only search openDemocracy.net

Our partners

We would like to thank the Network for Social Change, Fritt Ord and the National Endowment for Democracy for their generous support of our work.

Support Arab Awakening

If you would like to support the work of the Arab Awakening editors, please get in touch with the editor: Rosemary Bechler

Bahrain on Arab Awakening

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.

« Return to Arab Awakening

Featured articles

 

Libyan political agreement: recipe for peace or disaster?

The United Nations-brokered Libyan political agreement has failed to bear any fruits thus far because it does not address the root causes of the Libyan crisis and only adds to its complexity.

US drone base in Tunisia: expanding a borderless war against terror to North Africa

By normalising the use of drones, the US might be planting a seed that people in the Arab world reject: the seed of arbitrariness.

Football’s martyrs: how the Ultras become revolutionaries

The second in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society.

Turkey: the road towards dictatorship and the west’s responsibility

The recent arrests of HDP co-leaders and MPs is another dangerous episode in Turkey’s road towards absolute dictatorship.

Syria’s “voice of conscience” has a message for the west

Syrian dissident Yassin Al-Haj Saleh talks about the left and the regime, revolution and hope, Islam and secularism.

Avoiding a precedent in Syria and the Balkanisation of the Middle East

A key part of resolving the Syrian conflict lies in establishing a more coherent military-diplomatic dynamic and in post-conflict planning, and the solution is heavily dependent on perceptions.

Turkey’s Mosul dream: showing up uninvited to a party or having prepared its seat well in advance?

Turkey is already shouldering the greatest portion of the burden for Syrian refugees.  It should temper its approach regarding Mosul accordingly.

The fight for Mosul: the danger of arming Sunni opponents to Daesh and the Sunni/Shia power struggle

The liberation of Mosul, backed up by Sunni powers, themselves backed up by western powers, will only add to the general feeling of injustice experienced by Shias and will only benefit Iran and its conspiracy theories.

Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

The current security situation in Iraq is likely to worsen if the abuses of civilians by Shia militias within the PMF are not officially recognised and appropriately responded to.

Sports diplomacy: Bahrain’s martial arts venture distracts from human rights abuses

While the use of successful sporting events is a persuasive approach to international relations, it is limited in its ability to disguise Bahrain's true nature.

‘Democratic’ doublespeak in Bahrain: how the government spins its summer of repression

If the government continues to imprison or deport every critical voice, Alfadhel’s distortion of democracy may well triumph in Bahrain.

The allure of war: the motivations of Jordanian foreign fighters in Syria

Broadly speaking, religious motivations are the primary draw for Jordanian volunteers in Syria.

Divide and conquer: offer Jabhat al-Nusra access to the Syrian peace talks

Jabhat al-Nusra’s split from al-Qaeda offers the west a unique and crucial opportunity to create a fully inclusive and strengthened transition in Syria.

Iraq 13 years on

As life goes on in Baghdad, plans need to be put in place to make people’s lives more bearable. Planning should not wait until the war ends, because in Baghdad, as in much of Iraq, war is now the new normal.

Regeni and cosmopolitanism: the false question of national belonging

"Where are you from? - Italy." "Ah, you have Regeni. We have thousands of Regeni in Syria."

Syrian detainees may be central to future negotiations - but they can’t wait that long

Rather than wait for the next round of negotiations, it is imperative that governments and international bodies continue to pressure the Syrian regime.

The political economy of the Arab Spring: searching for the virtuous circle

No matter how tragic the short and medium-term consequences of some of the uprisings, their outbreak might eventually lead the Arab world to enter steadily the trajectory to democracy and good governance.

Why most Syrian men are not joining ISIS

It is by recognising the role masculinities and gender expectations play in societies that we can fully understand and hope to address violence.

The "Coptic issue" and the cycle of suffering

Mina Fayek

To single out the mistreatment of Copts and the failure of the state to protect them, as a “Coptic issue”, is a wrong diagnosis of the problem.

The fluidity of identity among Jordanian foreign fighters in Syria

Jordanian volunteers in Syria come from diverse ideological backgrounds that do not necessarily align with the groups they join.

The persistence of elite control in Syria

If lasting political change is to occur in Syria, the experience of its neighbours must be heeded.

Silence in the media brings more destruction to Turkey

The Kurds are now asking world media to inform ‘Superman’ of yet another attack on their homeland in Turkey.

The covert drone war in Yemen

The United States’ covert drone war in Yemen - at least 15 years old now – continues. European countries are directly and indirectly involved.

The Libyan GNA: the rise and impending fall of the Libyan political agreement

A viable Libyan state that will restore normalcy and security to the daily lives of its citizens must be given the same priority as the international community’s immediate desire to combat Daesh. 

Demolitions in the West Bank

The Bedouin and rural communities in the Jordan Valley are remote from the conflict, yet key victims of a campaign of oppression.

Yazidi women sold as sex slaves

IS militants are now resorting to social media to sell sex slaves online. 

Continuous catastrophe, yet still we seek accountability

Commemorating the Nakba and protecting refugee camps are entwined and equally critical endeavors: without historical accountability, without identifying perpetrators and victims, there is no redemption.

Defeating the Islamic State will take more than gunpowder

Attempting to defeat IS without beginning to address the political and structural failures that have led to these circumstances borders on the ridiculous.

Iran’s military objectives in Syria and Russia’s contradictory positions

As the US and Russia speak of a mutual agreement over Syria, Iran and Assad are continuing their ruthless slaughtering of the Syrian people.

ISIS and Israel on the Golan Heights

The Yarmouk Valley is run by ISIS – and left alone by Israel. This is a testament to the complex, cynical and calculated machinations of the actors in this conflict.

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.

Syndicate content