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June 22, 2015
"The 'Tiering' of Citizenship and Residency and the 'Hierarchization' of Migrant Communities: The United Arab Emirates in Historical Context"
International Migration Review
By Manal A. Jamal, Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The local population of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) constitutes less than 11.5 percent of the total population. In response to their growing numerical minority status, many Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, including the UAE, have become more stringent about their citizenship, nationality, and employment policies. The natural questions to follow are: Why have UAE nationality and citizenship laws diverged from the anticipated “opening” of nationality and citizenship policies that some assumed would accompany globalization? In the specific context of the UAE, what factors have shaped and changed these policies over time?"
June 11, 2015
By Robert M. Danin, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) recently announced that the death toll from Syria’s conflict now exceeds 230,000 people. In May 2014, SOHR had put the death toll at 160,000 people, indicating more than 70,000 people killed in Syria over the past year alone.
Since June 2012, Middle East Matters has tracked the data from Syria’s brutal conflict. Our sources include the Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDC), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and the Syrian Revolution Martyr Database, as well as refugee numbers from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees."
June 10, 2015
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"So what do we do if the Islamic State succeeds in holding on to its territory and becoming a real state? Posen says that the United States (as well as others) should deal with the Islamic State the same way it has dealt with other revolutionary state-building movements: with a policy of containment."
Belfer Center Newsletter
In 2011, the world watched in awe as Arab citizens poured into the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East, and, in some cases, managed to topple long-standing authoritarian regimes through persistent protest. The uprisings and the ensuing turbulence have forced scholars to re-examine previously accepted propositions about legitimacy, the state, civil society, religion, and regional stability.
May 30, 2015
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"We know from polls over the past decade that nearly half of all young people in the poorer Arab states see their government institutions as lacking credibility or even legitimacy, but most of them do not join ISIS or undertake an equally desperate action. The bottom line is that so many of these people see ISIS as a viable, if desperate, last alternative to their current life — or at least they use ISIS as a means of taunting and challenging their governments. ISIS offers them, in their perceptions, everything that they lack in their lives today — order, moral certitude, righteous living, a sense of community, a job, empowerment, basic rights, reliable access to basic human services and needs, social justice and equitable treatment of all citizens, and a higher purpose in life."
May 19, 2015
An audio recording from an MEI panel discussion on Yemen, featuring panelists Fatima Abo Alasrar, Asher Orkaby, Leslie Campbell, and chair Michael C. Hudson.
On May 12, 2015, MEI convened a panel of Yemen experts to discuss Yemen's political and economic history and current dynamics, disentangle the various groups competing for control and influence, and envision potential resolutions to the current crisis.
May 18, 2015
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy
"..[T]he orchestrated U.S. government announcements about the documents, computers and other financial materials that were captured in the raid have got to make a lot of ISIS leaders very nervous. And it is likely to make members of ISIS who have avoided the violence of the battlefield — men like Sayyaf — believe that not even an office job is safe."