Click into the above map of North Africa and the Middle East to obtain an enlarged version. This map was effectively used by Dr. Farhat Nofal at our discussion meeting on Sunday to illustrate the radical political developments which are taking part in this crucial area of the world.
Since only December, protests in Tunisia and Egypt have achieved revolutionary moves towards the establishment of democracy. Other protest movements have so far achieved a variety of results. Powerful protests and repression continue in Yemen which could soon see a dramatic transformation. Governmental changes have came about in efforts to try and contain protests in Jordan, Oman and even in Syria. There is the armed conflict in Libya. Major protests have also emerged in Algeria, Bahrain and Djibouti, whilst they have also re-emerged in Iran and Iraq. There is then the continuing turmoil in the Palestinian areas and with Israel. Whilst protest movements have also emerged in Morocco, the Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Sudan, Lebanon and even in the highly oppressive circumstances of Saudi Arabia. Whether these regimes are monarchical or republican, they tend to have functioned under dictatorial and mainly family control.
Whilst complexities exist due to divisions within Islam between Shia and Sunni influences, from the complexities of Western involvement, over widespread concern about the well-being of Arabs in Gaza and Western Bank and from the imperial interests of Iran and Turkey: democratic forces such as nascent trade union movements in the region are fully in need of our support.
For a breakdown of the 2010 - 2011 Middle East and North Africa Protests also see here.