Arab Spring

What Happened To The "Arab Spring," And What's Next

May 13, 2014
Hossam el-Hamalawy / Flickr/CC

Three years after what was dubbed the “Arab Spring”, Egypt is preparing for its first election since a military coup last summer. The candidate presumed to win is Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who led the coup against Islamist President Morsi last July.  Since then, he’s been the de facto leader of Egypt, and has engineered mass crackdowns on dissent. It’s not the type of reform many imagined, when the fabled Tahrir Square uprisings began – and now, Egyptians are wondering if their revolution has left them any better off than before.

This week, U.S. concerns over the civil war in Syria escalated with talk of chemical weapons and the real fear that the conflict could spill over in the broader Middle East including Israel.  Now there’s debate in Washington about how this country should respond what the so-called “red-line is” and whether the Americans public is willing to cross it. 

Guests

Photo by Anthony Reeves, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Vents in Egypt and Tunisia prove that although the internet can’t be destroyed per se, it can be more or less “turned off” – a fact that has some digital-rights activists questioning the centralized, top-down organization of internet service providers.  Julian Dibbell is a tech journalist and author of The Shadow Web, an article in the March issue of Scientific American outlining growing efforts to provi

Photo by Foxtounge, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the Arab Spring, protestors in Syria are uploading videos and images of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown of the opposition. The use of new technologies to spread messages and unify resistance against authoritarian regimes is by now familiar. Five centuries before demonstrators tweeted from public squares in the middle-east, an obscure minister and theologian named Martin Luther exploited the social media of his time to challenge entrenched power. We know, at least, how that revolution fared.

Syrian troops have fired rockets and mortars at neighborhoods in the city of Homs that have most fiercely resisted the government throughout the uprising.

Mainstream journalists are barred from entering Homs, so a team of activists decided to record the offensive themselves. The activists positioned their cameras atop buildings in the city. Each morning the view is blue sky, a minaret, a sea of rooftops. Then come the booms.

The Egyptian government has further escalated tensions with Washington by accusing U.S. officials of directly funding nonprofit groups to create chaos in the Arab country.

The latest comments were made by an Egyptian Cabinet member to prosecutors conducting a criminal probe into the activities of 43 aid workers, many of them American.

Such claims anger U.S. officials, who have threatened to hold back more than $1 billion in military aid if the crackdown on private, pro-democracy organizations doesn't end.

American lawmakers are furious about a mounting diplomatic crisis in Egypt, where dozens of nongovernmental workers, including 19 Americans, could face trial.

The United States says Egypt needs to let pro-democracy groups continue their work to help the country's transition, but Egypt accuses them of operating illegally.

The work of democracy promotion groups has raised suspicions in many countries, but Lorne Craner, who runs the International Republican Institute, says he has never seen anything like what's going on now in Egypt.

If you're looking for the reasons for unrest in Morocco, you can find some answers while zipping along in a golf cart at a resort in the historic town of Marrakech.