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 "Weekend Reading"

Weekend Reading: Turkey’s Constitution, Wine in Lebanon, and Iraq’s Provinces

by Steven A. Cook
A Syrian labourer gathers grapes at Chateau Kefraya in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley at the end of the harvest (Jamal Saidi/Reuters). A Syrian labourer gathers grapes at Chateau Kefraya in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley at the end of the harvest (Jamal Saidi/Reuters).

Michael Daventry tracks the voting progress on eighteen amendments to Turkey’s constitution as the so-called “executive presidency” bill makes its way through the Turkish legislature. Read more »

Weekend Reading: A Changing Discourse on Syria, Salman’s Saudi Troubles, and Turkey’s Soft Power

by Steven A. Cook
Saudi King Salman bin Abbulaziz Al-Saud attends the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 37th Summit in Manama, Bahrain (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters). Saudi King Salman bin Abbulaziz Al-Saud attends the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) 37th Summit in Manama, Bahrain (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters).

Nervana Mahmoud considers how the discourse on the Syrian conflict could change in 2017.

Alain Gresh finds that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman can claim few successes in his time as ruler so far. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Church Bombing, Jihadi Street Art, and Saudis Go to the Track

by Steven A. Cook
A Saudi man trains his son to ride a horse in a desert near Tabuk, Saudi Arabia (Mohamed Al Hwaity/Reuters). A Saudi man trains his son to ride a horse in a desert near Tabuk, Saudi Arabia (Mohamed Al Hwaity/Reuters).

Maged Atiya ponders what the Egyptian state can do in the aftermath of the bombing at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in downtown Cairo.

Loubna Salem takes a look at examples of jihadi street art. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Tunisian Economics, Assad and the Jihadis, and Palestinians in Egypt

by Steven A. Cook
Tunisian lawyers demonstrate against the government's proposed new taxes, near the courthouse in Tunis, Tunisia (Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters). Tunisian lawyers demonstrate against the government's proposed new taxes, near the courthouse in Tunis, Tunisia (Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters).

Francis Ghiles finds that persistent economic problems threaten the stability and success of Tunisia’s democratic transition.

Elias Muhanna speculates on the relationship between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and jihadi groups. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Tension in Turkey, Kuwait’s Election, and Reexamining Tunisian History

by Steven A. Cook
Kuwaiti women cast their votes during parliamentary election in a polling station in Kuwait City, Kuwait (Stringer/Reuters). Kuwaiti women cast their votes during parliamentary election in a polling station in Kuwait City, Kuwait (Stringer/Reuters).

Nick Ashdown discusses the tense political and social climate in Turkey in the months after the failed coup attempt.

Habib Toumi argues that reforms to Kuwait’s electoral law in July 2006 have succeeded in diminishing the influence of large tribal coalitions in last weekend’s parliamentary elections. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Tunisia’s Saints, Egyptians React to the U.S. Election, and the Battle for Mosul Pictured

by Steven A. Cook
A member of Shi'ite fighters carries a weapon during a battle with Islamic State militants at the airport of Tal Afar west of Mosul, Iraq (Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters). A member of Shi'ite fighters carries a weapon during a battle with Islamic State militants at the airport of Tal Afar west of Mosul, Iraq (Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters).

Inel Tarfa explores Tunisia’s heritage of Sufi saints, which has come under attack by Islamist militants in recent years.

Shahira Amin finds that while there are those in Egypt who either support or oppose the election of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency, most Egyptians remain ambivalent. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Liberal Arts in the Middle East, Morocco’s Durability, and Lebanon’s New President

by Steven A. Cook
Protests take part in a rally called by the February 20 Movement in Rabat after a fishmonger in the northern town of Al Hoceima was crushed to death inside a rubbish truck as he tried to retrieve fish confiscated by police (Stringer/Reuters). Protests take part in a rally called by the February 20 Movement in Rabat after a fishmonger in the northern town of Al Hoceima was crushed to death inside a rubbish truck as he tried to retrieve fish confiscated by police (Stringer/Reuters).

Ted Purinton and Allison Hodgkins argue that the Middle East needs to invest in the liberal arts as a way to foster a productive citizenry and combat violent extremism. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Yemen’s Moualleds, Lebanon’s Presidency, and Iraq’s Book Market

by Steven A. Cook
Christian politician and FPM founder Michel Aoun (L) talks during a news conference next to Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri after he said he will back Aoun to become president in Beirut, Lebanon (Mohamed Azakir). Christian politician and FPM founder Michel Aoun (L) talks during a news conference next to Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri after he said he will back Aoun to become president in Beirut, Lebanon (Mohamed Azakir).

Afrah Nasser reflects on the lives of Yemen’s moualleds—Yemenis who have a non-Yemeni parent—before and after the Saudi-led war.

Ali Hashem argues that former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad al-Hariri’s decision to support the nomination of General Michel Aoun, a pro-Hezbollah politician, for the Lebanese presidency—which has been vacant for over two years—is advantageous for both Hariri and his Saudi allies. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Libyan Music, Gazan Tunnels, and Moroccan Politics

by Steven A. Cook
A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Rabat, Morocco (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters). A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in Rabat, Morocco (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters).

Matthew Millan’s short documentary introduces us to the world of Libya’s revolutionary musicians.

Marina Chamma takes a look at the inner workings of a tunnel traversing the Egypt-Gaza border and what it means to Palestinians. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Waiting on Mosul, Talking With Ghassan Kanafani, and Oman’s Houthi Policy

by Steven A. Cook
Pro-government soldiers march during a military parade celebrating the 54th anniversary of North Yemen's revolution in the central province of Marib (Ali Owidha/Reuters). Pro-government soldiers march during a military parade celebrating the 54th anniversary of North Yemen's revolution in the central province of Marib (Ali Owidha/Reuters).

Mustafa Habib provides a breakdown of the various groups and armed forces operating in Iraq’s Nineveh governorate, where the city of Mosul, controlled by the self-styled Islamic State, is located. Read more »