The extraordinary national unity stemmed by General Soleimani’s assassination has suddenly turned into fresh, heated protests against Teheran’s regime. Will it cope?
- On September 20, thousands of Egyptians took to the street in Cairo and other cities of the country in a rare show of anti-government protests. Whilst it is certainly true that corruption, illegal practices, and private enrichment thanks to high-level connections with state officials are particularly hateful aspects in a country in which one-third of the population lives under the threshold of absolute poverty, the actual reasons of protests lie somewhere else.
- Torrential rains have caused massive floods in Iran, causing huge devastation. But is it the only flood that the Iranian government has to be worried about?
- The Doha Centre for Media Freedom is an organization founded in 2008 with the political and financial support – a 4 million dollar annual budget – of Mozah bint el Misnid, the Emir of Qatar’s powerful wife. Its objective: to assist journalists whose lives are in danger and promote media freedom from the heart of the Persian Gulf. For two years Jan Keulen is at its head. Dutch, class of 1950 and a life spent as a Middle East correspondent for Volkskrant daily newspaper. This is certainly not a simple task because prior to fighting for journalistic and media freedom in the world, Qatar, Al Jazeera’s homeland, finds itself fighting against its own same contradictions: a forty year old press law, a marked attitude of self-censorship by local media and a closure towards freedom of expression by the country’s more conservative fringes. Unsurprisingly, the Doha Centre’s former director, Robert Ménard, founder of Reporters without Borders was accused by the Qatari press of having invited “the Devil in person”, Flemming Rose, director of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published the infamous satirical cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005, to Doha. Ménard denied this incident in his book Mirages et Cheikhs en Blanc. According to the French journalist this was just a pretext to be rid of an uncomfortable presence for some elements of the country’s ruling class. In 2009, in fact, little more than a year after the Doha Centre’s inauguration, Ménard handed in his resignations
- The second Roundtable of Reset-Dialogues Istanbul Seminars 2012 (May 19-24 2012) “The promises of democracy in troubled times” took place on Sunday May 20th, 2012 at Istanbul Bilgi University. Former President of Iran, his Excellency Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, sent us his paper about Overcoming Postcolonialism: from the Civilizational Dispute to the Renewal of Dialogue. In this roundtable, Giuliano Amato, Giancarlo Bosetti, Alessandro Ferrara, Ali Khoshroo, Ramin Jahanbegloo and Roberto Toscano discussed this subject. The next roundtables will be screened online soon.More info about Istanbul Seminars 2012 here