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Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

 

By Program/Project

 

Harvard–Belfer on Syria

Getty Images / Atta Kenare

February 20, 2016

"The real threat to Arab countries is from within"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"One of the fascinating dimensions of political life across the Middle East region in recent generations has been the repeated Arab concern that some non-Arab power has hegemonic plans to dominate the entire region and rob the Arabs of their identity and rights. This applies mainly to the three principal non-Arab powers in the region — Israel, Turkey, and Iran. It is useful therefore to consider the past and current condition of these three, in order to determine if indeed they have the desire or capability of achieving hegemonic control over Arab societies..."

 

 

Getty Images / Joseph Eid

February 17, 2016

"Remembering Anthony Shadid"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"How the unfolding events in northern Syria play out may well set the tone for things to follow in this region for years to come, given the many wars now taking place there among global, regional and local powers. Amidst this unprecedented situation of often desperate warring actors, I believe it is appropriate to remember this week the life and work of the late Anthony Shadid, who reported for the New York Times when he died in northern Syria exactly four years ago this week..."

 

 

Getty Images / Abd Doumany

February 13, 2016

"Complexities and perplexities in the Arab world"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"Syria is the place that still captures the complexities of statehood and society challenges in the Middle East, which tend to elicit perplexities in the policies of most foreign powers. This is partly a function of political geography that goes back millennia, and is not peculiar to our time. Many regional and world armies in the past five millennia — Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Persia, Crusaders, Egypt, Parthia, Ottomans, France, Great Britain, and Islamic dynasties — have repeatedly occupied this land, fought over it, or sought to control it through local proxies."

 

 

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."

 

 

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."

 
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.