Past events

Learn more about the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs

Middle East Programs

Working with our allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

Sign up for all the latest updates!

Sign up for the MENASource newsletter, highlighting pieces that follow democratic transitions and economic changes throughout the region.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Mar 17, 2023

The earthquake in Syria: A crisis of nature and politics

By Samir Aita and Zedoun Alzoubi

Politics is the art of the possible, and the tragic earthquake has put Syria on the priority list again.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Mar 17, 2023

Turkey and Syria’s devastating earthquakes send a reminder to the world: Don’t leave Syrians behind

By Pınar Dost

The disastrous earthquakes have brought the forgotten fate of Syrians and of Syria to the forefront of the US agenda in the region. They must not be forgotten again.

Conflict Migration


Mar 13, 2023

Iran is still exporting oil to Hezbollah and the Assad regime. It’s using Syrian ports for transit.

By Navvar Saban

Despite sanctions imposed on both countries, Tehran has continued to use Syrian ports as the main gateway to supply oil to its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and its ally, the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Iran Middle East


Feb 27, 2023

Experts react: What did Blinken accomplish in Turkey and Greece?

By Atlantic Council IN TURKEY

Atlantic Council experts give their perspective on US secretary of state's visit to Turkey and Greece in the aftermath of Turkey's devastating earthquake.

Crisis Management Europe & Eurasia


Feb 15, 2023

Brett McGurk sets out the ‘Biden doctrine’ for the Middle East

By Atlantic Council

In a keynote speech at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Awards, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa explains the Biden administration's strategy in the region.

Iran Iraq


Feb 15, 2023

The case for a Western initiative in Northeast Syria: A European perspective

By Michel Duclos

The time has come for the United States and its core allies on the Syrian issue—foremost among them France and the United Kingdom—to adopt a robust initiative toward northeast Syria.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Feb 9, 2023

In Syria, the earthquake ‘did what the Assad regime and Russians wanted to do to us all along’

By Arwa Damon

While aid increasingly flows into Turkey from around the world by air, land, and sea, areas on the other side of the border in Syria’s rebel-controlled areas are seeing none of that.

Civil Society Europe & Eurasia

New Atlanticist

Feb 6, 2023

Experts react: How the world should respond to the devastating earthquake in Turkey

By Atlantic Council experts

How can the international community help? What will the impact be for a region already reeling from a decade-long war and refugee crisis?

Corruption Economy & Business


Jan 23, 2023

It’s been over a decade since Ankara and Damascus talked. What changed? 

By Ömer Özkizilcik

The December 2022 meeting in Russia is the first of many that may ultimately result in a direct encounter between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad.

Europe & Eurasia Middle East


Jan 13, 2023

US sanctions on Syria aren’t working. It’s time for a new sanctions approach that minimizes humanitarian suffering and increases leverage.

By Karam Shaar and Said Dimashqi

Before making concessions, the United States can increase its leverage in Syria by dedicating resources to make use of the smart sanctions that US policymakers have already developed.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy