Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Paper presented to “Swedish institute of international affairs (UI)”

Stockholm- July 2011



Arab revolutions have become international phenomena. There is no question that these uprisings started domestically; however, they are an outcome of a historical moment of intersection between internal pressures and international and regional changes.
Nor the US neither the EU can claim that the Arab transition was a direct result of their democratization policies.
The question of how to democratize the Arab world was discussed, earlier, in the context of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism. The American tendency to democratize Arab states “from outside” through military intervention has failed, so did the EU investments in democratization projects. James Zogby’s 2010 book “Arab Voices, which reflected Arab opinions of both the U.S. and its foreign policies, reveals that “American democracy [seems] a lot like damaged goods to many Arabs… U.S. policy in the region has increasingly undermined Arab attitudes toward America as a global model.”[1]
So, It became more or less the consensus of the international community that the “from within” approach without any major outside interference might perhaps be more promising.
Major international - regional factors affected the Arab sphere in the last decade:
-         The American “war on terror”, the occupation of Iraq, in addition to the long term Intractable Arab- Israeli conflict increased the popular feelings of anger and grieves, especially against US-backed dictators.
-         The failure of the “Iraqi model” for change, U.S. announcements of “exit strategies” from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the failure of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon in July 2006.
-          The rise of the so called “Iranian threat” turned Arab oil exporting countries to direct large streams of revenues towards military and security expenses.
-         Global financial crisis 2008 and the bankruptcy of many gulf companies and emirates, increased pressure on the local labor markets[2].
In addition to these regional factors, several internal factors prompted Arab uprisings. In the following paper we will illustrate these factors, then discuss whether the EU has missed the opportunity to win “the hearts and minds” of the Arab youth. And finally, list some recommendations for better future EU –Arab relations.

Arab spring: outcome of historical intersection moment

 It is not accurate, as some claimed, that Arab revolutions were “made in USA” through internet. No one can deny that social media, esp. facebook and twitter, offered advantages in circulating messages quickly and broadly, allowing organizers of protests to involve like-minded people in a movement at a very low cost. However, we should not overestimate the role of social media in breaking up the revolutions. Social media do not create protest movements; it only allows members of such movements to communicate more easily[3].
Arab spring was created in a moment where long-term internal pressure factors intersected with regional and international ones, and lead to a historical moment in the Arab region.
Parallels can be drawn between Arab revolutions and European ones two decades ago where Eastern Europe people caught a historical moment to free themselves and change history. Some analysts compared them to the 1848 revolutions in Europe, and some Islamist analysts argued that they were like the Iranian 1979 Islamic revolution.
As in Europe in 1848, economical and social factors as poverty, inflation, rising food prices and high unemployment have fueled popular protests in the Arab region. And similar to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989, social frustration with closed, corrupt, and unresponsive political systems has led to defections among elites and the fall of dictatorship.

Despite these similarities, Arab Spring is not completely identical to any of the aforementioned revolutions. Arab revolutions are the product of multi international, regional, and internal factors. Nevertheless, in each country, the uprising took a distinctly different meaning, slogans and tools, besides their types, models, outcomes and levels of international interference differed widely.

International and Regional political factors

After 9\11 and American “war on terror”, Europe was seen by Arabs as the “old continent” which was responsible for collaborating in USA policies, with no independent policies of its own. The EU’s failure in the region, results basically from a failure of vision, besides the lack in the existence of independent military forces, political will and the high-flying and idealistic rhetoric of the EU institutions. In other words, the problem is that European countries do not share common vision and goals for the region to start with. Divisions remain over a number of difficult questions, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, the character of Political Islam, the importance of democratic reforms, the role of the US, and even the geographic focus of EU engagement.
Consequently, most of the EU political and economic influences in the region have been replaced by that of USA. However, after the global economic crisis in 2008 and failures of “war on terror”, the external support for the regimes was felt weaker than before. Arab regimes were seen very weak at the moments of uprisings, as they based their authority on two pillars: repression of their people and external support.

