but we are actually all winds
ever more than before
even ever more than before 
gaining 
speeding 
booming
towards future 
speeding
and redeeming laughters
and happiest laughters
Start page JUMO | Code for America | good.is |
“If you want to free a society, just give them internet access. Because people, the young guys, you know, are all going to go out and see biased media, see the truth about other nations and their own nation and they’re going to be able to contribute and collaborate together.”
I’m not sure this is really a great argument. But - might become one of the key idea re: Arab Spring/MENA.

[Legacy of] over-centralization. And projection of common/universal Arab identity.
Then how - to actually build the ways for more looser or appropriate ways of accommodating human groups, their economies and politics. 

I’m not sure this is really a great argument. But - might become one of the key idea re: Arab Spring/MENA.

[Legacy of] over-centralization. And projection of common/universal Arab identity.

Then how - to actually build the ways for more looser or appropriate ways of accommodating human groups, their economies and politics. 

 
“Egypt’s fractious political opposition has been an advantage to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to this point. If it fails to unite, the prospects for meaningful change will remain excruciatingly low. The record of transition from autocratic rule is fairly clear: opposition solidarity is a necessary if insufficient condition for extricating militaries from the realm of civil political life. The record also shows, however, that such unity is hard to achieve when oppositions are divided by fundamental identity conflicts.

Such conflicts have long been a boon to the leaders of the Arab world’s “liberalized autocracies.” These semi-authoritarian systems survived not merely by brute force, but also by giving both Islamists and non-Islamists protection and patronage and then playing off one against the other. In Egypt, vestiges of this divide and rule strategy persisted well after Mubarak’s downfall. Hopes for defusing a long legacy of political fear mongering in Egypt rested on negotiating “credible guarantees” that assured all key groups that a democratic polity would protect individual and group rights.”

Can Egypt Unite? - By Daniel Brumberg, Foreign Policy, June 25 2012 

It’s bit too long but today’s most important piece re: Egypt

via akio

June 25, 2012, 10:31pm  2 notes

 
“Egypt’s fractious political opposition has been an advantage to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to this point. If it fails to unite, the prospects for meaningful change will remain excruciatingly low. The record of transition from autocratic rule is fairly clear: opposition solidarity is a necessary if insufficient condition for extricating militaries from the realm of civil political life. The record also shows, however, that such unity is hard to achieve when oppositions are divided by fundamental identity conflicts.

Such conflicts have long been a boon to the leaders of the Arab world’s “liberalized autocracies.” These semi-authoritarian systems survived not merely by brute force, but also by giving both Islamists and non-Islamists protection and patronage and then playing off one against the other. In Egypt, vestiges of this divide and rule strategy persisted well after Mubarak’s downfall. Hopes for defusing a long legacy of political fear mongering in Egypt rested on negotiating “credible guarantees” that assured all key groups that a democratic polity would protect individual and group rights.”
Can Egypt Unite? - By Daniel Brumberg, Foreign Policy, June 25 2012

June 25, 2012, 8:27pm  2 notes

▸ Nonviolent and Community Action Produces Results in Mideast [A case in Jordan, and Palestinian Hunger Strike], Daoud Kuttab

This week, two totally different cases saw real progress towards resolution due to persistence, focus on achievable results and the use of nonviolent means. Palestinian prisoners and supporters of their just and reasonable requests in Palestine, the Arab world, and the international community saw a successful resolution of their demands. The end of administrative detentions was the aim when Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi began the protests with a pair of hunger strikes followed by Thaer Halahla and Bilal Diab. This was followed by 1,600 prisoners demanding the end of solitary confinement, permission for family visits especially for Gaza families denied such visits since 2007 and agreement to allow prisoners to follow up educational pursuits. Thousands of prisoners refrained from eating for over 28 days while the administrative detainees went into their third month of a dangerous hunger strike. The selfless action of the prisoners touched people around the world who began numerous campaigns on social media and in front of UN agencies, and other forms of protests. In Amman, 15 young people, including two women, started their own hunger strike in a tent outside the Professional Associations Complex. They were especially supportive of over two dozen Jordanians in Israeli prisons, including Abdullah Barghouthi. The image of these supporters wearing light brown outfits resembling the prisoners’ uniforms went viral on line as they exchanged their own pictures with a faceless, brown-wearing sketch. Government officials in Jordan, Egypt, the U.S. and the EU, as well as the secretary general of the UN, were forced to take a stand and pressure the Israelis to accept the demands and use international standards for incarceration. The end was an Egyptian government-brokered deal that responded to most demands by Palestinian prisoners.

In another incident, Jordanian media professionals decided to investigate the status of persons with disabilities at privately-run centers. Radio Al Balad’s investigation unit and the Arab world’s investigative journalism network ARIJ cooperated over a year to look into the case. Because the media have little access to these centers, and due to the lack of serious monitoring, Al Balad’s journalist Hanan Khandakji was dispatched to do undercover reporting.

