Where is Middle-East Going?
ANALYSIS BY MUDASIR TANTRY
In 2003, I read the blog “Did Middle-East Need Real Democracy”. Being that time MSc student I got interested about Arab Muslim World. The things came true in 2011. But watching events unfold makes it impossible not to ask: Will the past bury the future in the Arab world or will the future bury the past? I am awed by the bravery of the Syrian, Tunisian and Egyptian youths trying to throw off the tyranny of the Assad family, Ben Ali and the Egyptian military. The fact that they go into the streets - knowing they face security forces who will not hesitate to gun them down - speaks of the deep longing of young Arabs to be free of the regimes that have so long choked their voices and prevented them from realizing their full potential. But I am deeply worried that longer the fighting continues in Syria and Egypt, less chance are there that any stable, democratizing order will emerge anytime soon. More likely Syria could disintegrate into civil war. You can't exaggerate how dangerous that would be. Why? Because Syria is the keystone of the East Mediterranean. It borders and balances a variety of states, sects and ethnic groups. If civil war erupts there, every one of Syria's neighbors will cultivate, and be cultivated by, different Syrian factions in order to try to tilt Syria in their direction. Syria needs a peaceful democratic transition set in motion now Egypt. But that is easier said than done. Events in both countries are a reminder of the multidimensional struggle for power across the Middle East - what once described as the struggle between mouse and tiger. At one level, you have the very modern, deeply felt and truly authentic longing by Syrians, Tunisians and Egyptians for freedom, for the skills to thrive in modernity and for the rights of real citizens. Outsiders often underestimate just how much these Arab youths are determined to limit the powers of their militaries as a necessary step for achieving true democracy.
Last, but not least, you have the struggle between the entrenched military elites and the masses. These struggles from the past always threaten to rise up, consume any new movement for change and bury the future. This is the grand drama now being played out in the Arab world - the deeply sincere youth-led quest for liberty and the deeply rooted quests for sectarian, factional, class and tribal advantage. One day it looks as though the revolutions in Egypt, Syria and Tunisia are going to be hijacked by forces and passions from the past while the next day that longing of young people to be free and modern pushes them back. The same drama played out in Iraq, but there the process was managed, at a huge cost, by an Americans - managed enough so that the communities were able to write a new, rudimentary social contract on how to live together and, thereby, give the future a chance to bury the past. But we still do not know how it will end in Iraq. We know, though, that there will be no impartial outside America to guide the transitions in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. Can they each make it without one? Only if they develop their own Mandelas or Arafats - unique civic leaders or coalitions who can honor the past, and contain its volcanic urges, but not let it bury the future. Still World is confused Where the Arab World will Go.
(For full text visit greaterkashmir.com)
(Mudasir Tantry is a Kashmiri based Postdoctoral Chemistry at University of Mississippi, USA Feedback: email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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