Institute for Middle East Studies

News Archive – 2012

IMES Faculty Associate Muriel Atkin has published a chapter entitled "Iran, Russia and Tajikistan's Civil War" in the new book Iranian-Russian Encounters: Empires and Revolutions since 1800 (Edited by Stephanie Cronin, published October 29, 2012 by Routledge).

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown published five articles:
-Carnegie article, December 24, 2012: Can Egypt's Democratic Uprising Be Redeemed?
-NEWSHOUR, December 14, 2012: Violent Protests, Judge Shortages Plague Egypt's Referendum
-Foreign Policy, December 13, 2012: Middle East Channel - Islam in Egypt's New Constitution
-Foreign Affairs, December 9, 2012: Egypt's Constitution Conundrum
-The New Republic, December 3, 2012: Just Because Mohammad Morsi is Paranoid Doesn't Mean He Doesn't Have Enemies

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown was featured in the December 17th, 2012 edition of George Washington Today, GW's Official Online News Source, speaking about Egypt's new draft constitution and what it means for the future of the country. To read the article, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Liesl Riddle published an Op-Ed piece in the Asian Development Bank's Asian Pathways publication entitled "Women helping women: key to economic growth in Asia." Professor Riddle also won the Best Paper award from the Emerald LiteratiNetwork for her paper entitled "Contemporary Cleopatras: The Business Ethics of Egyptian Female Managers." Congratulations Professor!

On October 15, IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown was interviewed by the Elliott School for the "Presidential Inbox 2013: the Middle East," as part of the ongoing Web Video Initiative. Professor Brown discussed the changing landscape in the Middle East that will face the next U.S. president. To watch the video, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown published two articles:
-Carnegie article, October 23, 2012: Egypt's Constitution: Islamists Prepare for a Long Political Battle
-Foreign Policy, October 1, 2012: Egypt's Constitutional Racers Stagger Toward the Final Lap

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari has completed a 24-part series of short articles for the Asia Times entitled The Gulf's Black Treasure. The final article in the series, "Oil rulers toy with Armageddon" can be accessed here. On the bottom of that page, you can also find the complete list of all of the articles in the series.
Professor Askari also gave interviews to NPR's "All Things Considered" on October 2 on the currency crisis in Iran; to the Mint Press News (Minneapolis); to Energy Intelligence; to Veja (Brazil's most popular magazine); to the Christian Science Monitor also on the currency crisis; and to on Islamic banking.

IMES Faculty Associate Pardis Minuchehr was interviewed by the Washington Post's Express Night Out about a new play called "The Conference of the Birds" at the Folger Theatre which is based on a 12th century Persian poem. To read the article, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Jennifer Brinkerhoff was part of an expert panel at an event on Capitol Hill called "Who are the Copts of Egypt?" on September 20. Professor Brinkerhoff's remarks drew from the results of the first ever survey of the Coptic Diaspora, a project funded by the Elliott School.

On September 17, IMES Faculty Associates Nathan Brown and Amb. Edward Gnehm discussed the turmoil in the Middle East in a Question and Answer session with George Washington Today, GW's Official Online News Source. You can read the article, "GW Experts Analyze Violence, Protests in Muslim World" here.

IMES Faculty Associates have been busy over the summer!

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown published an academic article entitled Contention in Religion and State in Post-Revolutionary Egypt, (Social Research, summer 2012)
Professor Brown published several other articles:
-Carnegie Web Commentary, August 13, 2012: Morsi's Ramadan Surprise
-Carnegie Web Commentary, June 19, 2012: The Egyptian Political System in Disarray
-Foreign Policy, June 14, 2012: Cairo's Judicial Coup
-Carnegie Web Commentary, June 6, 2012: Fasten Your Seatbelts: Judicial Turbulence Ahead
-Carnegie Web Commentary, June 6, 2012: A Guide Through the Egyptian Maze of Justice
-Carnegie Paper, June 2012: Gaza Five Years On: Hamas Settles in
-The Jewish Daily Forward, May 28, 2012: The U.N.'s Much-Reviled But Helpful Agency
The New York Times quoted Professor Brown in several articles over the summer:
July 10, 2012: Egyptian Leaders Meet in Defiance of Court and Military
July 8, 2012: Egypt's President Orders Return of Parliament
July 3, 2012: Judge Helped Egypt's Military to Cement Power
June 17, 2012: Egypt's Military Cements its Powers as Voting Ends
June 14, 2012: Blow to Transition as Court Dissolves Egypt's Parliament
Professor Brown was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on August 12, 2012 entitled Egypt's New Leaders Target Judges' Power.
He was also quoted in three National Public Radio stories:
July 1, 2012: The Challenge for President Morsi: Unite Egypt
June 18, 2012: Another Detour on Egypt's Path to Democracy
May 13, 2012: Egyptian Candidate's Broad Appeal Has Risks