USA impotent Super- power

Arab public is strongly opposed to Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian land and the complicity of US and Arab regimes in backing Israeli policies.[4]
A comparison drawn between 1989 and the Arab revolutions, shows that similar to the consequences followed the collapse of Berlin wall, Arabs broke walls of fear as the American power was felt as impotent after declaring “exit strategies” from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Moreover, the American administration was ultimately unsuccessful in its attempt to forge a strategy to contain Iran and reduce Iranian influence through forming an alliance with “moderate” Arab states, a tripartite coalition that was to comprise the US, Israel and the Gulf States in addition to Egypt and Jordan.
US sanctions and threats didn’t stop Iran’s nuclear program. However, Bush’s misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan significantly enhanced Iran’s regional standing. During the last decade, Iran has progressed significantly towards mastering the nuclear fuel cycle, a key component for producing weapon grade nuclear material.

Today’s world, with its rising global powers (such as India, Brazil and China) and rising regional powers (such as Turkey and Mexico), is increasingly seen as post-American. Especially after sobering experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the former hyper-power is, nearly, seen as first among equals.

Rise of “axis of resistance”

Two historical events marked a shift in the balance of Middle East:
-          Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000: for the first time- since the founding of Israel state in 1948, Israel was obliged to withdraw from Arab land without signing a peace accord.
-         July War 2006: In spite of Israel’s overwhelming military power, it is widely acknowledged that Hezbollah’s impressive showing during the July 2006 War helped achieve an effective deterrence capacity in relation to Israel.    
These events convinced Arabs that there was another way to deal with Israel and oblige it to withdraw from occupied territories rather than signing what was seen by them as “humiliating” peace accords.

Wiki leaks cables:

Wiki leaks[5] cables provided further proof of the profligacy and corruption of Arab presidents, and perhaps also some measure of reassurance that the United States, too, knew they are corrupted. This helped Arab people realize that it was obvious to the rest of the world what they thought only they knew — that their government was corrupt, repressive, and downright rotten to the core.
Most importantly, it showed Tunisian people that the US would not back the Tunisian leader, giving them hope that change was possible[6].

Internal causes

A 2005 survey conducted by Zogby International and the University of Maryland across six major Arab countries provides a glimpse of what issues are most salient to the Arab public. The survey asked respondents to rate the importance of different issues that face their country. The results rating each issue as “extremely important” reported as follows:
      Social and economic issues appear to be most salient to a majority of the Arab public, with 60-70% of Arabs rating these types of issues as extremely important.
      Less important in comparison were advancing democracy and protecting personal/civil liberties, with the percentages of Arab citizens rating these issues as extremely important only in the forties.
      Lastly, resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was generally viewed as equally important as advancing democracy or protecting political and civil liberties.

This survey gives a clear view of the motives and roots of Arab revolutions. As we mentioned before, Arab revolutions are not identical. However, Arabs do share these major concerns:
A-     Socio- economic concerns
B-     Democracy and civil liberties
C-     Cultural and psychological attitudes

Socio- economic concerns[7]:

