“The age of US dominance in the Middle East has ended and a new era in the modern history of the region has begun. It will be shaped by new actors and new forces competing for influence, and to master it, Washington will have to rely more on diplomacy than on military might.” Richard N. Haass
Bourguiba Square in Tunis, Tahrir Square in Cairo, Azadi Square in Tehran , Pearl Square in Manama are witnessing a collective awakening of the Middle Eastern world and this means a major American policy shift in the region. Now that the Arab world is being remade from within, European policy must change too.
I am both thrilled and scared by the middle eastern earthquake…
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! I hope not to regret this image on Valentine Day 2012…I too believe that “The army exists to defend the nation, not a regime.”
My super romantic Valentine 2010 here
My 2009 Valentine post here
My 2008 Valentine post with the amazing Gaelle Boissonnard here
Is the Arab world waking up after taking a vacation from History during the past few centuries (as Daryush Shayegan puts it in his book, Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West)?
I made this image with the hope of freedom (and finally some democracy – even half baked) in the Middle East.
Recipe for volatile social cocktail: “a youth bulge, vast unemployment, inadequate education, and gross economic inequality. but are the richer Arab states immune? There is anger about entrenched authoritarianism and subservience to America’s strategic agenda for the Middle East – especially its support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians”. Middle East’s reaching a tipping point…
To see some of the brave women of Egypt go here.
Sahyegan’s book in English is Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West
I have read it in French: Le regard mutilé
Egypt is awakening…Pharoahs are trembling…Pyramids are cracking…and I am hoping for more Cleopatras than the Muslim Brotherhood…
From Maureen Dowd (a few days after my blog got published):
Egyptians rose up at the greatest irony of all: “Cleopatra’s Egypt was modern in ancient times and Mubarak’s was ancient in modern times. The cradle of civilization yearned for some civilization.”
1979 all over again? I doubt it. Call me a pessimist but I never thought I will live to see these scenes in Iran again:
The mullahs are fighting each other (don’t mistake Mousavi for a secular iranian please—scratch any Mousavi and you will find the true face of a muslim revolutionist underneath) and the youth’s hope and badly bruised courage is being sacrificed.
I’ve been glued to my computer and the TV to follow what is happening—I am amazed by the Iranian government’s audacity (read stupidity) of forging the election results. Read a great analysis here.
Could this be that wishful thinking got the better of credible reporting?
In spite of being a cynic, I am hopeful that a new era is starting in Iran—I just can’t deny the enormity of what is happening in Iran; I have a worried enthusiasm of maybe being able to join the rest of the world after 30 years of being punished and sent to the corner of the classroom.
The big difference between now and 1979 is that Iran doesn’t have a powerful leader (like Khomeini of 30 years ago); the effectiveness of these protests has yet to be put to the acid test of fighting the black-clad police.
Roger Cohen summarizes these events in this clip from a rooftop in Tehran.
Read Reza Aslan’s article here to know a bit more about the real power behind Ahmadinejad.
Now events are rushing ahead and the ayatollahs are blinking…