Top 10 and more

Here are peacefare’s top ten posts of the year, determined by numbers of clicks. Heavy on Balkans, but with a reasonable scattering of Middle East and North Africa, Ukraine and other issues.

1.  “Macedonia” is not exclusively Greek
2.  Kosovo praying for democracy
3.  Triage, not retreat
4.  I call Macedonia Macedonia
5.  Kosovo, the US, the EU, Serbia and Facebook
6.  Putin’s Serbia
7.  The land of dead is alive
8.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc
9.  The role of civil society in Syria
10. ICG’s unfortunate Bosnia finale

Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia–the remaining trouble spots in the Balkans–still attract lots of readers. I’m not indifferent to them myself, though I (and my Middle East Institute interns) write about them much less often than about the Middle East and North Africa, where the problems are still burdgeoning.

Let me renew my appeal for more contributors: peacefare was never meant to represent only my views. I enormously appreciate the contributions and comments from my interns, colleagues, former students, and knowledgeable people I have never met. Registered users can comment directly on I moderate all comments and try to eliminate those that are blatantly commercial, repetive or truly offensive. If you want to contribute a post, just give me an idea of what you want to write about before you do it. The best email address to use for that is

It has been a tough year for those of us who once hoped the Arab uprisings would succeed in improving the lot of citizens throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The year hasn’t seen many improvements in the Balkans either. I hope, but doubt, that 2015 will be a huge year for humanity. I’ll write about those doubts in the next day or so.

I take comfort from smaller things: a run this morning in Rock Creek Park, listening to Amahl and the Night Visitors, and now to Beethoven’s nine symphonies. Grandson Ethan will arrive late today or tomorrow, accompanied by his parents, and I’ll meet up tomorrow with two talented friends from grade school. We’ll visit the Hale Woodruff Rising Up exhibit wife Jackie co-curated at the National Museum of American History. Alas, the new building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she is chief curator, won’t open until 2016, but you can see it rising now on the Mall:

That is something to look forward to!

I hope your 2014 holiday matches such pleasures and prepares you well for the new year!

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