Is Bangladesh just trying to process its dark legacy, the trauma of the genocide that took place during the country´s liberation war in 1971? Or is something more afoot?
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.
Having survived the announced end of the world on Dec. 21, we can now try to foretell our immediate future, based on geopolitical principles that will help us understand the overall shifts of global powers and assess the major risks and dangers.
As the Arab Spring continues to rage across the Middle East and North Africa, the gaze of the international media has largely passed over a country that was once known for its restive population, its long and bloody decolonisation struggle and revolutionary zeal.
The Arab Spring is far from over. The protracted conflict in Syria continues to swallow lives while the international community, hamstrung by geopolitics, looks on; riots across the Muslim world following the release of a low-budget American movie that is disrespctful of the Prophet Muhammad resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya; Tunisia and Egypt continue to struggle with post-revolutionary economies; and a string of democratically elected Islamist governments has taken root in newly-liberated countries throughout the region.
The recent visit by Abd al-Halim Murad, head of the Bahraini Salafi al-Asalah movement, to Syria to meet with Syrian rebels is an attempt by him and other Gulf Salafis to hijack the Syrian revolution.
The on-going hunger strike of nine Algerian court clerks, coupled with the government’s indifference to their demands for an independent labour union, have stirred debate about Algeria’s role in the Arab Spring, which many see as an incomplete attempt to overturn a deeply flawed political and economic system.
The Arab Spring sent scores of sick and injured Libyans, fleeing their war- torn country, straight to Jordan, where the influx of patients is putting a lot of pressure on Jordanian hospitals and disrupting the lives of Libyan and Jordanian patients alike.
At the battered terminal of Tripoli’s tiny Mitiga airport, over 150 young men and women jostle to be repatriated home to Nigeria on Libya’s Buraq airlines. This journey to Lagos is one of hundreds the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has facilitated since the start of the uprising against Gaddafi’s regime over a year ago.
The Arab world is talking about a revolution; not just out on the streets but in films, in newspapers, in songs – using any means necessary to document events, expose the horrors of war and explore the struggles and possibilities that lie ahead as the Arab Spring feels the wintry chill of post-revolutionary democratic challenges.
The United Nations, which remains politically deadlocked over the drawn-out crisis in Syria, has hit another roadblock, this time over humanitarian assistance to the thousands of men, women and children caught up in the 11-month-old conflict.
In the Friends of Syria meeting held in Tunis last week, Gulf Arab monarchies offered nearly unqualified support for the Syrian opposition, while the democratic states were more cautious.
The ongoing crackdown by Egypt’s military rulers on a handful of civil society groups accused of receiving illegal foreign funds has far-reaching implications for the estimated 40,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the Arab world’s most populous country.
A year ago the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was greeted with general satisfaction and considerable relief. Was it already possible to glimpse (for example, in the spectacle of the Egyptian leader being judged bedridden in a cage) the difficulties that lay ahead for North Africa and the Middle East fulfilling the promise of the "Arab Spring"?