Amazigh tunisia – Liby Amazigh Mon, 16 May 2022 05:17:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Amazigh tunisia – Liby Amazigh 32 32 Can Lebanon reverse the trend of futile elections in the Middle East? Tue, 10 May 2022 19:53:34 +0000

Can Lebanon reverse the trend of futile elections in the Middle East?

Supporters of the Lebanese Hezbollah group listen to a speech by their leader Hassan Nasrallah during a rally in the southern city

Thus, Lebanon returns to the polls on Sunday. Excited? No, me neither. Elections in the Middle East tend to follow a pattern as predictable as “Star Wars.” You show up at the polling station, you wait patiently in line in the heat, you vote, you get your fingers inked, you go home, you rejoice in democracy in action and, when you wake up the next morning, absolutely nothing has changed.
Iraq is currently offering a non-stop political cabaret vividly illustrating the problem. At first glance, the main winners of the national elections last October were the Sadrists. They may not have increased their total number of votes, but those votes have been distributed where they have had the most impact. Their main opponents, the grouping of Shia parties now known as the Coordination Framework, were dismayed, but not discouraged. They simply prevented the formation of a new government with a variety of delaying tactics straight out of the playbook used to slander the effect by Nouri Al-Maliki in 2010, including co-opting the chief justice and exploiting cynical of the ambiguities in the 2005 Iraqi Constitution. They have been helped by divisions between the two main Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who each claim the presidency for themselves.
The Coordinating Framework has the audacity to claim that it acts in the name of democracy and constitutional propriety – on the grounds that no government should be formed without securing political control of the Shia bloc as a whole. They oppose the Sadrists’ attempt to exclude them and instead include independents and Sunni and Kurdish parties. They are supported in all of this by Iran, which fears losing its influence if Iraqi politics were truly to become more open and sensitive to the real and material needs of all Iraqis, and not just a small number of ideological stooges driven and power hungry. So much for the national interest…
But that’s exactly what you get if you have a system of “muhasasah,” known in English as consociationalism — the distribution of political representation along community lines, as defined by self-appointed gatekeepers. Some would say it’s a convenient way to control communal tensions, guaranteeing proportionate shares of political benefits to mutually suspicious groups. In practice, it guarantees corruption, political opportunism and the freezing of all positive political development.
And of all the countries in the region, the one with the longest experience of this slow-moving car accident is poor Lebanon. I understand the reasons for the 1943 National Pact – and why the 1989 Taif Accord did little more than modify the framework of representation to accommodate changing demographics. After all, civil wars are exhausting and stopping them is always a priority. But consociationalism is not a long-term answer. It promotes the representation or well-being not of individuals or the community as a whole but of small predatory groups and their leaders.

Electoral democracy is a process, not a result. It is the product and not the cause of a political ideology.

