Articles on Arab Spring

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Iraqi security forces inspect a taxi in the wake of a deadly attack on the city of Kirkuk last month. EPA/Khalil Al A Nei

Iraqi-Australians on life after the American war

Last week in Baghdad, 17 men were executed. Nothing special to note here in the conflict ridden, post-US withdrawal landscape of Iraq, except that this time they were executed by an Iraqi court. This was…
Many Syrians prefer the stability of the Assad regime to the chaos they saw after dictators were deposed in Libya and Iraq. EPA/Youssef Badawi

The Syria roulette wheel – where nobody wins

The stench of hypocrisy is a hard one to wash out for the West in the Middle East. We shook Gadaffi’s hand and pretended we liked his outfits when he coughed up for Lockerbie and we snuggled with Mubarak…
The Arab League has repeatedly failed to effect political change in the region. EPA/Amel Pain

Arab League mission to Syria was an exercise in duplicity

This weekend, Syria witnessed some of its bloodiest days since political agitation began last year. Dozens were killed after the government launched a new military offensive against rebel group the Free…
Protestor in Cairo’s Tahrir Square behind a flaming barricade. AAP/Mohamed Omar

Egypt: the Arab Spring 2.0

Recent days have seen a return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square by thousands of Egyptians concerned by what they see as a delay by the ruling military council in implement full democracy in Egypt. With reports…
We need to make sure quality is more important than quantity in our online engagement. Flickr/joshfassbind.com

Democracy drowned out by social media noise: bigger isn’t better online

Social media provokes some of the most voluminous and heated responses in two key areas of contemporary society – democracy and privacy. Promoting the first and threatening the second, social media is…
Gaddafi’s death raises moral questions about whether he should have been put on trial or not. EPA/Rehan Khan

Should Colonel Gaddafi have been allowed to live?

Muammar Gaddafi met his end after being cornered in a Sirte drainage pipe, having fled from a NATO air-strike on his convoy. Questions about exactly how he died - whether caught in crossfire or summarily…
The first free elections borne from the Arab Spring were held in Tunisia. Over 90% of registered adults voted. EPA/Zacarias Garcia

Tunisian hope and Greek despair: A week in the life of democracy

It has been a tumultuous week in the life and times of democracy in the Mediterranean. Seven days punctuated by joyous hope and its ugly opposite, sullen despair. The promising news came from Tunisia…
Colonel Gaddafi’s death presents a challenge to regional unity. EPA/Alessandro di Meo

Gaddafi is dead: What now for the region?

The death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte highlights the remarkable impact a single individual can have on a whole country. Until he was captured or killed Libyans could not get on with the job of…
After 42 years in charge of the country, and surviving a violent uprising, Colonel Gaddafi was killed in his hometown of Sirte. EPA/Khaled el-Fiqi

From dictatorship to democracy: The significance of Colonel Gaddafi’s death

The former Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been killed. He was caught in a firefight between his supporters, and rebels backing the National Transitional Council, following a Nato airstrike…
Saudi women are still segregated from men in many walks of life, but next year they will get the right to vote. AFP/Fayez Nureldine

Vote now on a socially inclusive Saudi Arabia as women get to cast their ballot

While Saudi women celebrate their hard-earned right to vote in next year’s Municipal Council elections, the frenzy of international media interest highlights just how mysterious this country remains. Women…
Coptic Christians have long been discriminated against in Egypt, but the violence against them, and the government response to it, signals concerns for democracy in the country. EPA/Mohamed Omar

Democracy in peril: Egypt’s handling of Coptic unrest

The violence in Egypt involving Coptic demonstrators, military units and unidentified thugs shocked the country and rang alarms about prospects for transition to democracy. Egypt is going through a revolution…
The capture of Colonel Gadaffi’s son was celebrated by crowds in Benghazi. EPA/STR

The next big challenge for Libya

The effort to overthrow Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi appears to be reaching its climax with key elements of his military forces surrendering to the rebels and senior members of his regime* in rebel hands. While…
Syrian troops withdraw from the city of Hama where they were quelling pro-democracy protests. AFP/STR

Solving the crisis in Syria. Where will the unrest end?

The United States has stepped up sanctions against Syria, targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s financial resources. Syria claims to have withdrawn its troops from the city of Hama, which has played a…
A portrait of President Assad in Midan, Syria. Brian Stoddard

The situation in Syria: a first hand account

Emeritus Professor Brian Stoddart, former Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe University, returned recently from an extended assignment working with universities in Syria. Below is his account of his time in a…
Still from a video showing Syrian anti-government protestors in Hama on June 3 2011. AFP/YouTube

Hama time for Syrian rebels?

As we watch the spot fires of democratic uprisings flicker across Syria it is worth remembering that the government’s response so far has been mild. The religious tensions of the country and disaffection…
Revolutions encourage people to see the world through different eyes. AFP/STR

The Arab World: a new model for civilised revolution

The lives of millions of people in the Arab-speaking world are changing. Often for the first time, women and men have jumped, danced, kissed strangers and sung in the streets. There is talk of dignity…

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