If there is one thing that the Middle East and North Africa are not, it is static. The region, often associated with social conservatism and rigid governments, has been and is continuing to experience seismic shifts in its geopolitical reality. It is for this reason that we at Manara chose “transition” as our theme.
New economic challenges, developing diplomatic relationships, and a changing balance of power were just some of the topics we knew we would have to cover. Similar to our previous issues, we strove to include a wide array of voices, with experts contributing from Beijing to Doha to Washington, and beyond. Our writers look to the past (lessons from Libya’s transition government), to the present (British Middle East policy in 2021), as well as the future (Gulf-EU relations). Rather than constraining ourselves to the big headline topics, this issue also explores changes in policy, such as regulating the arms trade, as well as the role of a commonly overlooked group of asylum seekers and their political influence.
Nothing remains the same forever, least of all the MENA region. With new opportunities and tribulations on the horizon, now is a good time to reflect.
As always, we hope this issue informs as well as provokes new questions.
Naman Karl-Thomas Habtom,