The U.S. Institute of Peace established the Middle East and Africa Center (MEA) to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflicts in those regions by engaging directly in conflicts zones, providing policy analysis to the US government and resources to those working for peace in this region.  To do this, our experts engage local, national, and regional actors in participatory processes that promote sustainable peace.

Within this wide region, the MEA Center has programs on:

  • The Middle East:  Within the Middle East, MEA currently focuses on Iraq and Syria, where we work to promote reconciliation and social cohesion by engaging religious, civic, and tribal leaders in action-oriented dialogues.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:  MEA works at the policy and grassroots levels to bridge divides and prepare the ground for peace. We support dialogue and joint action across religious and ideological communities, train Palestinian peacebuilders in conflict resolution skills, contribute policy analysis to diplomatic efforts, and work to build trust and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian institutions to create an environment conducive to a sustainable peace.
  • Iran:  MEA’s Iran Program runs The Iran Primer, the world’s most comprehensive website on Iran, which provides resources and analysis on Iran’s politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and nuclear program.
  • North Africa:  MEA’s North Africa Program focuses on Tunisia and Libya, where we work to strengthen the rule of law and promote non-violent conflict resolution through facilitation and mediation in country-specific dialogue projects.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa:  In Sub-Saharan Africa, MEA’s programming focuses on promoting wider participation in governance and peace processes, bridging divides within societies suffering from conflict, and engaging global and regional actors to help end violent conflicts.

Available Grants

Featured Publications

Iraqi Tribes Sharpen Legal Tools to Root Out ISIS

Iraqi Tribes Sharpen Legal Tools to Root Out ISIS

Thursday, June 22, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

As the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate crumbles in Iraq, tribal leaders are taking unprecedented steps to avert a new cycle of violence that could follow the extremist group’s defeat. In a pact reached earlier this month, more than 100 sheikhs of tribes in and around the city of Hawija made a path-breaking pledge to forego traditional justice in dealing with ISIS fighters and supporters. Instead, they agreed to embrace Iraq’s formal legal system.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance

The Current Situation in Iran

The Current Situation in Iran

Friday, May 26, 2017

For decades, Iran has vexed the international community. It introduced Islam as a form of governance in 1979 and has supported militants abroad and defied international norms. Recent developments—including the centrist Hassan Rouhani’s presidential victory and the 2015 nuclear deal—hold the potential for improved international relations and a boost to the economy. However, economic revitalization is slow, and the nation remains a complex and contentious factor in global politics.

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