Category Archives: Arab World

Amnesty International report reveals Egypt police own sniper rifles

The international human rights watchdog Amnesty International has revealed that in 2010 Egypt’s Ministry of Interior received two sniper rifles from Finland.

In a report published on Wednesday about arms’ transfers to countries that crackdown on political dissent in the Middle East, Amnesty said that the Finnish government “licensed two sniper rifles (TRG-22 and TRG-42) for the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.”  Continue reading


Unrest in the Arab World: interactive map and timeline

Unrest in the Arab World is a nicely presented interactive map and a timeline designed by CNN in which it details the significant moments in the Arab Spring. Continue reading

New Publication on Arab Spring

It’s more than six months now since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak (who’s being tried right now).

Viewpoints, publication by the Middle East Institute (MEI), have issued a new collection entitled Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East: Agents of Change.

MEI has said that this is the first of three publications dealing with Arab Spring.

The contributions are:

Stephen Zunes : he Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions.

Srdja Popovic and Kristina Djuric :The Real Force Behind the “Bad Year for Bad Guys.”

Charles Schmitz: Yemen’s Spring: Whose Agenda?

Ronald Bruce St John: The February 17th Revolution in Libya.



Kristian Coates Ulrichsen has a nice piece entitled The Political Transformation of the Middle East and North Africa

Tarek Masoud  has written a lengthy article at Journal of Democracy  entitled The Road to (and from) Liberation Square.” (My impression is that  Tarek is a good researcher but he once wrote in Foreign Policy defending Gamal Mubarak, arguing that Mubarak’s son is best hope for democracy.)

Egypt’s papers: Israelis protest like an Egyptian


Egypt’s flagship paper Al-Ahram has been brave enough to highlight the recent Israeli political turmoil, in which hundreds of thousands of protesters have staged marches over the rising cost of living.

The paper runs a story on its front page that reads: “They raised the slogan ‘as the Egyptians did’: A quarter of a million Israelis protest demanding social justice.” Continue reading

Sha’bi singer Hassan al-Asmar dies at age of 52


Popular singer, Hassan al-Asmar, passed away on Sunday morning, marking the end of an era characterized by the rise of Sha’bi (working class) music. He died at the age of 52 due to a sudden heart attack, a medical source reported.

Asmar’s family comes from the Upper Egyptian province of Qena, yet he grew up in the historical middle-class neighborhood of Abbasseya in Cairo. Continue reading

Amnesty International: Mubarak trial must be fair and transparent

Army in Tahrir/Reuters Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

On Tuesday (2nd of August), the human rights watchdog Amnesty International has said in a statement that the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must be fair, transparent and reveal the full truth about the unlawful killing of anti-government protesters during this year’s mass protests. Continue reading

The 1952 revolution: A legacy of cultural transformation

Nasser, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Om Kalthoum in Cairo 14 January, 1960

Critics and historians agree to some extent that the Free Officers Movement didn’t have any concrete idea about framing the nation’s new cultural identity after the ouster of King Farouk I. The revolution’s ambiguous relationship with culture started with remarks made by General Mohamed Naguib (Egypt’s first president) when he alleged that cinema’s sole role was to entertain. Continue reading