Foreign Policy Blogs

North Africa

And the winner is…The King’s Speech.

And the winner is…The King’s Speech.

Yesterday, King Mohammed VI of Morocco gave a groundbreaking speech in which he proposed substantial constitutional reforms. What’s even more interesting is that the proposed reforms were not a knee-jerk reaction to the recent protests in Morocco, but rather the follow-up from several initiatives the King introduced over the last couple of years. Check the […]

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Lovefest at a Protest

Lovefest at a Protest

For the past few months, while living in Morocco, I’ve observed the sweeping winds of Arab revolution with great interest. Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, and Jordan were all ablaze with popular demands for more liberty. I never imagined, though, that the fury would work its way to Morocco, but word came quickly that this […]

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And now for something totally different…Morocco

And now for something totally different…Morocco

Over the last few weeks—and surely in the weeks and months to come—speculation abounds about the effect recent events in Tunisia and Egypt will have on Morocco. After such dramatic occurrences, interregional comparisons are inevitable and this is not a bad thing if done in an informed, thoughtful way. (There’s an interesting perspective on this […]

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Egypt Uprising Pays Off – Sort of

Today I went to a town only 23 kilometers south of Tahrir Square. The plan was to see if the 11-day uprising in Egypt has produced any benefits so far – just by way of finding something different from the insecurity and chaos in Cairo. Kirdasa, a small town known for its flower nurseries and […]

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Clearer U.S. Position on Mubarak Pleaseeeeeeee

When I made my last post about the U.S. role in backing Mubarak, I hadn’t realized that Obama asked for “an orderly transition” that must begin “now” in Egypt. I am not changing my earlier post though. This is because it does reflect the growing general sentiment in Egypt about the U.S. role. This confusion […]

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U.S.-BACKED MUBARAK USES DIRTY TACTICS IN LAST BATTLE

This is from Cairo, right in the middle of this turmoil. 4:50 Cairo Time. I HAD NO ACCESS TO THE INTERNET FOR THE PAST 5 DAYS. THE MUBARAK GOVERNMENT CUT ALL ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS. I AM TYPING SO FAST BEFORE THE I LOSE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AGAIN Mubarak is clearly backed by the Americans. He […]

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CAIRO DISPATCH: Government Shows Nervousness

A few points from events on the ground in Cairo as protest continue here: 1-Some government media figures appear to be joining ranks with the protestors. Mahmoud Saad, a talk show host in the Egyptian state-run TV, has announced that he will no longer appear on TV starting tonight after he came under pressure from […]

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Protests Demand Mubarak’s Ouster

Egyptian police started beating up journalists protesting outside the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo. They beat up women journalists too who were screaming and crying for help. “Do not club women. Do not attack women,” some of the men rushed to the police asking them not to target women. “You’ll make things worse if you […]

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Egypt Sees Protests A La Tunisia

By Emad Mekay Thousands of Egyptians are demonstrating across the country as I write this in what increasingly looks like an unprecedented unrest in size and ferocity. The protests saw factory workers, university professors, political activists and even women and teenage girls braving riots police and taking to the streets across the country. Many were […]

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Forbes – "A Counterterrorism Ally In North Africa"

Forbes – "A Counterterrorism Ally In North Africa"

Present Dangers A Counterterrorism Ally In North Africa  Morocco’s remarkable soft-power strategy By Ilan Berman    Morocco can trace its contemporary approach back to the end of the Cold War. While many in the region saw the Soviet Union’s collapse as a destabilizing development–and consequently tightened domestic control–Morocco’s monarch did the opposite. The previously authoritarian […]

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Thinking big? Start small (to medium).

Thinking big? Start small (to medium).

It’s no surprise that the “biggies”—the McDonalds, the Microsofts, the Boeings—have a MENA presence (MENA=Middle East and North Africa).  But what about small to medium enterprises? How do they even begin to take advantage of this huge (and growing) market of hundreds of millions of consumers? A great answer can be found in an article, […]

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Move us forward, Tiny Dancer

Move us forward, Tiny Dancer

This week, Sir. Elton John brought more than sequins, rhinestone-studded sunglasses and 40+ years of music-making to North Africa.  He was at the center of a very lively debate on tolerance, modernity and progress in Morocco. The Mawazine Festival is an annual international music festival held in Rabat and has attracted several big names over […]

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Policy, without works, is dead.

Policy, without works, is dead.

Sometimes, identifying, deciphering and tracking US foreign policy for a particular issue can be exercise in complexity, if not futility.  For example, what is the US position on the best way to resolve the Western Sahara conflict, arguably one of the biggest hurdles to progress and stability in North Africa?  Well, in an interview  last […]

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Welcome to North Africa…a crossroads at a crossroads.

Welcome to North Africa…a crossroads at a crossroads.

  Many who follow or work in international affairs would hesitate to call themselves “North Africanists.”  But I bet you’d be surprised that you probably are.  North Africa, also referred to as the Maghreb (which literally means “the west” in Arabic), has long been a crossroads between civilizations.  From the extensive economic partnerships and deep […]

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Great Decisions Discussion group