When participants at the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, received word that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down, swept away by a wave of popular resistance that brought millions of Egyptians into the streets, few could contain their joy.
The conference drew both supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; conflicting opinions about the Polisario Front and the politics of Western Sahara; Palestinian activists and the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. In short, the 13th
edition of the World Social Forum, held in Tunis on Mar. 26-30, was a melting pot of struggles and a search for common ground.
In the final countdown to this year's World Social Forum (WSF), Tunisian civil society and the country's capital, Tunis, prepares for an influx of over 50,000 visitors. With the dates of the forum set for Mar. 26-30, uncompleted tasks are being fast-tracked while the university campus that will host the forum is being given a security face-lift.
The extent to which Tunisians are able to express themselves freely is an ever-changing phenomenon. While the country is still in the grips of turmoil after the recent killing of left-wing politician Chokri Belaid, which sparked some of the largest protests since the initial revolution in 2011 that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the airing of dissent has become second nature for many.
Following in the wake of the wave of revolutions dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’, which originated here nearly two years ago, North Africa is gearing up to host the World Social Forum (WSF) for the first time.
A year has passed since the provisional government assumed power in Tunisia. Following in the wake of the revolutionary changes brought on by the Arab Spring, the moderate Islamic Ennahda party won the majority and formed a coalition with the two secular parties Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol in October last year.
On a sunny summer afternoon, kids start arriving with their parents at a park near Ein Rafa, a Palestinian village in the south of Jerusalem. The Arabic speaking kids stay in one cluster at first, and the Hebrew speaking kids chat among themselves. Soon a ball appears, and before long all the kids intermingle in a fast-paced game of Chinese football.
The bicycle has become a symbol of hope for hundreds of women in Uganda who have been trained in repairing one of life’s favorite transport modes.
With newfound liberties for the Kurdish minority and the government's ‘Democratic Opening' initiative the prospects for peace in 2010 are brighter than they have been in the last 25 years. The fly in the ointment is the ban in December of the pro-Kurd, Democratic Society Party (DTP).
A standoff over the likely demolition of a cultural centre is only the latest in long wrangling over the fate of Budapest's crumbling cultural and architectural landscape.