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People carry the body of a protester killed during a protest on Monday, as they gather at a Shi’ite village cemetery in Sanabis, west of Bahraini capital Manama, February 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

Bahrain: anti-government protests continue despite brutal crackdown (big photo gallery)

from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin

Arab democracy rising: international lessons, Vidar Helgesen

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Vidar Helgesen
The popular revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east are driven by a profound democratic impulse. This represents both learning and test for international democracy actors, says Vidar Helgesen.

What does Libyan revolution mean for bit.ly?

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

DomainWire asks what will happen to the popular bit.ly URL shortener if Libya shuts down its Internet service (.ly is the country code for Libya). Several people have noted that no matter how cute the .ly suffix is to us in a domain name, it is ultimately controlled for a loony dictator, and therefore perhaps not suitable as a piece of global network infrastructure.

Sacrifice and the Ripple Effect of Tunisian Self-immolation

from American Anthropological Association by Amy

We welcome a guest column by AAA member Sami Hermez (PhD, Princeton University). Sami is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Lebanese Studies at St. Antony?s College, University of Oxford.

I was in Lebanon when the Tunisian revolt began.  I attended an event with activists that made me feel hopeful because it was the first time that a large group of people came to rally behind a cause that was not Palestinian or Lebanese.  Soon after, I was in Oxford when Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was deposed, and when the Egyptian revolts broke out days later on January 25, 2011.  Tens of thousands of people took to the streets that day, in what was seen as an unprecedented act in Egypt.  Since then, people in Egypt have inspired me, and I have been left in awe and disbelief that President Hosni Mubarak has been toppled and his regime left in decay.  The revolts in Egypt and Tunisia left over 500 dead and thousands injured.  It is these people?s sacrifices that I want to reflect on, and on their ability to sacrifice themselves for change, a powerful phenomenon that no regime could ever take away from its people.

The new middle east: a civic revolution, Ramin Jahanbegloo

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Ramin Jahanbegloo
The democratic wave sweeping the Arab world, and shared by Iran, opens a new agenda for the civic activists who helped make it possible, says Ramin Jahanbegloo.

Jordan: Societal Criticism through Humor

from Global Voices Online by Betsy Fisher

Written by Betsy Fisher

Jordanians will tell you that they are not known for being a happy people. On occasions such as a football victory, with cars honking and shouts of joy, onlookers will point out that, unlike a typical day, Jordanians are smiling. Participants of the hashtag #Jordanianlies are out to prove the stereotype wrong. #Jordanianlies features statements Jordanians hear that are often untrue. Thus, the hashtag uses humor to point out faults in Jordanian society. While the majority of #Jordanianlies posts center on gender relations, work situations, and everyday life, a few have ventured into political criticism.

BREAKING NEWS Bahrain: More Gunshots in Capital

from Global Voices Online by Yacoub Slaise

Jordan: Tweets for Reform

from Global Voices Online by Betsy Fisher

Internet Down in Libya As ?Day of Rage? Fatalities Mount

from Mashable! by Jolie O’Dell

Bahrain: peaceful protests turn violent as police attack demonstrators

from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin

Egypt: Lessons from Iran, Saeed Rahnema

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Saeed Rahnema
With their admirable courage and perseverance the Egyptian people have achieved a great success in toppling a corrupt dictator. But have they pushed their revolution far enough forward to prevent the US-backed army and dominant classes aborting the whole process?

Internet Restricted in Bahrain as Protests Escalate

from Mashable! by Sarah Kessler

2011-02-18 The Arab Revolution Saudi Update

Authored by Saudiwoman

Remember, in a former post, when I said that Saudis were captivated and shocked by what happened in Tunis and Egypt but hadn?t collectively made up their mind about it? Well it appears that they have. Everywhere I go and everything I read points to a revolution in our own country in the foreseeable future. However we are still on the ledge and haven?t jumped yet.

Morning Brief: Demonstrations met with violence throughout Middle East

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Iran: Whose Martyr is He?

from Global Voices Online by Hamid Tehrani

Written by Hamid Tehrani

The Iranian pro-regime and opposition forces have each been battling to claim Saleh Jaleh as their martyr. He was killed by gunfire on February 14 when the opposition demonstrated in Tehran and several other cities.

Cables illuminate U.S. relations with Bahrain, potential for unrest

from Wiki Leaks by Elizabeth Dickinson

2011-02-15 Yemen protests turn violent

Yemen protests started in mid January with a self immolation and the arrest and release of Yemeni activist Tawakel Karman, and they have not really stopped since. A Day of Rage was organized for February 3 but tens of thousands were in the streets on January 27 as well as many smaller protests, throughout the time period.

MAIN FOCUS: Libyans protest against Gaddafi | 18/02/2011

from euro|topics

At least nine people were killed in the course of protests on Thursday against the Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. The demonstrators have taken hope from the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and are denouncing the squandering of Libya’s riches, the press writes.

