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When we say that nowadays to call for sexual freedom in Arab and Muslim societies is more dangerous than the demand to topple monarchies or dictatorial regimes, we are not playing with metaphor or attempting to gain sympathy. We are stating a bitter and painful fact of the reality in which we are living.
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Despite the courageous and tireless efforts of many members of Tunisia's civil society, real democratic stability will fail in Tunisia unless economic policy shifts from milking an impoverished state and stifling economic freedom to creating conditions for meaningful productive employment for all.
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During the Arab Spring, social media usage in the Middle East skyrocketed. Social media has become a tool of empowerment, handing the reins over to the citizens. Over in Afghanistan, human rights activist Omaid Sharifi and IHRTP alumnus uses social media in all aspects of his work. Sharifi is a man of all trades, but focuses heavily on women's rights. Recently, he and a large group of civil society activists came together to organize a protest to condemn the recent increase in violence against women in Afghanistan
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As reported by his friend Jamil, another vendor, Bouazizi's ultimate, exasperated plea just before he lit himself on fire illustrated eloquently the economic roots of the uprising that came to be called the Arab Spring: "How do you expect me to make a living?" It is a plea the newly minted Tunisian government would do well to keep in mind as it begins to govern.
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The recent killing of two Canadian soldiers by self-professed, radicalized young men who became enamoured with a violent interpretation of Islam will bring up multiple assertions about the "root cause" for such attacks. Economic freedom and the institutional "pillars" that undergird it matter.
It's Sin City meets Homeland with a touch of House of Cards; there's something for comic book junkies and global politics nuts, too -- and plenty of food for thought for the rest of us. #foodcrisis is a new graphic novel that portrays the collapse of the world's agricultural system in 2025.
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Many International actors, including the U.S. government, support the Egyptian military, in the belief that Egypt's army can restore stability, and, in doing so, stem the flow of refugees out of Egypt. But it's the Egyptian military, through its stubbornness dealing with the conscientious objection issue, which generates refugees every day.
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The violence that spun out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria grabbed the headlines but the real problem received little attention -- lack of opportunity. This lack of opportunity for the people of the Middle East is an issue the West largely ignored and partly caused.
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I was sitting on a bench inside the military court that day, accompanied by a military intelligence agent, waiting for my military judge to arrive in the courtroom. It was a spring day, in April 2011, just few months after the revolution started. It was the fifth time I was detained in Egypt because of my activism. It isn't that I can understand the situations of people facing injustice from afar, I can feel their pain, because it's my pain as well.
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The violence in Libya, which seemed to reach a new level this week, has some cynics talking about an "Arab Winter." Middle East watchers, though, say it's still too soon to say what th...
The enormous influx of Syrian refugees has been difficult for the Lebanese people. Some estimates put the Syrian refugee presence in Lebanon at 50 per cent of the small country's total population. Hala Naufal, an Expert Demographer and professor of Population Studies at the Lebanese University, estimates the Syrian refugee count in Lebanon to now be around two million.
Israel has sailed through the international economic downturn and continues to rack up impressive economic growth rates and excel in all areas of scientific innovation. Large reserves of oil and natural gas have been discovered just off-shore. And the Arab Spring has created immense disarray in the ranks of Israel's traditional enemies.
Insisting on getting things "right" the first time is unrealistic. The world shouldn't expect the region to transform overnight. As long as freedoms and honest judiciary are guaranteed, they will act as self-correcting mechanisms that would offer future opportunities to fix previous mistakes.
It's beginning to look like Iran could be the culmination of the Arab Spring, the moment when it all comes together, where the lessons learned -- by Arabs and by the West -- from this fascinating, frustrating, bloody battle are finally put to positive, lasting use.
Mass protests have become an all-too-common post-crisis occurrence in major cities around the world. The sheer number of them elicits key questions. What is making them so prevalent? Where will the movement strike next? And more personally, how will protests affect our international business operations?
In Syria we have been, perhaps rightfully, very concerned with getting ourselves caught in a situation where we have little control or influence, and whose end is unpredictable. Syria's civilians have paid the highest price of this calculus. Now, however, that calculus must change.
