Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Regional Overview: Middle East and North Africa
Note: a previous version of this profile is available at Middle East and North Africa, 2006-2007. INTERNET IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Countries in the Middle East and North Africa continue to invest in IT infrastructure and media projects as part...
Country Profile: Iraq
Background The security situation in Iraq has been unstable since the beginning of the United States-led removal of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.“Country profile: Iraq,” BBC News, July 1, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/791014.stm. Sectarian tensions and continued insurgency targeting both civilians and...
Country Profile: Yemen
Background The modern Republic of Yemen was established in 1990 when traditionalist North Yemen and Marxist South Yemen merged. Although the country has been modernizing and opening up to the world, it still maintains much of its tribal character and many of its...
Country Profile: United Arab Emirates
Background The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates formed in 1971 after independence from Britain. Each emirate maintains a large degree of independence, and the UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers consisting of the seven emirs...
Country Profile: Tunisia
Background The Tunisian constitution guarantees freedom of the press under “conditions laid down by law,” but the government closely controls the media. Additionally, the Press Law criminalizes defamation, and those who violate it can be imprisoned and fined.Freedom House, “Map of Press...
Country Profile: Syria
Background In Syria, the media is primarily owned and controlled by the government and the ruling Baath party. Criticism of the president and his family is not allowed, journalists practice self-censorship, and foreign reporters rarely get accreditation.“Country Profile: Syria,” BBC News, March 10,...
Country Profile: Sudan
Background Though a two-decade civil war between the north and the south ended in January 2005 when the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement signed a comprehensive peace deal with the Sudanese government, extended fighting began in 2003 in the western region of Darfur. ...
Country Profile: Saudi Arabia
Background Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the cradle of Islam. It embraces a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam and has a strong religious self-identity. Political parties are banned and activists who publicly call for reform risk being jailed.“Country...
Country Profile: Oman
Background One of the more traditional countries in the Middle East, Oman is a monarchy under the rule of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who took on the role of prime minister and heads the foreign, defense and finance ministries,“Country profile: Oman,” BBC News,...
Country Profile: Morocco
Background The ascension of King Mohammed VI to the throne in 1999 marked the end of the “Years of Lead,” a period of state repression under his father, King Hassan II.UNHCR, “Freedom in the World - Morocco (2007),” http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,FREEHOU,,MAR,473c55e339,0.html. Despite...