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Introduction

Help Us Expand the Manara Network

One of the challenges for those of us who study the Middle East and North Africa region has been the ever-increasing urgency with which to analyse information that will allow us to understand, as well as anticipate, change. As grassroots movements, bilateral diplomatic efforts and regional shifts in power relations that have brewed for generations are coming to fruition, our analysis must involve thoughts and ideas which are at the forefront of current affairs.

At Manara Magazine, the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum (MENAF) not only provides students and emerging professionals with a platform to contemplate the “why’s” of change as part of historical and introspective pieces crucial for an accurate understanding of long-term developments. It more importantly aspires to provide writers with the chance to highlight the “when’s” as well. That is, the understated or perhaps even overlooked aspects of domestic and international politics capable of turning tables in the blink of an eye.

When we launched Manara, we did not believe that it would so successfully establish an inter-university network of young scholars across the UK, Europe and the Middle East in just under a year. Evidently, the guidance of Molly Bolding, Manara’s Editor-in-Chief, throughout this process has been vital in achieving this. On behalf of the whole of our team, I would like to thank her for her dedication to our mission. I have been lucky to work alongside Molly, and as we look ahead to take this project to the next stage, we are counting on your help too, our dear readers, writers and supporters.

By making our contributors’ work and the Manara platform more accessible online, we are hoping to cultivate and expand the network that all of you have helped us build. Our outreach efforts to tap deeper into some of the largest intellectual hubs of local scholarship in the MENA region are well underway. In the meantime, with your help, we would like to see Manara become a permanent fixture on all university campuses and academic departments discussing the politics of the Middle East and North Africa.

MENAF is proud to sponsor an up and coming generation of young academics and leaders, and help them share their insights into the politics and development of a region that features an ever-greater import role in British and European foreign policy considerations. Whether you study long-term trends, represent the world of current affairs analysts or seek to follow both approaches with the help of our Magazine, you now have the chance to be part of a unique initiative, aiming to link British, European and Middle Eastern scholarship together.

Patrik Kurath
Executive Vice President
Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum (MENAF)

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