DISCOURSE OF CHANGE

By Nir Boms

(Lecture notes given in Melbourne, Australia)

The main domestic objective of most Middle Eastern governments is to maintain the status quo regarding the balance between citizen freedoms and oppression.

Opposition movements can be roughly divided into two main groups: Islamist opposition, which think the governments are too secular, and the democratic or reform-minded opposition.

The Islamists seek to replace governments, but the democrats are not yet in that position. They seek reforms, the creation of greater freedoms and the like. There is an inherent difference between the ability of these two groups to achieve – or go about achieving – their goals; radicals are more focused in their objectives, and have easily defined goals. Intellectuals generally do not, nor do they have the infrastructure (such as mosques, access to money, etc.) to support their objectives.
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Libérer Damas

Auteurs Nir Boms, Erick Stakelbeck

Source Jerusalem Post (Israël)
Référence « Free Damascus », Jerusalem Post, le 27 novembre 2003.

Le 6 novembre, George W. Bush a appelé à l’établissement de la démocratie au Moyen-Orient devant les représentant du Reform Party of Syria (RPS), un parti formé peu de temps après le 11 septembre et défendant la liberté en Syrie contre le régime ba’asiste. Pour ce parti, de plus en plus visible ces derniers mois, le temps de l’après 11 septembre offre des opportunités de renverser la clique au pouvoir depuis 40 ans à Damas. View full post…

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Réformes et liberté en Égypte

Source Washington Times (États-Unis)
Référence « Reforms, freedom in Egypt », par Nir Boms et Michael Meunier, Washington Times, 4 novembre 2004.

Auteurs Nir Boms, Michael Meunier

Résumé Depuis 26 ans, l’Égypte est dirigée par un parti unique et le chômage a augmenté de 25 %, les opposants sont emprisonnés et les promesses de réformes ne sont jamais tenues. Même le parti de Moubarak estime que cela ne peut plus durer et il a adopté, par la voix du fils du président, Gamal Moubarak, la rhétorique de la réforme, reprenant ainsi le type de propos que l’on trouve dans les déclarations d’Alexandrie et de Doha sur les initiatives de réformes arabes.

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Arab Rulers and Promises

published in THE WASHINGTON TIMES

By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck
May 2, 2005

A year ago last month, in Egypt, a group of more than 100 Arab scholars, ambassadors and political leaders signed the “Alexandria Declaration,” an ambitious agenda for political, economic, legislative and institutional change designed to help Arab societies move “towards building concrete and genuine democratic systems.” In the 13 months since the declaration was signed, the world has witnessed successful elections in Iraq, widespread pro-democracy demonstrations in Lebanon, municipal elections in Saudi Arabia and constitutional reform in Egypt. (The latter two are widely viewed as transparent attempts to alleviate U.S. criticism.) 

Add to these developments last October’s free elections in Afghanistan and the continued democratic rumblings among the young people of Iran, and it appears that the Alexandria statement — combined with the Bush administration’s unwavering commitment to a democratic Middle East — may have started a trend. Until, that is, you talk to the signatories.  View full post…

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