About a month back, as events were breaking in Tunisia and Egypt, we posted about what seemed to be a domino effect of uprising taking place across the Middle East. Boy was that an understatement! By now, just a few weeks later, almost every single country in the region is experiencing some form of protest.
In varying degrees, starting from left to right, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, and Iran, have seen street protests, violent responses, and even some changing of the guards. Even in a country like Saudi, the royal family is confronting – however weak-kneed – the issue of reform.
While many in the Jewish world are concerned about what may result from all this upheaval (remember the democratic elections in Gaza?), there is something amazing about the courage and hope of all the young people taking to the streets.
The parallels between this and the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe are coming more clearly into focus. Rising food prices, rampant unemployment, aging dictatorships, censorship. And there’s more of you than them. So why remain a sitting duck?
Below are some stories and sites we’ve come across that provide either deeper analysis, or thorough background, on what’s being called the Arab Spring. If you’ve come across any links you’d like to share, post them in a comment.
- Interesting op-ed from Thomas Friedman on some of the factors that inspired people to speak up. He lost us a bit with his final conclusion, but his pointing to justice in Israel, current politics in Palestine and development in China as contributing factors is thought-provoking.
- Excellent country-by-country interactive map of the Middle East from the BBC. Find out in detail what the current situation is
- The blog Mahmoud’s Den is written by a Bahraini who for years has challenged the instituted order. His coverage of current affairs in the gulf kingdom provides a real inside view.
- Dennis Prager, in this week’s IJN, gives eight reasons why he’s not optimistic about change in Egypt.