Research Articles

Is the Islamic State likely to return to the al-Qaeda model?

After the Islamic State’s crushing defeats in Iraq and Syria, a few analysts have begun to suggest that this could herald the end of the group, but most believe the defeats mark a transition. Indeed, of the two scenarios, the latter is more likely: a rise in the number of attacks abroad, fostered by the […]

The Bin Laden diaries: inside the home of al-Qaeda’s mastermind

The CIA has recently released a massive trove of files belonging to deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The data, which has been classified for the past six years, was confiscated during the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. The data has been analyzed thoroughly in an attempt to understand […]

Civil War Monuments: Take All the Idols Away

by Adam Garfinkle It’s a pity that sometimes the best solution to a political conflict is simply not practical. There is such a solution to the Confederates monuments conflict roiling the United States right now, but there is zero chance of its being agreed to and implemented. What is this best but impossible solution? It’s […]

Egypt and the Gulf: Higher Education as a Bulwark Against Radicalization

by Sara Brzuszkiewicz In September 2018, the first branch of al-Azhar outside Egypt will open in El-Ain. This is an unprecedented move that is likely to generate a number of positive consequences in the joint fight against radicalization. Furthermore, it fosters the ongoing commitment to create a closer cooperation between the Gulf and a major […]

The Two Sides of Counterterrorism

by Adam Garfinkle Truly pious people of all faiths are by nature humble, and generally have more questions than answers. Less pious people in all societies, usually the clear majority, tend to be more self-assured, and often seem content with the answers they already have. Society needs both kinds of people: the pious to dampen […]

Love and Heartbreak

by Adam Garfinkle Love breaths its deepest within us at quiet times of dim light and easy breezes, moments of gentle touches amid aromas of spice and strong tea. But heartbreak en masse prefers flashes of brightness and thunder amid odors of gunsmoke and superheated concrete dust. So it is in this early winter of […]

Meet Gedalia, Son of Ahikam

by Adam Garfinkle Once upon a time, here and there if not everywhere, Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in towns together and, while keeping their versions of Abrahamic beliefs and traditions apart, managed still to share knowledge of and even some merrymaking amid each other’s holidays. Over many centuries—again, here and there, if not everywhere—people […]


by Adam Garfinkle Are there any tears left? Have we become so numbed by the intolerance and violence pouring within and projected out of the Middle East these days that, just to protect ourselves from daily emotional shattering, we create ever-thicker barriers between the small shard of humanity we engage face-to-face and the much larger […]

Global Cultural Rights and the Democracy of Pluralism and Coexistence

by Abd al-Hadi A’rab Until recently, cultural rights were among the most neglected forms of human rights — especially when compared to the “primary” rights, such as civil and political rights. Difficulty in application is one reason why this issue has long been neglected. Cultural rights are also closely related to values, morals, and religion, […]

Popular Religion in Egypt

by Saniyah al-Bahat The role of religion has always been a pressing issue for Egyptian sociologists and policy institutions — but over the past four years, it has acquired considerably more attention. The change would appear to relate to shifts in public spiritual rituals and performances, following taboos that had been placed on such forms […]