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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

Fikra Forum

The Myth of Rising Above Sectarianism in Iraq

Zmkan A. Saleem

As nationwide parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 12, 2018, are drawing closer in Iraq, leaders of the country’s contending electoral alliances are promising to alter the nature of Iraq’s future political dynamics by pursuing non-sectarian policies and agendas that would serve the interests of all Iraqi citizens. The realities and existing circumstances in Iraq, however, strongly indicate that sectarianism and identity politics will remain potent forces that will profoundly influence the shaping of Iraq’s future domestic politics.

Fikra Forum

The Logic of the Chemical Attack

Hassan Mneimneh

The battle for the suburbs of Damascus was nearing its end. The regime units — equipped, backed, and supplemented by Russian and Iranian forces — were on the verge of achieving total victory: the defeat of all rebel factions, the expulsion of a population that had demonstrated its lack of loyalty to the regime, and the plundering of all items of any value in the conquered territory. For the Damascus regime to engage in a chemical attack at such a juncture, provoking international condemnation and risking the derailing of its march to victory may thus appear to be a gross miscalculation.

Jordan Between Regional Threats and Internal Pressures: The Economic Key

Shehab Al-Makahleh

Jordan’s King Abdullah II came to power in February 1999 in the aftermath of King Hussein. For the past nineteen years of his rule, he has kept the kingdom stable, despite the hardships and challenges that the whole Middle East region is undergoing, ranging from radicalism to terrorism. He has made Jordan a model for others in terms of security and stability. Tensions persist -- but as this analysis will demonstrate, the main ones in Jordan have shifted from political, ethnic, or Islamic issues to economic ones, which are more amenable to gradualist reforms and compromises.

Fikra Forum

The Future of Islamist Parties in Algeria

Ahmed Marwane

On November 24, 2017, the Islamist movement in Algeria suffered a defeat in the country’s election, reflecting and demonstrating a sharp decline in the popularity of Islamism. The Islamist coalition – composed of three parties: Front for Justice and Development, Islamic Renaissance Movement (Ennahda), and National Construction Movement – only won eight municipalities out of a total of 1,541. The candidates of these parties did not win membership in any of the forty-eight provincial assemblies of Algeria.

Fikra Forum

Ghaith al-Omari's Comments on Abdulhameed Hakeem "Who holds the keys of peace with Israel?"

Ghaith al-Omari

While the version of history presented in the article “Who Holds the Key to Peace with Israel” may be debatable, the general thrust of the article is both positive and accurate: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is indeed presenting a fundamentally new rhetoric when it comes to Israel, regional developments have created a confluence of interest among old enemies, and that represents an opportunity to be seized for the benefit of the whole region. What the article neglects, however, is the need for progress on the Palestinian track in order to achieve wider Arab rapprochement with Israel.