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Showing posts from June, 2013

‘Tamarrud’: 16 millones de egipcios piden nuevas elecciones para echar a Morsi (y 2)

Warren Buffet dijo una vez que “se necesitan veinte años para construir una reputación y cinco minutos para arruinarla”. La popularidad de los Hermanos Musulmanes ha caído en picado a lo largo de los últimos doce meses. A ello se añade una sorprendente  división dentro de la propia facción islamista , representada por las declaraciones del Partido salafista AlNour, que acusa a Morsi de haber traicionado a Dios y de no ser un verdadero representante del Islam. De hecho, su líder, Yasser Borhami, proclamó recientemente que “si millones de personas salen a la calle, también pedirán a Morsi que dimita”. Eso no significa empero que la enorme base de apoyo popular que les caracteriza y envalentona se haya erosionado, como demostraron las protestas ‘Tagarod’ del pasado viernes 21 de junio a favor de Morsi. Esta es precisamente una de las lecciones que los Hermanos han aprendido: la baza principal de los revolucionarios que pedían el derrocamiento del antiguo régimen era la movilización de

Egypt for dummies

I have been trying to write an article about my beloved Egypt since I started the blog, but so far I have not been able to. Even though it is supposed to be the country I know the most about, I still feel I don't know enough, moreover if I take into account the expertise all my Egyptian and foreign friends living in Egypt possess. That is why I thought I could write an introductory post explaining what is nowadays happening there, a post for beginners like me. The Egyptian Revolution was a time of hope and enthusiasm amongst millions of inhabitants of the most populated, and often the most representative, country of the Arab world. But scores of people are once and again protesting on the streets, chanting anew slogans against what they consider an authoritarian regime, this time in the form of an Islamist-dominated Government headed by a controversial and opaque figure, President Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood, underground and harshly repressed for 84 years, seems to be

The Arab League's role in Syria?

Inspiration in pictures

Islamism and nudity

A brilliant article by the brilliant Nervana. "The question of nudity and why it bothers Islamists more than water shortage, hunger, poverty, and rape, is crucial to understanding the mindset of many Islamists and how they view the outside world." [...] "There are four crucial elements of Islamism that are directly linked to their perception of morality, which also explain their overreaction to nudity. there is the right of the society to protect its “values.”  moral code and dress code are closely linked or even synonymous.  Islamists believe that morality is essential in rebuilding the “Ummah” within their nation state. Islamists spin the prophet’s sayings (Hadith) to cover up their deep disdain for many aspects of western culture", but they "failed to see that the prophet’s remarks were conditional upon past circumstances and were not intended to be on absolute terms".

This is not a civil war

I came across an enlightening article about how we, Orientalist Westerners, see the Syrian revolution. The whole text is worth reading, but one reference to a FB post struck me: “Dear friends everywhere, We, Syrians, or a vast majority of us, do not accept using the term ‘civil war’ when talking about our revolution. We hope that you can take serious note of that. It is a popular revolution against a mass-murdering dictatorship. Calling it a civil war is unacceptable to us. Thanks.”

La “Revolución Verde” iraní cuatro años después

Las últimas elecciones presidenciales de las que Irán fue testigo se celebraron en 2009 y desde el primer momento, e incluso antes, se erigieron en punto de inflexión para las pulsiones democráticas a lo largo y ancho del mundo, encarnadas por lo que muchos pronto empezaron a llamar el  Movimiento o Revolución Verde . ¿A qué hace alusión esta expresión y en que consistió este primer levantamiento en la región?

The Iranian Green Movement: four years after and an election ahead

A key presidential election will take place in Iran this Friday 14 June. The last Presidential elections were held in 2009 and set themselves up as a turning point for democratic hopes all around the world, embodied by what many soon started calling the "Green Movement", in a country often dubbed "authoritarian" or even "dictatorial". Indeed, Iran’s elections have increasingly become more and more controlled by the regime since the 1997 vote, when Mohammad Khatami won over the Supreme Leader’s anointed candidate, a former parliamentary speaker. Likewise, in 2005, the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (the Revolutionary Guards) and the Basij (paramilitary volunteer militia to defend Khomeini´s intentions) are believed to have heavily intervened to ensure the incumbent President´s victory against former President and co-founding member of the Islamic Republic, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who, just as he has been doing nowadays, was then see

Is Palestinian reconciliation finally moving forward?

You know I believe Palestinian reconciliation is vital if Palestinian politicians really want to create momentum for the Palestinian cause. Every once in a while, if we are attentive enough to the Arab media, we may read news about a new deal between Fatah and Hamas brokered by Cairo, thanks to improved relations between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood (although many believe the bulk of the Peace Process and everything related to it still remains in the realms of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service/Mukhabarat ). The latest news broke out on 15 May, whereby Fatah and Hamas had set a three-month timetable to form a unity government and organize elections to choose the members of the Parliament in exile of the Palestinian People, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), a key step in order to grant all decisions regarding the Palestinian struggle legitimacy.

¿Ha contagiado la “Primavera Arabe” a Turquía?

Parece que mayo es un buen mes para las revoluciones… Tal vez sea el clima más cálido, tal vez sean las hormonas alteradas por la primavera, tal vez sea la necesidad de escapar de la biblioteca que sienten muchos universitarios, que prefieren luchar por su país antes que revisar para sus últimos exámenes… Ocurrió  en Argentina en 1810, sucedió también en París en 1968, fue el caso del Movimiento de los Indignados en Madrid en el año 2011 … Y quizás sea lo que está ocurriendo en la actualidad en Turquía.

Some notes on the so-called "Turkish Spring"

It seems May is one good month for uprisings... Maybe it´s the hotter weather, maybe it´s the hormones in the Spring, maybe it´s the need to escape from study of many university-enrolled who prefer fighting for their country over revising for their last exams... It happened in Paris in 1968, it happened in Argentina in 1810, it happened in Madrid in 2011... It is maybe happening now in Turkey.