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June 17 2011

02mydafsoup-01
[...]

This alliance doesn’t want that. It wants a selection, not an election, and to rob the people from having a clear choice between parties, which is the exact opposite of what this revolution aimed to achieve. They can call it a National Unity government, a United electoral list, whatever, it’s still designed to rob the people from having any real say on who in the parties gets to represent them locally, unless it’s an independent candidate, and very few of those who aren’t NDP actually have a prayer in hell ‘s chance for winning such an election.

[...]
Unholy Alliance | sandmonkey.org 2011-06-16
Reposted bykrekk krekk
02mydafsoup-01
RT @Sandmonkey - () http://t.co/oDU9WCy On the Unholy alliance between the 12 parties & the MB. Plz Read & Retweet! // #Egypt #elections

- MB: Muslim Brotherhood
Twitter / 02mytwi01: RT @Sandmonkey - () | 2011-06-16

January 23 2011

02mydafsoup-01
YouTube - Riz Khan - Is social media driving reform in the Arab world?

AlJazeeraEnglish | 21. Januar 2011

What impact will Tunisia's popular uprising have on neighbouring countries and could social media become the driving force for political reform in the Arab world? Riz Khan talks to Sami Ben Gharbia, the co-founder of the Tunisian website Nawaat.org, Nasser Weddady, the outreach director at the American Islamic Congress, where he promotes civil rights through social media, and Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger and activist who regularly reports on corruption.

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// there are a lot of commentaries on this matter now in the international media scene: imo, for those who are familiar with the subject the first 10 min may be scipped. - oanth

02mydafsoup-01

Libyans are just as hungry as Tunisians | Hisham Matar - The Guardian 20110121

[...]

The first president of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, 70 years old by then, sat at a simple table with a microphone in front of him and a small glass of water to one side. He wore a French suit, his grey hair was slicked back, and he had on a pair of square dark glasses. He looked like Jorge Luis Borges. But, unlike the Argentinian author, Bourguiba wasn't a gifted orator. As a public speaker, the Sorbonne graduate lacked tact and was given to excitement. "What is the point of uniting 1.5 million Libyans with 5 million Tunisians?" he asked, mockingly.

It became clear, as Bourguiba went on, that he had two objectives in mind: to deflate and mildly humiliate the young Nasserist Libyan, and to outline his vision of the Arab world. Bourguiba's thesis was as simple as it was poignant: for the Arab people to build secure states and societies, they ought to concern themselves not with Arab unity, but with education and development.

[...]

January 19 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Play fullscreen
Juan Cole: Tunisia Uprising “Spearheaded by Labor Movements, by Internet Activists, by Rural Workers; It’s a Populist Revolution” (Democracy Now!) | Informed Comment



[...]

JUAN COLE: Well, it’s a revolution—you know, all revolutions are multiple revolutions happening at the same time. So there’s a strong element of economic protest. There’s a class element. Twenty percent of college graduates are unemployed. There’s extreme poverty in the rural areas. And the regime was doing things that interfered with economic development. They would use the banks to give out loans to their cronies, and then the cronies wouldn’t pay back the banks, so they were undermining the financial system. And that made it—and the extremeness of the dictatorship, the demands constantly for bribes, discouraged foreign investment. So the regime was all about itself. It was doing things that were counterproductive. And it injured the interests of many social groups—the college-educated, the workers. Now, the three ministers that pulled back out of the national unity government today were from the General Union of Tunisian Workers, which is an old, longstanding labor organization. So, it was a mass movement; it included people from all kinds of backgrounds. ‘

[...]

Read the whole thing.

January 18 2011

02mydafsoup-01

Juan Cole: Tunisian Revolution Shakes, Inspires Middle East | Juan Cole's Columns - Truthdig - 20110118

The Tunisian uprising that overthrew the 23-year-old regime of strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali had resonances throughout the Middle East. Leaders of countries invested in the region’s authoritarian and highly unequal status quo rejected the political revolution, while groups and states that want change welcomed it. The spectacle of masses of demonstrators pouring down Bourguiba Avenue on Friday, overwhelming security forces and putting the president to flight, raised the hopes of the dispossessed and the downtrodden, even as it inspired a gathering dread in the breasts of the region’s dictators and absolute monarchs. Whether or not, as many observers rushed to predict, a wave of discontent will radiate from Tunis throughout the Arab world (and there are reasons to be cautious about that prospect), the “Jasmine Revolution” is a Rorschach test for distinguishing reactionaries from innovators in the region.

[...]

______________________________________

// oanth - A survey on the reactions and estimations in the Middle East & Maghreb region

January 17 2011

Libya: Gaddafi Wages War on the Internet as Trouble Brews at Home

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddafi managed to offend both Tunisians and netizens from across the world wide web in his address to the Tunisian people, following the fall of the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime. With trouble brewing at home and Libyans taking to the Internet to vent off, could Gaddafi be foreseeing his doom as a “victim of Facebook and YouTube”?

In a televised address, he regretted the end of Ben Ali's 23-year rule, saying that he had hoped the Tunisian dictator would continue to run Tunisia “for life.”

Gaddafi, who has headed Libya since 1970, also brushed off cyber-activism as “lies” fabricated by drunkards and netizens high on drugs, describing the Internet as a “vacuum cleaner,” that had the capacity suck everything.

The Internet, he added, was a tool created by “them” - to ridicule “us.”

