The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has published the third issue of AlMuntaqa, the peer-reviewed English-language journal dedicated to the social sciences and humanities, successfully rounding off its first year of publication. The journal continues to offer a range of studies and reviews published by the center and translated for English speakers.

The studies section opens with “Iraq is not Artificial: Iraqi Trends and the Refutation of the Artificial State Hypothesis” by Nahar Muhammed Nuri. This article challenges the prevailing opinion held in Western academia that Iraq is an “artificial state”, using historical local correspondence and official reports. The theme of Iraq is continued with “Kirkuk in Iraqi Narratives of Victimization and the Victimizer” by Khalil Fadl Osman. This article deconstructs narratives of victimization among ethnic and religious groups in the Kirkuk governorate, clarifying the complications that arise from these narratives, especially in resolving the governorate’s problems.

The third study is “Ethnic, Linguistic, and Religious Pluralism in Oman: The Link with Political Stability” by Ahmed Al-Ismaili, filling a critical gap in the literature on ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity in the Sultanate of Oman. Brahim’s Elmorchid’s article, “The Demographic Gift in the Arab World: a Blessing or a Time Bomb for Morocco?”, follows by evaluating the applicability of the Demographic Gift to Morocco and the Moroccan state’s ability to benefit economically and developmentally from the phenomenon of the youth bulge. The final study, “The Congruent Critique of Despotism in 'Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi and Shaykh 'Ali Abdel-Raziq,” by Hicham El Haddaji undertakes a comparative discussion of two of the pioneers of the Arab Nahda and their thoughts on political and religious despotism, or “congruent despotism”.

The Arab Opinion Index section of this issue is devoted to the topic of “Public Opinion of Women’s Rights and Democratic Values”, written by Dana El Kurd. She uses the results of the Arab Index survey to understand the relationship between views on gender equality and feelings about democracy.

Finally, the journal includes three book reviews: “The Issue of Kurds in Syria: Facts, History and Myth”, by multiple authors, reviewed by Hamza Mustapha, “January 25: Research and Testimonies”, also by multiple authors and reviewed by Khalid Walid Mahmoud

This issue is available for open access from Jstor here.