In a region where social taboos and fears of government surveillance persist, independent, unofficial pollsters offer the best path to credible findings.
Public opinion survey research in the Middle East has come a long way. It still faces many very real challenges, however. I have been polling Mideast opinion since 1985, for the U.S. government and as an independent scholar. A recent article by Justin Gengler raised some important issues, but along the way it made unwarranted assumptions about polls that I recently conducted. The points where we agree and where we diverge on currently realistic best practices in Arab survey research are instructive. . .