Mr John Jenkins

In Lebanon and now in Iraq, it has produced professionally communalist politicians who make decisions not on the basis of voter intentions revealed by elections, but in closed-door negotiations with other elite groups including the main objective is to preserve their power and access to the state. resources that this power offers – and which in turn sustains the clientelism on which such a system depends. This provided fertile ground for external actors such as Iran to sponsor the growth of militias like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq. In both places they have blocked change and obstructed good governance and, in the interests of their sponsor, are now effectively holding these entire countries hostage.
Where does it end? In Iraq, massive economic inequality, environmental catastrophe (with chronic water shortages, agricultural failures and, in recent days, some of the worst sandstorms in living memory), utterly inadequate national infrastructure, the anarchy and the looting of state coffers. In Lebanon, it is still the same, as vividly illustrated by the total failure of responsibility for the explosion in the port of Beirut last year, the collapse of the central bank, a dire economic situation and rapidly increasing poverty.
If you look at the evidence from elections, social surveys and other opinion polls in the Middle East and North Africa since 2011 (or in Iraq since 2003), it is clear that many, if not most Arabs – and in fact Iranians, Kurds, Amazighs, Tuaregs, Turkmens, Armenians, Assyrians and Yazidis want to have a say in choosing clean, competent, efficient, accountable and accountable governments. The absence of such governments was a major driver of the events of the Arab Spring.
But if you then consider the actual results of those elections, you see a graphic illustration of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s observation – made against the backdrop of 1930s Europe – that the new cannot be born, the former will not die and the struggle between the two gives rise on the contrary to a variety of more or less morbid symptoms. Most notably, you see the continued hold that systems of tribal, clan, ethnic, religious, sectarian and other affiliation have on the politics and sociology of the region and its constituent parts.
Neither Lebanese nor Iraqi elections have produced a permeable and removable class of politicians who represent the interests of their constituents to the best of their ability and judgment. Instead, they confirm in power a set of elites whose power derives not from the ballot box but from the accumulation of social capital, clientelism and the deliberate construction of ethnic, communal or sectarian boundaries.
This story repeats itself with variations across the region. Some observers believed that the Arab Spring would produce better and more accountable governance. Instead, it produced insecurity, social unrest, the instrumentalization of religion, the rise of often violent identity politics and, where elections were held, callous and corrupt faith-based elites who looked much like to the old ones. And, therefore, in all elections in the region since 2011, we are now seeing the slow decline of popular trust at the polls in response to endemic and persistent problems of poor governance, corruption and state capture. If voting doesn’t change anything, why bother voting?
Electoral democracy is a process, not a result. It is the product and not the cause of a political ideology. In Europe — where political liberalism is an exception to be explained rather than a normative rule to be exported — the electoral systems expressed in different ways in different countries are the result of a highly contingent set of historical experiences and are underpinned by an articulated ideology of individual rights and freedoms whose origins go back to Roman and customary law.
And in the West, modernity was a cultural project before being an institutional project. Successful electoral democracy requires the development of enduring habits of mind and social practices and a shared sense of past and future. It needs an acceptance that power can be transferred peacefully, a living memory of effective, non-predatory state behavior, and an unintimidated civil society. It needs a common sense of justice and acceptance of the rule of law. And it needs strong, independent and impartial state institutions to arbitrate.
So the real question is: how do we think the conditions can be created in which a functioning electoral democracy can be born and sustained in Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia or elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa? At the heart of this is a question not about democracy but about the state and about governance. Most people want strong, accountable states that provide security, prosperity, services and jobs. Political systems like those in Lebanon and Iraq have failed catastrophically to fulfill this desire. Sunday’s elections in Lebanon will not solve the problem. They will simply illustrate it.
Wherever these systems persist, there is likely to be a majority of people in favor of something different. But first, the existing systems must be swept away or, at the very least, radically modified. And that comes with its own huge risks, especially in places where murderous militias have a foothold. Nevertheless, there is perhaps some comfort to be drawn from the courage of those people – often young people – who have taken to the streets in recent years in Beirut, Basra, Baghdad, Sidon, Tripoli and Tire to demand fundamental change. In Iraq, some even got elected. If their Lebanese counterparts could come together around a single agreed platform, they might just make progress. It will be slow, it will be hard and it will be dangerous. And he will first have to build a strong and effective state rather than just a collection of Potemkin ballot boxes. But something has to give, doesn’t it?

Sir John Jenkins is Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange. Until December 2017, he was Corresponding Director (Middle East) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, based in Manama, Bahrain, and was a Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. He served as British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia until January 2015.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arab News

Marvel’s Moon Knight Signals SWANA Region Growth In Movies Wed, 04 May 2022 09:17:37 +0000 Marvel bucked its own streak of Orientalist tropes with its latest film, Moon Knight, directed by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab. The New Arab charts the media franchise’s portrayal of the SWANA region and explains why Moon Knight could be a turning point.

As people of South West Asian and North African (SWANA) descent, we are used to popular media portraying our home countries and peoples as foreign, exotic and dangerous. Western mainstream media, especially action movies, superheroes, fantasy films and television perpetuate this orientalism.

Representation is important in this massive entertainment scene for the ease and extent to which it influences how non-SWANA view the region and its people.

While we are so diverse in our region and in our own countries, the perpetuation of this flattening gives the public mental permission to see us all as interchangeable, violent, “backward” and monocultural.

“There are so many new stories of all of us to tell. While it’s important to undo the Orientalism of the material when we can, like Diab does with Moon Knight, I hope it helps create more ‘opportunities to tell our original stories to popular acclaim as well’

Any Arab, Kurdish, Turkish, Amazigh, North African or other SWANA person knows the truth about the rich diversity and beauty of our people and our region, but has not had the opportunity to speak this truth on a flat -shape as massive as Marvel. So far, with Egyptian director Mohamed Diab’s portrayal of his home country in the current MCU series, Moon Knight.

The MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has been less than ideal in its portrayals of the region. In one of the recent series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldierthe opening action sequence takes place in Tunisia, with Sam Wilson tracking the criminal Batroc, through dangerous gorges.

