A different kind of Eye….on the turbulent East

You may have noticed that activity on the blog has been slow lately. That doesn’t mean, however, that our “eye” hasn’t been looking, observing, analyzing or despairing at all the hopelessness and bloodshed around us and for once, rather speechless about it all. But speechlessness about the real world has diverted into an ocean of ideas and an outburst of imagination about a fictional world, which owes much to the real world for initial inspiration, but takes off to limitless heights thereafter… Continue reading “A different kind of Eye….on the turbulent East”

N for Nasrani

During a trip to Jordan in 2008, I visited the site where it is believed that Jesus Christ was baptized. As I headed to the banks of the Jordan River, a group of women solemnly made their way back from the pilgrimage. They were clearly Christian, given the particular headscarf they wore and prayers they whispered. They prayed in silence but with a passion and fervor that was hard not to notice. Continue reading “N for Nasrani”

Three Years and Counting: Looking Back and Looking Ahead, in Pictures

It has been three years already: Eye on the East has still not run out of things to say because Lebanon and the Arab World has never been so full of things to talk about. But since 2011, it has been each and every one of you, the readers, followers and supporters that have helped in keeping this going and made it worthwhile…. And for that, I thank you all.

Continue reading “Three Years and Counting: Looking Back and Looking Ahead, in Pictures”

“We’re Stubborn as Hell”

Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to post a brief testimony on the ongoing demonstrations in Egypt by Rania, written on July 2, 2013. Rania is an Egyptian humanitarian aid worker, closely and passionately following the developments in her country from wherever her job takes her. [Read “Tahrir: Rebelling with a Cause” for a brief background on the latest demonstrations against President Mohammad Mursi.]

“I’m in Paris actually, but my mind is in Tahrir square of course… Although not as 100% as the first time, I must confess. If only because I’ve become mildly embittered by our (Arabs) utter failure to take a breath, and calmly plan a road map for the future. The first time around, of course it was the exhilarating sense of freedom, and unity that transcended class, religion, ethnicity… Continue reading ““We’re Stubborn as Hell””

Tamarod “has Restored my Faith in the Revolution”

Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to post the following eye-witness account on the ongoing demonstrations in Egypt by Dalia Bayoumi, written on July 2, 2013. Dalia lives in Cairo and has been an active participant and narrator of the Egyptian Revolution since 2011. [Read “Tahrir: Rebelling with a Cause” for a brief background on the latest demonstrations against President Mohammad Mursi.]

“Marching to Tahrir on June 30th was simply breathtaking. I have to be honest, I was anxious, having been to Tahrir, but never had I felt so strongly about a cause before. I abandoned my most trusted reason of thinking what next and on complete impulse just left with a couple of friends. Enough is simply Enough! I did not care about the so-called Islamists’ threats of sexual harassment or aggression. I headed out from my place close to the Gezira Club in Zamalek (a supposedly upper-middle class neighborhood) and missed the club ‘chi chi march,’ but joined what I may call the ‘house help march,’ lovely modest Egyptians who were chanting “Erhal, Erhal” (Leave, Leave) and “I am not a sinner, I am not a non-believer, down down with the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule.” I loved the contrast as we marched close to the high brow opera life, that diverse spectrum of people united under a cause, bringing back memories from the last days of the first round of 18 days [in 2011].

Continue reading “Tamarod “has Restored my Faith in the Revolution””

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?”