Arab Revolutions

Carlos Varea, 30 June, 2011

Translated from Spanish by Ainara Makalilo
Edited by Supriyo Chatterjee

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (the nasty main character of the film The Social Network) pointed out in a meeting in Paris in May 2011 that “the recent Arab revolutions did not exist thanks to Facebook. They happened because people there took the reins of their own destiny, though it is obvious that the internet helped”. He, who could capitalize on the success of uprisings, gets it right: “To think so would be extremely arrogant and unreal”.

Social networking has enabled what repression in Arab regimes hampered, articulating endurable collective demands out of the empty charmless traditional political structures. It has also been stated that Arab revolutions were encouraged by Al-Jazeera, leaving both its spontaneity and goals in doubt. Certainly Qatar, whose Royal family owns the TV channel, has capitalized politically on its media capacity, also regarding the Arab people’s protests (holding for instance the first international conference on the Libya conflict in April 2011). But this does not question the uprising’s original radicalism and genuine character.


    Yassin Alkhalil, Syria

And so it happened. Since then, the symbolic gesture of an indignant Bouazizi has led to uprisings in most Arab countries, within both Maghreb and Egypt, and also in some petro-monarchies of the Gulf. Arab uprisings have got rid of two dictators already, Ben Ali first and Mubarak a little later, and perhaps soon a third one, Ali Abdalah Saleh, president of Yemen, who is now in Saudi Arabia. After the first victories in Tunisia and Egypt, these uprisings, always peaceful, have degenerated in other countries into armed conflicts or are being repressed with different degrees of violence which range from the moderation of Morocco to the Syrian butchery. In Libya and Bahrain, foreign intervention, for ulterior motives, show the complexity and unpredictable tinge that events can acquire. There have also been demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank which have been violently repressed by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authorities. Reconciliation between both factions in Cairo is due to the internal change that Tahrir protests produced in Egypt but also to the outraged Palestinian people held captive by both sides.

If the spread of Arab countries uprisings can catch somebody unaware (the unthinkable modernity in a world we imagined to be at standstill and archaic), its outbreak is even more significant and apparently opposed to the common understanding: self-immolation of Tariq Tayyib Mohammed Bouazizi, a young Tunisian street vendor from Sidi Bou Zid, humiliated and beaten by the police who had confiscated his wares. What is behind such an extreme action? Certainly not the reactionary dogmas of some Islamist suicide-bombers, but the defenseless expression of the world’s impotence and despair. This is the fuel of Arab uprisings and, like tinder, easily inflammable. Undoubtedly, Bouazizi, like Zuckerberg, would affirm that his example had the simple ability to light the fuse of the Arab uprising, which is the most unexpected and encouraging event in the first decade of the 21st century.


A Tunisian student’s work at the School for Arts and Trade in in the city of Gabes, april 2011.
Photo Fausto Giudice, Tlaxcala

The Arabist Luz Gómez García correctly reminds us: these events surprise us because Arab reality is unknown to us. We just have a slightly squalid image of its leaders. Arab people stood up massively against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and we can only understand the speed, the dynamics, the depth and endurance of Arab uprisings because they have happened in societies much more integrated and politicized than what we ever expected. This is especially true concerning the first two ones, the Tunisian and the Egyptian, where trade union boards and civil associations were the ones to anchor the calls made through virtual social networking in the streets. It is these trade and social unions which are trying to articulate the movement politically in both countries for the elections promised by the transitional governments.