We then see Sam and Joaquin Torres sipping tea in a market, and local Tunisians approaching them to thank them for being there. While having the orientalist yellow filter that American film and television always like to use for the SWANA region or anywhere else in the Global South.

These elements combine to paint Tunisia (and North Africa as a whole) as a dangerous place to be saved from American soldiers and to perpetuate these lies.

While the general public consumes this film and other neo-Orientalist films and televisions, such as Country and Tehran, these notions become harder to break down. This is especially evident with the portrayal of the villain Sam was chasing in this scene.

“As far as I know, the MCU’s problems with the representation of North African countries start with The Winter Soldier (2014), when they introduced Georges Batroc,” says a Franco-Algerian literature student and fan of Marvel Comics. Boumrane Derrar Meftah. “In the comics, he’s a cartoonish Frenchy villain with a big French accent and a big mustache, but to match the more serious tone of the movie, they decided to write him as a French-Algerian terrorist.

“They never fully fleshed out his cultural background in the film, except for this hurtful line, said by Alexander Pierce to correct someone who calls him a French criminal: “For the record, he is Algerian.“Arabizing a terrorist character for no reason has terrible connotations in itself, but making a French character Algerian is so specifically targeted given the past of both countries and the way Algerian immigrants are viewed in France,” Boumrane adds.

“Arabizing a terrorist character for no reason has in itself a terrible connotation, but making a French character Algerian is so specifically targeted given the past of both countries and the way Algerian immigrants are perceived in France”

“This specific line that he is Algerian and not French is something that racists and the media commonly use to stigmatize us whenever there are criminals of Algerian or Arab origin, although they are most of the times born and bred in France – which seems to be the case with Batroc from the little backstory they give him.

“When they brought the character back Falcon and The Winter Soldierthey didn’t restore his ties to Algeria (it says in episode 5 that he was in an Algerian prison) and they made it even worse by having Sam Wilson fight in a yellow-filtered Tunisia.”

So what a delightful surprise it was when Marvel announced Egyptian director Mohamed Diab as chief director of Moon Knightwith Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and Egyptian-Palestinian-Bahraini actress May Calamawy of Rummy fame will be one of the tracks.

Although I haven’t read his comics, I knew the Moon Knight/Marc Spector character was a Jewish American mercenary with the powers of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

I knew the comics themselves (like many others) perpetuated Orientalist stereotypes about the region, but if there could be an opportunity to rectify and revise that, then this might be it.

Although I was disappointed that they didn’t cast a well-known Jewish actor in the role (although it should be noted that Oscar Isaac has Jewish ancestry), Diab and Calamawy’s announcements filled me with hopefully this series would imbue Egypt and its people with an ingrained humanity, grace and beauty that is too often unapproachable in Western media.

“Any Arab, Kurdish, Turkish, Amazigh, North African or other SWANA person knows the truth about the rich diversity and beauty of our people and our region, but has not had the opportunity to speak this truth about a platform as massive as Marvel.”

As someone from the Middle East, I see the potential for Moon Knight for all of us.

Egypt in Moon Knight does not have an ugly yellow filter. Cairo is not a “backward” place, but a prosperous and bustling city full of light.

There is a scene of joy with Egyptians dancing to their beautiful music on the Nile, the bazaar in which Marc meets Layla is colorful, showing the Arab protagonist enjoying a delicious tamarind drink, and is more modern than traditional. other representations of a bazaar.

It’s a real place with real people living their lives and marveling at the changing night sky.

These scenes are mostly brief, with much more emphasis on the main character’s action and psychedelic plot, but it’s still a step up for other portrayals of the SWANA people in genre media. .

Even the depiction of Egyptian gods – perhaps minus some of the accents – seems more authentic than typical Orientalist depictions, with at least some of the gods played by real Egyptians and not made to look so supernatural, but grounded and therefore more relatable.

The biggest step up by far is the mesmerizing Layla El-Faouly played by May Calamawy. While her analog in the comics was a white woman named Marlene, the creative team, led by Diab, made the wise decision to cast her as a true Egyptian who retains her ties to the country, even though she had already was forced to leave for unknown circumstances. .

In Layla, May Calamawy brings enormous strength, vulnerability, humor and complexity in a way rarely offered to Arab or other SWANA women.

She has her own goals and travels alongside Marc/Steven and her own development, especially in episode 4. And the fact that May Calamawy herself contributed production on how to avoid stereotyping l Egypt and the Arabs is wonderful and has clear results. on the screen.

