Our inspiration

The Atlantic Council’s work on social, economic and human development issues in the Middle East honors the legacy of Rafik Hariri and his life’s mission to unlock the human and economic potential of the Arab world.

The Atlantic Council’s work on Middle East security honors the legacy of Brent Scowcroft and his tireless efforts to build a new security architecture for the region.

Countries & Sub-regions in Focus

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Meet our blogs

Our blogs feature thoughtful reflections and opinions on current events in the Middle East & North Africa.

Our reports feature policy-relevant analysis that focuses on transatlantic priorities while centering the concerns of citizens in the Middle East.

Leadership

Upcoming Events

We convene the most important stakeholders on issues of primary concern to the transatlantic community when it comes the Middle East and North Africa, from senior US and Middle East government officials to civil society activists and budding entrepreneurs.

Tue, Sep 28, 2021

Transitional justice and accountability in Libya

Online Event A discussion on legal reform and prosecution of international crimes; mass graves and forensic analysis; and promoting transitional justice and accountability in Libya.

9:00am Democratic Transitions Human Rights Libya Middle East

Past events

Wed, Sep 8, 2021

The future of counterterrorism: Twenty years after 9/11

Online Event US national security experts discuss counterterrorism twenty years after 9/11, reimagining the future of the terrorist threat.

10:30am Europe & Eurasia Extremism Intelligence Middle East

Tue, Aug 3, 2021

Event Recap: A conversation with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ali Allawi

On July 28, the Iraq Initiative hosted an event with H.E. Ali Allawi, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, to discuss the Iraqi delegation visit to the United States, the White Paper for Economic Reforms, and Iraqi economic and political developments.

Event Recap by Hezha Barzani

Iraq Middle East

Thu, Apr 29, 2021

From the courts to the streets: Iranian women changemakers on the struggle for equality

Online Event The Atlantic Council's Future of Iran Initiative hosts a discussion surrounding the upcoming paper, Iranian Women in the Year 1400: The Struggle for Equal Rights Continues.

12:00pm Iran Middle East Resilience Resilience & Society

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Experts

Content

Thu, Sep 23, 2021

What the Arab Gulf is thinking after the Afghanistan withdrawal

Three Gulf heavyweights are calculating what they stand to gain—or lose—in their relationship with the United States.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Afghanistan Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Sep 23, 2021

With the US out of Afghanistan, Iran jumps on the opportunity of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Even if Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is stalled, the US exit from Afghanistan changes the regional landscape.

IranSource by Jonathan Fulton

Afghanistan China

Wed, Sep 22, 2021

EVENT RECAP: The future of counterterrorism: Twenty years after 9/11

On September 8, the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Forward Defense practice area and the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative hosted an event with US national security experts to discuss counterterrorism twenty years after 9/11 and reimagine the future of the terrorist threat.

Event Recap by Yaseen Rashed

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Wed, Sep 22, 2021

Iran ‘won’ the war with Iraq but at a heavy price

More than four decades after the beginning of a dreadful war that shaped the lives and worldview of a generation, Iraq and Iran seem to have put the past behind them and moved to a new relationship. But the road ahead is not without landmines. The balance of power is too lopsided in Iran’s favor to allow for a healthy alliance and Iran’s continued estrangement from the US makes Baghdad’s balancing act even trickier. The Iranians may be enjoying their triumphant short-term position, but the long-term consequences could be calamitous.

IranSource by Barbara Slavin, Abbas Kadhim

Iran Iraq

Wed, Sep 22, 2021

Mourned by some, cursed by others, former President Bouteflika left Algeria ill-prepared for the future

Abdelaziz Bouteflika's death is unlikely to substantially shift the country's trajectory, in large part because of just how rigid a system he and his generation of independence heroes already imposed upon Algeria during their lifetimes.

MENASource by Andrew G. Farrand

Middle East North Africa

Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Asat quoted in Reuters on the struggles of overseas Uyghurs trying to locate their relatives in Xinjiang prisons

In the News by Atlantic Council

China Civil Society

Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Sales quoted in The Washington Post on the need for human intelligence for successful counterterrorism strikes

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Industry

Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Iranian children are being punished based on their parents’ religion and beliefs

In practice, Iran’s discriminatory law affects almost all aspects of minority children’s lives, such as safety and well-being and access to health and education.

IranSource by Hamed Farmand

Human Rights Iran

Mon, Sep 20, 2021

Sales quoted in The Washington Examiner on how over-the-horizon counterterrorism doesn’t work

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Policy

Mon, Sep 20, 2021

‘Investing in women is just good business’: Ways to increase funding for women-led ventures in the Middle East

On September 14, 2021 the Atlantic Council’s empowerME Initiative held a workshop on “Venture Capital Financing: How to Increase Funding for Women-led Ventures."

MENASource by Stefanie H. Ali

Middle East The Gulf