In the spotlight
May 2016, Chérine Chams El-Dine
Photos and videos of Iraqi protesters pulling down the concrete walls of the fortified Green Zone before storming the Parliament’s building, and those of Iraqi lawmakers and politicians, scared of the crowds, fleeing in luxury cars or crossing the Tigris River by boat to find refuge, made the headlines on Saturday, 30 April 2016. The crowds left the Green Zone on Sunday following a statement issued by the protests’ organising committee and distributed by the office of Muqtada al-Sadr – leader of the Sadrist Movement – whose followers massively participated in the Green Zone breach.
April 2016, Abdel-Nasser al-Ayed
Even prior to the outbreak of the revolution, north-eastern Syria, which suffered from wilful marginalisation under the Assad regime, had given indications of impending explosion. Despite the region’s vast agricultural wealth and oil resources, the local population suffered from the worst degrees of marginalisation and discrimination in the country in both economic and social terms. By 2011, around one million inhabitants had left their homes and villages to live in miserable camps on the periphery of cities in the country’s interior, driven by the absence of basic necessities in a region of limited development and opportunities. For the region’s inhabitants to get involved in the revolution seems only natural, just as the tribal nature of their society perhaps foresaw a proclivity towards violence.
April 2016, Nael Georges
This paper presents the key ideas from a new book of the same name forthcoming soon from Dar el Machreq.
March 2016, Isam al Khafaji
The Syrian revolt, which has disintegrated into a bloody attrition war, has been largely viewed as that of a majority Sunni population trying to depose a regime belonging to the minority Alawite sect. While this view may present a partially true explanation, it fails to explain why the involvement of different Sunni regions in the revolt varied to a large extent and the rising gap between the anti-Assad urbanites on the one hand and the armed militants on the other. It further fails to account for the wide diversity within the rebellion camp and the hostilities among the mushrooming opposition groups.