The Syrian regime and its core pillars of loyalist military support have yet to acknowledge that their situation has become critical, let alone perilous. What can Syria’s opposition do to shake up the stalemate?
After the war, over dinner, I’d used the word hurriya (freedom)—but before I could finish a girl working at one of the large international NGO’s interrupted me: “Don’t say that: you will remind us we are under occupation.” It’s a stunning statement that reveals the delicate balance in Gaza.
In the next few days we will mark the second anniversary of the start of the Arab uprisings, when Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia on December 17, 2010. The balance sheet of change in the Arab world over these two years has been epic and historic, but often turbulent and even chaotic, as citizens continue to shape new governance systems that respect rather than demean them.
On the heels of the hotly contested decree granting the Egyptian president unlimited authority, President Morsi also amended the nation’s 1976 trade union law, further raising concerns for Egypt’s democratic transition.
On December 1, President Morsi issued executive order no. 397/2012, calling for a referendum on the new constitution’s final draft, which had been passed by the Constituent Assembly only the day before. A primer on the referendum slated for December 15.
Unlike Nelson Mandela who spent decades in jail and then showed his compassion, flexibility and statesmanship when he became the president of South Africa, Morsi is unable at this stage to act as the magnanimous leader of all Egyptians.
Armed revolution, international legality, or home-grown constitutionalism? These three options for national change are simultaneously being used this week in the three Arab countries that arguably have had the most impact on the Middle East region in the last century—Syria, Egypt and Palestine.
The dramatic events in Egypt over the past few days following President Mohammad Morsi’s unilateral decree giving him unchallenged political authority should not surprise or frighten anyone. In fact, the continuing developments can be seen as a positive stage in the country’s historic political transition from autocracy to democracy.
On November 5, Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah, confirmed that he would go ahead with the changes he made in the Kuwait’s electoral law this past October 19. This amendment to the electoral law ahead of the December 1 parliamentary elections is likely to escalate the political crisis in Kuwait.
The 2011 uprisings placed Hamas in the awkward position of attempting to align itself with a wave of popular revolts while simultaneously clamping down on protests in Gaza. But despite the domestic crackdown, Hamas managed to emerge from 2011 in a stronger regional position.
Is the International Monetary Fund loan permissible under Islamic law? Egypt’s Islamist movements have signaled that this is the case and have gone out of their way to endorse the $4.8 billion package despite more than a year of lobbying that aimed to do the opposite.
The political tensions and a handful of local clashes following the assassination last Friday of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan reflected a tragic but rather routine sequence of sentiments and events in this country, where political assassinations have occurred regularly for half a century.
Reformist judges may be finding themselves better equipped to fight with yesteryear’s Mubarak than with this year’s more complicated rivals, and the struggles over the coming years are likely to feature a different set of issues—or perhaps, more accurately, unexpected iterations of the older concerns over autonomy and authority.
By 2020 the population of the tiny Gaza Strip will grow by half a million people: 500,000 more to be fed, housed, educated, and employed. Let us address the root causes of this looming disaster rather than expecting the international community to foot the bill to mitigate their disastrous consequences.
There is a new Silk Road quietly emerging that connects the booming economies of East Asia with the oil-rich Gulf states of the Arab Peninsula and, through them, European markets accessible just across the Suez canal.
In response to pointed criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Council, representatives of the Bahraini government claimed they would accept and implement over 150 of the council’s recommendations for the improvement of human rights and the treatment of prisoners. Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa remarked that “Our actions, more than our words, should dispel any doubts regarding [Bahrain’s] commitment to upholding human rights through the rule of law.” Despite this, there are real reasons to be skeptical that Manama is ready to turn the page. » Read more about: Bahrain: Human Rights and Political Wrongs »
Even as the goodwill won by Obama’s Cairo University speech has dissipated, the level of engagement pursued early in his term suggested a reevaluation of how America does business in the Middle East. Morsi deserves his own chance to win America’s goodwill, and he’ll have that very opportunity at the UN General Assembly.