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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

Philosophers and thinkers don’t get much credit these days; public attention seems focused on the cult of “celebrity.” But every once in a while, the brainy get a chance to shine. And when that happens, Kipp pays attention. It is pleasing to know that, while being a cut-throat, shrewd, money-crazy businessman can get you far, genuine intellect and hard work can, too. Foreign Policy recently published their list of the top 100 global thinkers, and we’ve trolled through the list to give you the eight Middle Eastern thinkers who made it to the list. They are:

Feisal Abdul Rauf
Foreign Policy ranked him #11 for: “for reminding a divided country that Muslims are Americans too.” This Kuwaiti-born Imam rose to the attentions of the general public this year when he decided to construct a 15-story Islamic cultural center two blocks away from the World Trade Center site, leading to much unrest in the States. Rauf, who most claim to be a moderate, has been accused of being both too moderate and to some too extreme. Yet it is widely accepted that he has also made a significant contribution to inter-religious tolerance, best illustrated by his touching eulogy delivered during the funeral of Wall Street reporter Daniel Pearl – a man who was murdered by Al Qaeda forces.

Nouriel Roubini
Foreign Policy ranked him #12 “for seeing the roots of the next crisis in the current one.” Born to Iranian parents, Roubini has been nicknamed ‘Dr.Doom’ when his gloomy outlook for the economic future did little more than upset a few critics before the crash. Since the global credit crisis, people are listening to Roubini a lot more; especially as he says there is a 40 percent chance of the US ‘double dipping’ thanks to the large amounts of debt the country is incurring in its attempt to make it through the current crisis. Rouibini foresees national bankruptcies being announced very soon; and very possibly a massive drop in the Euro. They don’t call him Dr.Doom for nothing.

Mohamed ElBaradei

Foreign Policy ranked him #20 “for proving that there are second acts in public life.” When you generally say nuclear energy and the Middle East in the same sentence, chances are you are talking about Iran. But this time around it is Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in the spotlight; ElBaredi is best known for his 12 year stint as the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But since quitting the IAEA, ElBaradei has attempted what some may call a much more challenging path: working within the Egyptian political system. Organizing the Egyptian public against the current Mubarak family, El Baradei called for the public to boycott the parliamentary elections.

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