Author Archives: Riad Al-Khouri

Explaining Middle East Insecurity

Explaining Middle East Insecurity

The Middle East faces an increasingly complex and fragile security situation. The region (defined by authors Swain and Jägerskog to include all Arab countries in Asia, plus Egypt and Occupied Palestine — though I personally might also add Iran and Anatolia) suffers from strained water supplies and limited arable land, along with increasing populations, stagnant

Knowledge Production in the Arab World

Knowledge Production in the Arab World assesses regional research, posing questions crucial to understand the relevance of this research and its beneficiaries. The book studies the Arab drive to join the increasingly globalized world of research, and in doing so promote “knowledge” economies. Yet – as the provocative subtitle The Impossible Promise suggests – authors

Yossi Alpher, No End of Conflict

Yossi Alpher, a veteran of Israel’s intelligence services, starts “No End of Conflict” with a personal and emotional account of his role in an attempt to reunite two sisters from the Holy Land, separated since 1947 – first by their choosing different paths in life and later because of the new borders imposed on Palestine

One drop at a time

Growing populations, rising demand on resources and mounting environmental pressures are putting an increasing global strain on water resources. In the Middle East in particular, stressed river basins shared by countries are increasingly experiencing problems, and global climate change will only exacerbate this. December’s landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was not primarily about water-related

Erbil booms despite blasts

Iraqi Kurdistan was tense end-September with the announcement of somewhat contentious election results, and the staging of a rare terrorist attack. Inevitably, the overall effect was to dampen business confidence. However, are these mere pinpricks, or more ominous signs? Erbil doesn’t yet have that most accurate of all measures of business confidence, a sophisticated, broad-based,

Back in the eye of the storm

  The quiet and largely peaceful Kurdish region of Iraq was last month thrust back into the spotlight by two events, firstly the somewhat contentious election results and secondly a rare Al-Qaeda attack. Coupled with an influx of refugees from Syria and continued acrimony with Baghdad, such events have once again highlighted Kurdish vulnerability amid

An evasive business

After decades of unbalanced economic growth amid pseudo-liberal reform, the Middle East exploded in the turmoil of the ‘Arab Spring’, and many of the business groups that anchored pre-2011 developments vanished from the political scene, or otherwise recast themselves. Addressing this process, “Business Politics in the Middle East” looks at the role of the private

Don’t write John Kerry off yet

As continued troubles roil the Middle East, the need for action to stabilize the region economically becomes more urgent. Since 2011, in much of the Arab world a lack of stability has created a vicious circle of weaker economies and political unrest that is becoming tougher to handle through normal policy measures. Of course, many

Palestine’s hope

Away from the geostrategic dramas playing out in the Middle East these days, some Arab-Israelis are seeing quiet progress. The community’s latest success came in late April when Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab city, opened its first industrial park. Set up by Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer — who has built several such projects elsewhere — and

Jordan’s economy could benefit from Palestine confederation

With US Secretary of State John Kerry back in the Middle East this week, new ideas are being touted to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process – with a confederation between Jordan and an independent Palestine among those getting traffic. While it is deeply controversial and unpopular with much of the political classes in both Jordan

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