Arab Spring

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How Social Media Helps Human Rights

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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Though I Keep Getting Detained, I'll Never Stop Being an Activist

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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Syrian Refugees Are a Shock To Lebanon's System

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.
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Israel's Future Is Brighter Than You Think

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.
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Don't Call the Arab Spring a Failure

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.
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Is the Arab Spring Coming to an End?

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.
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In Business, You Can Still Be Kind

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?
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Egyptians Need to Learn Democracy Is Imperfect

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.

Canada Shouldn't Enable Saudi Abuses

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.

Why Egypt Needs Space from Morsi

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.
AP

The Arab Spring Feels Weak on "Strongmen"

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?
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Can a Hashtag Really Influence Politics?

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.
Blaire Russell

Native Canadians Must be Idle No More on Election Day

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.
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Is the Arab Spring Most Strong in Egypt?

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?
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How Chanukah Became an American Myth

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.
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Where the Conversation About Egypt Should Go

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.