Arts and Culture in the Middle East

Countries in the Middle East face a wide array of challenges in promoting the arts and protecting freedom of expression for artists. RAND's research focuses on policy solutions that may help address these issues and improve the cultural climate for artists and people in the region.

Our Work

  • Report

    Artists and the Arab Uprisings

    May 28, 2013

    Schwartz, et al.

    Although the Arab uprisings lifted some previous barriers to artistic expression, new limitations and challenges have emerged. What are these challenges, and what are the policy shifts that may be necessary to better support regional artists and their work?

  • Blog

    The Middle East's Science Revolution?

    Jun 27, 2013


    Even as conflict rages, a wave of research and innovation in Arabian Gulf countries is bringing with it significant investment in science and research infrastructure — and even U.S.-style universities, writes Shelly Culbertson.

  • Report

    Identifying Arabic-Language Materials for Children That Promote Tolerance and Critical Thinking

    Mar 25, 2011

    Zellman, et al.

    A focus on children, whose ideas are still being developed, may be more effective in promoting tolerance and critical thinking in the Arabic–speaking world than efforts directed toward adults, whose attitudes are already established.

  • Blog

    Fighting Terror the Cold War Way

    Oct 14, 2009

    Helmus , et al.

    With much talk about how to "win hearts and minds" in the Muslim world, it's surprising that few are looking back to a global contest of ideas that the U.S. and its allies categorically won: the Cold War, write Todd C. Helmus and Dalia Dassa Kaye.

  • Report

    Barriers to the Broad Dissemination of Creative Works in the Arab World

    Sep 22, 2009

    Schwartz, et al.

    Many analysts have examined the media that violent extremists use to communicate their core messages. Far less research, however, has been devoted to the growing body of creative works produced by Arab authors and artists that counter the intellectual and ideological underpinnings of violent extremism.

  • Report

    Improving Arts Education Is Key To Stemming Audience Decline

    Sep 8, 2008

    Zakaras, et al.

    Policymakers have underestimated the critical role of arts learning in supporting a vibrant nonprofit cultural sector. Despite decades of effort to make high-quality works of art available to Americans, demand for the arts has failed to keep pace with supply.

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