 A major challenge facing all Arab citizens is their lack of what is fundamental to their economic security. For nearly three decades, the region hardly witnessed any economic growth.
One clear sign of the vulnerability of Arab economic growth is its high volatility. Rocky ups-and-downs in the Arab countries, from high growth in the 1970s to economic stagnation through the 1980s and back to extraordinary growth in the early 2000s, then the fall caused by the global crisis in 2008 directly reflect the turbulent cycles of economic status of the Arab region.
Many Arab countries are turning into increasingly import oriented and service based economies. This trend has grown at the expense of Arab agriculture, manufacturing and industrial production. Overall, the Arab countries were less industrialized in 2007 than in 1970, almost four decades previously[8].
-         Unemployment is a major source of economic insecurity in most Arab countries. In 2006, the Middle East and North Africa already exhibited the highest youth unemployment rate in the World (24.6% and 25.7% respectively) as well as the largest gender gap in unemployment. Countries in the region have not been able to create jobs quickly enough to absorb the large youth cohorts entering the workforce. Greater female participation in the labor force has contributed to the problem, although this has the potential to be a tremendous asset over the long term.
 Overall, the unemployment rate among the young in the Arab countries is nearly double that in the world at large.
-         Demographics– specifically youth bulge: Nearly one-half of the population of the Middle East and North Africa is under the age of 20[9]. Young people constitute well over half the population of the region, with growth rates that are second only to Sub-Saharan Africa. Governments in the region didn’t invest in youth in MENA, even though the youth bulge created a demographic window of opportunity in which economies can benefit from a majority of individuals entering their productive peak, while the share of the population that is very young and that of the elderly still remains fairly small.
-         Education has played an important role in the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Educated youth have been integral to the “Arab spring”. As we mentioned before, young adults constitute the majority of the population and, unlike their fathers and mothers, they know how to use internet and are subjected to ideas of “westernization” about human rights, liberties, and social welfare, but they suffer from unemployment and social frustration.
-         Food and hunger: This wave of revolt started on a background of de­teriorating social conditions: the rising prices of food and basic services. In Arab countries two-fifth of income is spent on food[10], this shows that insecurity undercuts health, education and standards of living, all of which put in question the effectiveness of the state in providing, and ensuring access to the basic necessities of life. The main indirect causes of hunger in the region are poverty, foreign occupation, and economic policies esp. those applying IMF recipes.
-         Health: Health systems are often shackled by bureaucratic inefficiency, poor professional capabilities and underfunding; and health risks from new infectious diseases are on the rise. Despite improvements in health institutions and strategies across the region, the health status of Arabs, in general, is lower than that enjoyed by citizens of industrialized countries.

Political Roots

Indeed, Arab states in the twenty–first century are still a form of “Neopatriarchy” as Hisham Sharabi described them in his late eighties book[11].  Many economic, political, social, and cultural changes in the last century led the Arab world, as well as other developing countries, not to modernity but to Neopatriarchy --a modernized form of patriarchy.
Arab states and social structures collided to block authentic change. Distort forms and practices subsequently came to dominate all aspects of social existence and activity--among them religious fundamentalism, an ideology symptomatic of Neopatriarchal culture.
Arab states are by no means associated with good governance norms:
-         The majority of them lack the acceptance of their citizens.
-         They lack simple compliance with international charters pertaining to basic human rights and freedoms.

-         Lack of legitimacy

Most States in Arab region are seen as artificial colonial creations by their citizens.
Many Arabs refer to their states as imposed colonial entities; where borders often enclose diverse ethnic, religious and linguistic groups that were incorporated as minorities in the post-colonial era.
The majority of states failed to introduce democratic governance and institutions of representation that ensure the equal distribution of wealth among various groups, and respect for cultural diversity, thus creating a trend of alienation between states and their own citizens. This rejection of the legitimacy of the states which was inherited from colonial era has been accompanied by conflicts that threaten human security and to which some states have responded by imposing authoritarian controls.

-         Lack adherence to human rights norms

Most Arab states’ constitutions do not adhere in several issues to the international norms of democracy and human rights.
Many Arab countries’ constitutions adopt ideological or doctrinal formulas that empty stipulations of general rights and freedoms of any content and which allow individual rights to be violated in the name of “reason de Etat”.
Basic Freedoms such as opinion, press, information and expression are strongly restricted.
Arab governments don’t deal with information as a social right and the bedrock of a democratic system or an effective means of bringing about development. On the contrary, they step up repression and news blackouts to conceal the prevailing corruption as much as possible.
Freedom of press in the Arab world vanishes when exploited by governments who make use of legal constraints to punish anyone who dares to criticize them.
Across the Arab region, six countries prohibit the formation of political parties. In many other cases, varying degrees of repression and restrictions on the establishment and functioning of political parties, particularly opposition parties, effectively amount to their prohibition.
Restrictive measures govern all aspects of civil society in Arab world. NGOs, also, are subject to tight monitoring and control regarding the issues of mobilization, funding, and type of civil awareness targeted.

