Lebanon’s protests are the largest and most ambitious in 15 years. Anthony Elghossain reports on the why, the how, and what went down in Beirut. Lebanon is an impossible—or, an impossibly infuriating and inspiring—place. Over the past nine days, hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon have been protesting—the largest protests in almost 15 years. And they’ve been partying, although this moment isn’t, and could never have been, just a party….more: roadsandkingdoms.com
IT IS THE size of a small suitcase and can be placed discreetly in the back of a car. When the device is powered up, it begins secretly monitoring hundreds of cellphones in the vicinity, recording people’s private conversations and vacuuming up their text messages.
The device is one of several spy tools manufactured by a Chinese company called Semptian, which has supplied the equipment to authoritarian governments in the Middle East and North Africa, according to two sources with knowledge of the company’s operations….more: theintercept
In a breathless 48 hours, a president, defence minister and security chief have all been ousted in Sudan.
Omar al-Bashir held absolute power for three decades as president. Awad Ahmed Ibn Auf, the defence minister who announced Bashir’s arrest and declared the country would be run by a military council for two years, lasted all of 24 hours.MORE: middleeasteye.
…With so much international media focused on the demonstrations in Hong Kong, one might be excused for forgetting that people in Sudan, Algeria, and Morocco were out in the streets months before Hong Kongers began venting their anger at Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Beijing. There were also protests in Egypt, though they were quite small, and larger demonstrations that are ongoing in Iraq and Lebanon….more: Foreignpolicy
Who was not heartened by the images of protests and demonstrations sweeping across the Arab world in 2011? Here, in the face of corruption and tyranny, was Arab civil society affirming the virtue of elective government in one of the era’s most positive and hopeful displays of popular action. The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia sent millions to the streets and catalyzed successive revolutions that brought down four dictators…more: newsweek
The war began as a regional conflict, but, in a similar fashion to the first two world wars, entangling military alliances dragged the world’s most powerful, and most destructive, countries into the battle…..more: future.wikia
Last Sunday was the 14th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq. Given the outcome of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the milestone passed almost completely without comment among the many who led the charge to Baghdad in 2003. There are soldiers of all ranks who went into battle carrying copies of Ibn Khaldun’s “The Muqaddimah,” Hans Wehr’s Arabic-English Dictionary and other works that might help explain the land and region to which…more: SALON.COM
The “contract” is the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided up most of the Arab lands that had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The world that document created exists now only on yellowed maps, and the issues left unsettled — primarily the need for separate Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish territories — have come home begging. War is not fixing this; diplomacy might..MORE:reuters