Basically, for all of us SWANA people, it’s all about presenting ourselves as people, and any specific cultural representation about us must be done with our input and leadership in the case of Mohamed Diab. In this, Layla provides the model for other Arab and SWANA characters in popular media.

Moon Knightwhile being a step forward, only one step remains.

The media landscape of Arab and SWANA representation in Western media remains infinitesimal, but hopefully with the scope of a Disney+ MCU series like this, it will compound the opportunities that Mohamed Diab, May Calamawy and other North African, Arab and other SWANA creators enter Hollywood.

There are so many new stories of all of us to tell. While it’s important to undo the Orientalism of the material when we can, as Diab does with Moon Knightwe hope this will help create more opportunities to tell our original stories to popular acclaim.

Swara Salih is a writer and podcaster who has written for The Nerds of Color and But Why Tho?. He co-hosts The Middle Geeks podcast, which covers all things SWANA/MENA representation, and is co-host of Spider-Man/Spider-Verse. Into The Spider-Cast podcast.

Follow him on Twitter: @spiderswarz

Omens of war in Libya | Habib Lassoued Wed, 20 Apr 2022 15:07:41 +0000

Omens of war continue to loom in western Libya due to outgoing interim prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah’s insistence on retaining power at all costs.

It has become clear that Western capitals do not want a solution to the crisis that began in 2011, but only want to get their hands on geographic territory and wealth and strike more deals.

Last Saturday, Nalut militias said they had prevented Zintan militias from reaching the Wazen border post with Tunisia. The Zintani wanted to ensure the return of the new Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Immediately, Dbeibah received the mayor of Nalut and thanked him for his action. He then invited the Tunisian ambassador to his office to discuss with him Bashagha’s activities in Tunis, where he would lead a government in exile.

Dbeibah spoke of the need to coordinate with the Tunisian authorities the control of joint border crossings. He appeared to be sending a message to Tunisian President Kais Saied, calling on him to block Bashagha’s access to border areas.

Predictably, Dbeibah’s office did not mention the threats made by a Tunisian terrorist last week against authorities in his home country. This individual made threats from the city of Misrata, where he now lives and is active in militias loyal to the outgoing government and former mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani, dismissed by parliament in November 2014.

Dbeibah did not elaborate on the reasons for the icy state of Libya-Tunisia relations, which many attributed to his thinly veiled support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the region as a whole and in Egypt and Tunisia in particular. This link is actually part of the alliance that brought him to power in February 2021.

Over the past few days, Tripoli has turned into an arena where the forces that claim to support the constitution and the elections clash. These fighters are represented by an alliance of militias from Tripoli, Misrata, Zawiya, Amazigh areas and other cities, who want to prevent any legitimate authority from taking office to replace the outgoing government whose mandate has expired. They oppose any transition, whether it takes place today, in a month, after a year or in five years.

Dbeibah decided to get hold of the decision-making centers. He knows how to manipulate militias and stakeholders and how to dance with Western capitals and give them what they need, be it promises, deals or concessions. His advisers assure him that to continue to govern a rich country like Libya, he just needs to master the game of relations with foreign countries. He is told that he just has to control the Central Bank of Libya, the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan Investment Authority.

A video has gone viral in recent days showing Dbeibah chairing an important meeting as his phone rang twice. He turned to those in the room saying, “Sorry, I can ignore everyone except Saddek”, referring to Saddek Elkaber, Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, who has put all his powers and capacities in the service of what was called the government of national unity, which could indeed turn into a government of total disunity.

Dbeibah does not operate in a vacuum because it enjoys the guarantees of at least two Western capitals and the support of Turkey and Qatar. The real decisions in Libya are not at home, but come from outside the country,

These and other factors have led to changes on the ground. Militants have closed the Al-Fil oil field in the southern Murzuq basin, the Zueitina and Brega oil terminals in the eastern region and more such closures are likely in the coming days. It is reminiscent of what happened in January 2020 when Libya’s export ports were closed and the source of its wealth stopped, for no less than eight months. NOC President Mustafa Sanalla estimated losses at more than $100 billion.

The Libyans appear to be shutting down the oil installations for various reasons, the latest of which is the delegation of the army leadership to the Joint Military Committee. Areas teeming with oil resources are starved of revenue, and the army that secures them cannot pay the salaries of its members. Instead, the money goes to foreign forces, mercenaries, militias, armed groups and warlords. Moreover, basic services are lacking, prices are skyrocketing and money is being looted.

