Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

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Showing posts for "Jordan"

Weekend Reading: Kurdish Linguistics, Egypt’s Repressive Complacency, and Music and Pluralism in Jordan

by Steven A. Cook
Journalists and activists protest against the restriction of press freedom and to demand the release of detained journalists, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters). Journalists and activists protest against the restriction of press freedom and to demand the release of detained journalists, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters).

Theotime Chabre explores the complexities of Kurdish linguistic diversity, explaining how limits in communication across the Kurdish nation can be both a hindrance and an opportunity. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Lights Out in Libya, Jordan’s Brothers, and Alaa’s Tax Shelters

by Steven A. Cook
A member of the media works on a staircase at the Rixos hotel during a power cut in Tripoli (Paul Hackett/Reuters). A member of the media works on a staircase at the Rixos hotel during a power cut in Tripoli (Paul Hackett/Reuters).

Naziha Arebi illuminates the daily life of Libyans in the shadows of electricity cuts through a series of photographs and conversations.

Osama Al Sharif ponders whether tensions between Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood and the government will lead to an outright ban on the group. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Ramlat Bulaq, Bedouin Poetry, and the Islamic State vs. Israel

by Steven A. Cook
A small cruise boat passes Nile City Towers, which is owned by Naguib Sawiris the owner of Orascom Telecom, overlooking the river Nile in Cairo June 7, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters). A small cruise boat passes Nile City Towers, which is owned by Naguib Sawiris the owner of Orascom Telecom, overlooking the river Nile in Cairo June 7, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters).

Omnia Khalil reviews the struggles of everyday life in the Cairene neighborhood of Ramlat Bulaq.

William Tamplin takes a look at Jordan’s most popular Bedouin poet and his use of verse to express Arab political arguments. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Sisi Speaks, Libya’s Copts, and Vengeance in Jordan

by Steven A. Cook
Jordan's King Abdullah (L) offers his condolences to Safi al-Kasaesbeh, the father of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, at the headquarters of the family's clan in the city of Karak (Petra News Agency/Courtesy Reuters). Jordan's King Abdullah (L) offers his condolences to Safi al-Kasaesbeh, the father of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, at the headquarters of the family's clan in the city of Karak (Petra News Agency/Courtesy Reuters).

Read Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s full interview with Der Spiegel. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Sudanese Refugees in Jordan, Egyptian Insults, and Living Without Sabra Hummus

by Steven A. Cook
A Palestinian vendor reads a newspaper with the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the front page in Jerusalem's Old City (Amir Cohen/Courtesy Reuters). A Palestinian vendor reads a newspaper with the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the front page in Jerusalem's Old City (Amir Cohen/Courtesy Reuters).

IRIN reports on Jordan’s neglected refugees.

Mada Masr presents “Lexicon of a revolution’s insults,” which looks at new terms and labels invented after the Egyptian uprising of January 25. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Controversy in Jordan, A New Year in Iran, and Religion in Syria

by Steven A. Cook
Tourists stroll at the Grand Bazaar, which was built during the Ottoman-era, in Istanbul (Murad Sezer/Courtesy Reuters). Tourists stroll at the Grand Bazaar, which was built during the Ottoman-era, in Istanbul (Murad Sezer/Courtesy Reuters).

The Jordanian perspective on Jordan’s current political situation and King Abdullah’s recent commentary in the Atlantic. Read more »

Jordan Second

by Steven A. Cook
Jordan's King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein (Ray Stubblebine/Courtesy Reuters). Jordan's King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein (Ray Stubblebine/Courtesy Reuters).

Lost in all the commentary in President Obama’s visit to Israel is the fact that he will also visit Jordan.  The country is often derisively referred to as the “Hashemite Kingdom of Boredom,” but it has been anything but lately.  To be sure, Jeffrey Goldberg’s extraordinary interview with King Abdullah II has caused quite a stir, but that is not the only reason why Jordan is interesting.  In January the Jordanians held elections, there have been a spate of protests over food prices, strong criticism of the King from some of the monarchy’s heretofore strong tribal supporters, and Jordan is now host to more than half a million Syrian refugees.  The fact that Syria is in chaos, sectarian gangs rule Iraq, Egypt is in turmoil, and predictions of a 3rd Palestinian intifada abound places King Abdullah and his Kingdom in a more uncomfortable position than usual.  That said, I have been assured by people who know far more about Jordan than I that expectations of instability and threats to Hashemite rule are overblown—a function of a few boisterous activists and impressionable Western journalists. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Tunisian Shake, Jordan’s Price Hike, and Syria’s Rebel Leadership

by Steven A. Cook
Former theology student Mevlude Aydemir reads a book in the old city of Istanbul (Fatih Saribas/Courtesy Reuters). Former theology student Mevlude Aydemir reads a book in the old city of Istanbul (Fatih Saribas/Courtesy Reuters).

Haifa Zaaiter argues that the “Harlem Shake” craze that has hit Tunisia may end up disarming the Salafists of their most potent weapon: denouncement of apostasy.

The Impatient Bedouin reflects on the recent outburst of violence in Jordan’s parliament over the country’s decision to raise fuel prices last week. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Iraq’s Sects, Jordan’s Elections, and Bahrain’s Social Networks

by Steven A. Cook
A man reads the Koran at the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, before the early morning prayer of Al-Fajr in the holy city of Medina (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A man reads the Koran at the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, before the early morning prayer of Al-Fajr in the holy city of Medina (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Wadah Khanfar discusses Iraq’s problem of increased sectarian tension, which threatens Iraq’s security and the security of the whole region.

Abdulilah, posting on AmmonNews, offers reflections on Jordan’s upcoming parliamentary elections, which will take place on January 23. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Turkish Justice, Great Expectations in Egypt, and Jordan’s Challenges

by Steven A. Cook
A man searches for a book in a second hand book market in Istanbul (Osman Orsal/Courtesy Reuters). A man searches for a book in a second hand book market in Istanbul (Osman Orsal/Courtesy Reuters).

Markar Esayan says that Turkey’s democracy can only be consolidated if criminals of the past are held accountable, including officers of the Turkish Armed Forces. Read more »