1557, Section: Opinion
Published on 30 November -1 by Chloe Bordewhich / Muftah.org / First published Feb. 18 in Opinion
In March and April of this year Egyptians will have the opportunity to vote for parliamentary representatives for the second time since the 2011 revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak. These elections will take place during a period human rights organizations have described as “the most dramatic reversal of human rights in Egypt’s modern history.” In this environment, it is worth asking: Should we even be paying attention to the vote?
Published on 23 February 2015 by Hafed Al-Ghwell / Atlantic Council / First published Feb. 19 in Opinion
On Feb. 17, Libya marked four years since the uprising that toppled Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and ignited the country’s civil war. The war that began as a fight between two camps—Gaddafi and his supporters against other Libyans who were determined to topple him with the help of NATO forces—is now a war between an endless number of militias and gangs of all stripes. From the ideological and criminal to the regional and tribal, each faction is fighting for different reasons, and in pursuit of different goals.
Published on 18 February 2015 by Hussain Al-Bukhaiti in Opinion
When a revolution was sparked in Tunisia in late 2010, the Arab world waited to see who would be next. Arabs were ruled by tyrants and kings. The deeply human desire to be free proved too powerful for many of the region’s dictators, and one-by-one, many fell.
Published on 12 February 2015 by Nabeel Khoury / Atlantic Council / First published Feb. 9 in Opinion
President Barack Obama’s dilemma is understandable. The man has a serious allergy to the mess that is the Middle East and he made it clear from the beginning of his first term that he has other priorities, both domestic and international, on which to spend time and treasure. He also is unsure of where US interests are at risk in the region. Where he is sure they are, he relies on drone technology to help cut the risk down. After six years of this misguided strategy, it is futile to keep bashing his foreign policy on this score. But what about Arab governments and rulers? What is their excuse for allowing a relatively small group of thugs, a ragtag army led by men with minds stuck in the seventh century, using swords to decapitate and fire to burn their captured prisoners at the stake?
Published on 9 February 2015 by Karim Mezran and Lara Talverdian / atlanticcouncil.org / First published Feb. 4 in Opinion
The political maneuverings in Tunisia over the last few weeks bear the hallmarks of a nascent democracy. Developments have involved negotiations, checks on power, and nuanced political calculations that demonstrate an overall political maturity among Tunisian authorities—the reason why so many international observers and policymakers have time and again heralded the North African country as the so-called Arab Spring’s “best hope” for success. Facets of the Cabinet formation process highlight critical lessons about Tunisia’s political landscape, but they also underscore areas of vulnerability regarding the country’s ongoing transition.
Published on 22 January 2015 by Muftah.org Craig Browne in Opinion
On the evening of December 13, 2014, a 240 meter-long drillship drifted through the night and into Western Saharan waters. Despite its size and long-awaited arrival, the hulking vessel went relatively unnoticed.
Published on 8 January 2015 by Ahlam Mohsen in Opinion
The Houthis and Al-Qaeda dominate many headlines concerning Yemen—including the headlines of the Yemen Times. What is noticeably absent in Yemen coverage is news regarding independent youth—the movement behind the country’s 2011 uprising.
Published on 8 January 2015 by Frederic C. Hof / Atlantic Council in Opinion
Turkey-based, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman of McClatchy closed out 2014 with a dispatch that would be shocking if only there were still capacity for shock when it comes to Washington’s Syria policy. Gutman reported being told by Syrian opposition leaders of being ignored by the Obama administration last April when they warned of a major ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) offensive brewing. The alleged warning centered on Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria rather than on Iraq; still, nationalist opposition requests for more material to fight ISIL were reportedly ignored. According to Gutman, “Moderate rebels, despite their battlefield setbacks, have unique assets, such as ground-level intelligence about the locations and movements of the Islamic State, a grasp of local politics and the drive to expel foreign-led forces from their country. But they’ve failed to gain traction with the Obama administration for their plans to fight the terror groups, and recently they’ve had trouble even getting a hearing.”
Published on 1 January 2015 by Douglas Garrison / Muftah.org / First published Dec.30 in Opinion
In the following article Omar Ould Dedde O. Hammady and Michael Meyer-Resende, both constitutional lawyers and, respectively, the Libya country director and the executive director at Democracy Reporting International (DRI), shed crucial light on Libya’s continuing political turmoil. The authors highlight the critical need for reinvigorated “institution-building” in Libyan politics in order for some semblance of stability to return to the fractured state. This opinion piece originally appeared in Sada, the online journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Program, on Dec. 18. An excellent companion article, “The Struggle to Define Normal in Post-Gaddafi Libya” by Elizabeth Allan, appeared in Muftah the same day.
Published on 1 January 2015 by Mona Alami / Atlantic Council / First published Dec. 24 in Opinion
In its fourth issue of its English-language newsletter Dabig, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) boasted that a “state cannot be established” unless it looked after both the “worldly and the religious needs” of Muslims. With that specific goal in mind, IS has entrenched itself in the daily life of residents of the region straddling Syria and Iraq, partly replacing the presence of the state, namely in the fields of justice, education and healthcare, with mixed results.