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Articles & Contributions from Members & Partners



Even Pencils Were Banned: The Effects of Sanctions on the Iraqi Education System

Ghazi Ghazi, 1001 Iraqi Thoughts – 1 March 2021 Iraq’s weak education system dates back to the 1990’s and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent sanctions by the UNSC. Prior to this, the country had an education system upon which many countries in the Middle East looked upon as an ideal, however thirty years…

Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq: Beyond the symbolism

Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Al Jazeera – 9 March 2021 The visit of Pope Francis was a monumental moment in Iraq’s history. In this article in Al Jazeera, Ibrahim Al-Marashi explains why the fate of Iraqi minorities is not just hinged on this religious symbolism, but on ‘the ability of the Iraqi political elite to resist foreign…

Hopes and fears of mother-to-be in Afghanistan

UN News, 6 February 2021 Arifa Omid, Afghan mother and UNICEF employee, writes a beautiful letter to her unborn baby daughter in this article on UN News. In the letter, she talks about her fears for her daughter growing up in a country where the oppression of women is plentiful, but also her hopes for…

Ending the Yemen war is both a strategic and humanitarian imperative

John R. Allen and Bruce Riedel – Brookings, Order and Chaos Series Saudi Arabia ostensibly started the war in Yemen to prevent Iran from acquiring a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula overlooking the strategic Bab al Mandab straits. Almost six years later, the war has in fact given Iran just that — plus created the worst humanitarian…

How the Iran-Iraq war will shape the region for decades to come

Ranj Alaaldin – Brookings Forty years ago, a major war between Iran and Iraq set the stage for far-reaching and lasting regional dynamics. The conflict — which began in September 1980 when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, and ended in a stalemate in 1988 — was the nascent Islamic Republic’s first major military test. It was…

No peacemakers for the new/old Caucasian war -Understanding the Armenia-Azerbaijan clash

Pavel K. Baev – Brookings A full-blown war erupted in the South Caucasus last Sunday, September 27, and as the two belligerents — Armenia and Azerbaijan — mobilize their forces under martial law, no international authority is trying in earnest to stop the hostilities. The conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region ignited 30 years ago…

Economics and the Culture War

Some economists may prefer to concentrate on the current economic situation while standing apart from cultural questions, or to say that the current kerfuffle over “cancel culture” will recede when the economy improves. But this is to abdicate responsibility and to choose the easy road under cover of their discipline’s neutrality. The authority of economics…