Too many to arrest

from From the field by arn

Anger and resentment has been seething not for months or years but for several decades across the Middle East.  The particulars from one case to another differ obviously, but the complaints of corruption, petty and profound arrogance, and deafness to the demands for economic opportunity, a place to live, and respect for the dignity of the person are common.  For younger people, the complaints often come down to the fact that a person cannot afford to marry, or live a decent, even marginally fulfilling life.  I have heard these complaints firsthand and often in Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria and in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Among U.S. political and media elites the pressing question for the past two weeks has been how will freedom for Egyptians be bad for Israel?

from From the field by arn


This concern particularly extends to the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood, or any other group that is critical of Israel be permitted to share power in Israel.  This concern misses the point that many, but by no means all Egyptians, are deeply critical of Israel.  Even Egyptians well distant from the Ikhwan are often prone to underline that Egyptian cooperation with Israel probably reduced Israel’s incentives to pursue a resolution of the conflict that would end the occupation.  Whether the Ikhwan is in or out of government, Egyptians’ distaste for Israel’s policies is likely to remain.

2011-02-16 Eyes on Algeria as Protests Continue [UPDATE:1]

from WL Central by kgosztola

February 14 in Iran: the silence of fear has been shattered, Afshin Shahi

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Afshin Shahi
Since the new year, almost every eight hours someone has been executed in Iran. The authoritarian backlash against the major uprising of 2009 has held Iranians in a climate of fear, but the protests this week mark a new chapter for the Green Movement.

2011-02-15 Saudi Arabia warned of revolution as protests continue and King Abdullah rumoured dead

from WL Central by GeorgieBC

What next for Egypt

from Protect The Human by Mary


After 30 years of grinding poverty and repression, the people of Egypt have taken to the streets to call for change. But now that Mubarak is gone and political transition is underway, what reforms need to happen to satisfy the dreams and demands of the people?

Bahrain: Chilling Accounts from Witnesses to Pearl ?Massacre’

from Global Voices Online by Amira Al Hussaini

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Horrific accounts of the barbaric pre-dawn raid in Bahraini capital Manama, in which protesters were dispersed by security forces from the Pearl Roundabout where they had set up camp to press for demands, continue to emerge, as Bahrainis and the rest of the world try to come to terms with what hit them.

Bahrain: Nicholas Kristof, An Eyewitness

from Global Voices Online by Tarek Amr

Written by Tarek Amr

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Egypt, the Middle East and the US – It?s Over; It?s Just Begun

from WhirledView by Patricia H. Kushlis

By Patricia H. Kushlis

Afer 18 excruciating days, Hosni Mubarak the now former President of Egypt, finally and reluctantly left the scene on Friday morning turning over power to the army and a caretaker government as a popular uprising against his continued rule grew larger day by day.

How Obama lost the Egyptian people

from washingtonpost.com – Op-Ed Columns by Marc A. Thiessen

The extraordinary scenes in Cairo this past weekend brought back memories of similar scenes on the streets of Warsaw, Prague and Berlin two decades ago. Yet there is one crucial difference between then and now. Unlike the crowds that brought down Marxist regimes in Central Europe, the crowds that…

The workers supported Tahir; now Tahir must support the workers.

from ORGANIZED RAGE by About us.

Since Hosni Mubarak fled from Cairo, and even before then, some middle-class activists have been urging Egyptians, in the name of patriotism, to suspend their protests and return to work, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies: “Let’s build a new Egypt”, “Let’s work harder than ever before”. They clearly do not know that Egyptians are already among the hardest working people in the world.

ENERGY: The Arab World?s Triple Crisis

from Project Syndicate by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
ENERGY: The Arab World?s Triple Crisis A mere change of governments will not make Arab countries? economic problems go away. Indeed, the converging effects of population growth, climate change, and energy depletion are setting the stage for a looming triple crisis in the region.

2011-02-15 WikiLeaks Vindicates Those Behind Unfolding Revolutions

For those in countries that are working to topple brutal and oppressive regimes, there is a power that WikiLeaks cables have, one that can be tremendously beneficial. Cables from Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia all illuminate why the people of those countries would rise up against their governments. They compel people to acknowledge the magnitude of abuses and suffering that the people have been experiencing under autocratic regimes.

Libya: Gaddafi Cracks Down on Anti-Regime Protestors

from Global Voices Online by Antoun Issa

Written by Antoun Issa

News is emerging on Twitter that Libyan leader Mu’ammar Gaddafi has sent in the army against protestors, with deaths reported in Benghazi and other parts of the country. Gaddafi is one of the longest serving dictators in the world, now entering his 42nd year as President.

A caricature of Turkey for Middle East and the real dynamics of democracy by Orhan Kemal Cengiz

from Today’s Zaman, your gateway to Turkish daily news :: Interviews
There has been an intense debate on the possible route the Middle East and African countries could take after recent popular uprisings. Whether they would fall into the hands of ?fundamentalist Islamists? or if they can democratize in due course has been discussed for some time.

2011-02-17 Yemen Lacks Egypt’s Large Upper Middle Class

WL Central will be updating news on Yemen, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. You can contact me on Twitter @kgosztola or by email at kgosztola@hotmail.com.

2011-02-18 Abu Salim Massacre: Cables on Libya’s Continued Impunity for Killings

LIBYA – The Abu Salim Massacre to the ?Day of Rage? Attacks on Protesters

Two days ahead of calls to protest the Gaddafi regime in a ?Day of Rage? on February 17, members of the Committee of the Families of the Victims of the Abu Salim Massacre came out to protest. Libyan attorney and human rights activist Fathi Terbil, who represents families that had family members massacred in mass prison killings that took place at the Abu Salim prison in 1996, was arrested. Terbil?s arrest led to an eruption of protests ahead of the planned ?Day of Rage.

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