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This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Spring into winter: Nasser, Sisi and the fate of Egypt’s revolution

Why would a country that showed itself so courageous in confronting Mubarak’s repression now be content to sacrifice its hard won gains, and accept a regime that has gone far further?

From revolution to reaction in Egypt

Young people's experience of revolution has not evaporated, or been eradicated by oppression. Start building a new revolutionary wave that will not fall prey to the 'Islamic vs. secular' division.

Algeria’s transition to uncertainty

Algeria is facing succession scrambles and economic crisis. Why are the country’s leaders handing the country over to the IMF rather than use its political and economic talent? 

Something is rotten in the state of Tunisia

Tunisia’s foreign friends would do well to remember that in 2011 there was a revolution in, not of the system. The current state of stasis is not a good omen for the future.

Book review: The Egyptians

Jack Shenker's The Egyptians: A Radical Story is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how and why Egypt's revolution happened – and why it continues.

بعد خمس سنوات...هل فشلت الثورة؟

نحن بصدد إرهاصات انتهاء مرحلة تاريخية داخلياً وإقليمياً وعالمياً، وبهذا المعنى، يصبح سابقاً لأوانه الحكم على مآلات الثورة المصرية، أو ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي ككل. English

Five years on, has the revolution failed?

It is still too soon to judge the outcomes of such a profound and wide-ranging global upheaval. عربي

Tunisia’s fight against its revolutionary youth

The threat of terrorism has been exploited to justify anti-democratic laws and an escalation of arrests and detentions, apparently more focused on silencing dissent than anything else.

Economic reform: tackling the root causes of extremism in Tunisia

A combination of political consensus, religious inclusion and economic stability is vital to combat the alienation, deprivation and chaos that lead to extremism.

Poisoned apple: the curse of social media in the Gulf

The increased social media use in the Gulf might signify some progress for its citizens, but the extent to which it empowers them is greatly outweighed by state surveillance through the same vehicle.

Misplaced concern: the sectarian scapegoat in Bahrain

To truly counter violent extremism in Bahrain and maintain the country’s stability, the US must use its leverage to urge the government to fully implement human rights reform and political reconciliation.

Asking the right questions for the fate of Arab countries

Young people in the region are increasingly holding their parents’ generation responsible for their social and political exclusion, but it's never too late to start changing.

Lebanon's foreign minister under fire: a comment on Gebran Bassil's real estate holdings

In order to promote accountability, the Lebanese public and journalists have to abide by a code of conduct that respects the right to a fair trial and the right to a defence. 

Update: Egypt’s Hossam Bahgat released from military intelligence

The award-winning journalist was released after being held for interrogation, sparking an outcry from local and international rights organisations.

Egyptian journalist under military interrogation for “harming national security”

Prominent journalist and rights activist Hossam Bahgat faces military trial in Egypt for his investigative journalism.

Red carpets for everyone? Cameron ought to tackle Sisi on human rights

We can expect the PM to talk to Egypt's president about trade and security—but what about disappearances, detentions, and stifled dissent?

Book review: the politics of sectarianism in post-war Lebanon


A rigorous, timely examination of the reproduction of sectarianism and the forms of resistance to sectarian disciplinary power and how, in turn, the sectarian system responds to them.

What is Tunisia's Nobel prize rewarding?

By reassuring the political and economic elite and backing the privatisation operation led by sponsors and donors, this Nobel peace prize could well be one for ‘social peace at all costs’.

Why almost nobody participated in the Egyptian parliamentary elections

Awaited for more than two years, the first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt has bluntly confirmed the widespread disillusion of many voters about the country's political system.

Bahrain’s uprising: resistance and repression in the Gulf

A review of an interdisciplinary book exploring both the contemporary uprising and Bahrain’s lengthy history of contentious politics, exploring postcolonialism, foreign actors, human rights, and social media.

Will Iraq's prime minister implement Al Sistani’s anti-corruption dictates?

The wave of protests sweeping across Iraq has led Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani to demand that Abadi get serious about tackling corruption. But the prime minister's response so far has been far from reassuring.

Is it time for the European Union to reconsider its approach towards Hamas?

The EU's isolation policy towards Hamas has not worked. Instead it may be reinforcing dangerous dynamics in the region. Is it now time for an EU rethink?

Egypt: pardon evokes frustration rather than celebration

Think about the thousands who are held in prison, with or without charge, with or without trials, who are not getting the exposure necessary to make their release a political win for Sisi. 

In defence of Tunisia’s democratic sovereignty

Tunisia's sovereignty is already at risk, and its destiny now seems to depend largely on negotiations between an international oligarchy and the national plutocracy.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 2)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part two: Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 1)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part one: North Africa, Egypt and the Gulf.

Tunisia: transitional justice in the crosshairs

A proposed 'economic reconciliation' law will provide impunity for corruption and economic crimes, threatening the transitional justice process and deflecting the message at the heart of the Tunisian revolution.

On Arab Awakening: a response

Can the mass uprisings that happened across the Arab world in 2011 accurately be called an awakening? The editors of Arab Awakening defend the title of their section, while admitting that it may be time to move on.

On 'Arab Awakening'

What's in a name? A critical look at our choice of page title some years after the so called Arab Spring.

Seven myths about democracy in Morocco

Morocco: stable, reformist, and taking steady if slow steps towards democracy—right? Wrong. Some common myths debunked.


The rebirth of Iraqi cinema

A group of young Iraqi filmmakers are working on creating a local film industry, in an attempt to present alternative realities and revive Iraqi culture.

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.

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.

The right to resist in occupied Palestine: denial and suppression

The right of Palestinians to resist their occupation is enshrined in international and customary law, a fact that is denied and violated by Israel and wilfully overlooked by the rest of the world.

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