The situation in Libya today is dire and the country could soon face disaster. The main reason is that Dbeibah will not give up power easily. He is supported by the militias who reject national reconciliation and the unification of the armed forces because they see their fate linked to their ability to maintain the situation as it is. He also has the support of Islamists who consider that the division of the country makes it easier for them to dominate the levers of power. He is also backed by wealthy creditors, thieves of public money and corruption barons at home and abroad.

Algeria accuses Morocco of attacking truck convoys in border area Wed, 13 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000

CAIRO, April 12 (Reuters) – Algeria on Tuesday condemned what it said was an attack by Morocco on a convoy of trucks in the border area between Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara, saying it would put jeopardize the UN’s attempts to ease regional tensions.

The alleged attack took place Sunday morning in the region of Ain Bentli, according to the Algerian press.

“Algeria strongly condemns the targeted assassinations committed using sophisticated weapons of war (…) against civilians,” said a statement issued by the Algerian Foreign Ministry.

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There was no immediate reaction from Mauritania or Morocco.

Morocco considers the sparsely populated Western Sahara as part of its territories. The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, wants to establish its own state there.

Rabat ignored a similar accusation in November, when Algeria said Morocco was targeting Algerian truckers in an area of ​​eastern Western Sahara, where the Polisario said in 2020 it was resuming its “armed struggle”.

However, there is no evidence of serious fights. Morocco said it was committed to the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement but would respond to any attack on Western Sahara territories.

Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been bad for decades and the border between them has been closed since 1994.

Algeria severed ties with Morocco in August last year, accusing its neighbor of working with Israel to undermine its security, starting fires in the Kabylie region and supporting a pro-independence group in the region of Amazigh language.

It then closed its airspace to all Moroccan planes and halted a gas pipeline contract that carries gas to Spain via Morocco.

Morocco called these accusations false and absurd.

Rabat says the best it can offer as a political solution to the Western Sahara conflict is autonomy within its sovereignty.

More recently, Spain and Israel have backed Morocco’s plan, joining the United States, Germany and other countries in the Arab world and Africa. Read more

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Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; additional reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi in Rabat; Editing by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Covering local democracy in Tunisia: the Mourasiloun program Mon, 11 Apr 2022 20:44:45 +0000

Written by Samer Elchahabi, Deputy Country Director, Tunisia

A free press fueled by expert journalism is the backbone of any democracy. Journalists hold those in power to account, expose wrongdoing and provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Likewise, local stories cover local public affairs, hold local elites accountable, provide a forum for discussion, and connect communities by giving them meaning and civic engagement within their localities. However, when local media professionals lack the necessary resources, knowledge and tools, they struggle to play this role. This is especially true outside the capital, Tunis and in remote areas, where journalists have little financial and professional capacity.

With funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the UK Foreign Commonwealth Department Office (FCDO), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has set up a program called Local Democracy Reporters (LDRs), or Mourasiloun (“Reporters” in Arabic). Through a competitive selection process that garnered more than 200 applications, IFES identified 24 motivated Mourasiloun (17 women and seven men from 16 different governorates) from citizen and professional media. Through a series of workshops, IFES trained the Mourasiloun on issues related to the legal framework for decentralization and local governance; journalistic genres; journalism ethics; inclusive journalism; Mobile journalism (MoJo) and photojournalism; how to effectively produce stories for the web and social media; fact-checking, data journalism and visualization tools; and the safety and security of journalists.

Applying their new skills and knowledge, the Mourasilouns collectively produced 128 media pieces. As a final project, each reporter produced a long-running, professional-quality report covering a local story from their municipality. Among other things, the articles covered topics such as campaign promises made by city councilors to provide basic services to their constituents once elected; the criminalization and social exclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community from local government positions; evaluation of the participatory approach to governance in the municipality of Utique (Bizerte); the political participation of minority communities, such as Tunisian Jews and Amazighs, in the municipal works of Djerba; the role of municipalities in eliminating industrial pollution in Gabes; and the evaluation of municipal works and the implementation of electoral promises in the commune of Zanoush (Gafsa Governorate).

