March 06, 2011

'What Next'

Popular protest in Egypt and Tunisia and the consequent dismantling of decades of repressive government has inspired similar demands for social, political and economic reform throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East. However, with the end of the rule of President Hosni Sayyid Mubarak and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, respectfully, it is critical to address how the demand for political, economic and social reforms will be answered and the subsequent actions taken by the succeeding governments. Amongst the media focus on ongoing protests and turbulence in areas such as Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, and Iran is the lack of similar interest in the agenda taken by officials and authorities in Egypt and Tunisia where power was seized from dictators. Removing an oppressive ruler may only be the beginnings of a long process of quelling unrest, reaching equality and implementation of an agenda for greater human rights.

As an Western observer of the current events in Northern Africa and Middle East, it is easy to become lost in the sweep of emotions underlying these revolutions and to push for ideas of democracy in countries such as Egypt, which is currently under military leadership. The effects of the impact of transnational affairs and the Western world is evident from the rise of anti-colonialism and political dissent of the West following post-war decolonization of countries in the mid-twentieth century. Is it effective to impose principles of Western society on countries with differing political, economic and social traditions, especially with the consideration of past developments of supposed anti-western ideologies and the rise of pan-Arabism?

The following is a short list of some sites with information and facts regarding the past, the present and the opinions of various organizations, groups and individuals on what they believe are topics to be addressed for the future. The uprisings in Northern Africa and the Middle East are important moments in global history and given that we have the privilege of easily accessing information, we should critically analyze the situation in these areas and our roles as citizens in the global community at large.
The above article is an independently written piece regarding current events and does not necessarily represent the opinions and views of QPID as a whole.

1 comment:

  1. In terms of Egypt specifically, I think the question of "What's next?" is very interesting and also impossible to answer. It appears that in Egypt as well as among Egyptian communities living abroad (from friends of mine who are part of these communities) there was pretty much unanimous support when Mubarak was overthrown. Given this widespread support and demand for change within it seems like Egypt is well poised to rebuild politically.

    I would also like to say that I like how this blog post essentially demands that we as global citizens understand and analyze the situation related to recent events across the Middle East and North Africa because it is such an important moment in world history. I would agree and encourage readers to think about what the risk of not understanding might be.