Arab Awakening weekly Open Thread: Africa's Spring

Arab Awakening's weekly Open Thread provides an opportunity for our columnists, writers, and YOU to share what has caught your attention this week in the Middle East in the comments section.

Arab Awakening
23 July 2012

Each week we offer up a couple of quotes and tweets that we think might generate a conversation in the comments section. And our columnists who write This Week's Window on the Middle East will hopefully add a comment on what they are seeing unfold around them and what they are considering writing about for the following week.

Why don't you comment below?

Who’s heard of the ‘African Spring’?

Writing for oD, Clive Gabay argues: if we are to learn anything from the rapidity with which revolution occurred in Egypt and was then rolled back, it is that social change takes time, and requires a broader social base than just the urban middle class elite which characterised the Tahrir Square phenomenon. What we hear from protest movements across Africa therefore is not negativity, but struggle. And struggle for sustainable indigenous solutions to Africa’s problems requires the kind of mass mobilisation which takes time and effort to build.

Are the smaller grassroots efforts from African states overshadowed by the Arab or Occupy spheres?

LSE's Nabila Ramdani says that fifty years after Algeria's independence, France is still in denial: Just as France continues to infuriate the Arab world with its opportunistic policies in countries like Libya and Tunisia (supporting tyrants one week, and then turning on them the next), so it pretends that it was acting in the best interests of Algerians all along. Meanwhile, those once-colonised people who were young and ambitious on 5 July 1962 can, more than anyone else, see through this manipulation of history. The decade of the 1960s will always be as clear in their collective memory as it is for the millions who remember it for its fun and glamour.

WE ARE FED UP! An anonymous author writes: The recent protests in Sudan attest to the rise of a new generation of Sudanese youth activists. At the heart of this emerging political force is Girifna, a youth-led movement which has been using internet power, confrontational street tactics, and advocacy to stand up to the regime of Omar al-Bashir.

Tweet of the week:


Now it is your turn!

What are you reading, what should we be covering, what is on your mind?


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