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  • Author: Natasha Banks, M. Anis Salem
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Cairo Review of Global Affairs
  • Institution: School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, American University in Cairo
  • Abstract: A roadmap for a sustainable future without wasteful subsidies and mismanagement.
  • Topic: Health, Food, Food Security, Sustainability, Human Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: James Aird
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: As Egypt’s ‘Year of Education’ begins, the government pushes much needed reform in pre-university education across the country. Supported by a $500 million World Bank loan, the government is accelerating efforts to train teachers, build schools, and implement tablet technology in primary and secondary education. The reforms include one ambitious project that is especially deserving of more attention: the expansion of a pilot program adapting Japanese educational techniques to the Egyptian context. At a meeting in Tokyo on February 29th, 2016, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a joint partnership that sought to link Egypt to Japan through educational development, in part thanks to al Sisi’s personal admiration for Japan’s education system. As part of the joint partnership, Japanese and Egyptian administrators and policymakers set out to reshape Egyptian pedagogy. Modeled on Japan’s Tokkatsu education system, which refers to a program of “whole child development,” Egypt aims to build schools that place great emphasis on teaching students to be responsible, disciplined, and clean, as opposed to the more traditional model prioritizing higher standardized testing scores. A Tokkatsu-inspired curriculum is already being used at over forty schools that accepted more than 13,000 students in September 2018. While President al Sisi plans to personally monitor the new education system, other MENA states should also watch closely. If it successfully contributes to building Egypt’s human capital and improving students’ competitiveness, other states in the region might consider implementing similar educational policies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Reform, Children, Partnerships, Youth
  • Political Geography: Japan, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Roie Yellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: State-directed repression and harassment directed against Muslims in China has drawn broad international condemnation throughout the Western world. However, what has been the reaction from the Islamic world itself? Although reactions among major states have varied (as discussed below), the reaction throughout the Islamic world has largely been one of deafening silence—and when voices are raised, they have been faint.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Prisons/Penal Systems, State Violence, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Xinjiang
  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: In consideration of the general instability in the Middle East – the bloody Syrian civil war and its mounting refugee crisis, the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing fighting in Iraq, and the war in Yemen – the author argues that the geographical map of the region based on the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement is disintegrating. Furthermore, the author argues that the region’s turmoil has to some extent had a spillover effect on the three non-Arab states – Turkey, Iran, and Israel, which further adds troubles to the region. While Israel is largely an outlier, the author posits that Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will be embroiled in the “increasingly bitter contest for dominance of the Muslim Middle East.”
  • Topic: Civil War, Imperialism, Regional Cooperation, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Sabri Sayari
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Middle East policy under the AKP government – in particular, its stance on Syria and the fight against ISIL – has had a damaging effect on not only its 60-year-old alliance with the US, but also its regional standing. The author chronicles several of the government’s blunders, arguing that they ultimately stem from a “fundamental miscalculation of Turkey’s power and capacity to shape regional developments.” From the government’s misplaced confidence in Bashar al-Assad’s regime and subsequent radical reversal in its Syria policy, to its sectarian approach to the region and support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to its deteriorated relationship with Israel, the author contends that Turkey has succeeded only in further alienating itself.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, ISIL
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Liina Mustonen
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The campaign against the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood during its short-lived rule instrumentalized the notion of gender equality for political purposes – namely demonizing the Brotherhood and the subsequent overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. Narratives were constructed along the dichotomy of emancipated Egyptian woman and oppressed, traditional women. However, there has been a rapid de- politicization of the discussion on women’s role in society following Morsi’s ouster. The author argues that the absence of a debate on the patriarchal structures of the political and military forces that have substituted Morsi’s rule reveals the hollowness and political nature of these gendered discourses.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Military Affairs, Conservatism, Feminism, Oppression
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Egypt
  • Author: Zuri Linetsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the summer 2014 Gaza War Israel, Hamas, and the P.A. agreed to meet in Cairo, Egypt to discuss a long-term ceasefire. The goal of this summit was to allow for Gaza to rebuild itself, and for political changes associated with June's Unity Government deal between the P.A. and Hamas to take effect. The summit has since been postponed. However, Gaza still requires significant financial and material aid in order to function and provide for its people. This work examines the economic and security benefits to all parties involved of a long-term ceasefire between Israel, and Hamas. An economically open Gaza benefits Israel, the P.A. and Hamas, with few associated costs and creates an opportunity to reinvigorate final status negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Jennifer Rowland, Nada Zohdy, Brian Katulis, Michael Wahid Hanna, Faysal Itani, Muhammad Y. Idris, Joelle Thomas, Tamirace Fakhoury, Farouk El-Baz, Kheireddine Bekkai, Amira Maaty, Sarah McKnight
