Tahrir: Rebelling with a Cause

If this doesn’t exemplify people power, then I’m not quite sure what does.

Some have called it a second revolution, yet the over 22 million Egyptians who attached their name to the Tamarod (Arabic for rebel) movement by signing their petition for Mohammad Mursi to step down and the overwhelming crowds that keep filling the squares of Egypt, starting from Tahrir Square, are only carrying on with the revolution of January 25, 2011. Revolution doesn’t come easy and on June 30, 2013 it is only its second chapter that has started to be written. Continue reading “Tahrir: Rebelling with a Cause”

What Turkish Model for the Middle East?

At a time when many argued that democracy was incompatible with the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East, the Turkish democratic model was always used as the ultimate example to the contrary. Developed in the backdrop of a ruthless military and a fiercely secular tradition, it provided a model that could be easily emulated by its neighbors, given similar societal composition and other commonalities that came with geographic proximity.  But is Turkey the best democratic example for its neighbors to follow? The more I read about Turkey and its recent trajectory, the more I believe the answer is no. Continue reading “What Turkish Model for the Middle East?”

Lebanon at the Crossroads: Do We Have the Courage for Change

“Seeing the tears of a wounded child, the fear on the elderly’s face, or the panic of a young adult at the thought of having to go through all this absurdity all over again… Why does it affect me and not the cold-blooded murders that undertake these crimes? We’ve had enough of these targeted assassinations.

But I care more about the innocent citizens that pay the price, the anonymous civilians who will succumb to their wounds, flee the country or live quietly in sadness and despair hereafter. Today, I think about you and pray for you and hope to help you the best way I can. You are priceless. YOU are Lebanon.” Continue reading “Lebanon at the Crossroads: Do We Have the Courage for Change”

Egypt: Waiting for What’s Next

We all know that barely two years after a revolution is rather early to assess its success, but for some Egyptians, the prospects of the post-revolution era are not looking particularly bright already.

In a recent talk in Beirut by Mohammad al-Agaty, head of the Arab Alternative Forum for Studies and member of the Popular Socialist Alliance, and Reem Maged, an Egyptian journalist and ONTV host, both agreed that beyond the surface of a new era in the making, new alleged freedoms and the absence of former regime members, deep down, not a lot of changes have taken place in Egypt. Continue reading “Egypt: Waiting for What’s Next”

Never Angry Enough

I don’t know about you, but when I watched the scenes from Benghazi last Friday, as thousands of Libyans stormed the headquarters of Islamist group Ansar el-Sharia, leading to their eviction from the city, it felt quite overwhelming. The militia that some have accused of not only being behind the attack against the US Consulate, but of spreading terror and fear among the local population, had gotten the people’s verdict of its presence first hand. The government of Libya and its interim leader soon followed with their call to disband all illegal militias in the country, which spread during and after Qaddafi’s ousting. But on Friday, the people of Benghazi had had enough, they spoke and they were heard. Of course, disbanding all militias and transforming Libya into a full-fledged stable democracy will take time, but at least that seems what the people truly want to achieve, no matter how long it takes. Continue reading “Never Angry Enough”

Failure of the Arab Revolution?

Nobody with the smallest amount of common sense should disagree that the reactions to the “Innocence of Islam” movie were simply senseless. Of course, it could have remained violent and lawless, had it not been for the sad unfolding of events in Benghazi, which led reactions into the realm of the criminal. Much has already been written and said in this regard. But what got me thinking are some commentators’ views and articles in the Western press suggesting that the violence witnessed in the past days signals some sort of failure of the Arab Spring or Arab Revolutions, if only because the most severe violence is taking place in post-revolution countries. Continue reading “Failure of the Arab Revolution?”

صرخة من المكسيك: احرقوها – A Cry From Mexico: Burn It!

Update Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to introduce its first guest writer Jorge Seeman, a Mexican-Lebanese residing in Mexico City, who contributed the following post. You will find an English translation at the end. After initial refusal to publish Jorge’s article, Lebanese daily An Nahar published an edited version in its May 14, 2012 issue, almost a month after it was posted in its unedited version on Eyeontheeast.org . Some truths are still too much for the local Lebanese media to handle…

انتفاضة شعبية مكسيكية أوصلت الجنرال Porfirio Diaz الى رئاسة المكسيك اواسط القرن التاسع عشر. مطلب جوهري واحد وقفت وراءه الامة كان الباعث على هذه الانتفاضة هو أن “لا تجديد” للرئيس بعد اليوم, ايا كان هذا الرئيس. اما هذا الجنرال – الدكتاتور فقد أغوتة السلطة – و السلطة تفسد: تنكَّر لهذا المطلب الشعبي الجازم فحكم بلاده على امتداد خمسة و ثلاثين عاما. Continue reading “صرخة من المكسيك: احرقوها – A Cry From Mexico: Burn It!”