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The Middle East’s top thinkers

The Middle East’s top thinkers

A nuclear scientist, a first lady, an economist, and a political activist are just a few of the eight top thinkers in the region, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

December 1, 2010 4:09 by



Salam Fayyad
Foreign Policy ranked him #23 “for bringing faith in technocracy to the Holy Land.” Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of Palestine, is the man who is responsible for the 7 percent rise the economy of the West Bank enjoyed during 2009 and the relative stability that ensued. Fayyad’s state-building focus is a welcome change from the West Bank’s prior agenda. As such Fayyad has focused on building more schools, improving roads and instituting professional law enforcement agencies.

Abdolkarim Soroush:
Foreign Policy ranked him #40 “for driving a stake through the dark heart of Iran’s theocracy.” Souroush, the Iranian religious scholar and philosopher, is best known for his dominant role in inspiring the ideology for the Green Movement. Though, last year’s protests may have sobered, Soroush doesn’t see it as a sign of the end of the revolt.

Mehdi Karroubi
Foreign Policy ranked him #41 “for keeping the spirit of the Green Movement alive.” Karroubi is another one the Green Movement’s most active activists. He is credited with being a revolutionary force to be reckoned with, and his contributions date as far back as the Islamic Republic’s founding. Karroubi has shown outstanding courage and determination as he continues to revolt against the current regime in Iran.

Tariq Ramadan
Foreign Policy ranked him #62 “for remaining convinced Islam can make peace with the West.” He is a Swiss born scholar of Islam at Oxford University whose ancestry reveals interesting connections. Ramadan is the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna; yet he argues that both the Muslim and the Western world share values that, once recognized, will allow for better relations between the two worlds.

Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned
Foreign Policy ranked her #87 “for championing education in the Arab world.” The first lady of Qatar is as widely known for her pursuits in the field of education as she is for her glamorously unique style. Being the driving force behind Doha’s $8.25 billion Education City, Sheikha Moza has been able to get six reputed US universities to set up satellite campuses there, including Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon.



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