Cutting Edge Trends and Indications: Raghida Dergham’s Perspective

2022 is underway. So, too, is the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ work in pursuit of its ongoing mission: education.

To this end, the National Council ( is delighted to share [LINKED BELOW] the first of what, for the 39th year, is scheduled to be a continuum of the Council’s series of insights and analyses. A diverse and complex array of issues – among them dynamics related to Iran, Russia, and other phenomena pertaining to America’s relations with the Arab region and beyond – are examined and addressed herein. The author is the renowned international affairs specialist, Ms. Raghida Dergham.

Ms. Dergham, a Member of the National Council’s International Advisory Board, is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Beirut Institute. The Institute is an international, non-partisan, and non-governmental public policy research organization.

King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Chairman HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Ms. Dergham’s fellow National Council International Advisory Board Member, is a Member of the Institute’s governing board and Co-Chair, together with Ms. Dergham, of the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi.

A Trailblazer

Ms. Dergham is also a columnist for The National (UAE) and Annahar Al Arabi. Simultaneous to serving as President of the United Nations Correspondents Association, she was a Columnist, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, and New York Bureau Chief for the London-based Al-Hayat for 28 years.

In addition to serving as a frequent political commentator for major U.S. television networks, Ms. Dergham was for eight years an exclusive political analyst for MSNBC.

A pioneer for women in international media, Ms. Dergham is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Among them is a special recognition from the National Council, presented at the Council’s 27th Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference in October 2018.

Ms. Dergham is no stranger to supporters of the National Council’s programs, projects, events, and activities. Particularly notable have been her roles in the Council’s Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conferences.

The National Council’s 30th Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference – Whither U.S.-Arab Relations? Unnerving Uncertainties Amidst Complex Realities and New Possibilities – was held this past November 17-18, 2021.

General (Ret.) David Petraeus and Ms. Raghida Dergham at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations' 2019 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference.

General (Ret.) David Petraeus and Ms. Raghida Dergham at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ 2019 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference.

For four years in succession (201820192020, and 2021), Ms. Dergham has conducted hour-long interviews and exchanges with former CIA Director and previous U.S. Central Command Commanding General David Petraeus (who, like herself, is a fellow Member of the National Council’s International Advisory Board). She has also chaired and served as a resource specialist for other Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference sessions.

In doing so, as in the informed analysis presented herein, Ms. Dergham has furthered the National Council’s role as an educational clearinghouse. She has thereby enhanced our awareness. She has improved our knowledge. And, she has strengthened our understanding.

“Of what?” one might ask.

It is this: she has enhanced, improved, and strengthened our ability to comprehend more clearly and accurately a range of challenges and opportunities pertaining to U.S. interests and involvement in the Arab region, the Middle East, and the Islamic world.

For that and more, we are in her debt.

Dr. John Duke Anthony is the Founding President & CEO of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

[Ms. Raghida Dergham’s TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn profiles contain updated links to her latest writings and commentary.]

Read from Raghida Dergham:


Despair Is Forbidden. We Must Not Fear.

By Raghida Dergham

الإحباط ممنوع والمهم ألاّ نخاف

 بواسطة راغدة درغام

Dr. John Duke Anthony on “Certainties and Uncertainties Regarding Iran, the Arab Region, and the United States”

On February 6, 2020, Dr. John Duke Anthony spoke to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on the subject “Certainties and Uncertainties Regarding Iran, the Arab Region, and the United States: What are the Implications?” A video recording of the program is available below. A podcast recording of the program is also available below as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.




Dr. John Duke Anthony – “Certainties and Uncertainties Regarding Iran, the Arab Region, and the United States: What are the Implications?” podcast (.mp3)

In Memory of Gene Bird

On December 10, 2010, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., there was a memorial service commemorating the life of Eugene (“Gene”) Hall Bird. National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony was invited to attend the memorial service and, if possible, contribute a eulogistic note for remembrance.  At the time, however, Dr. Anthony was in Saudi Arabia to attend the 40th Annual GCC Ministerial and Heads of State Summit and, thus, unable to attend the commemoration. He contributed the following for Gene’s family and friends as a remembrance.

But for my being abroad, nothing would have pleased me more than to be with the family and friends of the late Gene Bird at the commemoration of his life and legacy today.  Many loved Gene and he loved them in return.  The emotional connections that ensued were meaningful to both.  In many cases, they enabled each to become someone different and better than they were before.

Eugene ("Gene") H. Bird

Eugene (“Gene”) H. Bird. (Family Photo).

My memories of Gene are numerous and diverse.  All are of warmth and companionship.  These feelings accompanied Gene and those closest to him all his life.  He was a man who raised the bar high.  He often set and manifested standards of physical, political, and, above all, moral courage that few could match and none could surpass.