-         Long – term state of emergency

Many Arab states have undergone extraordinarily long periods of emergency rule[12], transforming interim measures into a permanent way of conducting political life.
Post 9-11, most Arab countries passed anti-terror laws based on a wide and unspecific definition of “terrorism”. These moves have given government security agencies sweeping powers which, although effective in some contexts, can form a threat to basic freedoms in others.
Such laws allow undefined periods of pre-trial detention and multiply instances where the death penalty may be applied.
They also curb freedom of expression and increase police powers of search, eavesdropping and arrest. In some cases, these laws increase the use of military courts.
 All Arab heads of state wield absolute authority. They maintain their hold on power by leaving the state’s security apparatus an extremely wide margin for maneuver, at the expense of citizens’ freedoms and fundamental rights.

Psychological- cultural roots

Social psychological researches demonstrate that humiliations and insults do have differential effects in different cultures, and that they have an especially strong impact in cultures of honor[13] like Arab culture.
 Historically, the sense of honor was essential element of Arabian culture even before Islam.
Much has been written on the subject of honor (sharaf) among the Arabs, where the honorable behavior is seen conducive to group cohesion and group survival.
So, in this Arabian culture of honor, the feeling of humiliation[14] and desire in revenge can be seen as a dynamic force for change.

-         Role of honor and human dignity

Any Objective analysis for causes and roots of Arab revolutions cannot under estimate the role of humiliation, anger and emotional factors driving protesters to the streets.
Emotions are thought to be among the central dynamics contributing to the intractability of conflict situations, whether those conflicts take place at the individual, communal, national or international levels.[15]
For example, political events after 9/11 show how intense emotional experiences of humiliation, anger and rage can motivate violent, terrorist activities. According to the New York Times, on a videotape showing the beheading of American captive Nicholas Berg in May 2004, a masked terrorist referred to photos showing the humiliation of the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, and read a statement saying:
“The shameful photos are evil humiliation for Muslim men and women in the Abu Ghraib prison…Where is the sense of honor, where is the rage? Where is the anger for God’s religion? Where is the sense of veneration of Muslims, and where is the sense of vengeance for the honor of Muslim men and women in the Crusaders prisons?”[16]

This excerpt demonstrates how the experience of humiliation can lead individuals to express rage and seek violent revenge for the humiliation cast upon their group or community.
Humiliation is defined as:
“Enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of subjugation that damages or strips away their pride, honor or dignity…To be humiliated is to be placed, against your will and often in a deeply hurtful way, in a situation that is greatly inferior to what you feel you should expect.
Humiliation entails demeaning treatment that transgresses established expectations…The victim is forced into passivity, acted upon, made helpless.[17]

This definition highlights several important aspects of humiliation, and references can be made to Arabs:

 First, it points out that humiliation involves a figurative lowering to the ground, or a sense of being made to feel inferior. This is the case of Arabs feeling humiliation since 1948[18] till now.
·        The first source of humiliation is Israel and USA. As shown in a 2009 public opinion survey, 76% of Arabs refer to the Arab – Israeli conflict as in the top 3 priorities and 72% of them feel that most of the Iraqi people are now worse off after the war.[19]
·        The second source of humiliation is the Arab regimes: born of Arab nationalism from the 1950 and 1970 and converted into repressive governments, are figured as serving Israeli interests and US agents in the region. It is useful to note that a survey conducted by Zogby and Maryland University for the Arab public opinion 2009 revealed that 66% of Arabs have negative attitude and unconfident towards American policy in the Middle East.[20] 
 In another recent survey published at July 13, 2011, Zogby international report states that:In five out of the six countries surveyed, the U.S. was viewed less favorably than Turkey, China, France—or Iran. Far from seeing the U.S. as a leader in the “post-Arab Spring” environment, the countries surveyed viewed “U.S. interference in the Arab world” as the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East, second only to the continued Palestinian occupation[21].

