Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on The Middle East
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Growing International Movement Seeks to Place Arms Embargo on Saudi Arabia (March 29, 2016)
A lawsuit filed in Canada in March 2016 is seeking to halt a major $15 billion sale of light-armoured vehicles to the government of Saudi Arabia, part of a growing international movement to stop arms sales to the Saudi government over its alleged war crimes in Yemen.
The suit, filed by University of Montreal constitutional law professor Daniel Turp, argues the vehicle sales to Saudi Arabia violate a number of Canadian laws.
- Intolerance, Saudi-Style (January 16, 2015)
What all of those victims of the Saudi criminal justice system have in common is that their offenses related strictly to intellectual activities and not physical violence.
- The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria (August 26, 2014)
Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed Bomb Assad! campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years.
- Why the War on Terror Went Wrong (March 18, 2014)
Al-Qaida-type organisations, with beliefs and methods of operating similar to those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, have become a lethally powerful force from the Tigris to the Mediterranean in the past three years.
- Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia (December 6, 2013)
With few opportunities at home, millions of poor, desperate men and women from South East Asia and the horn of Africa migrate annually to Saudi Arabia. Vulnerable at home and vulnerable abroad where many are enslaved and badly abused, some killed.
- Saudi Arabia's foreign labour crackdown drives out 2m migrants (November 29, 2013)
Ethiopian workers face hostility amid 'Saudisation' campaign to control foreign labour and get more Saudi citizens into work.
- Ethiopian Migrants Victimized in Saudi Arabia (November 22, 2013)
The recent appalling events in Saudi Arabia have brought thousands of impassioned Ethiopians living inside the country and overseas onto the streets. This powerful worldwide action presents a tremendous opportunity for the people to unite, to demand their rights through peaceful demonstrations and to call with one voice for change.
- Where War Reporting Goes Wrong (October 7, 2013)
The four recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria have been propaganda wars in which newspaper, television and radio journalists played a central role. In all wars there is a difference between reported news and what really happened, but during these four campaigns the outside world has been left with misconceptions even about the identity of the victors and the defeated.
- 'Flooding the Zone' with Bullshit on Syria (September 9, 2013)
In recent weeks, the Obama Administration has been embarked on a massive propaganda campaign they call flooding the zone. We hope to provide the most direct and systematic refutation of the Administrations case for war in Syria.
- Syria chemical warfare claims aim to provoke Western intervention (August 22, 2013)
The unsubstantiated charges that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus killing large numbers of civilians have all the hallmarks of a staged provocation aimed at provoking Western intervention.
- The End of the "Leaderless" Revolution (July 10, 2013)
When movements don't have (or claim not to have) ideologies, agendas, demands and leaders, they can go in two directions: they can dissipate (as did Occupy), or serve the agendas of others. The end of the leaderless revolution does not mean the end of the Egyptian revolutionary process. But it spells the end of the fallacy that the people can take power without an agenda, an alternative platform, an ideology, and leaders.
- Turkey's Urban Uprising (June 7, 2013)
In Turkey, a wave of urban uprisings had spread across the country, involving hundreds of thousands of protesters, in dozens of cities, met with massive state repression and violence, resulting in a few deaths and thousands of injuries and arrests.
- Last Sparks From Tahrir Square (February 12, 2013)
Once again, the prisons of Egypt are full. The hospitals are overflowing with injured men and women. But the fight, the process goes on; it is not dying. Tahrir Square died, but the revolution is getting stronger.
- Egypt's Unfinished Revolution (January 1, 2012)
An interview with Atef Said, a human rights lawyer and a political activist in Egypt before moving to the United States in 2004. He is the author of two books on torture under Mubarak.
- It Doesn't Matter to Them If It's Untrue. It's a Higher Truth. (November 2, 2011)
The lies used to justify the US/NATO attack on Libya.
- On Tunisia (August 2, 2011)
When proletarians are willing to defy the forces of repression with bare hands and not retreat from the bullets of the police, they bring to oppositional ferment a determination that can shake state power, despite the more than 100 deaths reported. This is exactly what happened in Sidi Bouzid during the final days of December 2010 and in the first half of January 2011. Thus, in three stages, the movement which began in the south spread to all regions of Tunisia, to finally conclude in Tunis beginning on January 11.
- Anti-Imperialism and the Iranian Revolution (July 27, 2011)
The Iranian Revolution, and the anti-imperialist ideology that corresponded to its rise and demise, was indeed a tragedy from the perspective of proletarian revolution; to hold such an ideology today is indeed farcical. It does nothing but bring workers, students, and womens organizations into an illusory harmony with those who maintain their oppression and exploitation.
