Rana Sweis

Mideast Blog

A Chill on Tahrir Square

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CAIRO A cool breeze wafts along the streets of Cairo these days and the North African sun has become a tamer, gentler creature. But this sleepless city now beats to a more unsettling rhythm.Much of the unease is fed by fear of the unknown that febrile political playground, in which new parties proliferate, filling the air with their Much of the unease is fed by fear of the unknown that febrile political playground, in which new parties proliferate, filling the air with their... Read More

Rana Sweis Articles

Mideast Blog

In Assad’s Syria, There is No Imagination

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The House of Assad evokes an imperial sense of power, or at least its trappings, with iconography that one scholar described as infused with laudatory slogans and sempiternal images.
But my first impression of Rami Makhlouf, President Bashar al-Assads cousin and one-time confidante, was of his unassuming quality. Here was a tycoon, a figure as rich as he was loathed, who eschewed formalities and ceremony. I had seen it before, in men like Saad Hariri, a former prime minister in Lebanon, lavished with so much privilege and so much wealth that pretensions become unnecessary... Read More

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