Second, it is seen as deep feeling associated with being, or perceiving oneself as being, unjustly degraded, ridiculed, or put down—in particular, one’s identity has been demeaned or devalued.
This can be figured in the demonstrations all around the Arab world during Israel invasions to Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2009 and through Arab public reactions towards the episode of hitting Bush by a shoe, where many Arabs regarded it as a revenge for the humiliation of Iraqi people, and as a commentator once declared on Aljazeera channel: “Muntazer Alzaidy restored Arabs’ dignity”.

Third, as a result of experiencing humiliation, individuals may feel permitted to engage in activities that previously seemed unacceptable. As a result of being the subject of humiliating events, more extreme - usually violent- behavior against the perpetrators becomes morally and socially acceptable. That’s why groups like Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive high ratings from Arab public according to recent surveys done by Pew research center[22].

Therefore, and as a result for humiliation felt through the long intractable Arab- Israeli conflict, the occupation of Iraq, massacres done by Israeli military forces  followed by photos of kisses and smiles of Arab leaders with Israeli leaders...Arab protesters filled with anger, humiliation, and the tendency for revenge filled the streets to overthrow their dictators.

EU foreign policy towards Arabs

The revolutions offered an opportunity to reconsider European policy towards the Arab world, however it seems that it was missed and the image of the EU as honest friend has been deteriorated.
It should be noted that, despite their deep involvement in the region, neither the U.S. nor the EU saw the Arab revolts coming. They modestly acknowledged their status as mere observers and took time to re-adjust their vision of the region, of where it might go, and how they could help sustain the democratic momentum without jeopardizing their interests.
The democratic maelstrom engulfing the Arab countries has revealed the failure of Europe’s strategy towards the region. The failure here is not merely intellectual and moral, but practical:  Europe’s inability to foresee or champion the Arab peoples’ deep urge for freedom.
Western policies have, far too long, viewed the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world as guarantors against the further expansion of Islamic extremism and terrorism. The EU has continued so long to cooperate with these rulers, neglecting the demands for human rights compliance in favor of its economic interests, and placing more emphasis on stability than on democratic development.
Even during the revolutions, EU missed its chance to position itself as an international player and declare its solidarity with the Arab peoples due to:
First, The assumptions which held that:
- Friendly authoritarian regimes would be politically sustainable in the long run. Their societies too fragmented and disillusioned to represent any kind of powerful opposition which has been torn into pieces.
- Long-standing "Orientalist" assumptions in the West that Arab people are content with their leaders even when they are politically and intellectually subjugated by them, and that Arabs – culturally- don’t know how to live in democracy and freedoms.
These two assumptions lead EU to misjudge the stability of friendly regimes, thus came late and off-balance to the protests, and worse, reacted towards revolutions without a shred of unity.

Second: disagreements within Europe’s National capitals about the best way to deal with the new realities: Each EU member state has its own history and interests in the region, and these interests are not always shared.
Due to the initially hesitant reactions to the revolution in Tunisia and the demonstrations in Egypt, Europe lost a lot of its popularity within Arab societies. Already in previous years, Europe had been repeatedly criticized for its double standard policy and alliances with corrupted Arab leaders.
The Pushback in the Gulf, also, raised awkward questions for the monarchs' Western partners. Bahrain's status as a Major Non-NATO Ally, and the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet caused the EU and United States to remain silent about the crackdown there, a fact that sits uneasily with the western rhetorical support for pro-democracy movements in other Arab countries, and the right to protest elsewhere.
Even when it comes to the intervention in Libya, disagreements among EU states have shattered any semblance of cohesion. While Britain and France pushed intervention, Germany not only refused to back their motion at the United Nations Security Council, but also removed its ships from a naval blockade in the Mediterranean. Italy initially insisted on taking a cautious position. It had deep financial investments there: colonial ties, and a number of initiatives to stem a flow of migrants to its southern borders. Malta, another country on the front line of potential refugees, also resisted any intervention. And Poland led several East European states in arguing that Libya's problems were an internal affair.
Moreover, EU policy of marginalizing and sanctioning Syria seems to fail; EU sanctions will not work because Assad regime still has good relations with China, Iran, Russia and Latin America.
The EU, unlike Obama’s administration, has reacted in Syrian case like George W. Bush did in 2003, in black and white terms, but international affairs are more grey. Politics can’t be a zero – sum game; the situation in Syria is more complicated than a simple struggle between “freedom fighters” and “dictatorship”. France did a big mistake organizing Syrian opposition conference attended by Israel’s supporters. Syrian revolution figures, backed by the west, became a symbol of “Zionism” and a tool of western conspiracy on Syria which will lead Syrian people to reject them.
For a revolution to succeed, a number of factors have to come together. The government must appear so irremediably unjust or inept that it is widely viewed as a threat to the country's future; elites (especially in the military) must be alienated from the state and no longer willing to defend it; a broad-based section of the population, spanning ethnic and religious groups and socioeconomic classes, must mobilize; and international powers must either refuse to step in to defend the government or constrain it from using maximum force to defend itself…All these seemed to be missed in Syrian revolution.
Shallow analyses of Syria could lead also to embarrassing mistakes for EU.

