Skip to main content

The Levant Express: The Arab Uprisings, Human Rights, and the Future of the Middle East with Micheline Ishay

The Levant Express

Institute for Middle East Studies

Challenging the widely shared pessimism among regional experts, Ishay charts bold and realistic pathways for human rights in a region beset by political repression, economic distress, sectarian conflict, a refugee crisis, and violence against women. With due attention to how patterns of revolution and counterrevolution play out in different societies and historical contexts, Ishay reveals the progressive potential of subterranean human rights forces and offers strategies for transforming current realities in the Middle East. This timely book foresees paths yet not taken, and reviewers have called it “beautiful,” “elegant,” “challenging,” “highly readable,” “seminal,” and “much-needed.” Written for a wide audience, The Levant Express has also been received very positively by Middle East experts. Ishay provides highly original and provocative analysis and much-needed insights regarding the challenges facing the Middle East and their implications for the West.


  • Micheline Ishay is Distinguished Professor at the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and is widely known for her writings on human rights (particularly The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization EraOpens in a new window and The Human Rights ReaderOpens in a new window). From 2010 to 2013, she worked in the Gulf region from a unique vantage point, teaching one of the first human rights courses in the Arab world just before and throughout the tumultuous events of the Arab Spring. The UAE was in the eye of a historical storm throughout her time there, and she met regularly with diplomats, world leaders, scholars and journalists from the U.S., the West, and the Arab world. As a professor at Khalifa University’s Institute for International and Civil Security, she had the privilege to learn from Emirati and Arab nationals about their hopes and fears as upheaval shook the region around them.