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Arab Awakening weekly Open Thread: New Starts

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
4 July 2012

Each week we will 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? Whether yours is a passing observation on something you care about or a link to a good article or video, we invite you to join us.

Elections to mark a new start for Libya economy:

Nine months after the end of Libya's uprising, Mohammed hopes Saturday's election of a national assembly will mark a new start for an economy that stagnated under Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year autocratic rule.

Investors will be closely watching the outcome of the vote - with no indication of a leading contender - to see what it will mean for projects that were frozen during the fighting and for the vast opportunities likely to emerge in an oil-producing nation with the wealth to pay for construction and healthcare.

Libya's new rulers have said no major new concessions would be awarded until after the polls and are reviewing past deals.

SMILE! Tunisia Ranked Second Happiest Country in Africa

The European Council on Foreign Relations' Julien Barnes-Dacey suggests that arming the Syrian opposition is a risky proposal, asserting that such a move would risk a deeper, long-lasting civil conflict with uncertain regional consequences, would invite even wider violence, would do little to change the internal balance of power, and finally, that it may empower the regime by discrediting opposition among Syrians. Instead, external actors should offer non-lethal aid supplies and technical expertise to lay out a clear transition plan. Do you agree/disagree?

Israel's Occupy movement struggles to get its groove back

Now, as Israel’s version of Occupy Wall Street returns to the streets for a second summer, it is struggling to get its groove back. A "million-man march" has been called for July 14, but their leaders are divided, the city has banished their symbolic encampment from the city center, and there’s a perception that they achieved few tangible results despite the buzz last year.

Tweet of the Week:

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Now it is your turn!

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

 

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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