Letter from the Editor

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November 23, 2011

Dear Readers, The term “Arab Spring” has always felt ominous to me rather than optimistic. After all, we all know what happened after the short-lived Prague Spring of 1968, which was brutally squashed. As I write this in November, 2011, we read… Read more

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Thumbnail image for From Monitoring to Building: Questions for South African Peace-Worker Jasmin Nordien

From Monitoring to Building: Questions for South African Peace-Worker Jasmin Nordien

November 22, 2011

Arseh Sevom spoke with South African activist Jasmin Nordien about her experiences working in civil society organizations. In this post, we focus on her experiences throughout the 1990s , when she worked with the Network of Independent Monitors… Read more

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A Rebellion of Civil Society

November 22, 2011

In this interview, Arturo Desimone talks to Tunisian student activist Ghassen Athmni. They discuss the democratic future of Tunisia, non-violence, Islamism, and the (then) coming elections. Athmni states, “This is not a revolution born out of… Read more

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A letter from an Arab woman to her Iranian friend

November 22, 2011

This is an excerpt of a text given as a speech at the twenty second international conference of the Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation (IWSF). Amal Hamidallah-van Hees, director of Bridging the Gulf, addresses the fears and hopes of Arab and Islamic… Read more

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How to Organize a Community

November 22, 2011

In this piece, activist Anita Hunt (AKA Liss of Lissnup) gives some pointers on building a neighborhood organization. A good issue, the author tells us, will “be a real improvement in people’s lives; be non-divisive, and develop a sense of power for… Read more

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Rock the Casbah

November 22, 2011

Davi Barker, who blogs for the San Francisco Examiner as the SF Muslim, goes back to the ninth century to speculate on the roots of change in the Arab world. In the work of scholar Patricia Crone, he uncovers political thinkers speculating on the… Read more

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“One Has to Do All One Can for Human Rights”

November 19, 2011

In this interview with Arseh Sevom, Antonia Bertschinger tells us of her work at the Swiss section of Amnesty International. She tells us how she came to be involved with human rights work. Bertschinger came to the work via her interest in… Read more

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The Accidental Leader Questions for Amsterdam50

November 19, 2011

Eric Asp, pastor at Amsterdam50, discusses the struggles of unexpected leadership in the answers to questions from Arseh Sevom. ” When the founder of the project first left, I was asked, together with another young leader from the church, to step… Read more

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“Are we capable of managing the diversity we have?”: Human Rights in the MENA Region

November 17, 2011

Rania F is a Lebanese human rights defender working in Jordan with IKV Pax Christi. Rania spoke to Arseh Sevom about her experiences working in the region. She spoke about human rights, the changes in the Arab region, women’s rights,… Read more

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Thumbnail image for Fighting for Women’s Rights: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami

Fighting for Women’s Rights: An Interview with Mahnaz Afkhami

November 16, 2011

Hooman Askary reports on his discussion with the former minister of women’s affairs in pre-revolution Iran, Mahnaz Afkhami. She links the century long struggle of Iranian women for equal protection under the law to the demonstrations that emerged in… Read more

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