Dissent and Reform in the Arab World

An American Enterprise Institute event

Rather than impose democracy on the Arab world, the United States seeks to support the building blocks for political and economic reform that already exist throughout the region. But as the first installment in AEI’s Dissent and Reform in the Arab World conference series has shown, the brave and bright reformers at the heart of democratic change have little political space with which to work and grow. Continue reading

Full Frontal!

The comments on my previous post might be few, but they do, nonetheless, encapsulate the main sentiment that were expressed to me in dozens of emails and phone calls: the Syrian people will simply not endorse a front formed by Khaddam and Bayanouni, as the twain come with too much Ancien Régime baggage on their backs.

Unfortunately though, in the realm of politics issues are not that simple. This is especially true in a country ruled by a corrupt dictatorial regime that plays a smart yet deadly game of communal politics, following the old rule of divide and conquer, and where the rate of illiteracy runs higher than 40% for men and 70% for women and where more than 40% of the people live under the line of poverty. Continue reading

Heretical Temptations!

Tempting fate, just as he tempts me I guess, this is the essence of what I am doing really. This is what I have been doing all my life. This is what I will surely keep on doing.


Tempting fate. Tempting fate.

But what else, who else, is there for me to tempt?

And the price? – To go through life not knowing whether my luck will hold, or for how long.

Oh well…

Syria and the Fallacies of the China Model

Published in my short-lived blog: Tharwalizations – Making Sense & Wealth of Difference 

Witnessing the reintroduction of the China Model into the scene of the political discouse surrounding Syria’s future comes as quite an alarming development. The Model was first introduced into the country’s political discourse in early 2000 by some Baath and other leftwing ideologues, but now it is being reintroduced by American right- and leftwing commentators seeking to further their anti-neocon diatribe, or avert blame over the worsening situation in Iraq – after all, it is never too early to begin campaigning for the next elections on behalf of your favorite party. Continue reading