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Tik Root
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Tik Root is the founder and director of Mideast Reports, a site dedicated to spreading news and ideas from and about the region.

Blog Entries by Tik Root

Penn State: Playing Without Fans

(111) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 10:33 PM

As a casual Penn State football fan, I balked at the firing of coach Joe Paterno last fall. I told myself that it was only fair to give him the benefit of the doubt. But when the Freeh report unequivocally implicated Paterno and his cohorts in covering up...

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Russia's Wobbly Stance on Syria

(31) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 4:14 PM

Everybody's stance on Syria is rather wobbly these days, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's recent editorial explaining his government's policy should raise a few eyebrows.

According to Lavrov the objective of a majority of countries (at least rhetorically) is to encourage "the aspirations of the Arab peoples...

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Syrian Revolutionaries Reach a Crossroads

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2011 | 11:08 AM

For those risking their lives in Syria, six months of peaceful resistance appears to be producing little more than death, frustration, and stalemate. As the temptation to change tactics rises, the Syrian revolution comes closer to a crossroads.

Activists will have to decide if it is in their best...

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Where Is Rami Makhlouf's Money Really Going?

(2) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 4:41 PM

The big news out of Syria last week was Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf 's announcement that he is quitting his business deals and becoming a philanthropist. Although Makhlouf is President al-Assad's cousin, he claims that no one in the regime forced him to step aside.

Makhlouf owns...

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Committing to a New Generation of Public Servants

(4) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 10:35 AM

Witnessing the uprisings in the Middle East reminded me of the need to hold all governments accountable, and listening to the commencement speech at Middlebury College last month reinforced the importance of serving a cause greater than oneself. In America, one logical way to achieve these ends would...

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Unjust Detention: Five Cases and a Solidarity Fast

(7) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 2:28 PM

Today I am fasting. This simple act is my way of calling attention to those being unjustly detained around the world.

A detainee can be anyone from an Al-Qaeda hostage to an innocent inmate sitting on death row in America. The five cases I highlight (in no particular order)...

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Get to Know the Syria Experts: Ammar Abdulhamid and Joshua Landis

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2011 | 1:50 PM

Syrians on the ground have little contact with the outside world, and verifiable facts are virtually nonexistent. Consequently, journalists are turning to a small group of experts outside Syria for information.

As the polarization of these commentators increases, so does the risk of producing one-sided stories, or...

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Free the Hikers

(10) Comments | Posted April 26, 2011 | 4:41 PM

I recently spent two weeks detained by Syrian authorities in a secret police prison, accused of being a CIA agent or journalist. In fact I was merely an American student learning Arabic at the University of Damascus. Although this ordeal was life-changing, at least I was released, unlike many innocent...

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