News

Whats going on with Syria?

Earlier this week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a joint press conference with Iran’s leader Ahmadinejad in which he criticized US policy in the Middle East and reaffirmed the Iranian-Syrian relationship (Washington Post). These statements follow recent American efforts to open up diplomatic relations with Syria. On February 17th, President Obama announced that he was appointing Robert S. Ford as the new Ambassador to Syria. This appointment is the first since 2005, when America withdrew its ambassador in the wake of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Was this press conference Syria’s way of responding to US...

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Israel & Iran’s Quest for Nuclear Weapons

In a press conference earlier this week the Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon stated his opinion regarding Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. He stated that “the plan is to stop it, be it through regime change in Iran or through, with no other choice, the use of force in order to remove Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons” (Jerusalem Post). The bottom line is that allowing Iran to become a nuclear power is not an option for Israel. However, this quote illustrates questions that Israel is now facing concerning the topic of a nuclear Iran. First, considering the continuing protests of...

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Meet our Intern!

Meet Alissa Aronovici, our newest intern. We are so excited to have Alissa join us! Alissa earned her bachelors degree in International Relations from the College of William and Mary in 2006. She is currently a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is pursuing a master’s degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She speaks Spanish and French and is studying Hebrew and Arabic as part of her degree program. She has traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East. Upon graduation she hopes to work for the US government or with an international non-governmental organization. Alissa will...

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Pakistan’s Educational System: Dysfunction & Extremism

According to the World Bank, nearly half of the adult population of Pakistan can’t read, and primary enrollment remains the lowest in South Asia. Extremist groups are recruiting impoverished Pakistani children by offering free education, thereby indoctrinating the next generation, by exploiting the lack of educational opportunity. While some efforts by the Pakistani government have been put forth, there are still many challenges ahead. One problem: the government-mandated curriculum. All registered public & private schools are required to teach Islamiyat [Islamic studies], using material that directly contradicts the goals and values of a progressive, moderate, and democratic Pakistan. The curriculum...

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