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The Arab World has Forever Changed

2011 February 25
by sfcg

Thousands march during a rally in the Moroccan capital Rabat on the 21 of February as part of a wave of protests calling for change in the north African kingdom. Source: AP

Writing for Fox News, SFCG Board Member, Ahmed Charai gives an excellent analysis of why it’s ineffective and dangerous to paint all the Middle Eastern and North African uprisings with the same brush:

The bottom line is that not every Arab revolution is the same – nor will one country’s day-after scenario much resemble that of the next.  One thing’s for sure in every Arab country now undergoing a transformation: As the Tunisian and Egyptian models have already begun to show, the absence of an organized democratic alternative to dictatorship is a guarantee of future turmoil.

He also points to Morocco as a remarkably stable country in a destabilized neighborhood. While there have been demonstrations in Morocco, Charai points to a fundamental difference:

Morocco’s king has been pressing for political and socio-economic reform for the past ten years. Fundamental freedoms are now guaranteed. A space exists for open, systemic political opposition. So unlike in Egypt, Tunisia, or Libya, in each of which protesters were killed, Morocco’s demonstrations were entirely peaceful…Moreover, protesters largely did not call for the fall of the regime nor challenge its fundamental legitimacy. Rather, they demanded more reforms, and faster.

We have been working in Morocco since 2001, on issues such as reducing violence against women, engaging youth in civic society and strengthening their capacity to mediate conflicts in their own communities through our MediAction program. To learn more about the work we’ve done, go here, and to find Charai’s entire article click here.

The Arab world has forever changed and the youth have proven their passion and commitment to freedom.  The current events in the Arab world mark the start of a long and challenging process. While each country requires unique attention, the need to understand the differences and act on the commonalities is the same.

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