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Author: Joseph A. Kéchichian
China is a great and ambitious power, despite being plagued with internal problems running the gamut from poverty to racial and sectarian conflicts. Its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which in part strengthens Sino-Arab cooperation on political, economic, and, presumably, cultural issues—even though cooperation on cultural issues is problematic for Arab societies, which tend to be partial to Western languages and cultures—aims to emphasize Beijing’s quest for regional stability, with the aim of accomplishing the country’s global goals. Of course, because the Middle East in general, and the Arab world in particular, occupy such
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Makio Yamada The development of ecosystems targeting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of the major challenges facing the Kingdom. Such ecosystems are indispensable to achieving what economists refer to as “inclusive growth” – economic growth, not only with high and increasing competitiveness, but also with the creation of broad employment opportunities. In this respect, it is worth paying attention to the experiences of other countries that have previously achieved such growth relatively well in order to benefit from the lessons these experiences
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Dominik Krell The Saudi legal system is on the verge of the arguably most significant transformation in its history: There are reports that Saudi Arabia will soon introduce a binding codification of Islamic law that will encompass private law, criminal law and family law. Until now, large areas of Islamic law have remained uncodified. Judges refer to Islamic jurisprudence in their judgments, which are full of references to medieval and late medieval legal treatises like Ibn Qudāma’s (d. 1223) book al-mughnī or al-Bahūtī’s (d. 1641) kashshāf al-qanāᶜ. In areas that have not been a
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Mona Alami Mona Alami looks into Hezbollah‘s African ventures more specifically in Morocco and Nigeria where the organization has brought training and support to militant groups fighting the state.
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Mona Alami Contradictory reports have emerged in recent weeks of a possible partial withdrawal of pro-Iran troops in Syria under the aegis of Russia, which is attempting to diffuse a dangerous escalation between Tehran and Tel Aviv. Pressure was said to be mounting between Moscow and Tehran, with a possible scuffle occurring between their forces in the region of Qusayr on the Lebanese border. While these reports appear to be widely exaggerated, they underline the tactical nature of alliance between Russia and Iran in Syria and the diverse agendas they have there, which in the longer run could lead t
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Mona Alami Hezbollah’s strong showing in the May Lebanese parliamentary elections provides numerical evidence of a decade-old shift in the balance of power in favor of Iran, the party’s regional backer. Hezbollah’s electoral gains will enable the militant group and its partners to secure a third of the parliament and possibly to achieve—with the right alliances—an absolute majority, and thus heavily influence future state decisions. Yet the Lebanese elections have been also been marked by other, more subtle trends that foreign policy makers must take into account. 
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Mohammed al-Sbitili The author of the article considers the future of Operation Karama in the event Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter departs from the Libyan political scene for one reason or another. The article also reviews possible scenarios and figures –political and military - who could succeed the National Army Commander, Field Marshal, Khalifa Hafter.  
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Dr. Saud Alsarhan The year 1979 was a seminal year in the Islamic world. Two events stand out: the Iranian Revolution successfully overthrew the secular regime of the shah and replaced it with the Shiite political Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Fearing the presumed atheism and anti-Muslim sentiment popularly associated with communism across the Muslim world, militant groups were inspired by the Iranian revolutionary model, and a modern interpretation of jihad, or holy war, gained popularity among Muslim youth the world over. The phenomenon of the muj
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Mona Alami With the regime of president Bashar al-Assad wresting back large swaths of territory from the opposition, many experts believe the end of the Syrian conflict may be near. However, while the ideological confrontation between the opposition and the regime seems to be running its course, it is being replaced by several other significant peripheral conflicts. Does the end of the war in Syria only mean the beginning of many others?
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Mona Alami In April 2016, professor of economics Djavad Salehi-Isfahani predicted, in a telling piece published by Al-Monitor, that rising inequality in Iran could bring challenges to the government of President Hassan Rouhani. Nearly a year and half later, the Islamic Republic was shaken by unexpected government protests, despite a sharp improvement in the economic situation in 2017. These protests exposed the systemic weaknesses in the Iranian system, which, despite its bold projection of regional influence, suffers from shortages in line with other countries in the region, many of which are facin
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