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Violent Transitions

Speaking to a delegation of Latin dignitaries in 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” His words ring prophetic as regimes in Egypt, Syria and Yemen who refuse to cede to the peaceful demands of their people find themselves locked in a deadly dance.

Arabs who have decided to seize their own destiny are confronted with regimes that are willing to use any means necessary to retain power. As Arabs struggle to overthrow their regimes, we will explore ways of averting violence, the virtues and drawbacks of international intervention and the sacrifice tens of thousands of Arabs are making for their freedom.

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Can Sisi stop Egypt’s implosion?

Maged Mandour

Neither Sisi nor anyone else can bring stability to the country without radical social transformation, to address the key issues that brought about revolt in the first place.

Christians among the victims in an unstable Yemen

Christians and Yemen’s other dwindling minorities are now being targeted with little hope of protection from a divided, dysfunctional, and deteriorating state.

Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria: an argument for protecting humanitarian law in US politics

The extremist goals of those who seek to abolish such laws reflect a deeply problematic ideology, in which guilt by association is a celebrated norm.

On the spectacle of violence

Maged Mandour

Violence and repression are becoming more severe, and are symptomatic of the failure of Arab leaders to build a hegemonic vision they can use to control the citizenry. 

Palmyra and propaganda

Those who unthinkingly applaud the Assad regime for recapturing Palmyra run the risk of looking as though they care more for Roman ruins than Syrian lives.

Politics, racism and Israel/Palestine

If we need to be vigilant against the evil of antisemitism, we need to be equally vigilant against the kind of virulent racism which is gaining ground in Israel.

The untouchables: Egypt’s petty security officials

Maged Mandour

The regime has unleashed a wave of repression that it can no longer control. Power now lies in the hands of those that police local communities: Egypt’s new untouchables, the petty security officials.   

Giulio Regeni, Egypt, and the deafening silence of Europe

Giulio Regeni's case is not only about academic freedom, but about the responsibility of EU states to protect their citizens: silence cannot be the response to his torture and murder.

Why airstrikes on ISIS in Libya could worsen the situation in Tunisia

Concerns that bombing ISIS in Libya might destabilise Tunisia were tragically confirmed last week, as ISIS militants assaulted military and security facilities in Ben Guerdane, killing more than 50 people.

Why many young Arabs join violent radical groups

The key to combating extremism is prevention. But what are the conditions that lead youth to become radicalised?

Shame on those who try to justify Giulio Regeni’s assassination

Claims that Regeni’s supervisors bear responsibility for sending him into danger are outrageous, betraying both ignorance of the facts and a severe lack of empathy.

Coalition air strikes and the Sunni 'endgame' in Syria, Iraq

The pattern of strikes by the disjointed US-led coalition of Operation Inherent Resolve remains the best and most reliable public indicator of intentions and future operations in the short-term.

On Israel flattening Beirut: there is nothing new under the sun

The infamous Haaretz op-ed restates an 11-year-old thesis known as the "Dahiya Doctrine," developed and implemented during the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2014 Gaza assault.

The current situation in Yemen: causes and consequences

The conflict will not lead to a clear victory: there will need to be some difficult compromises. Meanwhile, the destruction continues and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State terrorists are exploiting the situation.

To the shores of Tripoli

Great Britain and Italy are preparing to send ground troops to Libya, and American troops will likely be involved eventually – ironic developments given western intervention helped create a failed state in Libya in the first place.

Reflections from Arab Spring to refugee crisis in Europe: an argument for measure and the rule of law

As we must find ways to deal with economic migration in all its variations and the effects it has on society and economy, we must offer a rights-based welcome to those who qualify for asylum.

Peace: a meaningless concept?

Netanyahu and suicide bombers represent two sides of the same coin; both lethal and unstoppable.

Saudi executions: beyond the numbers

The inability to recognise an affront to the rule of law, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator, reveals the region’s dire state of affairs, politically, morally, and intellectually. Arabic

Yemen: independent intellectuals under threat

Polarisation is wiping out all independent or dissenting voices. Yemeni intellectuals are constantly at risk of acts of violent intimidation, arrest or assassination. Français

Tunisia’s fight against its revolutionary youth

The threat of terrorism has been exploited to justify anti-democratic laws and an escalation of arrests and detentions, apparently more focused on silencing dissent than anything else.

Al-Qaeda or ISIS? Al-Shabab's loyalty dilemma

Al Qaeda’s franchise model continues to be attractive for al-Shabab despite the rise of ISIS.

Outside the box: a Sunni endgame in Syria, Iraq?

A series of related events point to a possible endgame scenario in Syria and Iraq.

Israel Firsters

For the past few months Israelis and Palestinians have experienced a wave of terrorist attacks mainly on civilian targets. Peace education may have an answer.

Exceptional Israel: the case for BDS

case for BDS by other means.

Conflicting interests in crowded skies prolong Syria’s agony

Turkey-Russia spat is a symptom of different, often incompatible agendas.

The paradox of the Syrian conflict and its politics

While the French president has won public approval and international backing for the fight against IS, differences persist about the necessity of coordinating with Russia.

The Islamic State that isn’t

Why do western media call a barbaric terrorist group the ‘Islamic State’ when it is neither Islamic nor a state?

Why it would be sheer folly to redraw Middle East borders along ethnic lines

However groundless the Sykes-Picot Agreement, is a Balkanisation of Syria and Iraq really the way forward?

How ISIS provincialised Europe

A politics of blame, of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, serves only to endorse ISIS’s Manichean worldview. Only an ethos of intercultural dialogue can help produce the "strange multiplicity" that an irreversibly multiethnic Europe so urgently needs.

No peace and quiet for Israel until the occupation ends

Palestinian activists are faced with knowing that their unarmed resistance, whilst it has attracted international civil society support, has failed to exercise any leverage over Israel.

The movement of refugees to Europe will continue, regardless of how dangerous EU states make it

Until the war ends and concerted international efforts to rebuild Syria and Iraq are implemented, the root causes of mass displacement will remain.

The thinking behind a mental health workers pledge for Palestine

Concerned professionals may need to move beyond their accustomed professional roles to support a genuine transformation in Israel and occupied Palestine that respects the human needs and rights of all who live there.

Russia’s policy in the Middle East imperilled by the Syrian intervention

This risky experiment in power projection continues traditional Russian policy in the region, but also departs from the careful manoeuvring aimed at exploiting confusion in US and European policies.  

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The ISIS threat: terror, propaganda and ideology

Mainstream Muslim scholars must engage with reinterpreting passages of the Qur'an that seem to support ISIS' treatment of women. Translated excerpt from Trusselen fra IS: Terror, propaganda og ideologi.

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