Research Papers


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This study investigates minority issues in Syria through the observation of their numbers and geographic locations as well as their economic, political, and social status before and after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2013, in light of the Syrian authorities’ unwritten proscription of minorities imposed since the country’s independence, and their reluctance to make relevant data accessible to researchers. The research focuses on the impact of the Syrian crisis on minorities both in terms of population presence and political status, as minorities become key players in
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From the Almoravid’s invasion of Ghana in 1062 until the Moroccan conquest of the Songhay Empire in 1591 that, allegedly, was not “sufficiently Muslim,” Africa south of the Sahara has been exposed to a “purification of Islam” project. This project took two forms, one was the quietist, intellectually driven reformism (for instance, the 15th century Moroccan al- Maghili and 16th century Malian Ahmad Baba al-Timbukti d. 1627). The second was militant Islamism, for which the 19th century, better known as the “Jihadist period,” was particularly significant in Sudanic
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The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies published a book entitled, "Rebuilding Yemen: Political, Economic, and Social Challenges." The book was edited by two researchers: Dr. Noel Brehony, Chairman of the British-Yemeni Society, and Dr. Saud al-Sarhan, Director of Research at the King Faisal Center. Its chapters were selected from papers presented at the annual conference of the Gulf Research Centre, which took place at Cambridge University from August 24-28, 2014. The seven chapters provide background information and tackle a number of issues including: the historical and political backgorund of Yemen, Yemen after 1994,&nbs
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This article will provide an overview of the reactions which surrounded the publication, in late August 2016, of an audio recording containing a conversation between Ayatollah Montazeri, then successor-in-waiting to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and senior officials involved in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iranian jails. It will gauge the reaction of various political forces to the publication of the recording, as well as provide statistics pointing to popular interest in it, and assess what political fallout is to be expected from the episode. 
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At a time of profound regional and international transformations that extend beyond the political, Middle Easterners in general and Arabs in particular ponder their future, as well as how to best preserve and protect their interests and, equally important, their cultures.  As non-Arabs interpret and opine about Arab civilization far more than indigenous thinkers, how can we understand what motivates scholars and opinion-makers, and how can Arab analysts highlight indigenous perspectives? What are the core factors that separate non-Arab scholars from their Arab counterparts? Can the perceptions of nearly 500 million individuals
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The Russian-Israeli intersections in the Middle East sway sometime from being distinctly pragmatic to peculiar arenas when it comes to the ongoing Syrian conflict. Through adopting the lens of Neoclassical Realism as a theory of international relations, this paper demonstrates how the Syrian conflict - due to its importance to both Israel and Russia - leads both countries to participate in positional competition in the region, engage in limited but effective cooperation, and try to stem the erosion of state-centric governance. The unique ties between the two countries in terms of their religious
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At the end of September 2015, Russia stepped to the fore as an openly intervening power in Syria. Since then, pro-Assad forces have reestablished a firm military foothold, recaptured vast swaths of land, and safeguarded what is now a largely uncontested Alawite sphere of influence along the Mediterranean governorates of Latakia and Tartus, extending further south along the Syrian-Lebanese border to the capital, Damascus.  Probably the most striking characteristic of Russia’s military involvement stems from the heedlessness of its conduct: Moscow’s fast-paced, unpredictable, and agile diplomatic moves have pro
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 This commentary aims to examine the linguistic divergences in the Daesh’s communication strategies in attempts to attract and recruit women from various social and geographic backgrounds through Daesh media platforms. It is argued that while Arabic texts tend to employ a more theological rhetoric; English and francophone1 texts tend to employ a rhetoric emphasizing social inclusivity as means to attract North American and European (Western) women to join Daesh. This commentary refers to adaptation as a Daesh recruitment strategy, which takes into account the significant variety of motivations amongst Daesh supporters. 
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