IMES Faculty Associate Muhammad H. Faghfoory had his book, The Path of Worshippers to the Paradise of the Lord of the Worlds: Minhaj al-abidin ila jannat rabb al-alamin, published by University Press of America. IMES Faculty Associate Seyyed Hossein Nasr wrote the preface of the book. Professor Faghfoory also gave a one hour interview on "Islamic Spirituality: Sufism and the Practice of Initiation," on April 22 with The Sacred Path: A Radio Series. You can listen to the interview here. Additionally, Professor Faghfoory has authored a 160 page monograph entitled "Ethics of War and Peace in Press" to be published by Cambridge University Press before the end of the year.

IMES Graduate student Jessica Smelser - who received the Boren Fellowship for the 2011-2012 school year and is studying Arabic in Egypt at the Al Diwan Language Center in Nasr City - sent the pictures and captions below of her time abroad:

At the Salah Ad-Din Citadel, overlooking Islamic Cairo

On a felucca on the Nile River

At the Temple of Delphi in Aswan

Standing on the 15th of May Bridge over the Nile.

IMES Faculty Associate Robert Eisen sends the following news "The College of Professional Studies at GW has partnered with the newly established Western Studies Institute in Saudi Arabia to bring Saudi scholars and professionals to the US to learn more about Western culture. The first group came at the end of June. I gave a presentation at GW to the group on Jewish-Muslim relations that included much discussion of the religious dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was then invited to Philadelphia on the following Sunday to address the same group in a synagogue about Judaism in general. There are plans to follow up with more visits from Saudi scholars and professionals, as well as a possible visit by GW scholars to Saudi Arabia."

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown published two articles: one for the Daily Beast entitled Palestine Can Wait...For Now (July 20); and one for the Egypt Independent entitled No timeout in Egypt's judicial battles (July 29).

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari gave three interviews: the first was with InsideIran, published July 10, and focused on the effects of sanctions on Iran (the Q&A can be read here); the second was with Middle East Economics Digest on July 26; and the third interview was on July 30 with Future Brands.

IMES Director Marc Lynch participated in a Q&A entitled Understanding the Islamist Wave for CNN's Global Public Square on July 24. Professor Lynch also authored a piece for CNN entitled Preparing for Bashar al-Assad's exit, which was posted on July 23. In addition to his contributions to CNN, Professor Lynch also co-authored (with Sean Aday, Deen Freelon, Henry Farrell and John Sides) a major new policy report for the United States Institute of Peace entitled Blogs and Bullets: New Media and Conflict after the Arab Spring (June 2012). Professor Lynch edited the new Foreign Policy ebook for the Middle East Channel. It is called Islamists in a Changing Middle East (July 8) and more information about it can be found here.

IMES Faculty Associate Robert Eisen gave a presentation to a group of Saudi businessmen on interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims in late June. This was part of a GW-sponsored program through the American and Saudi Arabian Dialogue (ASAD) Education Center, and connected GW with the Western Studies Institute in Riyadh. IMES Faculty Associates Liesl Riddle and Robert Weiner also participated in the program. To learn more about this event, please click here.
Professor Eisen also had an article published in the premier journal in Judaic Studies. The article, entitled "War, Revenge, and Jewish Ethics: Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli's Essay on Kibiyeh Revisited," was published in AJS Review (36:1, April 2012, 141-3). It deals with Jewish views on war and revenge in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To read the article, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari had his most recent book, Conflicts and Wars: Their Fallout and Prevention, published by Palgrave Macmillian in early July, 2012.

IMES alumna Kate Pazoles was featured in a Washington Post Express article about graduate students who study abroad during their program. Pazoles traveled to Beirut, Lebanon and Damascus, Syria while working on her MA in Middle Eastern Studies.

IMES Faculty Associate Judith Yaphe published a piece reviewing recent developments in Iraq and asking the question "has the experiment failed?":
-Foreign Policy, June 6, 2012: Maliki's maneuvering in Iraq

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown published the following pieces:
-National Interest, May 31, 2012: Dangers Ahead for Egypt
-Carnegie - Policy Outlook, May 2012: The Emerging Order in the Middle East (with Marina Ottaway, Paul Salem, and Sinan Ulgen)
-Foreign Policy, May 23, 2012: Will Egypt Get a New Interim Constitution?
-Carnegie Q&A, May 15, 2012: Egypt and Islamic Sharia: A Guide for the Perplexed

IMES Faculty Associate Mohssen Esseesy, the coordinator of the Arabic program, is pleased to announce that the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University will now offer students an Arabic major and minor option. To read the GW Today article about the new program, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Kelly Pemberton has been awarded tenure and is now an Associate Professor of Religion and Women's Studies. Professor Pemberton also recently started a blog which explores the diversity of women's lives in the Muslim world and in Islam.

