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Ethan Chorin
Ethan Chorin has spent more than 20 years working on the Middle East and Africa as U.S. diplomat, businessman, writer and the co-founder of a medical non-profit. A two-time Fulbright Fellow (Jordan, Yemen), he is the author of two books on Libya, Exit the Colonel: The Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution (PublicAffairs, 2012) and Translating Libya (Saqi Books, 2008). He holds a Ph.D in Resource Economics from U.C. Berkeley and a BA from Yale in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures.

Entries by Ethan Chorin

Innovative Vision-Saving Program Launched in Djibouti

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 4:00 PM

H.E. Dr. Nabil Mohammed, Minister of Higher Education, with Dr. Jorge Cuadros operating the iCam retinal camera
Djibouti, December 14

This past week 11 clinicians and medical students in the Red Sea country of Djibouti received training and began a 3-month pilot program...

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Libya's Last Stand

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 8:31 PM


By Ethan Chorin and Husni Bey

If there was ever a J.R.R. Tolkien moment in the Libya conflict, it has arrived. The forces of good and evil, abstracted here to represent 'those who want progress', and 'those who would...

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U.S. Telemedicine Initiative Tackles Diabetes Epidemic in Libya

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 1:42 PM


This past week, in the midst of yet another political crisis in Tripoli and the third anniversary of the 2011 Revolution, 11 Libyan physicians, including diabetes specialists, ophthalmologists and pharmacists, participated in an intensive three-day certificate program in "Retinopathy Screening for Primary Care," in...

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The Promise of Health Care Innovation in Djibouti

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 1:32 PM

This is the story of an unlikely -- and unfinished -- public-private partnership for development, linking the Gulf emirate of Dubai, the Red Sea state of Djibouti and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a brief but brutal war. Ethiopia lost use...

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The California-Libya Connection

(5) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 12:46 PM

Despite being almost 7,000 miles apart, California and Libya have an interesting history, a similar climate, and a relationship that's worth watching.

At independence in 1951, Libya was one of the poorest countries in the world, exporting scrap metal and dates. After the discovery of oil in commercial quantities...

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A Race Against Time for Timbuktu's Famed Collections

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 5:55 PM

With Salafist mobs succeeding in toppling and defacing Sufi shrines in Libya last year, it should have come as no surprise when, a few months, later, the phenomenon was repeated by agents of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), spreading guns and anarchy south. Having failed to hold Timbuktu,...

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Supercharging Medical Assistance in Syria and Libya

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 12:05 PM

It is not surprising that the power of technology available to support post-conflict humanitarian action vastly surpasses the ability of governments, multilateral organizations and commercial enterprises to deploy it optimally. It is usually the smaller, nimbler, locally-rooted organizations that are usually best able to respond to local crises. Yet by...

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8 Things the US Should Be Doing in Libya: Effective Immediately

(18) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 7:44 PM

Given the mess he inherited, perhaps President Obama was right to think that a lighter touch in the Middle East was the best policy -- it's certainly immediately cost-effective. However, as we are seeing in Technicolor, de facto disengagement can be just as dangerous to our national interests as reckless,...

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