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On the 17 December 2010, one month before Tunisian President Ben Ali was to step down, a street vendor in Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire in protest at the harassment and humiliation that he faced from municipal authorities. Mohammed Bouazizi’s heroic act of martyrdom sparked a revolution that spread across Tunisia and then throughout the Arab world.

The successful momentum of the revolution in Tunisia awoke a region that has suffered under a long line of authoritarian regimes. Arabs from all walks of life are standing up to their oppressors and through protest are redefining the power relationships which long governed Arab politics. Despite a decade spent in the west discussing the threat of Islamic terror, Arabs are not turning to transnational jihad, but a disciplined refusal of violence by citizens which is challenging national and international politics as we know it. Return to Arab Awakening

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: a class under siege

The urban middle class in Egypt is averse to situations where class conflict is heightened and thus justifies repression by the state.

Tunisia’s struggle against corruption: time to fight, not forgive

A new economic reconciliation law protects clientelist structures in Tunisia and replaces the process of transitional justice, but a real transition away from the old authoritarian social contract will be impossible if it passes.

لماذا لم تنتفض الجماهير ضد ارتفاع الأسعار؟

مع كل موجة ارتفاع للأسعار أو أي قرار بزيادة قيمة أي من الخدمات أو السلع، لماذا لا يثور المصريون؟ English

Blogging at the time of dictatorship

The Tunisian Internet Agency is responsible for harming national memory. Questions need to be answered and those responsible need to be held accountable.

Towards an inclusive and pluralistic citizenship in Syria

Talk about building a new form of citizenship in Syria might seem unrealistic today, but in fact, it should be seen as a long-term strategy.

'The oppression is brutal’: Morocco breaks up Western Sahara protest ahead of UN talks

The confrontation highlights the Moroccan routine response towards self-determination and human rights activists in the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

The victims of tyranny and the need for transitional justice in Tunisia

It is important that a law be enacted to criminalize the whitening of dictatorships so that those longing for the past stop their hopeless ventures of trying to falsify history.

Why sectarianism fails at explaining the conflict in Syria

While sectarianism may be a component, its role as the primary cause of the war remains secondary.

Sisi’s neoliberal assault: context and prospects

Six years after the January 2011 revolution, the need for a return to its demands and slogans have never seemed more urgent.

The revolutionary arena: a battle of minds

Six years have passed since that fateful day on January 25. As Egypt plummets into a terrible state, people can't help but ask: "Was it worth it?"

Crossing the rubicon: how Egypt’s government and public opinion reshaped the Ultras legacy

The final piece in a four-part series on football fandom in Egypt and how the fans are now labelled 'terrorists'. عربي

شهداء كرة القدم: كيف أصبح مشجّعو الألتراس ثوّاراً؟

هذا الجزء الثاني من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري.English

The death of Mohsen Fikri and the long history of oppression and protest in Morocco's Rif

A month after Mohsen Fikri’s death, the ongoing protests in Morocco’s Rif expose a long history of marginalization in the region.

Football’s martyrs: how the Ultras become revolutionaries

The second in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. عربي

Turkey: the road towards dictatorship and the west’s responsibility

The recent arrests of HDP co-leaders and MPs is another dangerous episode in Turkey’s road towards absolute dictatorship.

Sports, politics, revolution: how a hardcore football fan club impacted Egyptian consciousness

This is the first in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. Part One: Introducing Egypt's Ultras. عربي

Whose revolution?

The Egyptian mass protests can only be classified as a reform movement that had hoped to create a liberal order. A modest goal that has degenerated into a full-spectrum military autocracy.

‘Democratic’ doublespeak in Bahrain: how the government spins its summer of repression

If the government continues to imprison or deport every critical voice, Alfadhel’s distortion of democracy may well triumph in Bahrain.

Erdogan at a crossroad: dictatorship or democracy

An interview with A.H. Banisadr, Iran’s former president, about the aftermath of the coup in Turkey.

تركيا 2016 ومصر 2013: سياسة الوقت

ليست القدرة على تمييز اللحظة التاريخية عن غيرها من اللحظات هي التي تفرّق المسار التركي عن المسار المصري وإنّما هي اللحظة التاريخية بحدّ ذاتها وما تمثّله. English

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: counter-revolution and the state

Maged Mandour

The inability of the counter-revolutionary forces to appeal to more than the need for security means that the current political order can only be maintained through the use of coercion and violence.

Regeni and cosmopolitanism: the false question of national belonging

"Where are you from? - Italy." "Ah, you have Regeni. We have thousands of Regeni in Syria."

Egypt - the resistance

In the Arab world, even the smallest acts of resistance can give a sense of self-worth, encouraging a long-demoralized people to feel that change, after all, is possible.

Turkey 2016 and Egypt 2013: the politics of time

It isn’t the capability of recognizing a historical moment that differentiates the Turkish trajectory from the Egyptian, it is rather the historical moment itself and what it represents. عربي

The political economy of the Arab Spring: searching for the virtuous circle

No matter how tragic the short and medium-term consequences of some of the uprisings, their outbreak might eventually lead the Arab world to enter steadily the trajectory to democracy and good governance.

Why most Syrian men are not joining ISIS

It is by recognising the role masculinities and gender expectations play in societies that we can fully understand and hope to address violence.

Turkey’s coup failed everywhere, except in Egyptian media

Egypt's media welcomed, unabashedly, the Turkish military coup; prematurely hailing Erdogan’s overthrow.

Bahrain's uprising and its movement for radical change

Women and youth were at the forefront of Bahrain's uprising in February 2011, and are at the heart of the ensuing movement for radical change.

Why is a military coup in Saudi Arabia possible?

Saudi Arabia is the most significant player in determining the future of the Arab revolutions. There are two ways to break this stalemate: replace Saudi regional hegemony, or change the regime controlling it.

Can Sisi stop Egypt’s implosion?

Maged Mandour

Neither Sisi nor anyone else can bring stability to the country without radical social transformation, to address the key issues that brought about revolt in the first place.

A fascist history of the Egyptian revolution III: phase two, from the numinous to the real

What we see today is not a revolt against the ruling class, but rather a battle within this class; an attempt to redistribute the state’s power and resources.


Young grassroots activism on the rise in Iraq: voices from Baghdad and Najaf

Through banners and slogans, grassroots groups find new, inclusive ways of being Iraqi in a country traumatised by authoritarianism, occupation and sectarian war.

Interview: Martin Kobler, the UN envoy trying to put Libya back together

The veteran German diplomat speaks about the challenge of uniting Libya and ending a civil war.

‘Killing a student is killing a nation’: Sudanese universities revolt

Seven Sudanese public universities have witnessed waves of protests during the past week: the crackdown on civil society has made them the only spaces left to exercise freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Where are the workers?

Even though the number of strikes and industrial actions in Egypt has skyrocketed since the mid 2000s, labour's demands have mostly been local and fragmented.

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