Solutions to Violent Conflict

Archive for the ‘Revolution’ Category

The Arab Spring & Western Policy Choices

In Middle East, Revolution on July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Emad El-Din Shahin

Of the several uprisings and pro-democracy revolutions sweeping through the Arab region, only two — Tunisia and Egypt — have been successful so far in toppling despotic rulers and embarking on a transitional process to establish a free democratic system.

The transitions in the two countries have been far from smooth. In Tunisia, the election of the Constituent Assembly, initially scheduled to take place this July, has been postponed to October to give political actors more time to prepare for writing a new constitution. Egypt has been experiencing similar calls for delay. Some groups are advocating a “constitution first” process, contrary to the results of the referendum that took place in March, and are urging the postponement of legislative elections scheduled for September. Read the rest of this entry »

Glimpses of the Revolution in Egypt

In Middle East, Revolution on July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Women at the forefront of protests in Tahrir Square. © Amel Pain/Corbis.

David Cortright

The enormity of what the Egyptian people have accomplished is breathtaking. The Mubarak dictatorship was brought down in just 18 days through unarmed mass revolution. Estimates of the number of people actively involved range from a low of 7 million to as high as 15 million. Exact figures may never be known, but this much is clear:  It was one of the largest outpourings of mass civil resistance in human history. Read the rest of this entry »

Women & Revolution: Notes from Tahrir Square

In Middle East, Revolution on July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Noha Tarek

Noha Tarek Abbas is a 25-year old student at Cairo University. She was actively involved in Tahrir Square during the 18 days of the revolution. These comments are transcribed from an interview in Cairo on June 8, 2011.

When we planned the actions that started the revolution on January 25, we made sure to avoid not only physical attacks but also verbal abuse. We wanted to be nonviolent in word as well as deed. Even when the police began beating and shooting us, we tried to keep calm. We knew that if we attacked the police we would be sending the wrong message to the people of Egypt.

We were engaged in an image war with the government. We were seeking to reach the people in the middle and needed to maintain a positive image. Our only tools of communication were Facebook and the Internet, and these were shut down part of the time. Our actions had to be our message. Read the rest of this entry »