First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
Countdown for another regional disaster is currently taking place. Both Ethiopia and the Somali Sharia militias are arming themselves and a showdown seems to be looming. Eritrea is playing its part in an attempted pay back at Ethiopia over their previous entanglements not too long ago. Continue reading →
The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Darfur cannot be simply attributed to a conflict over scarce resources, although this is definitely an important factor in this regard.
Indeed, there is a history in the Sudan, and many other parts of Africa, of encroachment by nomadic tribes on lands owned by farmers whenever draught conditions prevailed. This seems to have been the initial catalyst for the current crisis in Darfur, but it is definitely not the reason why it has assumed such major humanitarian proportions. Continue reading →
What’s one to do with the dead weight of history and demographics? No, I am not about to embark here on some elitist complaint against the “ignorant masses,” or the “mob,” I am merely referring to the all-too real problem related, in part, to the confusion surrounding issues of identity and belonging, and, in other part, to the sheer pressure that population explosion exerts on the basic social services that a state should provide in order to survive in this world (its survival being of major importance to the well-being of, at least, the majority of its inhabitants, if not all). Continue reading →
Or, to be more precise, have we always been so blatantly racist? If the events in Qamishly and Darfur prove anything about the Arab peoples, regimes and intellectuals included, is that they are far from being immune to racist stands. More so, we seem to be mired in them, immersed to the neck, in fact, but we are too numb, too absorbed with our feeling of victimhood, to pay attention, to notice. Apartheid, genocide, and slavery, especially slavery (how could we so conveniently forget about our history with slavery?) are not foreign crimes, as we have always contended. We are as equally guilty in this regard as everyone else. Continue reading →
Although we cannot deny that the deeper causes for the conflict in Darfur seem to lie in the scarcity of resources in the region and the restricted access to them rather than ethnic tension, which seems to be a contributing factor only, current Arab reactions to developments in Darfur, official and popular, border on racism (to put it bluntly). The same can also be said with regard to reaction vis-à-vis Kurdish aspirations and concerns.