Middle East News – May 8th, 2012

– U.S. officials in Yemen say that they have foiled a plot originating from Al-Qaeda forces in the area that planned to blow up a passenger airlining leaving from Yemen – Read more at CNN

– Two of Israel’s leading parties, though often at odds, have formed a coalition government (one of the largest in Israel’s history).  This agreement will forestall elections in Israel for at least a year and will bring stability to a nation under great stress from the events in Iran and Syria – Read more at CNN

– Some happy, non-political news – German photographer Claudius Schulze went to the isolated island of Socotra, a few hundred miles off the coast of Yemen, and observed the unique endemic wildlife of the Island – look at his beautiful pictures and story here

– When Baghdad is mentioned few people think of ornate architecture before bomb-riddled buildings or concrete checkpoints – but some are hoping to change that image as they begin the restoration of the once (and still) captivating city of Baghdad


The future of Egypt’s Political System

In a month Egypt will be having democratic elections that will probably determine the make-up of its new constitution and government in wake of last Spring’s revolution against Mubarak’s government.  But controversy still exists about the legitimacy of the elections and the military’s possible role in influencing them.

See this CNN article for more information on this developing story.

Lecture: Iran, the New Geopolitical Balance in the Middle East, and Implications for Latin America – Monday, April 30th, 2012

Zidane Zeraoui will be giving a lecture at noon next Monday (April 30th) in 336 Ingraham Hall concerning the new geopolitical situations in the Middle East and how this affects Latin America.  This lecture should be of interest to anyone studying either Latin America or the Middle East and will be a fascinating synthesis of these two regions that are commonly thought to be (mostly) independent of one another.

For more information see the attached poster.  Zidane Zeraoui Poster

Check out the Inside Islam blog

The conceptions (or rather misconceptions) about Islam in the world today are wide are far-reaching, and range from minor theological differences to abject racism and Islamophobia.  There aren’t as many resources as there should be to instruct the general public on the basic tenets of Islam, but right here at UW there is a great blog/radio show entitled Inside Islam that should be checked out by anyone wanting to objectively learn more about this misunderstood world religion.  There is a daily blog here that highlights particularly issues concerning Islam in great detail that will inform a reader with any level of knowledge concerning Islam.  This organization is a great gateway for others as well who may be lacking understanding of the basics of Islam.  So tell all your non-Middle East Studies majors friends about it so they will stop not knowing Ramadan from Zakat.



DIA Middle East/North Africa Information Session – Thursday, April 19th, 2012

This Thursday (from 4-5 pm) in the Round Table Room on the Third Floor of the Memorial Union the Defense Intelligence Agency (a U.S. government agency) will be hosting an information session detailing all the job opportunities available to students in their department.  These specific job opportunities will be related to the Middle East and North Africa and should be of interest to any students currently studying in those fields.  Joseph Eckerbert, the Staff Director for the Middle East/North Africa office of the DIA, will be presenting at the lecture and will stay afterwards (until 7 P.M.) to answer any questions from students/prospective employees.  Anyone is free to bring in a copy of their resumes, which Mr. Eckerberg will be happy to provide feedback and guidance on.  Click on the DIA flier for more information on this event

News Update – Syria – April 12th, 2012

President Assad of Syria, the center-point of this escalating conflict

You may or may not know that quite the violent and controversial conflict (borderline civil war) is occurring right now in Syria (and spilling over into Lebanon).  This is an issue that anyone interested in the Middle East needs to study up and be informed on.  To do so go to this New York Times Page and educate yourself on the tragic and momentous happenings in Syria in recent weeks and in the coming days – http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/syria/index.html.  Just a heads up.