Raslan Ibrahim


The wave of revolutions and popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the dawn of 2011 highlights the inescapable relevance and impact of human rights on the region’s politics and security. The Arab regimes’ violations of human rights and lack of respect to the human dignity of their citizens are in fact the seeds of the Jasmine revolution in Tunisia, the rebellion of the Egyptian people against Mubarak regime, as well as the ongoing uprisings across the rest of MENA. The women and men who are protesting in the streets of Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Algeria are not driven by international concerns such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the relations between Islam and the West, or the United States policy in the region; instead, they are driven by domestic concerns, particularly unemployment, poverty, inequality, political oppression and corruption. They are protesting against the violations of their human rights by the domestic regimes, demanding a new social contract based on human rights rather than oppression; human security rather than fear; and human dignity rather than humiliation.

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