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Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

Egypt forces clash with protesters

Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the nation’s military that has assumed control in a transitional government leading up to the country’s September elections,  clashed with protesters Tuesday night.

According to Zeinobia, who writes on Egyptian Chronicles, the 2,000-person protest in Tahrir Square started with a Tweetup. The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior has blamed out of control protesters for the dust-up.

The Associated Press reported a 5,000-person “rock-throwing” crowd was met with tear gas and force.

Video from Associated Press:

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Sunday links

Here are some links from the weekend that will make you think. I’ll try to do this every Sunday because who subscribes to newspapers anymore?

Iran is building a state-run Internet to that will help them control social media that helped bring about the Arab Spring and the 2009 Green Revolution.

Iran recently confirmed plans to establish a self-enclosed national Internet – a two-tier or dual network, comprising a publicly available but easily monitored Internet, with restricted access to the wider Web; and an open access Internet for government, business and tourists. Cuba, Burma, Russia and China are trying to form similar two-tier systems.

Yasser Hareb writes for the Gulf News about how Arab journalists must Tweet change to grab youth.

When half of the population in the Arab world is under the age of 25, it becomes a fact that half of the media’s targeted audience is young people using smart phones and new means of communications. Those young people do not want to sit and watch news bulletins on TV and will not be disappointed if they miss a certain programme; nor will they wait for the re-run.

Mona Eltahawy says “virginity tests” administered by the Egyptian government blur the line between politics and sex.

Let’s be clear, “virginity tests” are common in Egypt and straddle class and urban/rural divides. Be it the traditional midwife checking for a hymen on a bride’s wedding night, or a forensics expert or doctor called in after a prospective bridegroom’s suspicions, young women are forced to spread their legs to appease the god of virginity. But no one talks about it.

But it’s different when the state/SCAF is the one forcing women’s legs apart. A protest is planned for Saturday. It’s a perfect time for gender to come out of the revolution’s closet.

Following Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s failure to reform government in 100 days, protesters took to the streets.

With security greatly improved in Iraq, the citizenry has finally had the time to focus upon other issues such as governance and services. The country has been hit by twenty years of wars and sanctions, which have devastated its infrastructure. Despite the expenditure of several billion dollars in reconstruction funds, water, electricity, health care, etc., have not caught up with demand.

A martyr may spur a revolution to change the monarch’s role in Morocco, says Betwa Sharma in Foreign Policy.

Kamal Amari, 30, was a university graduate with a degree in physics who worked as a private security officer at the port in the western city of Safi. On May 29, he was caught up in the crackdown there. “Seven policemen beat him for five minutes,” said Adel Fathi, a friend.

On June 2, Amari succumbed to his wounds. Local activists call him the “first martyr” of Morocco’s freedom movement. His death has transformed Safi into a front line of the country’s protest movement.

Muhammad Faour of the Carnegie Middle East Center says Arab nations must use revolutions as a launching pad for education reform and teaching young Arabs what it means to be a citizen.

Educating young Arabs for citizenship requires much more fundamental reform than what has so far been undertaken in education reform plans. It requires getting past several serious shortcomings in the Arab education and political systems.

These shortcomings begin at the individual student level, including low learning achievement; lack of creative, independent, and critical thinking; and lack of problem-solving skills. They also include the home or family level, which is often guided by authoritarianism, obedience to authority figures, limited freedom of expression, and dependence on a family network for prospective employment.

Elliot Abrams says he believes democracy will take root in Syria when and if Bashar al Assad’s regime falls.

Some day, and tomorrow would not be soon enough, the Assad mafia will be gone and Syria will face the difficult challenge  of building a democracy after decades of bloody repression.  The Damascus Declaration—and the courage of those who wrote it and suffered time in Assad’s prisons for their principles and their patriotism—provides Syrians with the key guidelines to follow, and provides us all with some hope that democracy can indeed be built in Syria.

 

 

More on Bahrain’s Formula 1 decision

I know Formula 1 is hardly NASCAR — where event attendees makes you wonder why things like human rights even exist — but the racing league’s decision to reschedule the Bahrain Grand Prix for October sends a strong signal to the protesters that profits reigns over all.

As I noted yesterday, Bahrain gets a lot of money from its tourism industry. And when your economy is in a standstill because your army is in a standoff with civilian protesters, well, I guess you’ll do just about anything to get a kickstart.

Formula 1’s former president put it best:

Max Mosley, the former president of the FIA, who was involved in a major sex scandal after videos of him were released on a British newspaper web site in 2008, was quoted on ESPN F1 as saying: “If I was president today, F1 would go to Bahrain over my dead body (…)They will be attempting to use the grand prix to support what they are doing, almost using F1 as an instrument of repression (…) To go will be a public relations disaster, and sponsors will want their liveries removed.”

Oh, but wait! The World Council of the International Automobile Federation did its homework in regard to human rights abuses because it called Tariq Al Saffar at the National Institute of Human Rights in Bahrain. Of course, this is the same Tariq Al Saffar who was appointed to that position by the current king, who, maybe you’re aware, is the guy authorizing all those tanks to kill all those unarmed protesters. Al Saffar is also the owner of Bahrain Financial Harbour, a 380,000 square meter real estate development that is a linchpin in the country’s highly important banking and financial industry. Oh, and the company has some pretty close and lucrative ties to the government.

Let’s keep in mind here that despite lifting its state of emergency, Bahrain is still cracking down on protesters and continues prohibiting human rights organizations from operating. F1 racing is kowtowing to a government that desperately needs to sell its loyalists on something — which is of course cars that can go really, really fast. Because, you know, Bahrainis need to be able to forget their troubles for a day, too, and this revolution thing must be getting a little tiring.

 

 

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