Jan 16, 2013
The second anniversary of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution reflected the deepening political divisions across the North African country. Five different political factions—two Islamist and three secular parties—took to the street of Tunis on January 14 to mark the ouster of former President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali. They had starkly different messages.
Jan 03, 2013
In 2013, millions of Israelis, Iranians, and Arabs will vote in at least 10 pivotal elections that will, in turn, address basic issues facing the Middle East. These countries have vast political, religious, ethnic, and economic differences. But most confront a common trend—the rise of the right or the religious right—that will influence elections as well as policies both at home and in the broader region.
Jan 03, 2013
The Tunisian National Constituent Assembly issued a draft constitution on Dec. 14, 2012. Civil society representatives in six of Tunisia's 24 governorates met with assembly members to discuss the text later that month. The National Constituent Assembly launched the initiative with the United Nations to "enhance citizens' participation in the debate." The following is a non-official English translation of the draft constitution by the United Nations Development Programme project in Tunisia.
Jan 02, 2013
Women from across the Middle East — from Morocco to Jordan, Egypt to Iraq — responded to the following question: What would an ideal constitution say on women’s rights?
Dec 18, 2012
The Middle East faces even bigger challenges in 2013 than it did during the first two years of the so-called Arab Spring. So far—a pivotal caveat—the Arab uprisings have deepened the political divide, worsened economic woes and produced greater insecurity. Solutions are not imminent either.
Dec 14, 2012
"On the second anniversary of the Arab uprisings, millions across the Middle East still have dreams of makeovers. But revolutionary fairy tales have devolved into the reality of running countries that are still without fully functioning governments or basic laws. Providing fundamental public services, much less addressing economic woes that sparked the uprisings, is still a very long way off," writes DIstinguished Scholar Robin Wright.
Dec 13, 2012
On December 13, Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns outlined U.S. policy in the Middle East two years after the Arab uprisings. Burns committed support for continued democratic changes and urged tolerance despite the turmoil. He emphasized the need for “sustainable democracy,” and not just stability. Burns also noted that the United States’ democratic transition “took fifteen years to deliver a President, Congress and Constitution—and even then it required ten amendments to pass and a civil war to realize its potential.” The war ended nearly 90 years after declaring independence from Great Britain.
Dec 13, 2012
Arab social media users are more likely to express their opinions on politics, community issues and religion than others in Europe, Latin America, the United States and Asia, according to a new survey by Pew. In Egypt and Tunisia, more than 60 percent of surveyed users share their political and religious views online. Less than 40 percent of European and U.S. users share their political and religious views.
Dec 11, 2012
Women played frontline roles in the Arab uprisings, but have since faced growing political hurdles during the transitions. Nine female activists from Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya outlined the specific challenges to women’s participation at a meeting sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in October 2012. They also offered strategies for empowering women.
Nov 27, 2012
Over 80 percent of respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia hold their governments responsible for helping the poor, according to the results of a new poll by Gallup. But respondents provided differing reviews of their respective governments’ social assistance programs.