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Our Spring 2015 volume captures the troubling developments of the past year in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2014, the Syrian conflict that has so beguiled the international community spilled over into Iraq, with the swift and shocking rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). ISIS is causing the ever-complex alliances in the region to shift in peculiar ways. In Iraq, US airstrikes provide cover for Iranian-backed militias fighting ISIS; while in Yemen, the United States supports a Saudi intervention against a different Iranianbacked armed group that has taken control of the Yemeni capital. Meanwhile, simmering political disputes in Libya escalated into a full-blown civil war, sparking concern in neighboring Egypt, where the old authoritarian order remains in control despite the country’s popular revolution. The Gulf countries contemplate their responses to record-low oil prices, continuing negotiations between the United States and Iran, and the threat of ISIS. And Tunisia remains one of the region’s only bright spots. In November, Tunisians voted in the country’s first free and fair presidential elections. This year’s Journal brings new analysis to many of these complex events and broader regional trends. We begin with the positive: an exclusive interview with former Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. In this year’s feature articles: Brian Katulis zooms out to assess the Obama administration’s record in the Middle East over the past six years; Michael Wahid Hanna refutes the notion that the Iraqi and Syrian borders will need to be redrawn as a result of ISIS’ takeover; and Faysal Itani analyzes the US coalition’s strategy to defeat ISIS, arguing that it cannot succeed without empowering Sunni civilians. Muhammed Idris and Joelle Thomas turn to economics in an assessment of the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to go green. Tamirace Fakhoury points out a blind spot in the study of the Middle East and North Africa: how large diaspora communities affect political dynamics in their home countries. Farouk El-Baz takes us to Egypt, where he proposes a grand economic plan to pull the country out of poverty and set it on a path toward longterm growth. From Egypt, we move west to the oft-neglected country of Algeria, where Kheireddine Bekkai argues for more inclusive education policies on national identity. Finally, Amira Maaty comments on the region’s desperate need for robust civil societies, while Sarah McKnight calls for improvements in Jordan’s water policies.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development, Environment, Migration, History, Natural Resources, Social Movement, Islamic State, Economy, Political stability, Arab Spring, Military Intervention, Identities, Diversification
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Algeria, North Africa, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Faduma Abukar Mursal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: The concept of diaspora has attracted much attention in the scholarly debate on migration, and has also entered into public discourse, even being appropriated by migrants themselves. For instance, the term diasborada is now part of the Somali vocabulary, referring not only to a named phenomenon integral to Somali realities but to a particular group of people. It refers specifically to Somali migrants who have mobilized themselves as a political formation under the label “diaspora” to negotiate their role as agents of social change. Further, claims of Somali migrants have gained recognition in Somalia, where people apply this social category to them. This process of claim making and recognition of the diaspora is pervaded with a seemingly universalist discourse which addresses all migrants outside a “homeland.” Yet, naming and claim making processes are situated within power relations, which involve ways of silencing some migrants and making them invisible and which, therefore, require careful attention. The statement quoted above, made by Hassan, a Somali refugee who has been living in Cairo for the last few years, is an example of voice who resist the discourse of “diaspora.” Although Hassan lives outside of Somalia, he denies being a member of the so-called diaspora, a term that he associates more specifically with Somali migrants living in the global North, that is, in “the other abroad.” Drawing on four months of ethnographic fieldwork among Somali forced migrants in Cairo in 2013, this paper illustrates one way in which the term of diaspora is used by forced migrants and analyzes the meaning it takes in a particular setting. The next section presents briefly ways in which the concept of diaspora has been framed in scholarly discussions, emphasizing the recent trend of conceptualizing the diaspora as a political project. In line with Kleist's (2008a) suggestion that diaspora is a “concept of a political nature that might be at once claimed by and attributed to different groups and subjects” (2008a:307, emphasis in original), this paper explores the construction of the category of diaspora from the perspective of forced migrants. Following that, a brief history of Somali migration to Egypt is provided as a backdrop for presenting varying profiles of Somali migrants living in Cairo today. In this old and densely populated city, the figure of the forced migrant is constructed as the opposite of the “Somali Westerner”—that is, the Somali who has acquired citizenship in a western country. The third section of the paper shows how Somali forced migrants in Cairo earns a living and which solidarity networks they are part of. This will help to explain why Somali forced migrants contrast the precarious conditions of their lives with those of Somali Westerners. The last section explores the ways in which my informants in Cairo, in their everyday practices and encounters with Somali Westerners, refuse to apply the term “diaspora” to themselves. Indeed, the informants established a distinction between them as Somali forced migrants and the diaspora, that are Somali Westerners who are associated with mobility, economic, and social agency. Disavowing any connection to the category of diaspora allows them to exclude themselves from public discourse mobilizing the “diaspora” as part of the country's economic development. Moreover, this distinction allows them to address the Somali state and present themselves as particular group of citizens who have particular needs, for example the improvement of life conditions in Egypt and the negotiation of the conditions for return.
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Somalia