In Arseh Sevom’s first ever newsletter (online here), we looked back at some of the highlights from the pages of our website. Those included:

1. The Protester

With the announcement from Time Magazine that The Protester is this year’s person of the year, we thought this was a good time to remind our readers of all the great content on Arseh Sevom’s English site related to protests, demonstrations, and acts of advocacy. You can read a number of articles dealing with protest, social movements, and change published on our Civil Society Zine by clicking here.

2. Jasmine and Fire: Change Comes to Tunisia & Egypt

Tunisia and Egypt made the news this year as their populations took to the streets demanding change. Arseh Sevom published a number of posts about the changes. You might want to check out Linda Herrera’s piece: Two Faces of Revolution: Why Dictators Fear the Internet, which discusses the role of social media in both Egypt and Tunisia. Author Arturo DeSimone spoke with Tunisian student activist Ghassen Athmni about politics and activism: you can read the interview by clicking here. Amal Hamidallah-van Hees, director of Bridging the Gulf, addressed the fears and hopes of Arab and Islamic women watching the changes in their region. “We are watching with our eyes wide open,” she wrote, noting that many lessons were learned by the revolution in Iran. “We will claim our space, even the religious one.” You can read her letter by clicking here.

3. Murder of Civil Society in Iran

At the end of 2010, Arseh Sevom warned of a bill before Iran’s Parliament that if passed into law, would effectively mean the execution of independent civil society in Iran. (Read a summary of the bill here or download our report here.) In April of 2011, Amnesty International, Arseh Sevom, Education International (EI), Hivos, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of their joint programme, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, FIDH affiliate the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran — along with Shirin Ebadi called on members of Iran’s parliament to reject the draft law. The bill was shelved later that week. You can read more here.

4. #SecurityFail: Iranian Hackers Target Dutch Security Firm

By stealing digitized security certificates from the now defunct Dutch company Diginotar, Iranian hackers were able to pose as Google, Yahoo, Tor, and hundreds of other secure sites. Arseh Sevom was one of the first to cover the story and its ramifications for computer users in Iran. You can read more about the attacks by clicking here.

5. Are You a Civil Society Activist

Just what is civil society and what does it mean to be an activist? Arseh Sevom’s Hooman Askary explains here.