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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Background of the Arab Revolution

When the Rebels become the tyrants, Revolution takes on a new meaning. We can consider Libya a perfect example of that. Still, US government is backing Libyan rebels to achieve democracy and liberty in their nation while supporting Arab league authoritarian rule in Saudi, Bahrain or Yemen. Why ? Only vested interests in Saudi and hidden agenda in Libya !

As pointed by a journalist : Libyan assets are mainly in the US and Europe, and they amount to hundreds of billions of dollars: the US Treasury froze $30bn of liquid assets, and US banks $18bn. What is to happen to interest on these assets? The absence of any specific arrangement assets are turned into a booty, an interest-free loan, in this instance, to US Treasury and US banks. And the logic of western policy is permanent support for the Saudi elite and its guarantee of “stability” and "oil"in the region.

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford University, coined the term refolution to describe the hybrid form of change that had taken place. These transformations were non-violent and pointed to the emergence of a new approach to transformation that involves reform and revolution.

We will go through Ten articles to understand the change happening in the Arab region deeply :

1- The Student Movement in 1968 : To examine the Arab student movement in 1968, Egypt and Lebanon provide the best insight because both countries saw the most sustained student activities of the era while also proving influential throughout the region because their universities enrolled students from all over the Arab world. Betty S. Anderson gives an excellent piece which helps put current movements in a longer time perspective.

2- Egyptian transformations: Mohammed Bamyeh is a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. Sociologist Mohammed Bamyeh was present at Tahrir Square throughout the Egyptian Revolution and was able to see the popular political will unfolding. Here he singles out key elements in the uprising and describes the social transformations they have brought about.

3- The West's 'double standards' in Middle East : Support for Bahraini government's crackdown on protests is a paradox as West supports Libyan rebels, activist argues.

4 - Don't Steal Our Revolution! : The Arab democracy movement sets great store by its independence and now fears that the intervention in Libya will come with a high price tag: it could rob their protest of its legitimacy. Layla Al-Zubaidi comments on the Arabs and the Libyan Intervention.

5- The Orientalist blindness and The Arab revolution and Western decline : Haaretz, A newspaper from Israel look in the matter with a new angle for most of the readers.

6- The Turkish Chimera :  Turkey's historical experience and political evolution differ in important ways from Arab countries'. As a result, the collapse of the old power structures in many Middle East countries is likely to be accompanied by considerable political turmoil and violence, writes F. Stephen Larrabee on Turkey and the ''Arab Spring'.

7- Imperial feminism, Islamophobia and the Egyptian revolution : An article by Nadine Naber who is an Assistant Professor in the Program in American Culture, Arab American Studies, and the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

8- A revolution against neoliberalism? : If rebellion results in a retrenchment of neoliberalism, millions will feel cheated. Walter Armbrust gives a detailed report. Dr. Walter Armbrust is Hourani Fellow and University Lecturer in Modern Middle East Studies at Oxford University.

9- Paradoxes of Arab Refo-lutions : A detail study on the possibility of various changes : ‘reformist change’, ‘insurrectionary model’ and ‘regime implosion’ by Asef Bayat. Dr. Asef Bayat is Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

10- Can “Leaderless Revolutions” Stay Leaderless: Preferential Attachment, Iron Laws and Networks : by Zeynep Tufekci.

"The one thing freedom lovers need is real community. Not just the community of Web yakking. Not just the community of common ideas and ideals. But a web of institutions that serve freedom's goals." — Would You Move to the State of the Free? (2001) Claire Wolfe

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