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Sami Moubayed
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Sami Moubayed is a Syrian historian and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. His research focuses on Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is also a research fellow at St. Andrews University in Scotland and a co-founder of its Syrian Studies Center. He is an expert on pre-Baath Syria.

Moubayed served as editor-in-chief of Forward Magazine, Syria’s premier English monthly from 2006 to 2011. In 2004, he co-founded SyrianHistory.com, the first online museum of Syrian history for which he continues to work as chief editor. From 2000 to 2001, Moubayed served as bureau chief for the Daily Star in Syria and since 2005 has taught international relations at the University of Kalamoon in Syria, where he currently serves on the board of trustees. He is also vice president of Haykal Media in Syria.

Moubayed has written several books, including Damascus Between Democracy and Dictatorship (University Press of America, 2000), Steel & Silk: Men and Women Who Shaped Syria 1900-2000 (Cune Press, 2005), and Syria and the USA: From Wilson to Eisenhower (IB Tauris, 2012).

Moubayed studied at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and obtained his PhD in Middle East Affairs from the University of Exeter.

Entries by Sami Moubayed

The Ghost of Gamal Abdul Nasser

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 1:51 PM

A black and white photograph is making the rounds on social media networks. It shows Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser saluted by a six-year-old boy in 1960. The photo was taken during the short-lived Syrian-Egyptian Union. The boy is Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, engineer of the recent coup that toppled President...

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A Wake Up Call for the Syrian Brotherhood

(13) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 4:48 PM

When Ahmad Mouaz al-Khatib was elected president of the Syrian National Alliance in late 2012, red flags were raised at the offices of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The Brothers feared ideological competition from someone who like them, was preaching Sunni Islam. Their niche, after all, was the conservative Sunni Muslim...

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Are Coups Always Bad?

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 1:48 PM

"Allahu akbar" shouted Syrian and Egyptian soldiers in the Saudi Arabian desert in January 1991, when news crept in at 3:00 a.m. that Saddam Hussein had fired Scuds on Israel. Jubilantly, they warmly embraced and cheered for Abu Uday. Suddenly, however, the troops became cautiously mute, remembering that this man,...

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A Must Read: Decade of Lost Chances

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 5:13 PM

An avalanche of Syria books are on the market, nearly all written in haste, filled with speculation and predictions of dubious value, and highly commercial in nature. They are aimed at attracting readership while the word "Syria" is on everyone's radar.

Publishers are eager to make use of the crisis...

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Sami Moubayed: Reactions to the Anti-Muslim Film: It is Now Time To Grow Up

(46) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 12:02 PM

On June 23, the controversial American satirical film, Innocence of Muslims premiered to a private audience at the Vine Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Two clips were posted on YouTube on July 1.

By September, the amateur low-budget film had been dubbed into Arabic and brought to the attention of...

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Brahimi Won't Risk His Reputation in Vain

(5) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 4:35 PM

Former Algerian top diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi is set to become the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria coming on the heels of Kofi Annan's August 2 resignation. He has not accepted the posting yet, and nor has the Syrian government approved him.

Many are skeptical, saying...

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The Battle for Aleppo

(5) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 7:46 PM

Until recently, life was normal in the busy northern city of Aleppo, popularly referred to as the "industrial capital" of Syria. The markets were still open, banks were still operating, merchants were still trading, families were dining at restaurants and young couples were getting married. Then, the snowballing revolt reached...

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All Rise for the People of Egypt

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 8:02 PM

The last thing Arab seculars wanted was for an Islamist to be elected as president of Egypt. Having said that, Mohammed Morsi's victory is a glorious day in Arab history -- a benchmark for Arab democracy -- that ought to be appreciated and respected, regardless of what one thinks of...

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Breaking the Law by Reading Ghassan Tueni

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 11:29 AM

Back in the mid-1990s, when studying at the American University of Beirut (AUB), we would rush to newsstands every Monday morning to buy the popular mass circulation daily Annahar, in order to read Ghassan Tueni's editorial. Syrian students always looked left and right before buying the newspaper, so as not...

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A Turning Point in Lebanon

(5) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 11:31 AM

Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, his meeting with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and his lunch with Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal speaks volumes about how Lebanon is struggling to escape Syrian tutelage at a time when pro-Syrian Lebanese parties are aggressively trying to drag Lebanon...

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Lebanon's New Wild Card: Shaker al-Barjawi?

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 5:35 PM

The handwriting had been on the wall for weeks, signaling that Lebanon might explode -- at any minute.

The reason was Syria. For more than a year, battlelines have been clearly drawn between pro-Bashar al-Assad and anti-Assad politicians in Lebanon, with the March 14 Alliance desperate to see regime...

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Syrian Democracy Back to Square One

(2) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 3:31 PM

Syria's new parliament will be inaugurated this week. It will likely be packed by the Baath party and its sister parties in the National Progressive Front (NPF) that collectively won approximately 160 out of the 250 seats, similar to the quota given by the Syrian officialdom since 1973.

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Aftershocks of the Egypt Spring on Syria

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 11:09 AM

The Egyptian elections -- just like the revolution last year -- have distracted ordinary Syrians from the difficulties of their day-to-day lives.

In January 2011, Syrians were amazed by the will, might and courage of Egyptian youth. They spent the 18 days of the Egyptian Revolution glued to their...

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The Syrian Opposition, Non-state Players, and the Peace Process

(1) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 5:46 PM

There are two views floating in Syria today. Theory I says that the U.S. wants to break the Syrian-Iranian alliance through regime change in Damascus. They argue that if the regime collapses in Syria, it would result in a rapid decline for both Iran and Hezbollah. Theory II, however, claims...

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If Annan Were to Walk Out on the Syrian Mission, Who Would Care?

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2012 | 4:24 PM

The five-point programme agreed upon in Cairo on March 10 between the Arab League and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicates that Moscow is re-thinking its position, very slowly, vis-a-vis Syria. High hopes are being pinned on former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan who landed in Damascus on Saturday, mandated by...

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Yemen's New President: Another Sadat?

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2012 | 11:29 AM

The swearing-in of Yemen's new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Saturday topped headlines in the Arab world.

Millions of young people in various Arab capitals watched with a sparkle in their eyes, seeing that once again, regime change is doable and it doesn't have to be...

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Dichotomy of Syria's Friends

(2) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 3:19 PM

The Friends of Syria conference, which took place in Tunisia on February 24, was a disaster. Neither the Syrian street nor the Syrian opposition -- both at home and in the diaspora -- were satisfied with its outcome. Naturally, nor were major stakeholders in the Syrian crisis, like Russia and...

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Anthony Shadid: A Voice Telling Our Tale

(2) Comments | Posted February 17, 2012 | 1:09 PM

Anthony Shadid, the celebrated Lebanese-American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, died on Tuesday, reportedly from an asthma attack, while covering news in Syria. He was only 42.

I first met Tony nine years ago through a common friend, Oklahoma University Professor Joshua Landis, and have followed up on his...

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Syria's New Constitution: Too Little, Too Late

(4) Comments | Posted February 14, 2012 | 1:42 PM

Syria is getting a new constitution this week, 11 months after it was promised to angry demonstrators by officialdom. Such a demand, of course, is not new, having been sought by the Syrian opposition long before the uprising began in mid-March 2011. Previously, the Baathists had refused such a change,...

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Russia Seeks a Win-win Formula in Syria

(4) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 8:35 PM

Two things have recently happened, both regionally and internationally, which will undoubtedly influence the course of events in Syria rather dramatically in the weeks ahead. One is Saudi Arabia's decision to stop leading from behind, as it had done in the Arab League since the uprising began in Syria in...

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