Middle East Columnists and Authors to Read in 2020

As we come to the end of another decade in the 21st century and the New Millennium, the Middle East continues to be a region we should be paying close attention to. The decade of 2010 was brought about major geopolitical change across the Middle East; from the Arab Spring to the Syrian War and from moderate governance in Saudi Arabia to the economic miracle of the United Arab Emirates, this was certainly a decade to remember. One of the various positive aspects of the Arab Spring was that it showed that people in the Middle East are deeply interested in reading analysis of issues that impact their lives; moreover, they enjoy the freedom of discussing these issues on digital platforms such as social networks.

If you followed the work of some of the following authors between 2010 and 2019, you are already familiar with the valuable insights they provide. Take time to get to know some of their peers, and be sure to keep an eye on their writing in the upcoming decade:

Vali Nasr of the Council on Foreign Relations

When reading about the complexities of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, it is useful to get a comparative analysis of socioeconomic factors between the warring factions. Iranian-American writer Vali Nasr, winner of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, always keeps a firm pulse on sectarian issues that invariably make things more difficult than they should be.

Jose Levy of CNN

In 2019, Israeli-Spanish senior reporter Jose Levy celebrated three decades of working with CNN, particularly CNN en Español. Mr. Levy was born in Spain and studied biology plus oncology before moving into journalism and relocating to Jerusalem; since then, he has reported extensively on Middle East affairs and has also conducted rare interviews with the late Fidel Castro, Pope John Paul II, Yasser Arafat, and many others. Although Mr. Levy is strictly a reporter who presents facts and not opinion, he is known to be a meticulous researcher who insists on adding valuable context for the benefit of news readers who want to understand issues.

Amir Handjani of the Atlantic Council

We all know that there is plenty of money in the Middle East, and this is often the cause of turmoil and special interests. When Middle East expert Amir Handjani writes about geopolitical issues in the Middle East, he follows the money, thus giving readers the opportunity to enjoy that “a-ha!” moment of understanding about why certain things develop in the way that they do. Mr. Handjani writes for Bloomberg and other publications; his work is highly recommended to investors.

Joe Sacco

Born in Malta, educated in the United States, and strongly drawn to the Middle East, Joe Sacco is a cartoonist and comic book author whose works about the Persian Gulf War and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have earned him numerous awards. Mr. Sacco is perhaps the only cartoonist who has actually been embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, and he has earned an interesting reputation for being able to capture the foolishness of humanity during armed conflict through cartoons.