Maria Saadeh is a former independent member of the Syrian parliament (2012–2016). Nowadays she travels all over the world to represent Syrian civil society at public conferences. While in Milan, ResetDOC had the chance to interview her to find out more about her role as an observer and to get her take on the prospects for peace.
- In a coalition government, Ennahda is demonstrating what acceptable religious conservatism might look like
- Political repression in Egypt ravaged the Jama’at al Ikhwan al Muslimiin, the Muslim Brotherhood, formerly the strongest and most organized opposition group in the country.
- The body politic is at risk in Egypt. On the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution — Jan. 25 — in a demonstration in Tahrir Square, a woman protester was violently set upon by a mob of men who grabbed at her private parts, pulling and pushing her from person to person until she was finally and with great difficulty rescued by teams of anti-harassment male activists. The roiling crowd circling around its prey was captured on video. She was not the only victim that night: Eighteen other incidents were also reported. And this was not the first time women protesters — and reporters — have been attacked by crowds of men in such demonstrations, their clothing ripped off, men’s fingers reaching inside their underwear.
- During his visit to Cairo, Erdoğan calmly repeated what he thought about democracy, pluralism of faiths and Islam. “I am a non-secular Muslim,” he said, “but I am the prime minister of a secular state and I say, ‘I hope there will be a secular state in Egypt.’ One must not be afraid of secularism. Egypt will grow in democracy and those called upon to draw up the constitution must understand it must respect all religions, while also keep themselves equidistant from the followers of all religions so that people can live in security.”
- This is Egypt’s new People’s Assembly; the NDP has won over 420 seats, secular opposition parties have 13 (Tagammu 5, Wafd 6, Socialist Party 1, Al Ghad 1). There are 70 independent Members of Parliament and it is possible that among them there are other ‘hidden’ NDP members as has happened in the past. One can easily envisage that the presidential elections planned for the second half of 2011 will be ruled by the NDP thanks to a parliament that is even more favourable than the outgoing one.
- In a decisive year for the Egyptian political system, seriously tested by a tight electoral calendar and by the uncertainty of presidential succession, there has been a rise in the popularity of a new man, Mohammed El Baradei, now retired from his international appointments (the most prestigious, from 1997 to 2009 as the Director of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna) and now in the front line for reforming his country. He appears, however, to worry the opposition more than the majority.