In a surprise announcement Saturday, Egypt’s long-ruling president, Hosni Mubarak, ordered constitutional changes that would open the door for the first-ever multiparty presidential elections in the world’s most populous Arab country. The move is the latest indication of a cautious democratic shift under way in the Arab world. Continue reading
A brief excursion in cultural archaeology
Even a casual glimpse of the current developments between Israelis and Palestinians can easily lead to the detection of the ongoing “mobilization” efforts of the two peoples, with each set of leaders hoping to achieve greater popular support for its policies in the unfolding bloody confrontation. But when such “popular” mobilization efforts take place in the neighboring country of Syria, for instance, one is bound to wonder as to the reason and the cause.