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خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

Electoral Reform: What’s Really Needed in Iraq

Lina Musawy

June 19, 2018 — Among accusations of elections fraud and the burning of a warehouse storing half of Baghdad’s ballot boxes, Iraq’s electoral process appears to have experienced a dramatic challenge to its credibility. However, Iraqi voters’ disaffection with the polling process is longstanding and was openly expressed through a major boycott of the electoral process in May. Citizens publicly declared their intention to boycott through a large social media campaign, using the hashtag “#boycotters.” Country-wide voter turnout reportedly only reached 44.5%, with many suspecting that actual turn-out may have been even lower. Given recent elections’ low participation rates, the Iraqi government may need to make a decisive change to the electoral system and the Independent High Electoral Commission in order to restore voter confidence and participation.

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Thomas Parker’s Response to David Pollock’s “Iran, Israel, Syria, and the U.S.: Views From China"

Thomas Parker

June 19, 2018 — Overall, China has a negative opinion of the U.S. role in the region—though Beijing’s views are sometimes nuanced and occasionally outright positive. Why is China’s outlook mainly negative? First, China does not like the United States to use military force in the Middle East because Beijing resents America’s international military predominance, particularly in East Asia where it serves to constrain Chinese behavior towards Taiwan and the South and East China Seas.

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Iran, Israel, Syria, and the U.S.: Views From China

David Pollock

June 6, 2018 — Next week, President Rouhani is due to visit China for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the margins of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Two weeks ago, coincidentally, I spoke in Shanghai at a mid-sized meeting billed as “the first conference on Syria ever held in China,” which afforded a rare opportunity for first-hand impressions of interactions among Chinese, Iranian, Syrian, and other key actors in the emerging, increasingly multipolar Middle East scene.

Will U.S. Policy Allow IS to Reemerge?

Abdelillah Bendaoudi

June 21, 2018 — Trump’s decision to pull out U.S. troops from Syria “very quickly” represents a significant shift from the administration’s previous policy of maintaining American troops on the ground indefinitely. At this point, the administration may believe that the best strategy is to have no strategy. As such, action (or inaction) in Syria is taken as a response to short-term threats, rather than carried out based on a long-term plan. IS’s defeat marked a symbolic victory, but the hard part begins now. Currently, IS is merely going through a transition period, shedding territorial aspirations that were once part of its identity. Toppling the group from its de facto capital was only one part of the much larger battle to contain the organization, as IS’s losses in Syria have failed to eradicate its appeal to potential recruits. As a matter of fact, according some estimates, 3,000 fighters and more than 10,000 loyalists are still active on Syrian soil.

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Can Jordan Dismantle the “Deep State” Moguls?

Shehab Al-Makahleh

Today, Jordan’s government is facing backlash after a long period of corruption labeled a “deep state” system. Citizens are organizing demonstrations rejecting federal decisions to increase taxes and impose further strict rules on the people that would negatively affect their livelihood.

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Fikra Forum's Top 104 Articles of 2017

NGO Law in Egypt - Maged Atef (January 12, 2017) Writing from Egypt, BuzzFeed reporter Maged Atef explains how the most recent Egyptian law targeting NGOs may eliminate them altogether and cause irreparable damage to Egyptian society. While the government argues that these civil society groups aim to undermine the elected Egyptian government, their suppression will actually cause more harm than good.