Commentary

Contempt of Religion in North Africa: Repression of Minorities and Monopoly on Interpretation of Religion

Since 2011, many countries in North Africa have witnessed major political changes following widespread protests and revolutions. As a result, new constitutions were created across the region that asserted the protection of citizens’ rights, especially the freedom of belief, opinion...

A decade on, Libya’s revolutionary hopes are smouldering ashes set to ignite

“Wasn’t it better under Gadaffi?” is a question that strangers have forced me to ponder countless times over the past ten years. Vaguely familiar with death and destruction-laden news coverage from Libya, many expect us to experience a haze of...

Hate Speech, Social Media and Political Violence in Iraq: Virtual Civil Society and Upheaval

With over half of Iraq’s population active on social media, technology has been an important site of community building and political mobilization, particularly around the "October Revolution" that erupted in 2019. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter parallel civil society on...

The Beirut Explosion’s Impact on Mental Health

On August 4, 2020, an unexpected explosion of over 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate neglected for years at the Beirut port resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the region’s most populous cities. Over 200 people are estimated to...

Algeria: The Arab Spring’s Late Bloomer?

When protests started throughout the Middle East and North Africa in late 2010 and early 2011, observers seemed to keep wondering: why are Algerians not protesting? But this is not entirely true. In 2010, nearly 10,000 localized protests and riots...

Women on the Frontline: The Anti-Sexual Violence Movement in Egypt Ten Years After the Revolution

Ten years after the revolution, Egyptian women are still raising their voices against sexual assaults and harassment, especially over social media platforms. This phenomenon came to the forefront of attention a few months ago, when a group of women started...

Egypt’s Digital Foreign Policy

In June 2020, at least 13 websites affiliated with the Ethiopian government were hacked and defaced. The targets were diverse, from seemingly innocuous sites such as Ethiopia’s Educational Evolution Office, the Statistics Centre, and the National Lottery Administration, to more...

Why Does the International Community Want Lebanon to Audit its Central Bank?

Since March, 2020, Lebanon has struggled to commence a forensic audit of its Central Bank. The audit is considered a prerequisite for receiving economic aid from the international community or a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It has...

Iraq Protests Battle for State Sovereignty

In October of 2019, Iraq witnessed the launch of a mass protest movement known as the "October Revolution," with the slogan “We Want a Homeland” (نريد وطن ), which has become the movement’s online hashtag and raison d’être. This slogan must...

Lebanon’s Universal Periodic Review and Deteriorating Press Freedom

Lebanon’s commitment to its human rights obligations will be assessed on January 18 during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Every five years, the UPR is carried out for member states to review and...