In his address he said:

حتى أنتم إخواني التوانسة ، ربما أنكم تقرؤون في الكلينكس هذا ، والكلام الفارغ في الإنترنت . وهذا الإنترنت ، الذي أي واحد أهبل ؛ يسكر ويحط فيه أي كلام ، هل تصدقه !. الإنترنت هذا مثل الكناسة التي ترمي فيها أي حاجة ، فأي واحد تافه ؛ أي واحد كذاب ؛ أي واحد سكران ؛ أي واحد مخمور ؛ واحد شارب الأفيون ؛ يقدر يقول أي كلام في الإنترنت ، وأنتم تقرؤونه وتصدقونه .. هذا كلام بدون فلوس.. هل نصبح نحن ضحية لـ «فيسبوك» وضحية «الكلينكس « وضحية «يوتيوب»!، نصبح ضحية الأدوات التي صنعوها هم لكي يضحكوا بأمزجتنا !..
Even you, my Tunisian brothers. You may be reading this Kleenex and empty talk on the Internet.
This Internet, which any demented person, any drunk can get drunk and write in, do you believe it? The Internet is like a vacuum cleaner, it can suck anything. Any useless person; any liar; any drunkard; anyone under the influence; anyone high on drugs; can talk on the Internet, and you read what he writes and you believe it. This is talk which is for free. Shall we become the victims of “Facebook” and “Kleenex”* and “YouTube”! Shall we become victims to tools they created so that they can laugh at our moods?
*Kleenex is Gaddafi's reference to Wikileaks

Writing from Boston, Jillian C York notes:

So, while Qaddafi may not be taken seriously, any overtures he makes toward the Internet’s dangers could be well-taken by regional leaders. As we’ve seen with Tunisia (and Iran), this matters…and it doesn’t. Tunisians were operating under a strictly censored Internet, and yet still managed to disseminate information across a variety of social networks. On the other hand, any stakes a government can drive through its net-enabled civil society, it will.

She continues:

Qaddafi sees Tunisian Internet usage during the uprising as an American conspiracy (which I would state very strongly, it is not – such a suggestion is offensive to the large and longstanding Tunisian blogging and social media community).

On Twitter, the mood is that Gaddafi spoke out of turn, catapulting Libya to the forefront of online discussions, especially since Libyan netizens are starting to vent off about troubles of their own online - using the very same tools their leader predicted would make victims out of them.

Libyan Ghazi Gheblawi observes:

Speaking to many Libyan intellectuals, activists and bloggers, all are upset of 's speech about , most r disgusted

Libyana Americana notes:

#Gaddafi is so sad about “Zine” being gone…he misses his friend…

Egyptian columnist Mona Eltahawy weighs in:

Gotta hand it to though - no other dictator is mad enough to give a speech about revolution.

And she adds:

told that “not a normal person”, which explains why Gaddafi told in speech Saturday that BenAli best leader.

Tunisian Haykel Azak reminds us:

It's always a pleasure listening to speak because you never know what shit will come flying out of that mouth

And Kuwait-based Aya Kabbara asks:

@ are the rumors true? Are producers working on a documentary in anticipation of his fall?

Egyptian Ayman Shweky remarks:

ليبيا بالعالم العربى كدولة البانيا البدائية بقلب اوربا لا دستور لا قانون لا برلمان لا اعلام مفيش فير الاخ القائد
Libya in the Arab world is like primitive Albania in the heart of Europe - no constitution, no law, no parliament, no media. There is nothing there other than the Comrade Commander

Yazeed, from Saudi Arabia, jokes:

عاجل:
القذافي يعلن اقفال جميع محلات الخضار في ليبيا
وينصح المواطنين بشراء الخضروات المعلبة
خوفاً من ظهور شبيه للبوعزيزي .

Urgent: Gaddafi orders the closure of all grocery stores in Libya and advises citizens to buy canned vegetables out of fear of the appearance of a copycat Bouazizi

And Razan Saffour, from London, UK, notes:

goodness, I can't believe is a president. He is an actual JOKE.

From the UAE, Mishaal Al Gergawi observes:

Looks like that Gaddafi speech wasn't that effective after all.

And Jordanian Tololy concludes:

Ah so it WAS Gaddafi who inadvertently sparked the protests in through a speech! (Arabic)

Meanwhile, information is seeping slowly out of Libya about unrest. Just like it was in neighbouring Tunisia, the war is on on the Internet in Libya, with news of websites being hacked.

On Al Bab, Brian Whitaker remarks:

Just two days after the overthrow of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, videos are circulating of disturbances in neighbouring Libya. Needless to say, this is causing a good deal of excitement on Twitter.

He continues:

Almanara, a Libyan opposition website which appears to have Islamist leanings, has posted three videos of protesters in the city of al-Bayda. There are also a few more on YouTube and al-Jazeera has a report in Arabic.
The facts are still rather unclear, but Almanara says the demonstrators clashed with security forces, threw stones at a government building and set fire to one of its offices. The protesters were demanding “decent housing and dignified life”, according to the website. Provision of housing appears to be the main issue and there are reports of people taking over apartments and squatting in them.

Today, Whitaker brings us more news. He writes:

Yesterday, I noted that a Libyan opposition website, Almanara, had posted videos showing disturbances in Libya during the last few days. After that, something odd happened: the website disappeared. Trying to access Almanara this morning, I simply got an error message.
Conceivably this could be just a technical glitch, but I suspect not. A YouTube video of the protests, which I linked to at the same time, has also disappeared and there are claims on Twitter that access to social networking websites inside Libya is being blocked. Another Libyan website, Libya Almostakbal, reports that it has been attacked twice since Friday.
Several copies of the videos, which I didn't link to yesterday, are still available on the internet. I won't provide links to them all, but here is one of them – just to see what happens to it.
The protests themselves have not been reported in the official Libyan media, apart from a statement from the Revolutionary Committee condemning them.
Meanwhile, the cause of the trouble is becoming clearer. It's about delays in providing subsidised housing, and since Thursday activists in several towns have taken over hundreds of empty properties.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Libya.

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