About the center

The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East examines the barriers preventing many people in the region from reaching their fullest potential. Our work also highlights success stories of individuals and institutions who overcame significant challenges in pursuit of social, economic, and political progress. Inspired by these examples, we delineate practical and implementable policy recommendations that policymakers in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East can implement to unleash the region’s economic and human potential.

Featured commentary & analysis

Featured in-depth research & reports


Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative

The Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative (SMESI) provides policymakers fresh insights into core US national security interests by leveraging its expertise, networks, and on-the-ground programs to develop unique and holistic assessments on the future of the most pressing strategic, political, and security challenges and opportunities in the Middle East. 


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.

Past events



Nov 30, 2023

COP28 is here. These are the Global South’s demands and expectations.

By Lama El Hatow

The COP28 negotiations will prove to be challenging given all the demands and expectations on the table in this COP.

Civil Society Energy & Environment

Event Recap

Nov 13, 2023

Fostering Growth: Women in Bahrain’s fintech sector

By Nibras Basitkey

Event recap for Bahrain second workshop, focused on Bahrain’s booming fintech industry and the growing role of women in the sector.

Economy & Business Middle East

In the News

Nov 7, 2023

Nusairat quoted in Washington Examiner on the Israel-Hamas war reaching its one-month mark

By Atlantic Council

Conflict Crisis Management

Event Recap

Oct 30, 2023

Navigating the future of women’s healthcare in Saudi Arabia: Insights and challenges

By Lynn Monzer

Event recap for Women’s economic participation and its impact on healthcare in Saudi Arabia

Economy & Business Middle East

New Atlanticist

Oct 18, 2023

Experts react: What did Biden achieve in his visit to Israel?

By Atlantic Council experts

Atlantic Council experts share their insights on the implications of Biden’s visit for Israel and the wider region.

Conflict Crisis Management

In the News

Sep 15, 2023

Charai in The Hill: We survived Morocco’s earthquake. Its reconstruction is another story

By Atlantic Council

I was in Marrakech, Morocco, walking with my 89-year-old mother, when the earthquake struck Haouz last Friday. After the earth shook, my mother couldn’t stop shaking. I gently carried her out of the family home, which may no longer be the refuge that it once was only seconds earlier. 

Economy & Business Inclusive Growth


Aug 11, 2023

AlDhabi AlMheiri: Meet the nine-year-old driving change in the UAE, one book at a time

By Holly Dagres

AlDhabi AlMheiri is the youngest Emirati entrepreneur and youngest publisher. The nine-year-old was interviewed by our MENASource editor about her remarkable entrepreneurial journey and achievements.

Education Middle East


Aug 9, 2023

I spoke to an AI ‘God.’ We chatted about the ethical implications of artificial intelligence in the MENA

By Sarah Zaaimi

An artificial intelligence "God" is the tip of the iceberg on the ethical implications of AI use in a socially and culturally complex region.

Artificial Intelligence Middle East


Aug 8, 2023

Corruption reigns supreme in Iran—and it’s getting worse 

By Nadereh Chamlou

The frequently publicized cases of bribery, embezzlement, or diversion of funds have become routine in Iran.

Corruption Economy & Business

Event Recap

Jul 31, 2023

Empowering the future: The rising women workforce in Saudi Arabia’s private sector

By Lynn Monzer, Nibras Basitkey

Event recap on the empowering future of the workplace in Saudi Arabia and its impact on the private sector.

Economy & Business Future of Work