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Tunisia’s 2019 Elections: Beyond the Islamists vs. Secularists Cleavage

Tunisia’s 2019 legislative and presidential elections have drastically reshuffled the country’s highly contested political system. Incumbent parties have suffered heavy electoral losses, with Ennahdha losing 17 MPs and Nidaa Tounès only keeping 3 seats following a series of internal splits (Machrou’ Tounès, Tahya Tounès). Neither of the presidential candidates officially endorsed by Ennahdha (Abdelfattah Mourou) […]

Geopolitics and conflicts hit Aramco’s IPO, Crown Prince turns East

The Aramco IPO, possibly the largest IPO listing of a company ever on stock exchanges, is sailing into uncharted waters. After almost four years of hinting at a US$2 trillion valuation and listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE), geopolitics, regional conflict and an unstable global oil market are […]

Is the Middle East running out of water?

The drums of water wars have been banging in the Middle East for decades. From local journalists to taxi drivers and heads of state, many see these wars as inevitable. The argument runs that with climate change and booming populations, there isn’t going to be enough water for everyone. What follows is intuitively simple: when […]

A Return to Targeted Assassinations in Gaza

This morning, Israel carried out a targeted assassination of the senior military commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Shajiaya, in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip. Bahaa Abu al-Ata, 42 and his wife Asma Mohammed, 39 were killed as a bomb struck their home in the early hours of this morning. Syrian state media reported […]

Why business as usual is no longer an option for Lebanon’s ruling elites?

Lebanese citizens have been on the streets since 17 October to reject widespread corruption and deteriorating socio-economic conditions, thereby renouncing blind obedience and signalling an end to the discourse of fear propagated by the ruling elites. The population, deceived by its politicians, is asking for new and qualified leaders. Politicians’ speeches have clearly shown their […]

What’s new about this second wave of Arab Uprisings?

Protests in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon and Iraq bring to mind images of the Arab Spring that shook the MENA region in 2011. Thousands of demonstrators in different Sudanese, Algerian, Lebanese and Iraqi cities have taken to the streets calling for political change and chanting the famous 2011 slogan “the people want the fall of the […]

Tunisia’s next battle

Speculations around the composition of the next Tunisian cabinet would not have waited for the final electoral results to abound. With a new president backed by no partisan structure and a fragmented parliament with no clear majority, the Tunisian political class is now faced with the difficult task to either build a solid ruling coalition […]

Why Tunisia needs a new generation of leaders*

Author: Nedra Cherif As Tunisia heads towards its second general election since the fall of the authoritarian regime, filling the generational gap that is pulling an aging ruling elite apart from an increasingly disenchanted youth is becoming crucial in helping to consolidate the country’s young democracy. The 2019 elections could therefore mark a turning point, […]

New Op-ed| De-escalating Tension in the Gulf: Why Efforts to Facilitate Arab-Iranian Dialogue should be Intensified

Co-authors: Tamer Badawi (Policy Leader Fellow, STG), Luigi Narbone (Director of MEDirections) Escalatory dynamics in the Gulf have reached levels not seen since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Since the commencement of President Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, they seem to be going beyond the harsh rhetoric of the last few years. […] In times […]