Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Rebranding the Turkish State in the Time of COVID-19

Rebranding the Turkish State in the Time of COVID-19

As Turkish scholars residing in the United States when the pandemic began to curtail normal life, Ergin Bulut and Başak Can signed on to take the Turkish government’s evacuation flight home. This experience and their time spent in government-managed quarantine yielded interesting insights into the state’s intense efforts to rebrand itself as caring and effective, particularly after consolidating power during the 2018 switch from a parliamentary to presidential system.

Going to War with the Coronavirus and Maintaining the State of Resistance in Iran

Going to War with the Coronavirus and Maintaining the State of Resistance in Iran

The Iranian government is fighting against the coronavirus pandemic not only with travel restrictions and social distancing rules, but also with ideological tools that promote unity and resistance. Through the production of posters and other media, Iran is creating connections between earlier battles, such as the Iran-Iraq war, and the current health crisis. Kevin Schwartz and Olmo Gölz trace the lineage of the iconography used in these images and the ideological efforts behind them.

Why Civil Society is Libya’s Best Defense Against the COVID-19 Pandemic

Why Civil Society is Libya’s Best Defense Against the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nada Elfeituri 07.23.2020

With its national government in fragments and fighting ongoing, Libya was in an extremely vulnerable position when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March. Four months later, however, infection rates have been kept relatively low. Nada Elfeituri explores the crucial role of post-Qaddafi civil society in confronting the coronavirus and the still precarious position of the Libyan people.

Palestine on the Brink of Crisis

Palestine on the Brink of Crisis

Colin Powers 06.30.2020

Palestine is heading into a disastrous recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic’s paralysis of economic life combined with structural factors specific to the Palestinian economy. Colin Powers explains why the Palestinian Authority is unable to generate the necessary level of revenue to support its citizens, including the pernicious role of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the PA’s misguided choice to hand economic management to Palestinian business elites.

The Challenges of a Public Health Approach to COVID-19 Amid Crises in Lebanon

The Challenges of a Public Health Approach to COVID-19 Amid Crises in Lebanon

Jocelyn DeJong 05.8.2020

Lebanon’s highly privatized system of health care is presenting challenges to implementing a public health approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the country already suffering from multiple political and economic crises, containment of the coronavirus has been more effective than expected. But serious obstacles to the public’s health and well being remain.

No Good Options for Migrant Workers in Gulf COVID-19 Lockdown

No Good Options for Migrant Workers in Gulf COVID-19 Lockdown

Andrea Wright 04.30.2020

Andrea Wright talks to South Asian migrant workers in the Gulf to find out how the pandemic is affecting their lives. They explain that if they stay in the Gulf, they risk abandonment by their employers and coronavirus infection from cramped living conditions. If they return to India under lockdown, they face starvation, mounting debts, joblessness and anti-Muslim sentiment. There are no good choices.

Voices from the Middle East: On the Frontlines of Inequality in Turkey During COVID-19

Voices from the Middle East: On the Frontlines of Inequality in Turkey During COVID-19

Berra Can 04.23.2020

Pharmacists in Turkey, like the author’s parents, are working overtime to serve their communities and to adapt quickly to shifting government orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. While steps are being taken to mitigate the impact of the virus on the most vulnerable, various forms of inequality entrenched across the country mean that certain groups suffer much more than others.

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