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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

New Saudi Poll: Corruption a Major Concern, Divisions on Reforms and U.S. Ties

David Pollock

In the wake of the Khashoggi scandal, a rare new public opinion poll in Saudi Arabia shows wide popular concern about corruption and other internal problems. At the same time, the survey data demonstrates only minority support for the official initiative of Islamic reform. Ironically, then, this prime locus of support on the part of outside powers for Saudi policy shifts is also precisely the area of greatest internal debate.

Fikra Forum

Doubts About Hezbollah Emerge in Lebanon, Even Among Shia

David Pollock

The acute border tension this week between Israel and Hezbollah adds urgency to a closer look at the militia’s popular standing in Lebanon—especially in case of war. Fortunately, a reliable new Lebanese public opinion poll shows some Shiites now voicing reservations about Hezbollah policies—even as Sunnis continue to be solidly negative and Christians divided about the organization.

Fikra Forum

For a State, Palestinians Would Cede "Right of Return"—and More

David Pollock

Two surveys conducted by different Palestinian pollsters in October show unexpected popular flexibility on core issues of an eventual peace deal with Israel, despite widespread skepticism among Palestinians about current prospects. These findings suggest that American, Israeli, and Arab policymakers should all pay more attention to what the Palestinian people really want and less attention to what their politicians or partisans say they “should” want.

Fighting Corruption in Algeria: Turning Words into Action

Ahmed Marwane

In November, Secretary-general Haba El-Okb gave a speech on behalf of the Algerian President acknowledging Algeria’s widespread issue of corruption at a provincial governors’ conference held in Algiers. Through his proxy, Bouteflika warned that “bribery, nepotism, suffering, and iniquitous bureaucratic maneuvering—these ills have festered in the body of our society, and become crippling parasites.”

Fikra Forum

How Russia Challenges the United States’ Investment in Egypt

Mohamed Maher

To outside observers, it sometimes appears that decision makers in Washington take the close relationship between Egypt and the United States for granted. Yet America’s interests in Egypt have never been more threatened. In fact, the United States could lose the benefits of its long-term investment in Egypt due to the continuing rapprochement between Cairo and Moscow, which seems to have hit a new peak after four years in development.