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Dr. John Duke Anthony Participates in Program on The Green March

On November 7, 2019, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony spoke at a special program on “Celebrating the 44th Anniversary of the Green March: Understanding the History and the Present Legacy” at The American University Washington College of Law. The event was organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion was moderated by Professor Elisabeth Myers and also featured former Congressman Jim Moran and author Wafa Faith Hallam.

Dr. John Duke Anthony took part in a panel discussion on “The 44th Anniversary of the Green March: Understanding the History and the Present Legacy” on November 7, 2019, at American University in Washington, D.C.

The Passing of a Knight: A Remembrance of Shafiq Kombargi

In the field of U.S.-Arab relations and much more, Shafiq Kombargi was an extraordinary individual. He was not just my friend. He was the friend of untold numbers of others. Those who loved and admired the man were countless. His passing brings a moment of great sadness.

Shafiq Kombargi

Numerous specialists in the Arab region and U.S.-Arab affairs never met Shafiq, and some may not even have heard of him. Yet few individuals can match the outsized positive and enduring influence that Shafiq had on so many people’s lives.

The evidence is abundant. Shafiq’s sustained imprint upon innumerable United States-affiliated educational and cross-cultural institutions is massive.

Reaching Out to Others

Shafiq’s contributions were not those of a renowned researcher, scholar, university professor, or publicist. He was none of those. Yet all who labor in one or more of those fields have long been in his debt.

Shafiq’s gifts to Arab-U.S. cooperation and cross-cultural understanding were mostly made indirectly. In various instances, his accomplishments were achieved through and apart from his decades-long career with what was originally known as the Arabian American Oil Company, which in time became Saudi Aramco, and that, to this day, operates a subsidiary entity in the United States known as Aramco Services Company. Indeed, these entities had Shafiq’s back.

Often, Shafiq’s contributions were made from behind the scenes. Reduced to a single word, he was an enabler. Certainly, in addition to the example he set in other areas of endeavor, that’s how he influenced my life; doubtless, others can say the same.

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Dr. John Duke Anthony Recognized by Gulf Research Center

On July 31, 2018, Gulf Research Center Chairman & Founder Dr. Abdulaziz Sager and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council H.E. Dr. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani recognized National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony for his contributions to the Annual Gulf Research Meeting in Cambridge, UK, now in its ninth year.

Dr. Anthony Honored by the Sultanate of Oman



Washington, DC: Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, was recognized by the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Washington, D.C., on May 24, 2018, at their Fifth Annual Ramadan Iftar Celebration (an Islamic dinner marking the end of a day’s fasting observed by devout Muslims worldwide). The recognition singled out Dr. Anthony’s special contributions as an educator and practitioner of public diplomacy regarding the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony with Her Excellency Hunaina Al-Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and Vice-Dean of the Arab Ambassadors to the United States, and Embassy of Oman Information Attaché Ms. Hanan Al Kindi. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Included among the event’s distinguished guests were the highest-ranking U.S. Department of State official responsible for America’s relations with the Arab region, Arab government officials, including the Arab world’s first-ever Minister for Human Rights, current and recently retired U.S. Ambassadors, additional representatives of the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, members of the international diplomatic corps, representatives of Fortune 100 Corporations, international media networks, and numerous foreign affairs specialists, together with political and religious leaders.

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Statement on the U.S. Presidential Announcement Regarding Jerusalem

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel not only contradicts international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and dozens of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. In a fundamental way, it threatens the security and stability of the region, undermines American national needs and key U.S. foreign policy goals, and gives the lie to those the world over who have an interest in a secure and recognized Israel living in mutual recognition with and alongside a sovereign and secure State of Palestine.

The decision rewards Israel’s continued violent appropriation of Palestinian land and resources. It de facto legitimizes Israel’s subjugation and dehumanizing occupation of the Palestinian Arab Christian and Muslim people. It pulls the rug out from beneath what little was left of any American pretense at an honest and effective approach to an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord with Jerusalem as the national capital of both peoples. In so doing, it antagonizes allies, provokes partners, galvanizes extremists, and inflames anti-U.S. sentiments across the globe.

The United States’ friends and allies, including those not only in the Arab world but in virtually every other corner of the earth as well, have clearly warned about the consequences of such a move. They have underscored the sensitivity of the question of Jerusalem to billions worldwide. Given the importance of the city to all three of the monotheistic faiths – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — America’s decision undermines its stated efforts to bring a fair and viable solution to the seemingly intractable conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

President Trump’s decision moves the Palestinian people further from a fair and just end to their illegal occupation. Ultimately, it undermines efforts to achieve the reality of physical and military security, political stability, and a degree of peace without which there can be no realistic prospect, let alone any likely achievement, of sustained prosperity.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit and nongovernmental organization, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as a matter of policy takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.