Ten years ago, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi stood in the middle of traffic, shouted “How do you expect me to make a living?” and set himself on fire, catalyzing popular protests in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and creating a lens through which advocates, scholars, and policymakers understand the region until today. Protesters took to the streets to demand freedom, economic justice, and accountability; political activists put forth proposals for reform and institutional change; civil society convened to bring about action; and journalists documented the events as they unfolded. Ten years later, we see a region that tells a complicated narrative: one of agency, openings, and resilience; yet also, one of repression, civil war, and mass atrocity.
The story of organizing in the MENA region did not begin and will not end with the “Arab Spring.” And so, in a commitment to share and learn from the lived experiences of those presenting alternate visions to decades of status quo, TIMEP is pleased to put forth “Ten Years On: Organizing in the MENA Region,” a project that will provide a platform for those who have organized, are organizing, and will organize in the region. Through “Ten Years On,” and in collaboration with its fellows, partners, and network, TIMEP will host interactive, audiovisual, and written content that unpacks how organizing has evolved; how governments and non-state actors have responded; and where we find ourselves today. In doing so, “Ten Years On,” will look into three spaces in which these contestations have unfolded: on the ground, in cyberspace, and in exile.
“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 nostalgia for the familiar allure of authoritarianism. To be fair, many Libyan families were indeed […]
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.
Years ago, hardly any women could openly speak about their sexual harassment or assault experiences. Today, it is a matter of public debate and prominent civil society action.
Since the January 25 Revolution, Egyptian authorities have passed a number of laws that severely affect key fundamental rights at the heart of organizing on the ground and online. A new fact sheet by TIMEP’s Legal Unit details these legislative developments.
Amidst an unprecedented economic collapse and the widespread acknowledgment that the status quo characterized by a non-transparent public sector has been irredeemably broken, can Lebanon’s newly nascent open data movement push for creating a culture of transparency and data sharing across the country?
This fact sheet, put together by TIMEP’s Legal Unit, tracks and unpacks some of the key laws in question, including those on civil society, freedom of information, and counter-terrorism.
TIMEP hosted “Ten Years On: Contesting Cyberspace in MENA,” a timely virtual discussion on social media, surveillance, cyberwarfare, and censorship.
While Tunisia has provided a home for individuals and organizations, it is currently, for the most part, a transitional hub rather than a permanent one—political, diplomatic and economic obstacles in Tunisia have made it difficult for it to play a bigger role.