“I never imagined that Libya would follow Lebanon”

“I think your readers are probably more interested in other countries in the Middle East than my dysfunctional lawless homeland..!” is one of the first things he said when I offered the pages of Eye on the East for a guest post on Libya. But when was dysfunctional and lawless exclusive to only one country in the Arab World? Continue reading ““I never imagined that Libya would follow Lebanon””

“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?”

The End of a Revolution

“In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.”

                                                                                – Alexis de Tocqueville

In a revolution, the beginning should not be marked by the first calls to mobilize against the existing order, but as the fruits of mobilization translate into concrete action to transform given the defeated order. The end, therefore, is the culmination of implemented change with a clear vision for the new, and hopefully better, order.  Continue reading “The End of a Revolution”