- Workers Guarantee the Egyptian Revolution (March 9, 2011)
The middle class, which sacrificed much in this astonishing revolution, faces the task of choosing an ally at this critical juncture. If these young, educated people choose the army and the Muslim Brotherhood (who are also part of the middle class), the result will be the foreclosure of freedom. However, if they choose their natural ally, the working class, they will discover a powerful partner in protecting the achievements of the revolution and in building a new democracy.
- Anatomy of Egypt's Revolution (February 17, 2011)
Like perfect storms, several factors have to simultaneously and collectively come together for popular uprisings or protests, even massive ones, to turn into a revolution. That is why only a few of them have been successful in world history.
- Why No Reporters in Suez? (February 11, 2011)
What is happening in Tahrir Square Cairo has been built on the backs of millions of Egyptian workers who waged 3,000 strikes over the past eight years.
- Mubarak's Last Gasps (February 4, 2011)
Revolution and counter-revolution in Egypt.
- The Egyptian Uprising in the American Media (February 3, 2011)
It is no wonder that most Americans are hopelessly in the dark. Middle East news in the mainstream is constructed so that people remain in a perpetual state of confusion and fear.
- The Making of Egypt's Revolution (February 1, 2011)
- Tunisia, Then Egypt (January 31, 2011)
Under what circumstances does passivity turn into revolt?
- On Egypt (2011)
Historical compromise over an attempt at democratic change.
- Connexions Library Persian Title Index (2010)
- Tactics of desperation: Using false accusations of 'anti-semitism' as a weapon to silence criticism of Israel's behaviour (December 27, 2009)
The Israeli state and its defenders are increasingly attempting to silence critics because they are losing the battle for public opinion.
- Bloggers Name and Shame Torturers in Egypt (December 21, 2009)
Egyptian bloggers use the Internet to expose police abuse and torture.
- Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon (November 4, 2009)
Mohammed Khatib and his West Bank supporters hope to rally others to a peaceful campaign for statehood.
- How not to understand Islamist politics (October 17, 2009)
- Which side are you on? (October 17, 2009)
The women's question has haunted the Islamic regime from the start. The Islamic Republic has been in continuous conflict with the women's liberation movement, which has grown considerably in the past decade in opposition to the misogyny and gender apartheid of the Islamists. Despite brutal assaults on this movement, the regime has not succeeded in silencing it.
- Fearsome Words? (October 14, 2009)
We are so bemused by the lovely vision of peoples determining themselves, we cannot see that ethnic self-determination is, in the real world, a quest for racial sovereignty, not a bid to enter some international folk dancing festival.
- Iran - The War Dance (October 1, 2009)
- Volunteer Translators Wanted - English to Arabic (September 4, 2009)
Connexions, an independent non-profit research organization and information clearinghouse based in Toronto, Canada, seeks volunteer translators to translate articles, and terms in our subject index, from English to Arabic.
- Volunteer Translators Wanted - English to Farsi (September 4, 2009)
Connexions, an independent non-profit research organization and information clearinghouse based in Toronto, Canada, seeks volunteer translators to translate articles, and terms in our subject index, from English to Farsi, and from English to other languages.
- Season of Travesties (July 9, 2009)
Noam Chomsky criticizes the elections in Lebanon and Iran as being inherently flawed - unlike the "free and fair" election held in Palestine in 2006 for which the people were punished for voting the "wrong way". He tries to illustrate a general picture of the health of democracy and freedom in those areas which are of most concern to the US.
- Whom Should We Support in Iran? (July 4, 2009)
The people we should support in Iran are those who are trying to make Iran more equal, more democratic and more friendly to the principle of solidarity--concern for one another. Since we want the world to move in this direction, we should support those who are pushing it in that direction. The people doing this are working class Iranians.
- Iran and Leftist Confusion (June 29, 2009)
Why are some leftists siding with the Iranian rulers rather than the popular demonstrations against the regime?
- What the Left Should be Learning From Iran (June 19, 2009)
There are those on the left who mirror neocon thought: They argue that since Washington is in opposition to it, Iran must therefore be considered a 'good' government, worthy of solidarity. Others argue that if the Iranian state offers social programs and even if it only somewhat resists global capitalism then therefore its violent and authoritarian actions can somehow be justified, forgiven or denied.
- Support the Iranian people, oppose Tehran's clerical fascism (February 9, 2009)
Tragically, the leadership of the UK and US anti-war movements have been sleep-walking into making the same mistakes over Iran as they made over Iraq. They are silent about the regime's despotism and oppression. Mirroring the neo con indifference to human rights abuses in Iran, they refuse to show solidarity with the Iranian peoples' struggle for secularism, democracy, social justice, human rights and self-determination for national minorities. There is nothing remotely left-wing about this is sad and cruel betrayal. Put bluntly: it is collusion with tyranny.