Recommendations for better EU – Arab future relations

The turbulent situation in the Arab world varies widely from country to country. What may be a useful measure for Tunisia, need not necessarily apply to Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, or Syria. There is no single “recipe” or “one size fits all”.
On the one hand, EU can act bilaterally according to a country’s specific needs, but on the other hand, it has to think regionally, because many of the current challenges are regional in character.
Arab revolutions can still affect Europe as profoundly as did the continent’s own revolutions of 1989. However, the prospect of “EU membership” which was a very strong driving force for reform in the Balkan countries after 1989 revolutions is not available to MENA countries. That’s why EU needs to develop a new vision for its Southern neighborhood.
The importance of the historical moment is that Arab revolutions provide the EU with an excuse and a reason to adjust its instruments:
·        First, The EU's MENA policies should now imply a "reset" on two issues: the kind of democracy to be supported and the new EU policy toward the region. Such a plan should be based on four pillars: promotion of full-fledged 'deep democracy', economic opportunities, political reforms, and minority rights.
EU should promote, above all, “deep democracy” that goes well beyond electoral fetishism. Deep democracy would consist of political systems characterized by the rule of law, freedom of speech, respect for human rights and, above all, an independent judiciary.
·        Second, European failures in the region have been its excessively bureaucratic and insufficiently political approach. The ignorance of internal politics was one of the main premises under which the “Union for the Mediterranean” was conceived: forget politics and proceed with projects. Contrary to the depoliticized and technical nature of the UM, the future EU - Mediterranean policies should be highly political. In the context of radical political change, the UM projects sound awkwardly detached from the urgent needs and demands of the Arab people.
·        Third, The European Union should have much more independent policies of the U.S. This should be manifested in many respects, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and backing of Muslim brotherhood. If Washington’s interests are to deal with Muslim brotherhood as Clinton declared[23], Europe should pursue its own interests and morals. The reach of Muslim brotherhood, will return repression to Arab societies, impose rule of sharia, and discrimination against minorities etc. which will intimidate stability in the region and increase immigration to EU.

In short, Europe needs to behave more like a regional power and less like a big NGO in its dealings with post-revolutionary Arab region.

[1] James Zogby, Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters, Palgrave Macmillan, NY, October 12, 2010.
[2] According to one estimate, Arab countries lost 2.5 trillion dollars as a result of the global financial meltdown and it lead to the return of the labors from the gulf to homeland, especially Egyptian workers which increased pressure on the labor market in many Arab states and increased unemployment.
[3] For further illustration of this issue, see: Leila Nicolas Rahbany, Revolutions via Facebook?, Article published in “AUL University Journal” – March issue 2011. Available at: http://leilanrahbany.blogspot.com/2011/03/revolutions-via-facebook.html

