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Archive for the tag “North Africa”

The Middle East’s Internet Revolution

A silent revolution is taking place in the Middle East. In 2000, there were about 460,000 Internet users in Egypt; by the end of 2014 there were over 46 million, more than half of the Egyptian population. The same trend is true for most countries in the Middle East and North Africa where Internet penetration reaches an average of 20% per year. On average, these countries have reached a level where roughly 50% of its populations have Internet access (a higher average than globally, which is 42.3%).

Read Here – Al Monitor

Globalisation And Restrictions On Religion

In a report last year, the Pew Research Center noted a marked increase in legal restrictions on the practice of religion around the world. The report found that “The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the year ending in mid-2010” and that three quarters of the world’s population live in countries with “high government restrictions on religion.”

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Arab Spring: An Economic Protest

Two years ago, the West thought it recognised what was happening in the Arab world: people wanted democracy, and were having revolutions to make that point. Now, recent events in Egypt have left many open-mouthed. Why should the generals be welcomed back? Why should the same crowds who gathered in Tahrir Square to protest against the old regime reconvene to cheer the deposing of their elected president? Could it be that the Arab Spring was about something else entirely?

Read Here – The Spectator

Legacy of Qaddafi’s ‘Organized Chaos’ Keeps Libya Back

This past two weeks, North Africa has been in an uproar. In Egypt, two million citizens demand that their democratically elected government step down. In Libya, Parliament passes a law prohibiting officials who served under Qaddafi from holding senior offices. If the law passes legal challenges, it will mean that the president, prime minister, much of Parliament, and most of the diplomatic corps, judges, and prosecutors will have to go.

Read Here – World Affairs Journal

It’s Easy To Be An Arab Pessimist

The Arab Spring, once heralded by many as the beginning of something beautiful and promising, is now a dark nightmare; legions of reactionary interpreters of Islam take hold in North Africa, Syria today is set to become like Yugoslavia in the 1990s, voices of racial and sectarian intolerance abound from Gulf to ocean (as pan-Arabists once liked to collectively refer to Arab lands) and, last but not the least, the demographically triumphant Palestinians remain under effective apartheid rule.

There are many dead and those who survive are either resigned or engaged in deep hatred of anything they are not, writes Mishaal Al Gergawi

Read Here – Gulf News

Two Years On, Libya Is Barely A State – But That’s Good News

This hardly seems like the moment to ask what type of state will emerge in Libya. Two years on from the uprising that eventually toppled Muammar Qaddafi, the country hardly has a functioning state at all.

There is still no constitution and there may not be one for months. The parliament, elected less than a year ago, has decided not to write one itself but instead to hold elections for a separate body to write it.

In the outside world, especially in the West, the chief concern has been about whether Libya’s persistent violence could affect Western interests – analysts nervously think of the recent attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria – or perhaps be exported abroad.

Read Here – The National

Aftermath of Revolution

The recent assassination of a leading secular opposition figure in Tunisia has cast a dark cloud on what many had hoped would serve as a model for democratic transition in countries swept by the Arab Spring. The sad fact is that many revolutions lead to renewed dictatorships. But the good news is that even a rocky and prolonged transition can produce stable democracy.

Read Here – New York Times

Are The Arab Monarchies Next?

The Arab Spring is not an outcome, it is a process. For those countries at the forefront of regional transformation, the fundamental question is can democracy become institutionalised? Though progress has been uneven and the outcomes of many state-society struggles have yet to be resolved, the answer is a cautious yes. In at least a few countries, we are witnessing the onset of democratic institutionalisation: whether the process of reform and transformation spreads to other parts of the Middle East depends on many factors — religious tensions, political mobilisation, regime adaptations, geopolitics. Meanwhile North Africa provides the most promising preview of the future.

Read Here – Le Monde

A Third Intifada and Castro’s Demise: 30 Global Crises to Watch For in 2013: The Atlantic

One of President Obama’s strongest applause lines on the campaign trail was his oft-repeated pledge to do “nation-building at home” during his second-term. This is the stated goal of many presidents facing reelection but, more often than not, unanticipated world events get in the way. In the Middle East, Syria‘s chemical weapons stockpile is in a precarious state; in Asia, China‘s territorial disputes with U.S. treaty allies are increasingly strident; in North Africa, the growth and collaboration of al-Qaeda-inspired extremists could result in safe haven for international terrorism.

Read Here – The Atlantic

The Children Devour the Revolution

The Arab Spring that swept away dictatorships across North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 unnerved many in the Chinese leadership. Liu Yuan, one of the boldest and most ambitious generals in China’s People’s Liberation Army, was particularly shaken by what he identified as a fatal weakness of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi: his son. Until the revolution, Qaddafi’s second-oldest son, Saif al-Islam, was seen as a Western-leaning reformer, a voice for modernization and democracy. And he was educated in the same class of prestigious overseas universities attended by dozens of princelings (the sons and daughters of high-ranking Chinese officials).

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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