- Women of the revolution (January 30, 2009)
Thirty years after the toppling of the Shah in Iran, Azar Sheibani looks at how Iranian women have defied the reign of misogynist terror.
- Connexions Information Sharing Services - Wikipedia Article - Arabic text (2009)
- Connexions Information Sharing Services - Wikipedia Article - Farsi text (2009)
- Who Should Bomb Iran First? (June 27, 2007)
Mainstream media discussions of media balance are limited to a single question: Is the media too critical of powerful interests?
- What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico? (April 5, 2007)
Noam Chomsky reverses roles and questions how America would respond if a threatening invader took over Canada or Mexico in a "liberation" attempt. Would America stand by quietly?
- On the US-Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (August 23, 2006)
The supposed justifications for the invasion are a cynical fraud.
- Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism (August 16, 2006)
The human and genuine solution to the problem of nuclear weapons, to Islamic terrorism and its horrific crimes against the people of the world, and to the militaristic bullying of the US and Western governments lies in the hands of us people.
- The real aim of Israel's attacks on Lebanon (July 16, 2006)
The real aim is to change the regime in Lebanon and to install a puppet government.
- Iraq: Women's Liberation and the Struggle Against Imperialist Subjugation (April 25, 2003)
The women of Iraq illustrate the status of most of the world's women, caught between the domination of imperialism and the oppression of stifling ancient 'customs' like the veil, holdovers from a more backward era.
- The Iraq Crisis in Context (March 12, 2003)
A rogue state, heavily armed with weapons of mass destruction, openly contempuous of international law and the United Nations, plunges the world into crisis.
- Arab Women Writers' Problems and Prospects (1997)
Arab critics, particularly those situated in the Arab world, are viewed with suspicion, especially when they are men writing about women. If they don't write about Arab women writers, they are chastised for ignoring them. If they do, they are accused of attempting to "contain" and "marginalize" them.
- Making Their Voices Heard (April 1, 1987)
An account of international solidarity work in El Salvador.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- The Alternative Information Center
A Palestinian-Israeli organization which disseminates information, research and political analysis on Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while promoting cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis based on the values of social justice, solidarity and community involvement.
- Maryam Namazie
Maryam Namazie is a rights activist, and commentator and broadcaster on Iran, rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and other related topics.
- Redress Information & Analysis
Aspires to redress the balance of world news and information by being a voice for the voiceless, by focusing on injustice and by providing an alternative interpretation of international and domestic issues. It is run by UK-based editors and academics of various nationalities.
Other Links & Resources
- Free Speech and Acceptable Truths
While we support freedom of speech and academic freedom, we believe that university administrations have a duty to provide a safe learning environment in which students and faculty are protected by incorrect or harmful ideas. To achieve this safe learning environment, it will be necessary for the university authorities to cleanse the university's libraries of harmful books, to block inappropriate Internet sites, to ban guest lectures who hold improper views, and to identify and prosecute students and faculty who are guilty of thought crimes.
- Mountain Biking: Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people mountain bike, and what harms does it do?
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- The Great War for Civilisation
The Conquest of the Middle East
Author: Fisk, Robert
Fisk explores a number of key themes in the history of the modern Middle East: the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf War as well as the 2003 Iraq War as well as other regional conflicts such as the Armenian Genocide and the Algerian Civil War.
- The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization
Author: Lyons, Jonathan
Arab scholars were exploring and extending the great works of the Persian, Hindu, and Greek civilizations. There were striking advances in the sciences and mathematics, but more fundamentally, the Arabs taught the importance of experimentation and rational thought. Eventually, through the efforts of men like Adelard, the accomplishments of the Arabs got through to the West, and shaped it.
- Justice for All: the Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt
A Report by the Solidarity Center
A report on recent workers' struggles in Egypt, against falling wages, oppressive working conditions, and violations of workers' rights, in the face of an authoritarian and repressive government.
- Media Lies And The War Drive Against Iran
Author: Pilger, John
Iran's crime is its independence. Having thrown out the US's favourite tyrant, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran remains the only resource-rich Muslim state beyond US control. As only Israel has a 'right to exist' in the Middle East, the US goal is to cripple the Islamic Republic. This will allow Israel to divide and dominate the region on Washington's behalf, undeterred by a confident neighbour.
- Middle East Illusions
including Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood
Author: Chomsky, Noam
Written during the last 30 years, these pieces display many characteristics of Chomsky's thought: a deep mistrust of U.S. and Israeli intentions and a desire to change the course of history. Chomsky is erudite, and some of the points are now standard in discussion about the Middle East, such as the contradiction of Israel being both a Jewish state and a democracy.
- War and Peace in the Middle East
Author: Shlaim, Avi
Avi Shlaim locates various sources of conflict in the Middle East, from the presence of oil, competition between the Soviet Union and the United States, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism Gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism Gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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