There is no need to make any speculations whether Arab uprisings have been encouraged from abroad, as all threatened autocracies try to imply. The uprisings are genuine. But there is always interference of local and external actors trying to manipulate and distort uprisings. Again, as in most critical moments of history in the region, the key lies in what will happen from now on in Egypt. As the geographical, political and human gateway of the Arab world, it will decide whether or not the revolution will prevail. The driving force of Arab uprisings is that the people have had enough of regimes which, without any political nuance, have transformed their countries into feudal territory and their citizens into vassals with no rights. If demands of all Arab revolutions are simple, direct and similar, the nature of the autocracies they are trying to knock down is one: the filthy ground of decades of impunity and corruption. Most Arab regimes are either formal monarchies or they became inherited monarchies. Corruption, cynicism and repression are the tripod that holds them up. The fourth leg is then the tolerance of western governments but also of China and Russia who are trying to make profit out of uprisings through the fall and the permanence of dictators. It is totally reprehensible that NATO intervenes in Libya in order to keep under control the territory and the resources Gaddafi had already put at their service long time ago (Libya is the country which has fostered the most CIA secret flights). But this does not deligitimise the uprising started by a group of lawyers in front of a prison in Tripoli, neither does it legitimise Gaddafi’s acts, as some have tried to make us believe (unfortunately Fidel Castro amongst them). Like Gaddafi, Al-Assad tries to regain complicity with Western governments: “we are the bastion against Al-Qaeda” and “chaos will come after our fall”. The truth is that Syrian regime shamelessly kills its own people in the face of the disturbing passivity of Europe and the USA who have always understood, alongside with Israel, the regional purpose of Al-Assad’s dynasty since 1970: to control the Palestinian and the national Arab movement in their own interest and through manu militari (let’s remember the military occupation of Lebanon in 1976 under the protection of the Arab League and the Western countries). But the most striking fact is that intervention in Libya has motivated big protest demonstrations in Spain. But the death of more than a thousand Syrian citizens killed by snipers, tanks and helicopters has not activated our solidarity at all. There are no progressive Arab regimes.


Photo Fausto Giudice, Tlaxcala

The hypocrisy of the Syrian regime (and also of some local daydreaming apologists) is offensive. It opposes its so-called secularism to sectarian fragmentation in order to justify the oligarchic dictatorship against the demands of real democracy that its people claim. It is not a coincidence that the occupation of Iraq has entailed a sectarian implosion; that in Egypt violence amongst Copts and Muslims burst out; that Yemen falls into a tribal civil war; that we are being warned about confessional rupture in Syria and that Al Qaeda answers to the movement in Morocco by bombing in Marrakech. The alternative is neither neocolonial subjection nor a native dictatorship. Beyond the fall of Arab regimes, it is the Arab identity itself which is at risk, emerging inclusively and at the same time diverse, articulating modernity and essence, democracy and sovereignty. Despite the failure or the success, people’s protests in 2011 from Morocco to Iraq have shown a genuine, real and possible picture of these societies and their dynamic.

Arab revolutions are breaking out after two decades in which Arab resistance has always been identified with Al-Qaeda or with political confessionalism. But contrary to this, our protagonists are a well-educated youth, women, unemployed professionals and industrial workers, who have the same aspirations as us, not followers of Bin Laden or some ayatollah. “Real democracy”, “participatory democracy”, “Stop corruption”, “Stop speculative enrichment”, “social rights”: do these slogans sound familiar to us? Of course! They are echoed in all Tahrir squares in every Arab city, and they also became the mottos of the 15-M (15th May) protests in Spain. Is it not “OUTRAGE” what we are all feeling? “Our struggles will meet up and they will end by reaching a common goal: a better world, more fair and peaceful”, is the conclusion of the message sent by the young Tunisian revolutionaries to the 15-M movement. Let’s hope so.

This article has been written for the Solidarity Agenda 2012 of CEDSALA (Centro de Documentación y Solidaridad con America Latina y Africa)
By courtesy of Tlaxcala (www.tlaxcala.es)

31 comentarios to “Arab Revolutions”

  1. best fertility supplements Says:

    Your method of explaining the whole thing in this paragraph is actually good, all
    can effortlessly know it, Thanks a lot.

  2. house for sale Albox Says:

    Good replies in return of this question with firm arguments and explaining
    all about that.

  3. Alicante Spain villas Says:

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll
    be book-marking and checking back often!

