Columnist

Afshin Molavi

Afshin Molavi is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and co-founder of emerge85, an initiative dedicated to exploring change in the emerging world and its global impact. Twitter: @afshinmolavi

Latest published



Erratic Erdogan must rediscover his golden touch

In the early days of the Arab uprisings, when hope still mingled with smoke on the streets of Cairo, a prominent Egyptian investor, Ahmed Heikal, said that “if we get things right, we could be Turkey in 10 years. If we get them wrong, we could be Pakistan in 18 months.” 

September 09, 2018

Arab states’ simple equation to solve Chinese investment dilemma

Relations between China and the Arab world are as simple as 1+2+3. 

August 23, 2018

Trump clears path for foreign policy switch

When President Donald Trump spoke to a group of senior Washington journalists at the Gridiron Club recently, he knew the routine: Make some light remarks about the news, tell a few self-deprecating jokes, and move on. When Trump began speaking of North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, he quippe

March 14, 2018

Wanted: An economic revolution in Tunisia

When Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi petitioned his local municipality to get his vending license back after a predatory police officer took it away, he had neither the funds for “baksheesh” (a bribe) nor the appropriate “wasta” (connections), so he was dismissed.

February 21, 2018

Time for a Mideast infrastructure development bank

You can tell a lot about a region by the jokes its peoples tell about themselves. Occasionally a joke travels far and wide, adapted to local circumstances. Here is one I have heard in Dubai, Jeddah and Cairo, and I heard it retold recently in the context of a Palestinian refugee camp.

May 20, 2017