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 "Libya"

Weekend Reading: Fade to Black

by Steven A. Cook
A shopkeeper sells copies of the daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A shopkeeper sells copies of the daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Flipboard.com’s  booklet of news related to press and media freedom across the Arab world.

Turkey’s internet problem. 

Reporters Without Borders worries about the lack of freedom of information in Libya and its effect on the prospects for democracy.

Weekend Reading: Why Shiites Fight, Egyptian Time Warp, and Militia Madness in Libya

by Steven A. Cook
Army soldiers guard the streets during a Coptic Christmas eve mass at the main cathedral in Cairo (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). Army soldiers guard the streets during a Coptic Christmas eve mass at the main cathedral in Cairo (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Rodger Shanahan says that Shiites fighting in Syria are doing so not for sectarian reasons, but rather for reasons of geopolitics and self-preservation. Read more »

Weekend Reading: The “New” Libya, International Indecision on Syria, and the Brotherhood’s New Strategy

by Steven A. Cook
A man walks past graffiti depicting ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (R) and the Deputy Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat Al-Shater in downtown Cairo, September 24, 2013 (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A man walks past graffiti depicting ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (R) and the Deputy Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat Al-Shater in downtown Cairo, September 24, 2013 (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Abdel Bari Atwan looks at the devastating reality of the “new” Libya.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen says that Syria is paying the price of international indecision. Read more »

Egypt Sneezes, Libya Catches Cold

by Guest Blogger for Steven A. Cook
People hold a vigil for supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and in protest of the recent violence in Egypt, in front of the headquarters of the Egyptian consulate, in Benghazi (Esam Omran al-Fetori/Courtesy Reuters). People hold a vigil for supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and in protest of the recent violence in Egypt, in front of the headquarters of the Egyptian consulate, in Benghazi (Esam Omran al-Fetori/Courtesy Reuters).

LONDON – In 2011, shortly after Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down as Egypt’s president, protests erupted in eastern Libya. A few months later Muammar al-Qaddafi’s own decades-long rule came to an end. Although each country took a different path toward revolution, developments in Cairo influenced events in Tripoli. Similarly, the ripple effects from Egypt’s summer of upheaval are already rumbling through Libya, with secularists feeling their oats and Islamists feeling pinched. At the very least, the diverse and fractious armed groups that operate throughout Libya are gripping their guns a bit more tightly. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Bassem Youssef, Politics of the Arabic Language, and Videos from Syria

by Steven A. Cook
A general view of the Dubai skyline shows the Burj Khalifa building (Mohammed Salem/Courtesy Reuters). A general view of the Dubai skyline shows the Burj Khalifa building (Mohammed Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

Al-Monitor outlines the investigation of Egypt’s beloved comedian, Bassem Youssef.

Muftah discusses how nuances of the Arabic language reflect and affect the ever turbulent politics of the region. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Other Dialogue, Libya’s Revolution, and Saudi’s “Code”

by Steven A. Cook
Cars drive past parliamentary election campaign posters at a roundabout in central Amman (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters). Cars drive past parliamentary election campaign posters at a roundabout in central Amman (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters).

Nour Youssef on The Arabist offers her thoughts on the recent dialogue held between Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya member Nageh Ibrahim. Read more »

The Middle East in 2013: Don’t Count on It

by Steven A. Cook
Egyptian flags are displayed for sale during New Year's Eve celebrations at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). Egyptian flags are displayed for sale during New Year's Eve celebrations at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

It is finally the second week of January, meaning that the annual year-end/beginning lists and prognostications are mercifully behind us.  Some of these catalogues of best-worst and “what to expect” are more interesting than others—my favorites are best books and articles—but mostly, these exercises are filler for the December 20-January 5 slowdown.  The problem with the annual lists is that because they are done with one eye on the snow conditions at Aspen or the water temperature in the Caribbean or the traffic on I-95, they are often dashed off in a vacuum— with no context and no sense of how these observations connect to each other in useful analytic ways. Read more »

Hello, West? It Really Is About the Movie

by Guest Blogger for Steven A. Cook
Hardee's and a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food outlet burns after protesters set the building on fire in Tripoli, northern Lebanon (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). Hardee's and a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food outlet burns after protesters set the building on fire in Tripoli, northern Lebanon (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

My friend and tweep, Ramy Yaacoub, penned today’s post. He disagrees with my piece, Mohammed, KFC, and US. He argues that the protests in the Muslim world are actually about an offensive movie and differing worldviews rather than a history of subordination to the West. It’s well done. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from Ramy again. Follow him on Twitter: @RamyYaacoub Read more »