Laura Dean

Laura Dean is a journalist reporting from the Middle East and Europe. Previously, she was the Senior Middle East Correspondent for GlobalPost, writing from Egypt and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Dean formerly worked as an election observer with with the Carter Center in Tunisia and Libya and served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in The New Republic,, Foreign Policy, The London Review of Books blog and The Globe and Mail, among other publications. Dean grew up in Bahrain and graduated from the University of Chicago. She speaks French and Arabic.

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A Base On Which to Build: Le Pen May Have Lost, But Don’t Count Her Out

It’s hard to tell if Marine Le Pen’s official campaign website is a political ad or a perfume commercial. We are on a beach, Marine in a marine scene—so to speak—her blonde hair and cape aflutter in the Norman breeze as she gazes from the rocky coast out to sea. What do you see out there, Marine? A chance, now that you and the British are being conveniently disentangled from one another, for another shot at old timey Anglo-French hostilities? A fellow woman in arms in Theresa May? Or do you see dinghies in the Mediterranean?

Syria Displaced

Arabs and Arabs: Refugee Integration and Existing Franco-Arab Communities

PARIS, France—Barbès, La Chapelle, Marseille, are just a few of the places in France whose names have come to evoke images of their large populations of French people of Arab—mainly North African—descent. Given that large Franco-Arab communities have existed in France for decades, one might assume France would be a more hospitable environment for Syrian refugees than other parts of Europe. The answer, it seems, is more complicated.

Syria Displaced

A Cop on the Molenbeek Beat

BRUSSELS, Belgium—Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving perpetrator of the Paris attacks in November, and his brother Ibrahim, one of the suicide bombers that day, were no strangers to law enforcement. Long before November 13, 2015, the brothers had had dealings with the police force in their home neighborhood of Molenbeek, as had a number of the others involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks.

Syria Displaced

In Big, Bad “Molenbeekistan”

BRUSSELS, Belgium—As the escalator rises out of the Molenbeek subway station, the first sounds you hear are children laughing and calling out to one another. With entrances to the metro at either end of a row of townhouses, you are left with the unlikely impression of a village square. Here young children ride bicycles and teach each other to balance on hover boards. Older men play cricket, some in button-down shirts, some wearing South Asian salwar kameez. A younger boy practices bowling (that’s “pitching” in cricket) as he watches them.