In the second issue of Arseh Sevom’s Civil Society Magazine, called David and Goliath, we asked contributors to tell us what comes after all the unity, after the giant is slain, after the monster is gone? What comes next? It was clearly a difficult question; one without a simple answer. The story of David and Goliath is a story of the (perceived) weak against the powerful, of prevailing against the odds, of bravery and leadership. However modern day Goliaths aren’t so easy to dispel with one little pebble.

While we may not have definitively answered the question, “What comes next,” the articles in this Zine share ideas about human rights, the Arab Anger, Islamicization, leadership, and women’s rights. These all make important contributions to our search for ways forward, while engaging a variety of voices from a range of experiences and locations.

In this issue we read Davi Barker’s article on 9th century Muslim anarchists, Anita Hunt’s suggestions for building community organizations, and an interview with Amnesty Switzerland’s Antonia Bertschinger.

In A letter from an Arab woman to her Iranian friend, Amal Hamidallah-van Hees addresses the fears and hopes of Arab and Islamic women watching the changes in their region. “We are watching with our eyes wide open,” she writes. A Lebanese human rights activist asks, “Are we capable of managing the diversity we have?” In an interview with Iranian women’s rights activist Mahnaz Afkhami, readers are reminded of the long arc of the women’s rights movement and how resilient it has been even in the face of oppression. She tells writer Hooman Askary, “The green movement in Iran is the continuation of what had been started nearly a century before and gone through ups and downs, changes and evolutionary and revolutionary transformations.”

Peace-worker, Jasmine Nordien tells us, “…I no longer wanted to monitor the society I did not want to live in. I wanted to build the kind of society that my children and grandchildren would group up in.” Arturo Desimone interviews Tunisian activist Ghassen Athmni who checks our optimism and reminds us that difficult times are coming as the nation struggles with democracy. “What the activists have done is more a revolt, a rebellion of civil society than a revolution, he tells us. We also hear from Eric Asp the pastor at Amsterdam50 plus more!

We encourage submissions to the Zine and to Arseh Sevom. The theme for the Spring 2012 issue is security, crime, and human rights. In Summer of 2012, we will investigate justice, truth, and reconciliation. To read the guidelines for the Spring issue, please click here.

To check out the guidelines for Arseh Sevom, click here.

We look forward to your comments and contributions. Join the conversation. Leave a comment or join us on Facebook.