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This week's window on the Middle East - Year In Review

20 columnists from the Middle East have provided Arab Awakening with their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the region. Here is a summary of some of the best weekly columns from the past year.

Arab Awakening
5 January 2013

Each week, ten Arab Awakening columnists based across the region will take up the challenge, 'You tell us', highlighting voices, views and perspectives as they reflect what is happening on the ground in their countries. Their weekly contributions are compiled in This week's window on the Middle East, below are some of the highlights from the past year.

If you believe you have a unique voice to add to our weekly window, you can apply to join the team. To apply please send an email to Associate Editor, Bassam Gergi, at [email protected] by Friday, January 11th. Amro Ali, one of our columnists from Egypt, has written a message to current and future Arab Awakening bloggers on the top ten ways to craft and promote your column on openDemocracy.

Secret reading in Khartoum

In Sudan, the state security apparatus has adopted a new habit: confiscating and banning books. Authors and rights activists are rightly outraged, but this is helping the growth of a new reading culture in Khartoum.

The Gulf's cupcake entrepreneurs

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In the Gulf, it is all too easy to succumb to the temptation of catering to the population’s excessive tendency to consume as opposed to engaging in innovative entrepreneurship with an exportable added value.

The Revolution will not be eroticized

Even before Islamists made their mark, the state oversaw how people thought, felt and behaved. This guiding philosophy of the Mubarak regime has been inherited by the Islamists – it is an insult to millions of Egyptians that detest the state for treating them as children.

Tunisia: a reality check on women‘s rights in an abusive state

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The victim filed a complaint against the three police officers only to be charged with “intentional indecent behaviour” based on the testimony of the offenders.

 

Traffic, trash and training: building Libya’s future

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In Libya learning is by rote and independent thinking, problem solving and analytical approaches are nonexistent.

 

Almahjoob marghoub: Jordanians fight back for an open internet

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Jordan probably won’t censor its internet. But just the fact that it is still trying is extremely disappointing.

 

Dubai: a contemporary identity

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Somewhere along the way, journalistic portrayals of Dubai changed drastically. From regional success story to cautionary tale of the Middle East. And yet, Dubai has begun to develop a contemporary culture.

Strong Sudanese women

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During the June protests, the women of Sudan led many of the demonstrations and a call for a nation-wide “Kandaka Friday” was made on July 13. The term was used by the Kushites to refer to their queens.

What does Qatar want in Syria?

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The ruling Emir is putting his money where his mouth is, and opposition fighters in Syria are receiving the benefits.

 

Diary of an Egyptian Schizo

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As people we need to know why those people got fired, as some people are suggesting that some insiders must have been in on the plan as well as outsider foreign interference… We need to know what's going on since it is our own flesh and blood that keep getting killed.

Workers' strikes: the ongoing revolution from below

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With disputes between the liberal, Islamist and military forces stealing the show, the battle against the horrendous inequality that casts a deep shadow over Egyptian society constitutes the last chance to push the revolution forward before being strangled by the capitalist forces dominating the economy.

Why Syrian refugees protest

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While criticism of the AKP is either ideological or nationalist, the Turkish people’s reactions to Syrian refugees are marked by anti-Arab sentiments.


Morsi’s 100-day plan to rebuild Egypt

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Many are restless and hope for ‘change’, which often translates into ‘any kind of change’; yet which path to choose is still unclear and for many not even an issue to be considered for now.

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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