Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Voices From the Region: Turkey, Egypt, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Yemen

by Robert M. Danin Monday, December 31, 2012
General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, the head of Syria's military police, speaks in a video uploaded on a social media website on December 26, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, the head of Syria's military police, speaks in a video uploaded on a social media website on December 26, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

“He’s contaminated from top to bottom…Tomorrow he will be a hero.” – Captain Adnan Dayoub, a Syrian rebel commander in Hama, on the defection of General Abdelaziz Jassim al-Shalal, head of the military police

“I have reached a clear conclusion that a lot of the policies and efforts contradict with my personal beliefs and I don’t see them as representative of our people’s aspirations.” – Egyptian communications minister Hani Mahmoud in a resignation letter published on his Wasat Party’s Facebook page Read more »

Voices From the Region: Israel, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey

by Robert M. Danin Saturday, December 22, 2012
Russian foreign minister Lavrov speaks during a meeting of President Putin's trustees in Moscow on December 9, 2012 (Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters). Russian foreign minister Lavrov speaks during a meeting of President Putin's trustees in Moscow on December 9, 2012 (Karpukhin/Courtesy Reuters).

“For decades the Assad regime was talking about the Palestinians’ rights….But Bashar al-Assad has killed more of us today than Israel did in its latest war on Gaza.” – Abu Ammar, Palestinian resident of Yarmouk camp after it was attacked by Syrian fighter jets on December 16 Read more »

Middle East Matters’ Ten Most Significant Developments of 2012

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, December 20, 2012
A protester covers his face as he stands in front of tear gas during clashes with riot police along a road that leads to the U.S. embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo on September 15, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). A protester covers his face as he stands in front of tear gas during clashes with riot police along a road that leads to the U.S. embassy, near Tahrir Square in Cairo on September 15, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Here it is: the second annual Middle East Matters year-end roundup listing the ten most significant Middle East developments of 2012. Since this blog focuses on the interplay between U.S. policy and the region, the items selected were those deemed most noteworthy from an admittedly American foreign policy perspective. This was a tumultuous year in the region, and many items on this list could have been deemed the single most significant. So in roughly chronological order are MEM’s top ten for 2012: Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt’s Contentious Vote and Syria’s Fraying Grip

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, December 13, 2012
An Egyptian votes on the new Egyptian constitution at the Egyptian embassy in Amman on December 12, 2012 (Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters).. An Egyptian votes on the new Egyptian constitution at the Egyptian embassy in Amman on December 12, 2012 (Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters)..

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. The National Salvation Front, Egypt’s newly formed opposition group headed by prominent figures Mohammed El Baradei, Hamdeen Sabahi, and Amre Moussa, urged followers yesterday to vote “no” on Saturday’s referendum on the draft constitution. They conditioned the opposition’s participation in the vote on full judicial oversight at all polling places, independent and international monitors, and adequate security. Read more »

Voices From the Region: Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Iran, Iraq

by Robert M. Danin Saturday, December 8, 2012
Supporters of Egyptian president Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a funeral for fellow supporters who died in recent clashes Al Azhar mosque in Cairo on December 7, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). Supporters of Egyptian president Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a funeral for fellow supporters who died in recent clashes Al Azhar mosque in Cairo on December 7, 2012 (Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

“I never thought I would say this, but even Mubarak was more savvy when he spoke in a time of crisis.” – Hossam Bahgat, executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

“I hope God will make me a martyr on the land of Palestine in Gaza.” – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal after crossing into the Gaza Strip Friday for the first time Read more »