[4]  Such as the role played by the Mubarak regime and Palestinian Authority during Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza.
[5] The United States diplomatic cables leak began on 28 November 2010 when Wiki Leaks—an international new media non-profit organization that publishes submissions of private, secret and classified information from anonymous news sources, government whistleblowers, and news leaks—started to publish classified documents of detailed correspondence between the U.S. State Department and its diplomatic missions around the world, releasing further documents every day.
[6] Tom Malinowski, Whispering at Autocrats, in foreign policy, January 25, 2011, available at: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/25/whispering_at_autocrats
[7] All statistics and indicators mentioned in this part are available at: Arab Human Development Report 2009: Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Arab States. http://www.arab-hdr.org/contents/index.aspx?rid=5
[8]. World Bank data show that real GDP per capita in the Arab countries grew by a mere 6.4 per cent over the entire 24 year period from 1980 to 2004 (i.e. by less than 0.5 per cent annually). Check all Arab indicators at the World Bank official website.
[9] Terrific Graph from Economist on "Youth Bulge" in ME/NA, on:
[10] In 2005, about 20.3 per cent of the Arab population was living below the two-dollars-a-day international poverty line. This estimate is based on seven Arab middle and low income groups, whose population represents about 63 per cent of the total population of the Arab countries not in conflict.  Arabs living in poverty could be as high as 65 million. Extreme poverty is especially acute in the low-income Arab countries, where some 36.2 per cent of the populations are living in extreme poverty.
World Bank Report, (High Food Prices – A Harsh New Reality), 2008.
[11] Hisham Sharabi, Neopatriarchy: A Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
[12] Declarations of emergency are often simply a pretext to suspend basic rights and exempt rulers from any constitutional limitations, however weak.
[13] Culture of honor can be described as cultures in which even small disputes are contests for reputation and social status, and where individuals are well-prepared to protect their reputation by resorting to violence on a proper foundation.
 Cohen D., Vandello, J. & Rantilla, A. K, The sacred and the social: Cultures of honor and violence. In P. Gilbert & B. Andrews (Eds.), Shame: Interpersonal behavior, psychopathology and culture, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1998.
[14] Humiliation is generally thought to occur in relationships of unequal power in which the humiliator has control over the victim. This power imbalance is reflected in the English word “humiliation” which is rooted in the Latin word “humus” meaning earth. This root connotes being made lower than, being pushed down to the ground, or literally having one’s face “being put into the mud”.
Lindner, E.G, Healing the cycles of humiliation: How to attend to the A Theoretical Understanding of How Emotions Fuel Intractable Conflict emotional aspects of “unsolvable” conflicts and the use of “humiliation entrepreneurship”, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 8, 2, 2002, pp.127.
[15] , P. T Coleman, Characteristics of protracted, intractable conflict: Towards the development of a meta-framework, in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, Inc. 9 (1), 2003, pp. 1-37.
[16] Filkins, D., Jehl, D., Lichtblau, E. & Hulse, C., Iraq videotape shows the decapitation of an American. The New York Times, 2004, Wednesday, May 12, Section A, p. 1.
[17] Lindner, E.G, Healing the cycles of humiliation: How to attend to the A Theoretical Understanding of How Emotions Fuel Intractable Conflict emotional aspects of “unsolvable” conflicts and the use of “humiliation entrepreneurship”, Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 8, 2, 2002, p. 126.
[18]  Since the founding of Israel on Palestinian land, The Israeli forces humiliated Arab Palestinians, then three Arab armies defeating them in six days during 1967 war etc..
[19] Anwar Sadat chair foe peace and development, Zogby int., Maryland university, 2009 Arab annual public opinion survey, available at:
[20] ibid.
[21] http://aai.3cdn.net/5d2b8344e3b3b7ef19_xkm6ba4r9.pdf
[22] Pew Global Attitudes Project, Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah: Most Embrace a Role for Islam in Politics, December 2, 2010.http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1814/muslim-public-opinion-hamas-hezbollah-al-qaeda-islam-role-in-politics-democracy
[23] Reuters, June 30, 2011.