Internet-inspired activism of Middle East’s Generation Facebook
|Tuesday, April 21,2009 09:18|
|By Michael Allen|
Self-described “foolish optimist” Mona Eltahawy has an insightful and entertaining take on the Middle East’s Generation Facebook. She imagines what the region might look like if the “Internet-inspired activism” of young activists proved a catalyst for putting the Arab world on a democratic trajectory. Despite the recent disappointing April 6th mobilization, she remains “confident that Generation Facebook is planting the seeds of an opposition movement that gives Egyptians, and by extension the whole region, an alternative to the state and the mosque.”
Carnegie’s Michelle Dunne considers the domestic and international implications of a reenergized President Husni Mubarak’s attempt to reasserting Egypt’s traditional regional hegemony:
While there is no reason to expect that opposition in Egypt will be strong enough to force Mubarak’s hand regarding presidential succession, it certainly would be helpful to him to have unambiguous U.S. support for whichever course he chooses. Also, keeping the Muslim Brotherhood cowed and defensive (whether through direct measures against the group or against its regional allies and ideological bedfellows) helps Mubarak clear the decks for whatever he plans to do. Playing the regional power game has its value, but keeping hold of power at home is the bottom line.
Jon Alterman and Steven Cook have a different take on Mubarak’s moves.