Recent Posts

Behind the Fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Institutional Investor  2013-9-20

Hard-liners including Mohammed Morsi seized control of the group prior to the Arab Spring but proved inflexible and incompetent in power.

Ali Ashmawi was a harvest of human wreckage. It was August 2006, and I had traveled to his remote, unnamed village — two hours from Cairo by car and a good half an hour from the nearest paved road — to learn more about the Muslim Brotherhood. Ashmawi, then 69, a devoted-member-turned-fierce-critic of the Brotherhood, bore visible scars from nearly a decade in Egypt’s gulag. His apartment was small but tidy, and his two young children, a son and a daughter, sat together on a couch and listened to his story as if hearing it for the first time.


Cyprus’s Big Gas Field May Not Be the Country’s Salvation

Institutional Investor  2013-6-7

MITCHELL BELFER WAS ATTENDING AN energy conference at the University of Nicosia last November when he was struck by the way Cypriots talked about the country’s offshore gas field. [More]

New Face, Old Raiment

Vatican Spring? Don’t bet the basilica on it.

The Arabs, I was once informed by an orotund Christian Zionist, belong to a culture of shame. To the extent crime is stigmatized in Arab lands, it is more for the dishonor it imposes on family or tribe than the immorality of the crime itself. The west, by contrast, is a culture of guilt, where justice is defined and meted out under codes and systems that evolved from the Enlightenment. As cultures of shame and guilt are irreconcilable, I was told, there will never be peace until one side prevails.




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