While the philosophy of why we work continues to evolve and modernize, it still feels like we hold on to the dogma of what business is supposed to be. Perhaps with all of this moral awakening, sharing on social media, connecting to others and events like Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, we should be paying closer attention to the human bottom line rather than the financial one?
In my new study in Global Policy, I make the case that the Middle East is actually a region to watch as an up-and-coming economic market that will be ripe for business opportunities, investment and economic growth. The reason I'm so optimistic? The Arab youth -- yes, youth.
What we see if we look hard at Mohammed Morsi's last days and hours is a leader almost entirely isolated internationally. Why? Where were his benefactors? Why did Egypt's traditional allies, notably the United States, not stand behind him?
Morsi was bad, but sometimes not so bad, and that's pretty well par for the course. Just as we are imperfect, so are our leaders, and so is democracy, the nature of which is that not everyone gets what they want all the time. Indeed, in order for the system to work, voters have to be OK with losing -- and trying again, maybe a little bit harder, to win next time. Clearly, this is a concept many Egyptians are having trouble grasping.
After three weeks of turmoil in Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan still appears to be reluctant to resolve the political conflict in Turkey. Rather, he has further provoked the protesters by his continued dismissive and authoritarian statements.
OTTAWA - The 2011 Arab Spring uprising in the Middle East came as a surprise to the Canadian government, which risks getting caught off-guard again without a new approach to gathering intelligence, an...
Our government may say that we're engaging the Saudis to foster reform in the kingdom. Apartheid South Africa's allies made similar arguments, calling for "constructive engagement" with the racist regime. Thankfully, Canada rejected that approach and led the world on sanctions, which hastened the end of apartheid.
As Egypt's democratically elected president, one would hope that Mohamed Morsi would have a finger on the pulse of the Egyptian people. Unfortunately, he's looking more and more out of touch. An online campaign has begun, with typical good Egyptian humour, to nominate Morsi to win a trip to space -- a place where Egyptians hope he might gain some perspective on his role in Egypt's earthly troubles.
On the heels of the successful launch of BlackBerry 10 and the re-boot and re-invention of the company, I can't help but think of the people that endured the consistent barrage of abuse they were subj...
As we mark the two-year anniversary of the Arab uprisings, we see plenty of figurative post-mortems on the Arab leaders, or strongmen, that have been usurped by the masses. But what can we learn from these revolutions about the Arab people and the type of government they seek?
Social media isn't a replacement for real-world action -- it's a way to coordinate it. The fact that apathetic Internet users who plague our respective newsfeeds cannot click their way to a better tomorrow does not mean that dedicated actors -- those who would be in the trenches regardless -- cannot employ social media effectively.
During the Arab Spring,Tunisians and Egyptians awoke from the fog of fear, stood up and spoke out on the streets of Cairo and took their movement to the polls. In contrast, voter turnout for First Nations has been dismal at best. Like many oppressed Canadians, Aboriginals have diluted their own strength via their collective electoral idleness. Here's hoping for an Aboriginal Autumn that lasts through the 2015 Spring election.
In terms of the Arab Spring, Egypt is the most evolved nation. Syria is still mired in phase one; Libya is in phase three. But if the constitution is indeed accepted by the populace. Egypt will have made it to phase six -- it will have effectively completed its transition to democracy. Egypt presents the most significant storyline of the Arab Spring because it offers us the best view of what the future might look like in the Middle East. And what exactly is that?
As a Rabbi, I have always found it somewhat curious the way the general North American public looks upon the festival of Chanukah. While actually a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, it is given much significance in Western society.
But what I also find fascinating is the way that North America had to simultaneously transform Chanukah into a festivity that relates to the North American consciousness. If people are going to be celebrating this holiday then it better have a meaning with which these individuals can connect.
There is a civil discussion that is transparent and being debated publicly in Egypt. That is a case for celebration after decades of an autocracy. Nevertheless, there has been too much conversation on the role of Islam and not enough on the prerogatives of political powers. Not to belittle the problems, here are some of the issues of current debate.
There are very few things in life that simultaneously fill you with both cynicism and exhilaration like the American presidential election. And 2012 is certainly no exception. As the election cycle draws to a close, here's a look back at some of the most valuable insights from the year.