“I acquired a lot of knowledge in the fields of decentralization and investigative journalism by participating in Mourasiloun. I used these skills in my reporting when I conducted a survey through an electronic questionnaire, in which they assessed the municipal work and their vision of local journalism while presenting them with practical suggestions for improving the work. municipal. — Slah Eddine Krimi, journalist for Al-Sabah newspaper for two and a half years and former Forbes Middle East correspondent

As part of this project, IFES has also developed a guide for Mourasiloun that complements the trainings and serves as a resource when conducting fieldwork. The printed guide, designed to fit easily into a bag or briefcase, includes 10 detailed chapters on journalism and local governance topics as well as practical information on local reporting. IFES also provided Mourasiloun with all the tools needed to improve the quality of “on-the-go reporting” and mobile journalism, which included a microphone, smartphone stabilizer and LED light. The results of the training were evident in the final media articles produced by the Mourasilouns, which were praised by the media coaches for their professional-level quality.

Geographic representation of local democracy reporters

Projector: Fadia is a journalist from the town of Msaken in the governorate of Sousse. His participation in the IFES Local Democracy Reporters (LDR) program was not only an opportunity to learn how to report more accurately and reliably on local governance issues, but also to change his mindset. towards the LGBTQIA+ community. “The training was a unique opportunity to learn more about the [LGBTQIA+] community. Their struggles are not brought to light in our society, steeped in prejudice and inherited beliefs. I grew up as a journalist as a result of this training and saw these issues as intrinsically linked to all individuals deprived of their human rights.”

As local and global journalism evolves alongside broader structural transformations in the media ecosystem, driven in large part by the rise of digital media, the mission of the Mourasiloun program is to ensure that Tunisians have access to issues of democracy and governance and are represented by them. that impact their communities. Trainings in the use of digital media have provided journalists with new ways to access, find and share media content that challenges the inherited business models and journalistic routines of conventional news media. This empowers civic educators in Mourasiloun to hold accountable those who hold power in their communities. In addition, the Mourasiloun program provides local Tunisian journalists with the tools and information needed to continue covering local democracy issues long after the project ends.

Posted April 11, 2022.

Prince Albert II of Monaco visits Bayt Dakira in Essaouira – The North Africa Post Sat, 02 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000

On Friday afternoon, Prince Albert II of Monaco paid a visit to the emblematic space of Bayt Dakira in Essaouira, a spiritual and heritage center for the preservation and promotion of Judeo-Moroccan memory.

Exhaustive explanations were given to the Monegasque Sovereign on a private visit to Essaouira by André Azoulay, Advisor to King Mohammed VI and Founding President of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, on the emblematic Slat Attia synagogue, as well as on the richness and diversity of the cultural and religious heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community.

Azoulay also provided clarifications on various objects, texts and photos, in addition to the exceptional epic of Judaism in Essaouira and its heritage, including tea ceremonies, Hebrew poetic art, goldsmithing and embroidery, which all influenced Mogador in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In a statement to the media following the visit to Bayt Dakira, Prince Albert II said he was “very happy to be in Morocco and in this beautiful historic city of Essaouira”, and that he was “very impressed with what happened”. been made in this magnificent space of memory.

The sovereign of Monaco also said he was satisfied to see the extent to which this “highlights the rich heritage of Essaouira” and goes “from the perspective of showing the importance of Jewish and Muslim cultures, without forgetting the Amazigh culture which is part of the story”. of this city and of Morocco.

It is “an example for all of us that there can be peaceful coexistence, which can contribute to the wealth of a city and a country”, he argued. “I am very happy to have made this visit and I will keep a very moving memory of it.”

Bayt Dakira, which presents and explains all the passages of Jewish life in Essaouira, from birth to death and from the Bar Mitzvah to marriage, is also a place of education thanks to the Haim and Celia Zafrani Research Center on the history of relations between Judaism and Islam, which constitutes a space for exchange between researchers from diverse backgrounds and a space for sharing, transmission and resistance to amnesia.

Dozens injured in train collision in Tunisia Mon, 21 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000

fast news

The injured suffered broken bones and bruises, but fortunately no casualties were reported, according to the civil defense spokesman.

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Tunisia’s aging rail system has seen several fatal accidents in recent years. (Reuters)

A head-on collision between two passenger trains injured 95 people in the south of the Tunisian capital, emergency services said.

“The injured were taken to hospitals and there were no fatalities,” civil defense spokesman Moez Triaa told AFP on Monday, adding that only one of the trains was carrying passengers.

Most of the injured suffered broken bones and bruises, none of which were life-threatening, he said.

Many were in shock, he added, adding that about fifteen ambulances had been dispatched to treat the injured or take them to hospital.

