This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Economic reforms for Tunisia in 2015 and beyond

It is just as important for Tunisia to address economic as security threats. Three key reforms can help maintain gains and fix pressing problems.

Missing journalists: Tunisia’s Arab Spring meets Libya’s

Two radically different “Arab Springs” have collided in the ordeal of two Tunisian journalists in Libya.

Further notes on the evolution of the jihadi international movement

The Islamic State project is finding some consensus in countries where political deadlock reduces our social lives to a primordial level. Social and economic frustration stays at an all-time high level, even in a country like Tunisia.

Defending Tunisia’s constitution

Tunisia faces the challenge of responding to security threats while avoiding a return of the security state that Tunisians rose up against in 2011. It's a rocky but clearly marked path.

Corruption: the Tunisian transition's worst enemy

The key to facing the challenge of radicalisation, while maintaining and making tangible the democratic gains since the revolution, is tackling on-going corruption.

Tunisia, bridging the gulf

The terrorist attack in Tunis highlights the challenges facing Tunisia's new government and underlines the need for western support in meeting them.

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Tunisia's security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

The Tunisian massacre did not come out of a clear blue sky. A dictatorship not as secular as presented and its naïve 'moderate' Islamist successor allowed Salafism to emerge.

Opposing political Islam in Tunisia: Mohamed Brahmi's widow speaks out

On the first anniversary of Mohamed Brahmi’s assassination, his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, denounces fundamentalism and terrorism in Tunisia.  This article is republished following the murderous attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

Tunisia's fight against fundamentalism: an interview with Amel Grami

In conversations with Karima Bennoune, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami shares her analysis of the political crisis in Tunisia during the rule of the Ennahda party, and the strategies needed to defeat fundamentalism.

The impact of the coalition on Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes

The multi-party government in Tunisia has shown the parties' willingness and ability to compromise, but has also revealed divisions that present both risk and opportunity.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

Will Essebsi reconstruct himself?

Essebsi should take this crucial moment in Tunisian history as an opportunity to reinvent himself, to rise to the many challenges he faces—greatest of which is to unite Tunisians and support the democratic transition.

This is what the Arab spring looks like

Tunisian voters seem to declare that they hold no indiscriminate prejudice. They simply have a problem with incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and abuse of human dignity.

Tunisia: the Arab exception's test

The probable election victory of Béji Caid Essebsi is a vital moment in the pioneer country of the Arab revolts. It also reveals the scale of Tunisia's economic challenges.

Tunisia’s landmark victory in the struggle against violence against women

Feminist scholars argue that the Qur’an has been misinterpreted and Islamic jurisprudence distorted by patriarchy. They regard the real enemy as patriarchy, not Islam.

The presidential election and linguistic violence in Tunisia

The leading presidential candidates and some of their supporters are setting a bad example with hostile, exclusionist rhetoric, fuelling a tense political atmosphere.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 16, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

State crime, civil society and resistance: lessons from Tunisia

What the state proclaims as legality can in reality be crime on a grand scale. What it defines as crime may instead be resistance to state crime. Only organised civil society can expose these truths.

The life of an American freelancer in the Middle East

There is an urgent need to change the narrative of the region and shift focus from bloodshed, terrorism, religious, sectarian and tribal threats to more in-depth coverage on the ground.

The decline of political Islam in Tunisia

A host of factors and failures have combined to outweigh Ennahda's successes in the transitional period, seeing its popularity shrink since its electoral victory in 2011

For history’s sake, the Arab peoples have revolted

Not only did the Arab peoples revolt, but the power of their revolts was so significant and threatening to the regional geopolitical order that the regional powers had to diffuse the collective consciousness at any cost.

The refutation of the Djerejian doctrine

When, rarely, Middle East elections take place, the Djerejian doctrine seems confirmed. But it is the west who only endorse one vote at one time, when the results serve its interests.

Tunisia: elections, justice and dignity

It is widely said that young people did not vote on Sunday, and at some of the polling stations in central Tunis there were few young people in the queues.

Your fatwa does not apply here

Karima Bennoune has won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction with her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. She spoke to Deniz Kandiyoti last year about the path that led her to collect these stories. 

Tunisia’s forthcoming elections: transition at risk and arms sales won’t rescue

The mounting social and security risks should prompt the west to engage with all segments of Tunisian society to thwart the rise of sectarianism and polarization, looming in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.

Tunisia takes steps on the road toward democracy

The Arab Spring has regained force in Tunisia as the country takes important steps towards the democratic foundation of the second republic, the most important of which are the peaceful transfer of power, the ratification of the constitution, and the formation of a technocratic government.

Feeble captain in troubled waters: Algeria’s foreign relations after Bouteflika’s re-election

The current triple crisis also constitutes a chance for Algeria. More than ever it becomes clear that the country is indispensable for a solution of the security problems in the region.

The Arab millennials will be back

Like much of the rest of the Arab Spring, the urge of the millennial generation across North Africa and the Middle East for a more multicultural world seems far from realization, but they have put it on a future Arab agenda. Its moment will return.

'Don't even talk to them': Tunisia's forgotten refugees

When international organisations declare a crisis over and refugee camps are closed, what happens to those who remain? Oliver Tringham reports on a pilot community project to restore rights and create livelihoods for refugees forgotten in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Not the end of the "Arab Spring", is it?

Much has happened in the Middle East in the last four years, but in Europe, the development of the state and of democracy took four centuries and many wars.

Tunisia’s legacy of pollution confronts democratic politics

Oudhref’s response toward the government is, ‘You ignored us for twenty years, and now the first project you bring us is a waste dump?’

The return of oppression in Tunisia

The world has been applauding Tunisia for its new progressive constitution and a new caretaker government of technocrats who are running the country until elections later this year. But do we have to accept ex-Ben Ali officials back into politics while the generation of change is being imprisoned? 

This week's window on the Middle East - May 22, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Welcome to the 'Factory of Men'.

The fate of Gulf migrant workers is deeply connected to the fate of the Arab uprisings

The more the Gulf states pay a reputational cost in the west for maintaining this system of exploitation, the harder it will be for them to resist demands for serious reform. 

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