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari has agreed to write 25 short articles for the Asia Times on the political economy of oil in the Middle East entitled "The Gulf's Black Treasure." To read the first 3 articles in the series, please click here. These pieces will be published every Wednesday.

IMES Faculty Associate Mona Atia authored an article in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers entitled "A Way to Paradise" : Pious Neoliberalism, Islam, and Faith-Based Development. To read the article, click here. Professor Atia also co-authored an article in the Social & Cultural Geography Journal entitled "Imaginative geographies of Amazigh activism in Morocco." To read the article, click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Ilana Feldman had an article published in the Journal of Refugee Studies entitled "The Challenge of Categories: UNRWA and the Definition of a 'Palestinian Refugee.'" To read the article, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Mohammad H. Faghfoory has translated and annotated a work on Sufi Islam entitled The Path of Worshippers to the Paradise of the Lord of the Worlds by Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazzali (University Press of America, April 2012).

IMES Faculty Associates Jennifer Brinkerhoff and Liesl Riddle will be presenting the findings of the Coptic Diaspora Survey on May 18 at the International Institute at UCLA. For more details, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown moderated a session at an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace entitled "The Islamists: Views from Within" with representatives from Islamist parties in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.
Professor Brown gave talks on the Egyptian Revolution at St. Olaf College, The New School for Social Research and in Santa Fe and Albuquerque New Mexico. Professor Brown also gave a presentation to visiting Leaders for Democracy Fellows from the Arab world on April 27, and also gave a presentation on the Arab Spring at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on April 23.
Professor Brown also published the following articles and op-eds:
-Chapter on Hamas in The Islamists are Coming by Robin Wright (editor), United States Institute of Peace
-Jewish Daily Forward, April 30, 2012: The Road Ahead: Reading Hamas
-Foreign Policy, April 16, 2012: Egypt's transition imbroglio
-The National Interest, April 4, 2012: Egypt's Muddy Waters

IMES Faculty Associate Liesl Riddle co-wrote a paper with Dr. Meghana Ayyagari entitled "Contemporary Cleopatras: The Business Ethics of Egyptian Female Managers," which has been recognized as a 2012 Outstanding Paper by Emerald Publishing's Literati Network. To read this paper, please click here.
Professor Riddle also published "Managerial Values in the Greater Middle East: Similarities and Differences Across Seven Countries" in International Business Review Vol. 12 (2012) p. 480-492. The paper was co-authored with Dr. David Ralston (U of Oklahoma), Carolyn Egri (Simon Fraser University), Arif Butt (Lahore University), Tevfik Dalgic (University of Texas at Dallas), and David Brock (Ben-Gurion University). To read this paper, please click here.
Professor Riddle was also invited to speak at the US State Department's Foreign Service Institute on "Managerial Values and the Changing Business Environment in the Middle East/North Africa" on April 10th.

IMES Faculty Associate Pardis Minuchehr has secured a Persian StarTalk grant from the Foreign Language Center for Persian Curriculum Design (Advanced). This program is designed to create a guiding curriculum for Persian language instructors. In the course of two intensive weeks, this program will help instructors in facing the challenges of the twenty-first century in teaching Persian. This professional development program will include sessions on standards-based curriculum planning, multi-media technology, learner-centered classroom strategies, and second language acquisition theories, as well as familiarity with assessment tools.
The conference will be held at IMES on June 4, 2012. Professor Minuchehr is the Principal Investigator on the grant.

IMES Faculty Associate Shira Robinson authored an essay entitled "The Problem of Privilege" which was first posted to the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) website on March 22, 2012. The piece was subsequently reposted on the Jadaliyya website on March 23, 2012 as well.

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari authored an article entitled "Islamic Finance, Risk Sharing and International Financial Stability" in the Yale Journal of International Affairs, Volume 7, Issue 1, Winter, March 2012. Professor Askari also gave the following interviews:, March 19, 2012: "New Sanction Severely Limits Iran's Global Commerce"
-CNN International, March 16, 2012., March 15, 2012.

