living in diminished and stressed conditions. The fantasy of being born again into a perfect, orderly and triumphant world is hard to resist for ordinary men and women whose ordinary lives have suddenly taken a turn to vulnerability, uncertainty, weakness, humiliation, and even military and terror attacks by hostile foreigners they can neither understand nor neutralize. They are promised, and expect to enjoy, instant personal wellbeing, communal power, and national re-assertion, in Nevada and New Jersey as in Raqqa and Casablanca..."

 

 

Getty Images

November 25, 2015

"How should we respond to the threat of ISIS? (part 2)"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Throughout many private and public encounters across the United States in the past two months, I have repeatedly heard Americans ask whether they are doing the right thing in their current policy to counter "Islamic State" (ISIS), and whether they should be doing other things besides military attacks. This is now even more urgent since the United States government has issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans traveling abroad. Existing policies to counter Islamist terror groups have not worked very well, it seems, to judge by the last 17 years of non-stop military attacks against Al-Qaeda which have seen Al-Qaeda persist and expand recently, and ISIS come to being and wage terror attacks in several countries beyond its borders."

 

 

Getty Images

November 21, 2015

"How should the world respond to the ISIS threat? (part 1 of 2)"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Never in my adult life have I ever experienced in the Middle East and the Western world anything like the prevailing disjunction today between the “Islamic State” (ISIS) threat that preoccupies all publics and governments, and the apparent inability of political systems to deal with it coherently. This is a problem everywhere, and I mean literally everywhere, in the world, making Arabs, Americans Europeans, Israelis, Russians, Iranians and all other concerned people equal partners in this astounding example of collective political and strategic transcontinental incompetence."

 

 

Getty Images, Anadolu Agency

November 18, 2015

"Syria peace process is a marvelous play without actors"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"While the world has been preoccupied with the “Islamic State” (ISIS) and its global terrorism threat that emanated from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, 17 countries that met in Vienna last weekend agreed on a stunningly ambitious and impressive timetable to wind down the conflict and move Syria towards a political transition within the coming 18 months. The plan was agreed by all the critical external players, notably the United States, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom now spend more time funding and fanning the wars within Syria than they do resolving it. I hope dearly that this plan is actually implemented. The odds for that occurring are not high, but neither are they zero."

 

 

Getty Images, AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

November 15, 2015

"Military responses alone will not defeat ISIL"

Op-Ed, Aljazeera

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"In the past month, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched three major terror attacks: the downing of a Russian airplane over Sinai, two suicide bombings in Beirut and coordinated suicide attacks against civilians in Paris. The wave of violence had five targets: Russia, Egypt, Hezbollah, Lebanon and France. The ambitiousness of these actions appears to mark a shift in ISIL’s strategy that will likely trigger heightened military attacks against its facilities, supply lines and leaders. After the Paris attacks, French President François Hollande promised a “merciless” response against ISIL."

 

 

Getty Images

October 31, 2015

"Vienna talks mark a historic moment for Syria and the region"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Maybe there is something in the water in Vienna that makes people act like adults. Whatever it is, the meetings this week in Vienna on Thursday and Friday suggest that several significant and positive changes are taking place across several conflict zones and stress points in the Middle East. The Vienna gatherings are so interesting because they touch on half a dozen different ideological or military conflicts that take place at several different levels. They all converge in the Middle East, and their epicenter is Syria, which is burning out of control and scorching everyone around it."

 

 

Getty Images

October 17, 2015

"Russian forces in Syria signal a new Mideast era"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"I am astounded by how many people in the United States and abroad look at Russia’s direct military involvement in Syria and mainly reflect on the erratic and wavering U.S. policy in the region. I do not see how the United States should be singled out for a largely failed policy that has caused so much death and destruction in Syria, when many others in the Mideast and abroad were much more directly responsible for the torment of Syria. This is certainly an important moment, but what it portends will only become clearer months down the road. For now, we can really only make a few observations and ask some questions about Russian militarism in Syria."

 

 

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

March 28, 2015

"Four Active Arab Wars Stem from a Common Malaise"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The latest active war in the Middle East, the Saudi Arabian-led assault on Yemen to prevent the Houthi movement from taking full control of the entire country by force, has triggered a fascinating legal and ideological debate about the legitimacy and efficacy of this venture. The significance of this war in Yemen is not really about the legally authorized use of force to ensure a calm Arab future. Rather, it is mainly a testament to the marginalization of the rule of law — and not its affirmation — in many Arab countries in our recent past."

 
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.