Joe Stork is one of the founders of MERIP and served as the editor of Middle East Report until 1995. He went on to be deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. Chris Toensing was executive director of MERIP and editor of Middle East Report from 2000 to 2017 and since 2018 is a senior editor at the International Crisis Group. They were interviewed by Lisa Hajjar, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and MERIP editorial committee member, in September 2021.
I was among a small group of activists who started the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) in early 1971 and was chief editor of its monthly flagship publication, MERIP Reports (later Middle East Report) until 1995. Some of us had served in the Peace Corps or other volunteer organizations in the Middle East in the mid 1960s and had come together as an informal “Middle East caucus” in the Committee of Returned Volunteers, an anti-Vietnam War group.