Life inside Syria’s al-Hol camp
After the fall of ISIS in 2019, many relatives of fighters who were detained or killed, including 10,000 families of foreign fighters, were housed in camps like al-Hol and Roj in territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces. In a new piece for MEI, Non-Resident Scholar Vera Mironova explores the dynamic inside the al-Hol camp foreigners’ annex, painting a picture of what life is really like. Drawing on in-depth interviews with foreign females in the camp, she finds that life in al-Hol is much more complicated than is often portrayed.
Update from MEI
Despite the physical closure of MEI’s offices on N St. until further notice, MEI’s staff and experts are teleworking and busier than ever. Given our mission to educate and inform, coupled with the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on life in the Middle East, MEI remains committed to providing our readers, viewers and supporters with unique insights, policy analysis and stories of creativity and hope from the region.
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MEI fosters greater understanding of the Middle East through non-partisan policy analysis, educational services, and promotion of regional arts and culture.
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Led by renowned scholars and regional experts, MEI's policy research programs produce original analysis, convene roundtables and public events, and work to advance understanding of the complexities of regional policy.
Countering Terrorism & Extremism
In-depth analysis into the region’s varied terrorist threats and their underlying drivers, including civil conflict.
Enhancing understanding of the issues facing the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council who are key political, security, and economic partners for the United States.
MEI’s Iran project provides analysis of Iran’s policies and actions at home and abroad through research, articles, papers, and public and private events.
Middle East-Asia Project
Exploring the multidimensional relations between the Middle East and Asia through scholarly analysis of cross-regional economic, political, security, and social/cultural interactions and their implications.
Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies
Advancing a balanced and realistic understanding of the politics, economy, society and foreign policy of these two countries.
Program on Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues
Establishing spaces for current and former officials and experts to engage in problem-solving dialogues in which they discuss emerging political and security trends in the region, resolution of conflicts, and broader issues related to regional security.
Seeking to highlight and analyze political, economic, and social developments in Turkey through scholarly research and public events.
Defense and Security Program
Providing rigorous and multidisciplinary analysis of the current and emerging defense and security challenges and opportunities facing the United States and its regional partners.
Looking at the country's security, economic and political developments. It seeks to examine Egypt’s domestic developments and regional role through research, private roundtables and public events.
What We Do
We seek to promote knowledge of the Middle East in America and strengthen understanding of the United States by the peoples and governments of the region. We believe pursuit of this goal is integral to building a world of peace and stability, in which the people of our two regions value our shared humanity.
Our experts shape diplomatic, legislative, and public discourse through publications, private briefings, testimony, and media.
We provide education and resources to the next generation of global leaders.
Our Center for Arts & Culture promotes a more integrated understanding of the Middle East, forging people-to-people connections and creating a destination for exploring the role of the arts in the region.
We elevate voices from the region in international conversation.
Our international conflict resolution dialogues bring together civil society and political leaders to achieve impact through cooperation both in and outside of the region.