In honor of Muftah’s newly relaunched website, we’re thrilled to share with you a special collection of 20 commissioned articles, we’re calling the “The Shifting Middle East.” In this issue, some of the leading experts on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) explore the ways in which the region has transformed over the last several years.

Of course, there’s that thing they call the “Arab Spring,” which continues to reverberate across MENA countries in complex ways defying easy assessment and unequivocal judgments. At the same time, there are other deeply important transformations, independent of these upheavals, that have been happening inside the MENA region. Like their revolutionary counterparts, these developments have a long-standing genealogy and didn’t just materialize out of thin air. They are the products of years and sometimes decades of historical evolution. Slowly warming relations between Iran and the United States top this list of incremental but important shifts in regional realities. Other changes are less about current developments and more about increasingly untenable circumstances poised to unravel in some, as of yet, undetermined ways. After decades of false starts, broken promises, and continuing Israeli aggression, the “Mideast Peace Process” may be succumbing to the weight of its contradictory logic and teetering on the verge of final collapse.

Another strand unites the different articles in this collection – the expertise and deep knowledge of their authors. With decades worth of experience on the region between them, these writers weave history, politics, economics, and even art and culture together to provide perspectives and share stories on the Middle East and North Africa that are frequently absent from mainstream media.

We encourage you to share your thoughts on these pieces here on the site, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. Engage with the authors, share your reactions and points of view on the topics they discuss, critique, compliment, push back, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

We look forward to continuing the conversation with you all and challenging mainstream, Western narratives about the Middle East and North Africa – and soon on other regions as well.


The Shifting Middle East

Hadhramaut: Rebellion, Federalism, and Independence in Yemen

by Haykal Bafana

Kerry’s Looming Deadline and the Peace Process Industry

by Ramzy Baroud

Of Transitology and Counter-Terror Targeting in Yemen

by Sheila Carapico

The Unspoken Truth: Life After the Iraq War

by Roqayah Chamseddine

Arab Spring Reality Check

by Steven Cook

The False Promise of Morocco’s “Spring:” The Persistence of Authoritarianism

by Mohamed Daadaoui

Rebels Without Shoes: A Visit to South Yemen’s Revolution Squares

by Susanne Dahlgren

Decline or Revival?: A New Year for a New Iran

by Richard Dalton

Toward a More Democratic Egypt: Lessons from January 25’s Failures

by Mohammad Fadel

The Iranian Evolution: A Shift in Tehran and the National Mood

by Farideh Farhi

How Bahrain Makes Friends While Repressing Its People

by John Horne

Trusting Iran: The Nuclear Record since 2003

by Peter Jenkins

Turkey Loses Its Way

by Resat Kasaba

Pakistan’s Contradictory Changes

by Michael Kugelman

Tehran and Washington: Back from the Abyss of Futility

by John Limbert

On Iran, Give Obama Some Credit

by Reza Marashi

Can Libya Overcome Its Shattered State?

by Tarek Megrisi

 Tunisian Politics after Constitution Making

by Duncan Pickard

The Road to Hell in Egypt

by Tarek Radwan

Why the Arab Spring Never Really Sprung in Israel

by David Sheen

Read more like this in Muftah's Weekend Reads newsletter.

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  • Cem Kaplan

    The results of the 1999 earthquake was not the failure of coalition. In that time current administrators of AKP including PM, Ankara Mayor Gokcek,Kapusuz,Former RP Leader Erbakan and their gang stole all the money collected from people in and out of Turkey. Same gang today keep stealin votes of Turkish people and everything subject to steal. Especially Turkish soils where green trees raise.