Author Archives: Riad Al-Khouri

A Middle East oasis of peace

A Middle East oasis of peace

Reading Time: 3 minutes The economy of peace in the Middle East is dwarfed by the economies of war. But at times like today, when the region is being suffocated once again by the overbearing weight of global power interests, even small stories that combine authentic experiences of real coexistence with critiques of its deficiencies can remind us of

Inside the global economy

Reading Time: 3 minutes In publishing a “practical guide” to the global economy, American economic researcher Andrew Vonnegut provides a toolset for better understanding the ways in which it is prone to be influenced by “big shifts.” According to Vonnegut, such shifts can be demographic or ecological, but can also involve issues related to inequality, information technology, and emerging

Troubled and troublesome

Reading Time: 7 minutes Every stroll in the Eastern Mediterranean lands means walking in the presence of some historic reference. Transformed into politics and national ideologies, history has long been a tool of identity building. When looking at identity politics, these days may we squirm over the rise of new, presumably white identity politics in the United States or

Explaining Middle East Insecurity

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes   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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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