Roundtable (online) | How has the MENA region faced the COVID-19 challenge?

July 6, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has hit most countries in the MENA region. Yet not all have faced it in the same way, nor have obtained the same results. While Tunisia and Jordan have so far seemed quite successful in limiting the number of infections, in Saudi Arabia the situation has been deteriorating rapidly over the past weeks. How to explain such differences? Are they essentially a result of different strategies implemented to address the crisis or have other factors played a role? How has the pandemic affected countries like Lebanon, which was already faced with major political and socio-economic challenges? Which developments to expect in the region, especially in terms of economic and political impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

This roundtable will offer a comparative analysis of how COVID-19 has affected countries of the MENA region, with a focus on the expected political and economic impact of the crisis.


Nedra Cherif is a PhD researcher at the European University Institute.

Cyril Widdershoven is a veteran energy market expert and Middle East specialist. He provides analysis for,, Arab News, Al Arabiya, Zawya Arabic/Refinitiv and other publications.

Mohammad Affan is a research Fellow, Acting Research Director at Al Sharq Forum. He is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

Sami Zoughaib is a Public Policy researcher at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS).


Virginie Collombier is a Part-time Professor at the Middle East Directions Programme

Additional speakers may be invited – programme subject to modifications

Everyone is welcome to participate.

*Online event using Zoom: Once you have registered via the button below, MEDirections will send you the Zoom link and access details before the event.


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