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Middle East/North Africa Politics

Lebanon – Can France Resolve the Country’s Multiple Crises?

While Lebanon has been doubly afflicted by its economic crisis and the COVID pandemic, the fatal blow of Beirut’s port explosion heightened uncertainties concerning the country’s capacity to recover from its multiple troubles. Amid sporadic and hesitant foreign aid packages, France stood up as the figurehead of the country’s reconstruction. Nonetheless, the question remains: to what extent will Paris be able to bring about the changes Lebanon desperately needs?

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Kuwait – Will the Kuwaiti Emir’s Death Bring More Turbulent Relations to the Middle East?

Kuwait’s Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah’s death on the 29th of October 2020 raises questions about the future of diplomatic talks within the region. Celebrated as the “Wise Man of the Region”, Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah was pivotal in mediating amid countries in the Middle East. One week before his death, US President Donald Trump gave Sheik Sabah a prestigious award honoring his “tireless mediation of disputes” which re-emphasized the important role Sheik Sabah plays in mediation efforts within the Middle Eastern region.

Middle East/North Africa Security

The Clock is Ticking for the Iran Nuclear Deal

Seven days into 2020 it appeared that President Donald Trump had pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war. A few weeks later, an unprecedented global pandemic put a stop to that. Where do Iran and the US stand now, and what does the future hold for their contentious nuclear agreement?

Middle East/North Africa Politics

On the brink of state failure: Lebanon’s continuing crisis

After a year of protests at corrupt sectarian rule and a stagnant economy, Lebanon has come full-circle in re-appointing Saad Hariri as Prime Minister. As a state, Lebanon faces multiple existential challenges which Hariri has a gargantuan task to surmount.

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Rebuilding the Port of Beirut: a competition for geopolitical influence

In the wake of the explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital on 4 August 2020, multiple countries made offers to participate in the reconstruction of the Port of Beirut alongside sending their condolences. Far from being disinterested acts of solidarity, these propositions constitute strategic moves in a geopolitical game for greater influence over the Eastern Mediterranean. France is likely to stand out from the rest of the competition due to its historical and cultural ties to Lebanon, its current involvement in pushing for reforms in the country and its geopolitical position.

Middle East/North Africa Under The Radar

COVID-19 and the GCC Security Dilemmas

May 25 marked the 39th anniversary of the founding of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Across the Gulf, the occasion was welcomed as an opportunity to reflect on how the

Middle East/North Africa Security

MENA Power Brokers: Esmail Qaani

Under Qaani the Qods Force will continue Iran’s strategy, but their activities are likely to be more careful, restrained and in line with mainstream policy. How will this affect the Middle East?

Finance Middle East/North Africa

Saudi Aramco: Risks to Potential Investors

Saudi Aramco is now the world’s largest and most profitable company – valued at $2 trillion company. 1.5% of its stakes went public and are considered an attractive investment. However, multiple risk factors remain.

Insights Middle East/North Africa

Iraq: The Political Economy of Corruption

Recent protests in Iraq have demanded an end to rampant state corruption, the removal of foreign influences from Iraqi politics and the proper provision of public services.

Middle East/North Africa Security

Will Drones Push the Middle East Past the Point of No Return?

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or drones, both armed and unarmed, have altered how states and insurgents conduct warfare in the Middle East.