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Arab Revolutions

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    The US, Israel, and the War on Iran: Don’t Let Them Fool Us Again! Rami El-Amine February 10, 2012

    The end of 2011 saw the beginnings of a shift to a more overt and aggressive policy by the US and its allies towards Iran. This shift was not the result of any new threat being posed by Iran but by the need for the US to maintain a sizeable military presence in the oil rich region after withdrawing from Iraq. The Arab revolutions are also a major factor in this shift, particularly for the US’s Gulf Arab allies and Israel. Saber rattling around Iran heightens sectarian tensions in the region and, therefore, weakens the revolutionary wave which threatens the Gulf Arab monarchies. Israel, on the other hand, is leading the push for an attack because it deflects attention away from its continued denial of land and rights to Palestinians at a time when it is coming under increased international criticism.

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    From the Arab Revolutions to the Occupy Uprisings, the Winter of Our Discontent Hena Ashraf December 21, 2011

    A few weeks ago on the train my mind drifted to Mohammed Bouazizi and a great sorrow descended over me. I thought of how his tremendous sacrifice on the 17th of December 2010 was the literal spark that set the fire for uprisings around the world. I thought of how an ordinary Tunisian street vendor profoundly affected the lives of millions of people everywhere with his tragic protest.

    His self-immolation captured the immense anger and frustration that millions experience on a daily basis. By setting himself on fire in front of the local governor's office, Bouazizi showed the world that he could no longer endure the harassment and humiliation he suffered at the hands of corrupt local authorities. His example shows how revolutions start from the ground up, from ordinary people who are fed up of being pushed around. His actions set off revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and throughout the Arab world, as well as in Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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    Yemen Wrestles with Revolution Safa Ahmad October 2, 2011

    Editor’s Note: What follows is an account of the unfolding Yemeni revolution by Safa Ahmed, a Middle East based journalist who travelled to Yemen in June and July of 2011. At the time, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh barely survived an assassination attempt and fled to Saudi Arabia for treatment. On September 23, Saleh managed to return to the capitol San’a. The United States and the Saudi governments immediately criticized his return, yet, clearly, he would not have been able to return without their consent. Within only a few days of his return, more than 100 Yemenis, mostly democracy protestors, were dead.

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    A People's History of the Egyptian Revolution Rami El-Amine and Mostafa Henaway July 7, 2011

    No matter how it unfolds, the Egyptian revolution will go down in the history books as a defining moment in the 21st century. Millions of Egyptians brought down one of the world’s most repressive regimes, that of the US-backed Hosni Mubarak, in just 18 days. Their bravery, perseverance, and tactfulness in the face of the regime’s brutal crackdown not only triggered uprisings across the Arab world but inspired and influenced protests against government austerity in the US, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Despite the fact that it is only a few months old, it’s important to begin piecing together a people’s history of the revolution to convey what happened and how it happened so that the lessons from this critical struggle can be disseminated.

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    The State of the Struggle: Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Arab World Lamis Andoni and Nora Barrows-Friedman June 20, 2011

    Since the spark of popular revolt electrified Tunisia in January of this year, uprisings continue to spread across the Middle East and North Africa as civil society wages pitched battles against repressive dictatorships and monarchist regimes. Largely unarmed masses from Syria to Yemen have faced down lethal attacks from state forces as they demand basic freedoms, workers’ rights, and an end to Western influence. Leaders have been driven out in Egypt and Tunisia and have left neighboring politicians shaking in their boots.

    Left Turn contributing editor Nora Barrows-Friedman interviewed analyst and Middle East commentator Lamis Andoni for a perspective on how Middle Eastern and North African civil society movements have initiated, expanded, and given peoples across the region the motivation to rise up to join this “Arab Spring.”

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    Tadamon! 10 Years of Notes from the Global Intifada The Editors March 11, 2011

    Notes from the Global Intifada – Believe it or not, over the past year we at Left Turn had been discussing changing our tag line, it is as though a long time can go by without fundamental change happening, and then all of a sudden there is a week when everything takes off.

    Ten years ago when Left Turn emerged, momentum seemed to be on our side. In 1999 historic protests shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle. A wave of anti-corporate globalization protests that had begun building in the movements of the Global South seemed to sweep into North America and finally caught the people of the US. A project that could document and project this global rebellion for a specifically US audience seemed necessary and full of possibilities.

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    End of an Era: The Arab Intifada of 2011 and the Decline of Empire Bilal El-Amine March 11, 2011

    Photo by Hossam el-HamalawyPhoto by Hossam el-Hamalawy

    The sun is quickly setting on the rule of tyrants in the Arab world. Revolution is on the agenda from Morocco to Bahrain. After decades of passivity in the face of dictatorship, the Arabs are rising up like a waking giant to demand their freedom.

    Tunisia was billed as a citadel of stability and an economic miracle. Just a few months ago, the most anyone hoped for was that its ailing president-for-life, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, would not bequeath the country to his wife or son-in-law. No one even dreamed that the Tunisians would become the vanguard of the Arab revolution.

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    18 Days that Shook the World Khaled Dawoud March 11, 2011

    Photo by Matthew CasselPhoto by Matthew CasselSunday, January 30

    The sounds of the jet fighters circling Tahrir Square while I was sitting glued to the TV screen in my apartment in Manhattan, New York, were horrifying. Once, twice, three times, four…my heart and my nerves were simply breaking down. It didn’t take much thinking. I had already been considering heading to Egypt as soon as I saw the developments on January 25.

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