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This week's editor

Dawn Foster, Co-Editor

Dawn Foster is Co-Editor at 5050 and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

European values and the Arab world

Maged Mandour

EU politicians can promote 'European' values by stopping their support for autocratic regimes, and by starting to ask tough questions about radicalisation.


Oil and accountability in Tunisia: “Winou el pétrole?"

After elections that saw observers laud Tunisia as the Arab Spring’s solitary success story, Tunisians are demanding to know what happens to their country’s natural resources.

Should western countries support Tunisia and if so how?

The new Tunisian leaders would prefer that westerners invest in Tunisia by building factories and processing plants, creating thousands of jobs for Tunisians at home and quality goods at fair prices.

Jihadists and activists: Tunisian youth five years later

Refocusing attention on activist youth helps clarify the complexity of this historical moment we have variably called the 'Arab Spring' or 'Arab Awakening'.

Window on the Middle East - July 28, 2015

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. 

Tunisia – tug of war?

Tunisia is now at a crossroads, facing the largest challenge to its democratic transition yet. How should it respond without undermining the rights and freedoms that have been so resolutely fought for?

Eradicating violent extremism from Tunisia? Dry up the sources

It will be important to empower young people, to train them to exercise critical thought, and to make them conscious of the importance of their participation in society. A call to civil society.  

Middle East mix of feudal and dictatorial systems

The political future of the region is unclear, because it depends on the evolution of different political systems. What degree of secularisation/Islamism will these societies allow?

Tunisia's entrepreneurial spirit

Tunisia's startups are not the cure-all to the country's profound economic problems, but they're a step in the right direction.

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.

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