  4. Anthony Says:

    I think other web-site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean

    and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the

    content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  5. Trena Says:

    I used to be suggested this website through my cousin.

    I’m not certain whether this submit is

    written through him as nobody else know

    such exact

    approximately my trouble. You’re wonderful!
    Thank you!

  6. pligg.com Says:

    Arab Revolutions | Iraqsolidaridad…

    Carlos Varea, 30 June, 2011 Translated from Spanish by Ainara Makalilo Edited by Supriyo Chatterjee Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (the nasty main character of the film The Social Network) pointed out in a meeting in Paris in May 2011 that . .. Sigue…

  7. snaxmckjmynd Says:

    pqnvezruqmkw

  8. wezglnklqkbg Says:

    sspmfumgxeql

  9. hgzbyunngytt Says:

    yolxhowpprot

  10. opembgyvfjee Says:

    pxulcdbvjqhh

  11. kfznmnulqylw Says:

    bvafkqfcydym

  12. xaisncpsfhpq Says:

    katcqcdafhrp

  13. internet tv Eishockey wm Says:

    My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .
    net from PHP. I have always disliked the

    idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress
    on a number

    of websites for about a year and am concerned about

    switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.

    net. Is

    there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  14. Full Report Says:

    Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a data! present here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web site.

  15. financial help Says:

    Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template
    or plugin that might be able to correct this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

  16. http://thebikeshed.sosblogs.com Says:

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject.
    I really like all the points you have made.

  17. www.goodbankcard.com Says:

    It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  18. baby planning Says:

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the
    screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.
    Thanks

  19. Click Here Says:

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog
    like this one today.

  20. %boundary% Says:

    Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my blog so
    i came to go back the choose?.I’m attempting to find issues to enhance my site!I guess its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

  21. Lashawn Says:

    It’s going to be end of mine day, except before end I am reading this great post to improve my know-how.

  22. www.trulydisturbing.com Additional Info additional reading Check Out www.trulydisturbing.com Check This Out Click at www.trulydisturbing.com Click At this website click for source Click Here Click In this article Click on www.trulydisturbing.com Click On Says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle
    for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this website
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  23. 1 oz gold Bar for sale Says:

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in
    my social networks!

  24. dentist plano Says:

    You should look for plano dentist reviewss near
    you, or in places that are within or near your area. Criteria Experience – Find out how long
    she/he has been practicing Plano Dentist Reviewsry for some time,
    because anything longer than that is considered unsafe. To
    get their desires fulfilled one has to turn to plano dentist reviewsry.
    Anxiety as we all know is the cost. Your smile matters
    your appearance; so you should undergo treatment procedures
    to win that winning and attractive smile. Tooth whitening is
    also known as aesthetic dentists.

  25. www.sequoyahgrille.com Says:

    Basically, yes, there are batteries of standardized tests required to move on; others cannot let go.
    Not a lot of cooking and cookbook subject headings will be changed in the last 15
    to 20 years; advances in information and technology now offer the alternative to standardized old-school classroom instruction.
    dexter missouri newspaper archives is one
    hot spot we’ve shown you before.

  26. r1 fairing bolt kit Says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  27. Louis Vuitton Handbags Says:

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could
    a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  28. maleenhancementcreams.beep.Com Says:

    Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a stuff! present here at this webpage, thanks admin of this web page.

  29. Sleeping Bag Tent Combo Says:

    I am really impressed with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  30. bigpipecleaning.com Says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a
    few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and
    both show the same results.

  31. joe schwartz walkin tub Says:

    Buying a cooler is a very intelligent decision but you should do some researches beforehand.
    Every good ride starts with breakfast, and before leaving Boise
    we stopped for a hearty one at the Trolley House,
    a restaurant housed in what was the last stop on the old Boise trolley-car
    line. Sims with the Hates the Outdoors trait don’t receive this moodlet.

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s


A %d blogueros les gusta esto: