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Ahmed Masoud: The Arab Spring: A Palestinian Perspective

Ahmed Masoud: The Arab Spring: A Palestinian Perspective

By Ahmed Masoud In the fourth instalment of our series of Arab reflections on the regional uprisings, award-winning Palestinian author and playwright Ahmed Masoud explores the impact of the Arab Spring on the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice. While upheaval has been sweeping the Arab World since the start of the year, Palestinians seem to have taken a different approach to their struggle, focusing on their internal affairs and their hopes of achieving national unity. Indeed, despite being … Read entire article »

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Elias Khoury: Who is Conspiring Against Syria

Elias Khoury: Who is Conspiring Against Syria

By Elias Khoury After the breakdown of the rhetoric of a conspiracy of Salafis and armed gangs, the Syrian regime has resorted to a rhetoric of colonial conspiracy. This is especially so after the recent resolution by the Arab League [to suspend Syria’s membership]. This rhetoric of colonial conspiracy has traction with some of the political forces because it masks their own parochial discourse with the principled issue of resisting colonial forces within the context of the … Read entire article »

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Paul Feldman: Arab Spring leads to Winter Revolution

Paul Feldman: Arab Spring leads to Winter Revolution

By Paul Feldman The prospect of Egypt’s second uprising inside a year is more than a challenge to continuing military rule; it also poses the transformation of the democratic into the social revolution. Many had hoped, wrongly, that the army which facilitated the removal of Hosni Mubarak by standing aside from the January revolution, would step aside once parliamentary elections had been held. “The army and the people are one hand,” many chanted when Mubarak quit. But there was … Read entire article »

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Imad Mesdoua: North African Dispatches (Arab) Woman’s Hour?

Imad Mesdoua: North African Dispatches (Arab) Woman’s Hour?

By Imad Mesdoua The Arab Spring represents a remarkable opportunity for Arab women to take back their rightful place in their own societies as equals. Though in essence most of the uprisings have not had any particularly female-oriented agenda underlying them, women should use this opportunity to challenge the status-quo and bring forward the idea that their emancipation is an essential factor behind any society’s development and well-being. The MENA region’s economy, society and politics continue to … Read entire article »

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Sanaa Khoury & Bashir Sfeir: Rebel Rap from the Outlaws of Hermel

Sanaa Khoury & Bashir Sfeir: Rebel Rap from the Outlaws of Hermel

By Sanaa Khoury & Bashir Sfeir The incendiary Lebanese hip-hop duo Touffar has become a local rap phenomenon, despite their scarce financial resources and modest musical experience. Nasser al-Din and Jaafar, the two members of the group, will be introducing Beirut audiences to some of their new songs from their second album Off to the Commune this Friday night at Beirut Theater. They will also be performing songs from their first album Owners of the Land. Touffar’s bold and unambiguous rap lyrics … Read entire article »

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Mostafa Bassyouni: Labor Movement Absent in Syrian Revolt

Mostafa Bassyouni: Labor Movement Absent in Syrian Revolt

By Mostafa Bassyouni The Arab revolts cannot be understood in isolation from one another, and the Syrian uprising is no exception. It erupted in a region that is bursting with revolution. And though it is genuinely fueled by people’s hopes and aspirations for a better world, it didn’t spring from thin air. Already two long-standing dictators have been unseated in Tunisia and Egypt. The consequent ripple effect that initially swept through Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain threatened … Read entire article »

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Dahlia Scheindlin & Joseph Dana: The Tent Protest – Neither Social Justice, Nor Revolution

Dahlia Scheindlin & Joseph Dana: The Tent Protest – Neither Social Justice, Nor Revolution

By Dahlia Scheindlin & Joseph Dana: This article was jointly written by Dahlia Scheindlin and Joseph Dana, based on our shared experiences of the protests.   The popular, mass protests here that began as a cry of rage against housing prices have evolved admirably into a public outcry against a slew of deep-rooted problems in Israeli social and economic life. Visiting the tent camps early every day, we’ve watched the protest grow from a motley band of wishful … Read entire article »

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Mohammed Bamyeh: Anarchist, Liberal, and Authoritarian Enlightenments – Notes From the Arab Spring

Mohammed Bamyeh: Anarchist, Liberal, and Authoritarian Enlightenments – Notes From the Arab Spring

By Mohammed Bamyeh The Arab spring, as far as we can see, appears to require no guardian intellectual authority, no political leadership, no organized parties. In fact even after revolutionary success, those elements still fail to materialize: there is no party of the revolution anywhere, no leader emerges to embody its historical spirit, and intellectuals still ponder the meaning of revolutions that most of them endorsed but none expected. Furthermore, these apparent absences—political, organizational, intellectual–were not … Read entire article »

