Following the Middle East?

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I have just spent the last 30 minutes kicking around these new country page profiles on Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Morocco.
Shadi Hamid of the Project on Middle East Democracy has assembled these portals, which I think are quite good.
More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

4 comments on “Following the Middle East?

  1. JohnH says:

    Ales–if you look at Latin America, every country is “free” except countries whose democratically elected governments are clearlly not siding with US positions. The only exception is Colombia, which is indeed in a special category. Meanwhile Afghanistan is rated as “partly free!?!”

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  2. Ales says:

    By chance, clicked on freedomhouse.org link on pomed.org. Do you think map on
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2008 is objective or, as it seems to me, a product of semigovernment organization propaganda?

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  3. JohnH says:

    It’s always good to have more sources of Arabic news In English. Many of the Moroccan news sources tend to be superficial, because the King keeps a watchful eye on the press. Let’s hope that MED offers more insightful commentary.
    Though it’s a young initiative, I’m surprised that MED did not pick up on an interesting, new political development in Morocco. A new political party has been created, called the Authenticity and Modernity Party. It’s somewhat of an unfortunate translation, I think, and does not capture the connotations inherent in the Arabic name for the party.
    What’s interesting about the party is its fundamental contradictions. Its stated objective is to face the challenges of modernisation, human development, sustainable development and social justice. These are progressive goals, until you realize that the party was formed by Fouad Ali El Himma, a childhood friend of the King. (In Arabic, the word for King is about the same as the word for “the Owner.”) Furthermore, El Himma spent time as the Interior Minister, which in Morocco concerns itself mostly with maintaining internal security, i.e. protecting the King and his property. It will be interesting to see if the progressive objectives of the party are anything more than pre-election rhetoric.
    To jump start the new party, el Himma has been busy bringing other, existing parties, primarily Leftist ones (!?!) under his umbrella, thereby bridging Left and Right.
    I’m looking forward to a good analysis of this from the MED project. Al Maghrebia, a DOD funded web site, has the scoop: http://www.magharebia.com/cocoon/awi/xhtml1/en_GB/features/awi/features/2008/09/21/feature-01

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  4. Dan Kervick says:

    I don’t always agree with Shadi. But I think he is a really good and honest guy, and people should pay attention to what he says.

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