All posts by Nir Boms

30Dec/21

Pan Arabism 2.0? The Struggle for a New Paradigm in the Middle East

It is with  pleasure, following eight  months of work, to share the latest monograph I published titled “Pan Arabism 2.0? The Struggle for a New Paradigm in the Middle East” that attempts to analyze the GCC agenda in the decade that culminated with the Abraham Accords.  It argues that the Accords are connected to a broader vision of regional alignment and offer a detailed explanation to how this  “change of heart” came about.

The Abraham Accords, signed in September 2020 have helped shed a light on a new discourse emerging from the Gulf that seeks to challenge some of the old dogmas that have dominated the region in the last few decades. A decade of turmoil that followed what was once dubbed as the “Arab Spring” finds a divided region, full of ethnic and religious conflict, ungoverned territories, and the growing reality of failed states. An “axis of resistance”, led by radical elements from both the Shi’a and the Sunni world, is perceived as a growing challenge to a group of actors led by a number of Gulf countries who identify radicalization as an existential threat. Facing the “axis of resistance”, a new “axis of renaissance” is coming of age with an alternative vision that seeks to change the face of the Middle East. In parallel to the rapid decline of the traditional Arab capitals, the Gulf is emerging as a more significant voice in the region due to its economic, political, and media influence. This article seeks to capture and explain the rise of this new Gulf-led axis and the early formulation of a new agenda of a more tolerant Middle East through a radical reshuffling of the order of priorities in the region.   This is a long piece, co-authored with my colleague Hussein Abubaker. Read the full article here.

03Sep/21

The Egyptian TikTok Girls

Beehive: Middle East Social Media

In August issue of Beehive, Nir Boms analyses the Egypt’s recent restrictive policy on social media and its impact on young bloggers.


Campaign to release Mawada al-Adham, from facebook
Campaign to release Mawada al-Adham. From facebook, 3 August 2020.

Amidst a new wave of authoritarianism and repression in Egypt, the Internet remains one of the only platforms of alternative expression, although perhaps, not for long.

Aside from Covid-19, the water crisis of the Rival Nile Dam, and the ongoing economic challenge, Egyptian news also dealt with the visible arrest of two young “TikTok stars.” Haneen Hossam, aged 20, was sentenced in absentia by a Cairo court to ten years in prison while Mawada al-Adham, aged 23, who appeared before the court, was sentenced to six.[1]


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