The Happy Arab News Service

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Domino Effect

Last updated: February 1, 2011


Jasmine Revolution or Slap Revolution?

“Do you really believe a woman can slap a man in front of 40 other people and no one would react?” he said.

Source: NYTimes

Domino Effect

It's not out of impossible that the first domino to be toppled by Tunisia's slap revolution will be the country's economy. The next government is very likely to find itself greeted by an avalanche of demands to raise wages and increase food and fuel subsidies. Even police, who just a few weeks ago were busy battling protesters, support democracy now.

Saturday's crowd on Avenue Bourguiba, where daily protests have been held, drew many plainclothe and uniformed police with red armbands. They sought to press demands like the creation of a labor union, better pay and — like other protests in recent days — the ousting of any members from Ben Ali's party from the government.

Officers climbed onto their official cars, blew their whistles and waved flags and signs. Some exchanged hugs to congratulate each other about their chance to protest. Many were joined by their families.

"I am not afraid to come down to the street," said Rida Barreh, 30, who has been an internal security officer for five years. "I work 12 hours a day and yet only get paid 500 dinars ($350, 250 euros) a month."

Source: Associated Press

Fossa Regia

After the Roman general Scipio defeated Hannibal in 202 B.C. outside modern-day Tunis, he dug a demarcation ditch, or fossa regia, that marked the extent of civilized territory. The fossa regia remains relevant. Still visible in places, it runs from Tabarka on Tunisia’s northwestern coast southward, and then turns directly eastward to Sfax, another Mediterranean port. The towns beyond that line have fewer Roman remains, and today tend to be poorer and less developed, with historically higher rates of unemployment.

The town of Sidi Bouzid, where the recent revolt started when a vendor of fruit and vegetables set himself on fire, lies just beyond Scipio’s line. Tunisia is less part of the connective tissue of Arab North Africa than a demographic and cultural island bordered by sea and desert, with upwardly mobile European aspirations.

Source: One Small Revolution

The next domino to fall comes in the form of a popular TV station as the revolution acquires an unmistakable aspect of a witch hunt.

Next dominoes to watch

One domino to watch is Yemen. This one can fall and soon. This is not because Yemen is very mich like Tunisia (though some people are trying hard), but because it's just falling apart.

And of course tomorrow Egypt is going to try its luck in slap revolutions.

The Day of Rage in Egypt

Here is an early demo release of Egypt's version of the slap revolution. Looks like a fucking intifadah. Enjoy

Egypt's a la Tiananmen Moment

January 27, 2011

January 28, 2011

Today should be the day of Intifada in Egypt

February 1, 2011

I stopped updating this post as, unlike Tunisia, this time the media coverage has become pretty extensive. As you probably know, the first wave of the protests swept the capital. As police disappeared from the streets, the protesters set fire to major symbols of power such as the headquarters of the ruling party. The opposition announced a million man march on Cairo for tomorrow and the army has already promised to hold fire. Mubarak looks increasingly spent force while the opposition is holding talks on formation of an alternative government.

In conclusion of this long series of updates, I would like to salute the pro democracy movement in Egypt and all freedom loving people of this planet by posting the following table from the latest Muslim public opinion poll published by Pew in December of 2010.

Source: Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah

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