Samuel Tadros

Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies

Samuel Tadros is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at the Hoover Institution, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and a Professorial Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Tadros is the author of Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity (Hoover 2013), and Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt (Hoover 2014).

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

A New U.S. Strategy To Bolster Tunisia’s Struggling Democracy

by Eric B. Brown, Samuel Tadrosvia Hudson Institute
Thursday, August 10, 2017

The country that set off the Arab Spring of 2011 is now widely hailed as its only success story. However, the factors that have aided the formation of the post-2011 Tunisian Republic cannot be counted on to sustain it. The country’s ongoing transition is, in fact, deeply contested by forces both inside and outside the nation. Despite significant aid from the U.S. and other Western countries, Tunisia remains beset with tremendous security, governance, and economic challenges. Moreover, Tunisia’s enemies like Islamic State and others are seeking to further splinter the republic along numerous societal fault lines to advance their own interests.

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Social Media: A Misplaced Hope

by Samuel Tadrosvia The Caravan
Friday, June 9, 2017

Under the subtitle of “How an Egyptian revolution began on Facebook,” the New York Times in February 2012, ran a laudatory review of Wael Ghonim’s newly released book Revolution 2.0. The review noted how a young Google executive frustrated by his country’s injustices, especially police brutality, had started a Facebook page that quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of similarly frustrated young Egyptians, becoming both a platform for expressing anger as well as a mobilizing venue. 

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The Follies Of Democracy Promotion

by Samuel Tadrosvia Analysis
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

President Obama’s election was warmly greeted in Egypt by both the country’s leader and population. In Cairo, Obama promised a new beginning, not only in America’s relationship with Egypt, but the whole Muslim world. By the time he left office, the American Egyptian relationship was in shambles. In this essay, Samuel Tadros examines the illusions that shaped Obama’s adventure in Egypt in pursuit of an imaginary transition to democracy, offering a cautionary tale for the Trump administration. If the US Egyptian alliance is to be strengthened and Egypt is to survive the regional upheaval, President Trump should forgo the illusions Washington holds about the country and base his strategy toward Egypt not on Egypt as it should be, but on Egypt as it is.


The Continuing Tragedy Of Egypt’s Coptic Christians

by Samuel Tadrosvia Washington Post
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

La Ilaha illa Allah. Al Massih howa Allah. (There is no God but God. Christ is God.) These extraordinary words were chanted by angry Copts in the Egyptian province of Minya who gathered to welcome the bodies of their newest martyrs after a gruesome attack by Islamic State jihadists on Friday that left 29 people dead. 

Analysis and Commentary

Coptic Christians: Islamic State’s ‘Favorite Prey’

by Samuel Tadrosvia The New York Times
Friday, May 26, 2017

“At this rate Copts will be extinct in 100 years. They will die, leave, convert or get killed,” a friend wrote on Facebook as news broke of the latest bloody attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians. Less than two months ago, while attending church in Cairo on Palm Sunday, my friend told me she’d mused to herself that it was a blessing her daughter wasn’t with her: If there was a bombing, at least her child would survive.

Analysis and Commentary

Coptic Christians’ Endless Struggle For Survival In Egypt

by Samuel Tadrosvia National Review
Friday, April 14, 2017

The Copts have been persecuted for thousands of years. ISIS’s brutal Palm Sunday bombing in Alexandria is just the latest episode. 


What Palm Sunday Means To Egypt’s Copts

by Samuel Tadrosvia Atlantic
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Christianity was born in pain in the country. An attack on a holy day is another bloody symbol of its beginnings.

The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State
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Security by the Book - The Way Of The Strangers: Encounters With The Islamic State

by Samuel Tadros, Graeme Woodvia Lawfare
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Hoover Institution's National Security, Technology and Law Working Group, along with Hoover's Washington, DC office held a discussion with author of The Way of StrangersGraeme WoodHoover working group member and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Benjamin Wittes, along with Samuel Tadros, distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institutioninterviewed Wood, who discussed his definitive, electrifying account of the strategy, psychology, and theology driving the Islamic State.

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Once Upon A Time Jews Lived Here

by Samuel Tadrosvia Analysis
Thursday, March 16, 2017

For over six decades, Arabic-speaking people have undertaken a deliberate effort to erase the memory of the Jews who lived amongst them. The collective decision was successful with governments and citizens joining in eradicating the physical presence of the Jewish presence in Arabic-speaking countries, which had lasted for over twenty-five centuries. For the past decade, Arabic-speaking people have begun to show interest in this erased memory. In this essay, Samuel Tadros reviews two recent novels dealing with the presence and loss of Jews from Arabic-speaking countries. He explores how the authors attempt to depict these Jews against the background of the Arab Israeli conflict, as well as the limitations and taboos still shaping the attempt to remember.

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Does Egypt Still Matter?

by Samuel Tadrosvia The Caravan
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

For a man who has challenged almost all conventional wisdom in U.S. foreign policy, President Trump’s first phone call to his Egyptian counterpart after taking office could have been copied from any of his predecessors since the late 70’s. Stressing the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries, he affirmed his commitment to deepening a relationship “which has helped both countries overcome challenges in the region for decades.”