November 30, 2017, 12:00 pm - July 8, 2019, 11:24 am


The Middle East Institute
1319 18th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Arab American Institute (AAI) hosted James Zogby (AAI and Zogby Research Services) for the presentation of fresh polling results from across Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, and Turkey. The report examines opinions from over 7,800 respondents about the U.S. and other states’ roles in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. It also looks at Trump Administration policy, political Islam, prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Iran nuclear deal, and the region’s refugee crisis.

Joining Dr. Zogby to discuss the poll findings were Yousef Munayyer (MEI & U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights), Barbara Slavin (Atlantic Council; Al-Monitor), and Gönül Tol (MEI). MEI senior vice president Paul Salem moderated the event.

The poll and resulting report were commissioned by the Sir Bani Yas Forum, convened annually in the United Arab Emirates on the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Foreign Minister. The findings are available for use by the public on the website of Zogby Research Services.


Yousef Munayyer, an MEI scholar, focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine, and regional dynamics that are affected by or impact them. Munayyer directs the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and is a contributing policy analyst for the Arab Center, Washington, D.C. Previously, he directed the Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center, a D.C.-based organization focused on Palestine policy. His writings have been widely published in major print and online news outlets, and he is regularly invited to comment on radio and television in the United States and internationally.

Barbara Slavin directs the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and is a columnist for A career journalist, Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor of the The Washington Times for world and national security news, senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo correspondent for The Economist, and as an editor at the New York Times Week in Review. She is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. Slavin served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she wrote Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation (2007), and was a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Gönül Tol is the director for Turkish studies at MEI and an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies. She taught previously as an adjunct professor at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. Following three years of field research in Germany and the Netherlands, she wrote her dissertation on the radicalization of the Turkish Islamist movement Millî Görüş in Western Europe. She has taught courses on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, world politics, and the Middle East.

James Zogby co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and continues to serve as its president. He is Director of Zogby Research Services, a firm that has conducted groundbreaking surveys across the Middle East. For the past three decades, he has served in leadership roles in the Democratic National Committee and served two terms as a President Obama appointee to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He writes a weekly column published in 12 countries. He is featured frequently on national and international media as an expert on Middle East affairs. In 2010, Zogby published the highly-acclaimed book, Arab Voices. His 2013 e-books, Looking at Iran: The Rise and Fall of Iran in Arab Public Opinion and 20 Years After Oslo, are drawn from his extensive polling across the Middle East with Zogby Research Services.

Paul Salem, moderator, is senior vice president for policy research and programs at MEI. He focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East, with particular emphasis on the countries of the Levant and Egypt. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in numerous journals and newspapers. He is the author or editor of a number of books and reports, including From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East (ed. with Ross Harrison, 2017), Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (in Arabic, 2013), “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam” (CSIS, 2015), “The Middle East in 2015 and Beyond: Trends and Drivers” (MEI 2014), Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World (1994), and Conflict Resolution in the Arab World (ed., 1997).

This event is co-sponsored by: