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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

"Big Brother": the art of subversion

Art achieves its highest purpose when it questions the structures of power in a society. A goal that "Big Brother", a satirical show in Egypt, achieves.

The return of the Ultras Ahlawy?

Are communities that are not directly political more effective today? More capable of resisting repression and able to maneuver and challenge the state’s iron fist?

تنصيب السيسي والمعارضة المصرية

في محاولة لحصر السلطة بشكل مركزي، يسعى النظام إلى خلق عدوّ موحّد هو كناية عن تحالف بين المعارضة والنخب الأمنية والمدنية المستاءة.  English

التونسيون يعترضون على قرارات صندوق النقد الدولي

يبرز نضال الطبقة العاملة التونسية ضدّ الفقر والفساد والبطالة الآن أكثر من أيّ وقت مضى. English

You've kept your power, Arab rulers, but at what cost?

Let us never forget that those who make peaceful uprisings impossible will eventually make violent revolution irresistible. 

Tunisians oppose the IMF

The Tunisian working class’ fight against poverty, corruption and unemployment is ever more present. عربي

The anti-Islamist campaign and Arab democracy

Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Arabs deserve better than to be told that they must choose between extremism and chaos or autocracy.

Despite Tunisia's positive reforms, more changes are needed

Many in Tunisia feel that the lifting of the ban on women marrying non-Muslims is merely a small step, and greater democratic reforms are needed.

نَمرةٌ تأكل أولادها الثلاثة من شدة الجوع في سوريا

وقع خليفة مرةً أخرى في صراع نفسي بين الموت مع القرب والحياة مع الفراق، قبل أن يقرر أخيراً الموافقة على إخراج جميع الحيوانات رغبةً منه في منحهم حياةً أفضل.

الربيع العربي..عودة للأسباب وتصحيح اتجاهات أصابع الاتهام

العوامل الموضوعية المؤدية إلى انفجار الثورات العربية تكاد تكون متطابقة في معظم الدول العربية، وكانت شرارة الاحتجاجات، وإن لم تلعب الدور الأكبر في استمرارها، تباين مساراتها لاحقاً.

Egypt: an obsession with the state

The view that social struggle should be repressed is hindering the opposition. Unless the view of the state and its coercive apparatus changes, the chances of wide scale social transformation are limited.

Questions of legitimacy

The people of Egypt need to accept that they have to forge their own path to democracy, which at this point in history will most likely come at a bloody price.  

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

Who will defend Egypt’s human rights defenders?

NGOs play an essential role in local communities; the government’s reckless, repressive actions will jeopardize the country’s future.

Why aren't Egyptians revolting against the price hikes?

Some are frustrated at the Egyptian public’s ‘non-reaction’ to the waves of successive price hikes and deterioration of living standards. العربية

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

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