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Noam Chomsky: The Arab Spring

Noam Chomsky: The Arab Spring

Where things stand with the Arab Spring and drive for democracy in the region. U.S. interests have always been prioritized over human rights and democratic values; the people-powered uprisings have threatened the status quo and scrambled some of the usual media narratives. But how much? We’ll hear from MIT professor about longtime activist and critic Noam Chomsky about what has changed—and what hasn’t—over the past few months. Chomsky’s speech was part of FAIR’s 25th anniversary … Read entire article »

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Jack Shenker: Protests Spread In Egypt As Discontent With Military Rule Grows

Jack Shenker: Protests Spread In Egypt As Discontent With Military Rule Grows

By Jack Shenker in Cairo: Interim leader’s speech fails to convince protesters blocking off Cairo bureaucratic headquarters and road to Suez canal.   Protests have brought Egypt‘s administrative and commercial nerve centres to a standstill , as government attempts to stem a growing wave of opposition to military rule succeeded only in galvanising demonstrators further. The interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf, took to the airwaves late on Saturday pledging to “meet the people’s demands”, following mass rallies across the country … Read entire article »

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Rhymes and Revolution: Soundtrack to the Arab Spring

Rhymes and Revolution: Soundtrack to the Arab Spring

By Free Speech Radio News: Unprecedented pro-democracy revolutions have gripped the Middle East and North Africa since December. Popularly known as the Arab Awakenings or Arab Spring, these revolts have been led by Arab youth aged 18 to 30 who make up the largest age group in the Arab world. From the outset, these youth-driven protest movements included a strong musical component, and among the most powerful forms of music to emerge during these revolutions has … Read entire article »

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Enrico de Angelis: Syria & The Facebook Battleground

Enrico de Angelis: Syria & The Facebook Battleground

By Enrico de Angelis: What if social media played a much more negative role in the Syrian revolution than many think? Praising Facebook, Twitter and other social media for facilitating the Arab revolutions has become almost a cliché. Numerous articles and conferences contribute to the myth of the “Internet revolution” and praise its virtues. But this is only one side of the story. The other is much less appealing. In a recent conference held at Bologna University, Alec … Read entire article »

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Slavoj Zizek: Arabian Revolution

Slavoj Zizek: Arabian Revolution

By Slavoj Zizek: A short discussion… (video) Length: 10:36 … Read entire article »

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Top Five Arab Spring Hip-Hop Songs

Top Five Arab Spring Hip-Hop Songs

Since December, musicians have been responding to — and provoking — the protests in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, and much of the music being made about these movements is hip-hop. Some of these songs have played a direct role in popular uprisings, while others have helped galvanize international support. Songs are rapped in both English and Arabic, and international collaborations have helped to spread the music over the Internet, via Facebook and YouTube. HEAR … Read entire article »

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Linda Herrera: V For Vendetta – The Other Face Of Egypts Youth Movement

Linda Herrera: V For Vendetta – The Other Face Of Egypts Youth Movement

By Linda Herrera: “Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea […] and ideas are bulletproof.” – From the film V for Vendetta In the summer of 2010 the youth of Facebook, “shebab al-Facebook,” began a campaign of peaceful civil disobedience through the Arabic “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook Fan Page. The success of their “silent stands” throughout the country gave youth a media friendly face as a group that espouses … Read entire article »

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Paul Lin: Gay Liberation & The Arab Revolutions

Paul Lin: Gay Liberation & The Arab Revolutions

By Paul Lin: In the ongoing Arab revolution, we have seen Muslims and Christians united in the fight for freedom. We have also seen women take to the streets and discuss politics. Clearly, all sorts of old ideas are being broken down. But many Western small-l liberals claim that the revolution doesn’t address the issue of gay liberation. The stereotype in the West that Muslims are the most homophobic is not true. It’s also held by some … Read entire article »

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Samir Amin: 2011 An Arab Springtime?

Samir Amin: 2011 An Arab Springtime?

By Samir Amin: The year 2011 began with a series of shattering, wrathful, explosions from the Arab peoples. Is this springtime the inception of a second “awakening of the Arab world?” Or will these revolts bog down and finally prove abortive—as was the case with the first episode of that awakening, which was evoked in my book L’éveil du Sud (Paris: Le temps des cerises, 2008). If the first hypothesis is confirmed, the forward movement of the … Read entire article »

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