The Arab Spring and its enemies

The end of all hope

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Ultimately, the Arab Spring was a failure because the movements fighting for freedom were faced with too many enemies who sought to quash the revolutions and thwart the efforts of the region’s peoples to achieve greater democracy. An essay by …
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Confusing Democracy with Terrorism: A Region in Transition

By: John L. Esposito

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The euphoria and promise of the “Arab Uprising” or “Arab Spring” have given way to what many refer to as “Arab Winter” rather than a “Arab Spring”. Headlines such as “Military Coup in Egypt”, “Civil War in Syria”, “Armed Militias …
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Cairo is defended against its own citizens – City of walls

Since the Arab Spring, the walls have gone up in Cairo. They can’t keep the future out or the people in.
By: Nael Shama

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 Cities talk, smile, frown, wail and rejoice, but their language can be only heard by those who care to listen. A city’s architecture and art, planning and design, streets and traffic, houses and shacks, signs and billboards, advertisements and banners, …
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How America made ISIS

Their videos and ours, their “caliphate” and ours
By: Tom Engelhardt

Whatever your politics, you’re not likely to feel great about America right now. After all, there’s Ferguson (the whole world was watching!), an increasingly unpopular president, a Congress whose approval ratings make the president look like a rock star, rising …
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Islamic State fills Middle East void – IS back in business

Emerging in an increasingly chaotic Middle East, IS is profiting from the region’s growing sectarianism, political vacuum and the ambivalence of the West.
By: Peter Harling

The so-called Islamic State (IS) — the jihadist movement also known as ISIL or ISIS and by the derogatory acronym Da’ish in Arabic — now controls much of northeast Syria and northwest Iraq (1). In a region beset with so …
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Iraq Illusions

By: Jessica Tuchman Mathews

 The story most media accounts tell of the recent burst of violence in Iraq seems clear-cut and straightforward. In reality, what is happening is anything but. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), so the narrative goes, a barbaric, …
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The Sistani Factor – How a struggle within Shiism will shape the future of Iraq

By: Mohamad Bazzi

The most influential man in Iraq is an octogenarian Shiite cleric who rarely ventures out of his modest home in the holy city of Najaf. His scowling portrait hangs on walls, storefronts, concrete blast barriers, and cars throughout Iraq, yet …
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Syria in Revolt – Understanding the Unthinkable War

By: Sadik J. Al-Azm

The people’s intifada in Syria, against the military regime and police state of the Assad family, took me by surprise. I was fearful at first that the regime would crush it almost instantly, given its legendary ferocity and repressiveness. Like …
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“Five Broken Cameras”

  “Five Broken Cameras” nominated to the Oscars 2013, but will the Oscars help to bring this film to Israeli youth. “Five Broken Cameras” is the engaging story of Palestinian cameraman, Emad Burnat, who documented 6 years of the Non-violent …
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