In the Egypt forecast, Ayah Aman comments on the relationship between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi leads Egypt’s political administration for the third consecutive year. Shahira Amin makes predictions concerning the growth of Islamist militancy and violence throughout Egypt for 2017. Walaa Hussein discusses hope in the country as Cairo deals with the United States and Russia abroad and a stronger political opposition at home. To read the full predictions, click here.
Belgian pilots Alexandra Maingard and her husband Cedric Collette fly their vintage Stampe OO-GWB biplane by one of the pyramids at Giza, on the southern outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 13, 2016.
In the Iran forecast, Mohammad Ali Shabani discusses Iran’s prolonged multilateral talks on Syria as well as the stakes of stabilizing conflict between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government. Ali Hashem predicts that the nuclear deal will stay safe for the time being, but he expects it to become the center of attention in the upcoming Iranian presidential election, while Rohollah Faghihi sees Tehran’s current mayor as a potential opponent to President Hassan Rouhani. To read the full predictions, click here.
Iranian schoolgirls wave their national flag during celebrations in Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Feb. 11, 2016.
In the Jordan forecast, Osama al-Sharif discusses how the economy will be the biggest challenge in 2017, made worse by regional turmoil. The government, which promised to cut expenses as part of an austerity plan, is expected to adopt more unpopular measures as it continues to host more than 1.2 million Syrians. To read the full predictions, click here.
A Jordanian Bedouin man sits on a camel in front of the Treasury Building in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan on May 9, 2016.
In the Lebanon forecast, Haytham Mouzahem predicts that Lebanon’s economy will be better in 2017, with a breakthrough as work for political and economic reform starts. However, the sectarian polarization that has colored disputes over ministerial portfolios will return with an expected a new law for parliamentary elections. Hezbollah will continue to fight in Syria against extremist groups, but seek to maintain its alliance with Aoun and contain the Gulf attempts to break it up. To read the full predictions, click here.
A general view shows haze covering the town of Bar Elias in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, east of Beirut, on Dec. 9, 2016.
In the Israel forecast, Ben Caspit evaluates the effect of the upcoming US administration on Israel's regional policies as Donald Trump may also forge a closer relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Akiva Eldar expects the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to heat up by summer 2017 if there is no real progress with the peace process. Mazal Mualem looks at the makeup of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition in preparation for the next election. To read the full predictions, click here.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews pray along the Mediterranean Sea in the Israeli city of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, during the Tashlich ritual on Oct. 10, 2016.
In the Iraq forecast, Ali Mamouri predicts the expulsion of the Islamic State from Mosul in 2017, but a challenging road ahead for the country’s increasingly sectarian future. Mustafa Saadoun and Saad Salloum discuss the likelihood of violent conflicts over disputed land in a post-IS Iraq. To read the full predictions, click here.
The sun cuts through the smoke as workers try to put out fires from oil wells set ablaze by retreating IS fighters, south of Mosul, Nov. 20, 2016.
In the North Africa forecast, Sarah Souli predicts 2017 to be a relatively stable year for Tunisia, with tightened security, elections are on track and foreign investment rolling in. But the government must address the persistent unemployment, and should Trump’s Middle East policy change, it could have drastic effects on Tunisia. To read the full predictions, click here.
Tunisians wave national flags and shout slogans on Jan. 14, 2016, during a rally on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution.
In the Syria forecast, Assad Hanna does not predict a better year for the Syrian conflict as the balance of power among the international actors remains unchanged with a new US administration. Kamal Sheikho analyzes the potential for normal life to return to areas now liberated from the Islamic State, although IS will retain control over the rural areas of Syria in 2017. To read the full predictions, click here.
Students stand inside their damaged school in the rebel-held Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, March 30, 2016.
In the Russia forecast, Paul Saunders discusses Russia's increasingly close ties to China and their impact upon US President-elect Donald Trump and the Middle East. According to Yury Barmin, Russia will attempt to gain power in the region by pushing for a Syria deal with external opposition backers. He argues that Russia will attempt to be more involved in other contexts like Libya and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Max Suchkov asserts that Russia will seek to partner with the Trump administration in an effort to combat IS. To read the full predictions, click here.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, at the Kremlin in Moscow, on March 24, 2016.
As we do every year, Al-Monitor asked its columnists and contributors how events would shape the Middle East, and the world, in the new year. The following pictures include their predictions.
A Palestinian man reads the Quran at Al-Khaldi mosque in Gaza City on June 8, 2016 on the third day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In the Palestine forecast, Asmaa al-Ghoul discusses a possible internal war within Gaza as the Israeli blockade and regional hostility toward Hamas intensifies. Daoud Kuttab visualizes the creation of a national unity government in the West Bank in the new year made up of members from many different groups to accompany a presidential election. To read the full predictions, click here.
A beach is seen in Gaza City in this image taken Dec. 13, 2016.
In the Gulf forecast, Giorgio Caferio focuses on the UAE's continued efforts in the upcoming year to enhance security partnerships in the region and the world to fight terrorism. Amal Nasser does not believe the conflict in Yemen will end in 2017, but tries to envison the unlikely scenario of Saudi Arabia exiting the war. Bruce Riedel discusses Saudi Arabia's foreign relations as the kingdom is bogged down in several military and diplomatic conflicts and Iran increases its global influence on the world stage. To read the full predictions, click here.
Muslims gather around the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 8, 2016.
In the United States forecast, Julian Pecquet predicts how Congress and the new administration will attempt to reverse many foreign policies implemented under President Barack Obama. Laura Rozen anticipates more uncertainty and tension as the United States investigates Russia's hacking role in the 2016 presidental election and Donald Trump tries to reduce American support for Syrian rebels. To read the full predictions, click here.
Donald Trump addresses a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the US Capitol in Washington, Sept. 9, 2015.
In the Turkey forecast, Mustafa Akyol and Amberin Zaman wonder whether Erdogan will create a new constitution to amass more political power and ponder the global reactions to his growing authoritarianism. Pinar Tremblay predicts a new level of paranoia in the Turkish government as lines between political opposition and terrorism become dangerously blurred. Mahmut Bozarslan discusses the possible conflicts with Kurdish factions in the new year. To read the full predictions, click here.
People hold President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's picture during a demonstration in support of the Turkish president at Sarachane Park in Istanbul, Turkey, July 19, 2016.
As we do every year, Al-Monitor asked its columnists and contributors how events will shape the Middle East, and the world, in 2017. The following pictures include their predictions.