She volunteered at a few centers, and over a 12-month period was able to collect damning evidence of verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Attempts to get government officials to better scrutinize the center failed to produce results.Before publishing the report, the BBC Arabic TV station was approached and agreed to film a documentary based on the evidence collected. The two sides agreed to broadcast/publish the investigation simultaneously, along with The Alghad newspaper. The combined local and international video-based media coverage produced quick results. The King made an unannounced visit to Ibn Khaldoun and Al Razi centers, both owned by a single entrepreneur. After the visit, and based on the initial media evidence, His Majesty instructed the prime minister to quickly and comprehensively investigate the charges, turn over to the judiciary those guilty of wrongdoing and provide him with results within two weeks. Families of children with disabilities warmly welcomed the King’s intervention and will be awaiting the results of the special committee.

In both the prisoner protests and the media investigation a clear trend can be identified. Injustice is recognized, clear attainable goals are identified, comprehensive plans are assembled, hard work is invested over a long period and the public is involved. All this is done without violence, with strong determination and active effort and follow up.

While many choose the shortcut of violence or revolution to effect changes, it is clear that although nonviolent and society civil-based activities take longer time, they can produce impressive and tangible results.In the two above cases, actions and results cannot be expected based on a one-off activity or a faza (communal knee jerk emotional outburst); they require long-term, focused and comprehensive plans. Community leadership development (prisoners showed leadership), institutional capacity building, financial and administrative support are all important ingredients that must be included for results to be comprehensive and long lasting.



Source: The Huffington Post

May 17, 2012, 11:17pm  4 notes      

Al Jazeera is your only source on the Middle East and North Africa? Let me help you. Take a seat.

stay-human:

[Is mine]

sharquaouia:

Ever since a member of the Qatari royal family took charge of the network, coverage was getting a bit weird. Don’t get me wrong, Al Jazeera can do some fantastic coverage on various matters in the region, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [as someone who always looks for this, no they really don’t. You’re better off with Arab News for Israel/Palestine] They also did an amazing job in the initial coverage on the Egyptian revolution. It’s all good. The Stream is also a great show, but only gets 30 minutes a day, which sucks.

Anyways, it’s been getting shady. Especially when they canceled the showing of a documentary on Morocco’s pro-democracy movement for no apparent reason. That was the last straw for me. 

So! Here’s a list of English sources on the Middle East and North Africa. Most of them are just publications.

  • Jadaliyya: Amazing analysis from the top scholars and academics in every field pertaining to the Middle East and North Africa. Politics, culture, religion, gender studies—you name it. You can’t really be studying MENA politics without having read something from here.
  • Al Akhbar: The English version of one of the most prominent newspapers in Lebanon. They cover all things in the region though. Mostly newsy, but there are quality op-ed pieces and weekly blogposts from prominent voices. 
  • Tunisia Live: They launched after the Tunisian Revolution and cover all things Tunisia. They also occasionally post pieces pertaining to other parts of the region, namely North Africa. 
  • Arabist: Yes, this is a blog, but an amazing blog. Even if all you’re checking out is the weekly link roundup, that’s enough news to keep you updated. Most of the posts are on Egypt, but there is a sprinkle of other countries. 
  • Magharebia: Okay, they’re funded by AFRICOM, yes. But they are one of the few sites that consistently publishes content on the Greater Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Western Sahara). It’s basic coverage, but if you come across a story that intrigues you, just do some more research. 
  • Ahram Online: The English version of the “first newspaper in the Middle East.” It’s based in Egypt and provides coverage throughout the region. 

This is a very basic list, and I’ll probably add to it. Though, with these alone, I’m confident you’ll stay informed and up to date on the ever-changing stories and situations in the Middle East and North Africa. All of the above sources are based from the region and/or have writers and editors based or are from the region. 

I’m going to add Arab News, yes it’s the Saudi national paper but they have really good coverage of Israel/Palestine (with great op-eds from people like Uri Avnery, Ramzy Baroud, etc.) and recently Syria. They will also have some great pieces on issues in Saudi, believe it or not, for example this article on women driving in Saudi.

  1. I’d say make Twitter account and search with keywords you are interested - and set follows. It’s most lively, many voices and perspectives and it’s just fun. 
  2. Al Akhbar [Lebanon] - founder was a reputable journalist - but in late years turned pro-Iranian regime, pro-Hezbollah (for the sake of anti-American leaning). He died but sometimes it still spews out very strange pro-Iranian regime reports. (*Because it had some really distorting pieces I had to check what it is.) 
  3. I just set up Google Alerts with keywords I’m interested in, and direct those alerts to Google Reader. That’s more easier than visiting all great/relevant sites (hundreds, including blogs). Though, updates from Google Alerts have time lag (like 24hrs, sometimes), and contains many dubious stuff too (but that’s the fun part too), and never thorough or complete. 
March 14, 2012, 10:31pm   1,805 notes