The incident occurred at 09:30 local time (08:30 GMT) in the Jbel Jelloud area, approaching a terminus in central Tunis.

An AFP journalist on the spot noted that the front of one of the trains had collapsed.

Tunisia’s aging rail system has seen several fatal accidents in recent years.

At least five people were killed and more than 50 injured in late 2016 when a train slammed into a public bus before dawn near the scene of Monday’s crash.

READ MORE: Death toll from refugee shipwrecks in Tunisia rises to 25, 35 drowned

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Morocco blocks Amazigh national conference – Middle East Monitor Thu, 17 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000

Moroccan authorities have banned the Amazigh movement in the country from holding a national conference scheduled for later this month, Hespress reported.

According to the newspaper, the movement aimed to use the conference to consolidate its ranks and mobilize efforts to give new impetus to its work. It has seen a decline in recent years, which was exacerbated in recent elections when activists announced they were joining a political party.

In response to the ban, the Preparatory Committee of the National Conference of the Amazigh Movement in Morocco called the decision illegal.

Moroccan Organization for Human Rights: the issue of the Amazigh language does not meet expectations

“The ban is a negative indicator, and it reflects the bias of a political party that strives to hold rallies without any problems,” said committee member Saeed Al-Farwah. “We have duly complied with all stipulated legal steps and tried for three weeks by all legal means to implement the requirements of the law and exercise the right of assembly, but the authorities have repeatedly confirmed that the holding of the National Conference of the Amazigh Movement in Sidi Ifni was rejected”.

He revealed that the organizers are studying two options: stick to the initial plan and hold the conference in Sidi Ifni, or move it later to another location. Farwah insisted that the conference has not been canceled and will take place.

The Amazighs are indigenous peoples who inhabit the region stretching from the Siwa Oasis in western Egypt to the Atlantic coast; and from the Mediterranean in the north to the Great Desert in the south.

Tunisia: Dhahar destination wins the Green Destinations Story Awards 2022, “Culture & Communities” category Mon, 14 Mar 2022 07:44:44 +0000

Tunis/Tunisia — Destination Dhahar has won the Green Destinations Story Awards 2022, in the Culture & Communities category.

Thus, Tunisia becomes the first Arab and North African country to win this distinction in the field of sustainable tourism.

“Destination Dahar: Revitalization of Authentic Rural Region through Sustainable Tourism Model and Enhancement of Local Amazigh Culture”, was chosen as the best story among 100 stories in the world.

Tunisia participated for the first time in this global competition, organized annually by the World Sustainable Tourism Council and the Green Destinations Organization at ITB Berlin 2022, to showcase and celebrate the most inspiring stories of resilient tourism practices of the Top 100 Competition.

Thanks to this distinction, Destination Dhahar, which is a mountain range extending from Matmata to Douirat in Gabes, Medenine and Tataouine, will contribute free of charge for an entire year to promoting the region to the most important international organizations and agencies.

The executive director of the Federation of Authentic Tourism Destination Dhahar Mohamed Hedi Kallali indicated that the region has more than 29 geological sites, traces of dinosaurs and a particular architecture, in addition to the know-how of its inhabitants in the sector of tourism. handicrafts (weaving of Margoum, etc.).

The Algerian Hirak returns to state authoritarianism Mon, 14 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000

This Friday, February 18, 2022, the numbers were down from the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets of Algeria’s main towns and villages when the Hirak – which was first launched three years earlier on February 22 2019 – overthrew President Abdelaziz. Bouteflika.

Many analysts believe that Bouteflika’s sultanism, corruption, mismanagement, embezzlement and crony capitalism during his two decades of rule was the accelerating factor in the rise of the Hirak (Algerian protest movement ).

This return to the streets of Algiers and other cities on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Hirak, also known as the “Smile Revolution”, has been met with a heavy police presence. However, these hundreds of demonstrators intended to show the establishment that the Hirak is still there and that the struggle for change continues.

It should be pointed out that since 2019, the regime has attempted to drive a wedge between Hirak militants along tribal lines, ethnic lines, regional borders and by pitting Amazighs against Arabs.

Since 2019, the regime has been trying to drive a wedge between Hirak militants.

For Louisa Driss-Haït Hamadouche, professor of political science at the University of Algiers, the system (also called “Le Pouvoir”) will do everything possible to maintain control. “The Algerian system has a great capacity for resilience and has always relied on three pillars to guarantee its sustainability: cooptation, repression and division,” she said.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s regime has so far been marked by a crackdown on Hirak. And to add insult to injury, he continues to embalm his decisions as if they were up to the demands of the movement.

