The Spring 2011 issue of Middle East Report is available now.
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"Revolution is a weighty word, one as freighted with past disappointments as with hope for the future. The fate of the midwinter political revolutions in the Arab world is far from determined, as forces of counter-revolution have rallied. But, along with army officers and lords of finance, any balance sheet must also account for another actor -- the peoples of the region. "People Power," the spring 2011 issue of Middle East Report, documents their inspiring struggles.
Mona El-Ghobashy offers a magisterial close reading of the crucial four days -- January 25-28 -- that transformed a protest into an uprising and then into a revolutionary situation in Egypt. With tactics learned from a decade of clashes with police, ordinary Egyptians overthrew an extraordinarily strong regime.
Ahmad Shokr tells the story of Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Egyptian revolution, from January 28 to February 11, date of President Husni Mubarak's resignation. In the square, he argues, the pro-democracy protesters made the kind of society they want to live in. Ted Swedenburg introduces the "troubadours of revolt" whose music entertained the insurrectionists and exhorted them onward. Their domestic foes, of course, have powerful foreign backers. Katherine Hawkins details the tight relationship of successive US administrations with the torture masters inside Mubarak's regime. As Peter Hart demonstrates, the American media has glossed over this sorry record.
Middle East Report interviews Tunisian labor leaders about the participation of unions in the first great success in the season of Arab revolts. Edward Thomas reports on the people's referendum that ushered in the new republic of South Sudan.
Also featured: Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt examine rising violence against Iraqi women, eight years after the invasion sold partly as a war of women's liberation; Lara Deeb reflects on popular treatments of Hizballah; Zachary Lockman reviews a new book on Israeli nationalism; and more."
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Middle East Report is published by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), a progressive, independent organization based in Washington, DC. Since 1971 MERIP has provided critical analysis of the Middle East, focusing on political economy, popular struggles and the implications of US and international policy for the region.