Afghanistan and opium share an ancient history together. However, with opium sales and use booming, Afghanistan and the drug trade have never been as intertwined as they are today. What are the causes of the exponential rise in Afghan opium cultivation and what can be done to curb it?Read More
These articles represent the views of the authors only, and do not constitute the positions of UCLA, the International Institute, or the Center for Middle East Development. Readers are invited to offer alternative perspectives to csaleh[at]international.ucla.edu.
In only one week from today, millions of Americans will go to the polls and cast their ballots for whom they wish to represent them in the US Congress. With many citing President Obama's poor handling of recent international affairs, various polls project a full Republican takeover of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. What are the implications for continued US strategy in the MENA region? What does this mean for President Obama in his handling of important foreign policies for the rest of his term?
(Photo credit: US Government)Read More
Youth unemployment is a rampant and costly problem in the Middle East: unemployment rates are upwards of 30 percent regionally, costing the region between US $40-$50 billion annually. The Middle East cannot afford the skills gap that is perpetuated by its ill-fitting education system.Read More
For many, the answer seems simple: Turkey should listen to the demands of its Kurdish population and work alongside the international coalition against IS to fight the global threat that is looming on its border. But unfortunately, the situation is far more complicated.Read More
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is widely regarded by both the international community and his citizens as Iran's first moderate leader in recent history. His presidential agenda includes many liberal tenants like advancing human rights in Iran and finding a solution to the decade long nuclear dispute. However, the political power and conservatism of his superior, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has created an interesting dynamic between old versus new in Persian Politics.Read More
ISIS, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, United States, Europe: these are the names of major actors played by the media in regards to recent upheaval in the Middle East, marked by the rise of the Islamic State. While the international community now weighs its focus on counter-terrorism efforts lead by the US, one question sits in the back of everyone's mind: what about Israel?Read More
Historically, Iranian support for Hamas in times of conflict has run quite deep—both in terms of extensive funding and providing weapons. But for almost three years now, bilateral relations between Hamas and Iran were considered severed for multiple reasons. Why has Iran scaled back its involvement?
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As ISIS gains more traction in the region, the international community’s lack of action inadvertently lays the foundation for increased terrorist attacks, the violent repression and persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, and the further destabilization of Syria and Iraq.
(Image: Al-Furgan Media/AFP)Read More
International branch campuses of American universities hold tremendous benefits both for the university and the local students who have access to these distinguished institutions without leaving home. However, they are struggling to maintain interest. Why?
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