In 2020, rather cynically, President Tebboune declared February 22 – the anniversary of the start of the Hirak – a national holiday to honor “the bond between the people and the army in favor of democracy”.

The Algerian regime has always engaged in repressive and Machiavellian tactics to muzzle both the opposition and Hirak once and for all. In recent months, Algerian authorities have stepped up efforts to crack down on opponents, left-wing parties, journalists, civil society activists, academics, and any group advocating systemic change and democracy.

As hundreds of Algerians flee the country on dinghies, rights groups say some 335 people are currently imprisoned in Algeria due to their links to the Hirak.

However, this figure does not reveal the full extent and intensity of the repression.

On January 28, 40 of these prisoners of conscience began an open hunger strike in the notorious prison of El-Harrach near Algiers to denounce their arbitrary detention and the erroneous charges brought against them.

Many former prisoners have been open about the mistreatment and sexual abuse they suffered in prison.

Many former prisoners have been open about the mistreatment and sexual abuse they suffered in prison. Walid Nekkiche, a young Algerian student, was tortured and sexually assaulted during his arrest.

Other Hirak protesters like Saïd Chetouane, a minor arrested while participating in Hirak, were also sexually abused while in police custody.

Kaddour Chouicha, a professor at the University of Oran and vice-president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH), was also a victim of torture while incarcerated.

The instrumentalization of justice is another maneuver intended to vilify the popular movement and to destroy any form of protest.

One example is the banning of the Paris-based Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK), a separatist organization with a handful of followers who demand self-determination for the Kabylia Region.

In addition, the London-based Rachad group – led by Algerian politicians and intellectuals in exile as well as members of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and other secular parties – called for peaceful regime change in Algeria and was also classified as a terrorist organization by the regime.

[Algerian Hirak Makes Comeback Despite Government Maneuvers] [Algeria Finds Reprieve From Domestic Pressure in Foreign Policy Crises]

Those familiar with the configuration of the Algerian regime know that since the country’s independence from France in 1962, the state has been established by the military. And it is the army and the intelligence services that control the political life of the country. They create and forbid parties at will. They appoint deputies, ministers, mayors, governors, prime ministers and even presidents.

The Hirak was grappling with a thorny question: the role of the army in Algerian politics.

The Hirak nevertheless faced a thorny issue: the role of the army in Algerian politics. The persistent demand for a civilian-led government is one of Hirak’s main demands. And for the authorities, this request is not negotiable.

The civilian facade that the military junta has always tried to defend is a significant indication that it will continue to exercise its hegemony over Algerian politics. Indeed, each ballot was structured to systematically present the military as the sole political actor, the arbiter, the opponent and the ultimate decision-maker.

All the various lifting measures of the national and local assemblies, including the newly amended constitution, the renewal in November 2021 of the municipal and provincial councils, and apparently initiated by President Tebboune, serve the same purpose.

Many analysts believe that the November 2021 elections, which allowed the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Democratic Rally (RND) to take the lead, will neither change the autocratic character of the Algerian regime nor give it any legitimacy. democratic. Using democratic processes without establishing a democratic regime makes no sense.

However, one must ask oneself, how did the FLN and the RND manage to impose themselves on the political scene in less than three years?

Everyone knows how these two political parties seemed hopelessly doomed during the first months of the Hirak, when millions of Algerians came out to protest their cronyism, their involvement in mismanagement and their link to various corruption scandals.

These two parties, which were delegitimized by Hirak in 2019, eventually won back the parliamentary and local assemblies in Algeria, and ultimately helped the regime reorganize its dominance.

The authorities have neither vision nor strategy to deal with the multidimensional crisis.

It is obvious that the authorities have neither vision nor strategy to deal with the multidimensional crisis which is suffocating the country a little more every day, and which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To maintain their heavy and hegemonic tutelage over the country, state officials and beneficiaries of the regime’s crony capitalism pontificate on “the new Algeria”, while socio-economic and political benchmarks indicate the opposite.

Harsh popular repression temporarily succeeded in stifling the Hirak and progress appears to have been hampered. So where can the Hirak go from here?

More than ever, the movement is called upon to maintain its peaceful militancy, to structure itself and to propose a credible political program that can be supported by a legitimate leadership. For without a compelling program and strong leadership, it is unlikely to see an improvement in Algeria’s system of governance or economic and social conditions.