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Crown Center

In the News - June 17, 2019
Qatar’s Blockade Enters Third Year: Who Are the Winners and Losers?
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

The Qatar crisis entered its third year this month, and there is no indication that it will be resolved anytime soon. When Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched the economic blockade of Qatar two years ago, they were expecting it to be effective within a short time...Read More


Middle East Brief - June 2019
Why Hasn't the Asad Regime Collapsed? Lessons Learned from Syria's History of Tyranny
Daniel Neep, Sabbatical Fellow at the Crown Center and an Assistant Professor in Arab Politics in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

After the Syrian uprising began in 2011, many U.S. government officials and foreign policy analysts predicted that the regime of Bashar al-Asad would eventually collapse. They saw Syria’s minority-led government as inherently fragile and pointed to the country’s long history of political instability. Eight years later, however, the Asad regime survives, albeit transformed, and has regained territorial control of much of the country. In this Brief, Daniel Neep argues that these analyses misunderstood the nature of the regime...Read More


In the News - May 13, 2019
Regional Consequences of Saudi Arabia's New Approach toward Iraq
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

Up until late 2014, Saudi Arabia viewed Iraq’s Shia-dominated government as an ally of its regional rival, Iran. Saudis had strongly opposed the U.S. 2003 invasion, which removed Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime and led to the empowerment of the Shias. For twelve years (2003-2015) the Saudi government funded Sunni parties and armed the Sunni militant groups that engaged in violent campaigns against Shia targets...Read More


Special Announcement - May 8, 2019
Charles (Corky) Goodman Chair in Middle East History Naghmeh Sohrabi Receives the Michael L. Walzer '56 Award for Teaching

What students had to say about Sohrabi: "Professor Sohrabi brought incredible enthusiasm and passion to a course that made everyone genuinely want to read 200 pages and prepare themselves for class. It was never about a grade in her classroom. It was about learning. She cares very much about all of her students, and she challenges them to learn and keep learning in a respectful and exciting way."...Read More


Middle East Brief - April 2019
Implementing Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030: An Interim Balance Sheet
Nader Habibi, Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center

Launched in April 2016 and closely associated with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Vision 2030 is an ambitious set of economic and social initiatives aimed primarily at transforming the economy of Saudi Arabia. The conventional wisdom among journalists and analysts is that a series of crises and policies – including massive Saudi intervention in the war in Yemen and the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – have hurt Vision 2030...Read More


Brown Bag Seminar - May 1, 2019
Are Separatists the New Spoilers in the Middle East?
Ariel I. Ahram ('01), Associate Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech

In the wars in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, separatist militias have played critical roles in sustaining local orders as national politics unravelled as well as in fighting ISIS and other radical Islamist groups. In this talk, Ariel I. Ahram explains that while efforts are underway to end the fighting in each of these countries, conflict resolution efforts typically exclude such separatist actors. Ahram argues that...Read More


Special Announcement - April 15, 2019
Changes in Leadership at the Crown Center

Shai Feldman, the founding director of Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies and professor of politics, has been named the next president of Sapir College, near Sderot, Israel. Effective September 1, 2019, Feldman will take a leave from Brandeis University and the Crown Center to assume this exciting and challenging role...Read More