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown gave a lecture at TEPEV (a Turkish think tank in Ankara) on the experience of constitution writing in the Middle East; participated in a briefing in Brussels for senior European Commission foreign policy officials on the Arab transitions; delivered the keynote address at a conference on "Islam in the New Middle East" at the University of Michigan; delivered a presentation at the AIPAC policy conference; delivered a presentation at Georgetown's Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs on Islamist movements, delivered a briefing to the board of directors of "Americans for Peace now."
Professor Brown also did a book tour in London, Brussels, and Berlin on his recently released book When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (Cornell University Press, January 2012).
Professor Brown published two articles:
-Commentary (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), March 30, 2012: Egypt's Transition in Crisis: Falling Into the Wrong Turkish Model?
-Foreign Policy, March 19, 2012: Midnight for the SCAF's Cinderella Story

On February 10, IMES Faculty Associates Jennifer Brinkerhoff and Liesl Riddle shared preliminary results from their Coptic Diaspora Survey Project. Discussants included Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist and Manager, Migration and Remittances Team, World Bank; and Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop (Coptic Church) of the United Kingdom.
Al Hourra TV taped the event and produced a story that was broadcast in Egypt.
Also related to the study, the research team conducted several briefings at the State Department, including for the US Embassy to Egypt (Senior Political Officer), the US-based Egypt Desk Officer, and the Office of International Religious Freedom.
To read the report in its entirety, please click here.

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari authored a chapter entitled "A GCC Monetary Union: benefits and role of the central banks" in a book entitled Investing in the Middle East and North Africa Region, (Sohail Jaffar, ed., London: Euromoney Books, February 2012). Professor Askari also gave interviews to WDEL Radio (Delaware), BBC Radio 5 ("Up All Night" program), and ABC Radio National (Australia).

IMES Faculty Associate Hossein Askari authored a chapter entitled "Oil Rents, Political and Military Policies, and the Fallout" in a book entitled Handbook of Oil Politics,(Routledge, December 2011). Professor Askarai also gave several interviews to National Public Radio, CNN Radio, National Swedish Radio, WDEL Radio (Delaware), LinkTV, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Russia TV, BBC World Service, Reuters, China Radio International, the Christian Science Monitor (quoted) and the Century Foundation (which was conducted by IMES Graduate student Reza Akbari and can be viewed here).

IMES Faculty Associate Eric Cline co-authored a new book entitled The Ahhiyawa Texts: Writings from the Ancient World (Society of Biblical Literature, December 2011).

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown had a book launch for the Arabic edition of his book When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (Cornell University Press, January 2012) in Cairo at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies on January 16, 2012.
Professor Brown also published several articles:
-Egypt Source, January 30, 2012: Why Are So Many Upset About al-Azhar?
-Jewish Daily Forward, January 25, 2012: Brotherhood Prepares for Power in Egypt
-Foreign Policy, January 23, 2012: Why Won't Saudi Arabia Write Down its Laws?
-Egypt Source, January 19, 2012: Court Decision on Presidential Election Law: Road Block or Minor Speed Bump for the Military?
-Commentary (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), January 17, 2012: Is Hamas Mellowing?
-Carnegie Paper, January 2012: When Victory Becomes an Option: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Confronts Success

IMES Faculty Associate Edward Gnehm was interviewed by the Associated Press for Kuwait TV. He spoke on US-Kuwaiti relations in light of the upcoming Kuwaiti parliamentary elections in February.

IMES Graduate student Reza Akbari recently co-authored two op-ed pieces. One was written for Frontline and addressed a potential military attack against Iran. Please click here to read the first piece. The second piece was written for CNN World and discusses the recent execution sentrence for an Iranian-American citizen by the Iranian judiciary. Please click here to read the second piece.

IMES Faculty Associate Robert Eisen participated in a small conference that dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies in Baltimore at the beginning of December. The goal of the conference was to come up with educational materials for Jewish-Christian dialogue groups around the country regarding the conflict and the role that religion plays in it. Such materials are needed because such dialogue groups are increasingly having to confront this issue in their discussions.

IMES Faculty Associate Nathan Brown had the Arabic edition of his book When Victory is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics (Cornell University Press, January 2012) published in Beirut in December. The English edition of the book will come out in January 2012.
Professor Brown also published three articles in December:
-National Interest, December 1, 2011: The Muslim Brotherhood's Democratic Dilemma
-Commentary (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), December 7, 2011: Landmines in Egypt's Constitutional Roadmap
-Foreign Policy, December 15, 2011: Kuwait's Short 19th Century
Additionally, Professor Brown's report that was presented to the United Nations Development Program--"Constitutional Rebirth: Tunisia and Egypt Reconstruct Themselves"--was posted in English and Arabic.



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