Columnist

Raghida Dergham

Raghida Dergham is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Beirut Institute. She is a Columnist for the Huffington Post and Arab News and served as Columnist, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, and New York Bureau Chief for the London-based Al-Hayat daily for 28 years. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an honorary fellow at the Foreign Policy Association and has served on the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum.

Twitter: @RaghidaDergham

Latest published



Ambiguity surrounds Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

Reading between the lines of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital reveals a deliberate ambiguity, leaving the door open to having the west and east of the city as the capitals of Israel and Palestine, respectively.

December 10, 2017

New focus on Syria and a new opportunity in Lebanon

The journey of regional and international bargaining over the Middle East has kicked off with the emergence of realistic understandings in Syria, far removed from delusions of victory now that the country has been spared from total collapse.

November 25, 2017

Containing Iran’s influence: The regional players’ wagers on Tel Aviv and Israel’s calculations

Waters will not flow again under the bridges after the return from Riyadh to Beirut of the outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri — via Paris then another Arab capital. 

November 18, 2017

Fundamental Saudi shifts and the change coming to the Middle East

What will happen now that the strategy of US President Donald Trump on Iran and its proxies has finally converged with Saudi strategy, which has decided that Lebanon’s Hezbollah is the “head of the snake” in Tehran’s expansionism in the Arab world, from Iraq to Yemen via Syria and Bahrain?

November 12, 2017

The Future Investment Initiative and the new Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is determined to “amaze,” as part of its strategy for national renaissance based on social and economic liberalization, and next-generation innovation, moving the kingdom away from the constraints of traditionalism to fascinating horizons of science and technology.

October 28, 2017

Trump excludes Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces from his Iran strategy

Donald Trump’s exclusion of Iraq from his enumeration of Iranian violations in the Arab world and the IRGC’s roles there, and in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, has interesting implications. Iraq seems to occupy a special position for President Trump.

October 22, 2017

For Tehran, the Revolutionary Guards are more important than the nuclear deal

When the administration of former President Barack Obama claimed it was helpless in relation to Iran’s separation of nuclear negotiations from its regional ambitions, it omitted to say that it had had allowed Iran’s Republican Guards to intervene in Syria and Iran publicly.

October 14, 2017

Trump implements Chapter 2 of Obama’s foreign policy

These days in Washington, they say that as long as the military trio are in charge of foreign policy, it does not matter what President Trump says about his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, nor what Tillerson denies having said about Donald Trump.

October 07, 2017

US-Iranian convergence on the Kurdish referendum shocks Irbil

The Kurds in Iraq will not benefit from their absolute stubbornness against the fury of the governments of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and even the US over the insistence of their leadership on holding an independence referendum that effectively leads to the partition of Iraq.

September 30, 2017

Trump at the UN: Launching serious negotiations

Between the American din and the Russian quietude, world leaders participating in the UN General Assembly session were struck first by the threat made by President Donald Trump of “totally destroying North Korea” if its leader continued his dangerous provocations.

September 23, 2017