Middle East

A Bad Deja Vu

The images coming out of Libya seem very familiar to me. They seem as if I’ve seen them before. Maybe I haven’t and my brain is just over-reacting to them. But I swear I’ve seen them before…or even lived through them. I feel Libya is having a civil war, not a revolution anymore. Maybe that is not true; revolutions can be bloody as well. Why do I feel this is a civil war? The similarity with Somalia’s civil war is too strong to not consider: long time dictator facing armed rebellion, endless amount of tribes whose affiliations are seemingly changing by the minute, and complete collapse of state whose identity revolved around the dictator who’s willing to do anything to stay in power. Yeah, that’s about right.

Nobody knows how it will end but it sure won’t be pretty either way. Unlike Somalia, what compounds Libya’s situation is the presence of oil. The European powers wouldn’t be talking about military intervention if this was some resource-less place like Tunisia.

May they save themselves from the curse of civil war and foreign military intervention!


Categories: Africa Related, Middle East | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Hidden Iraq

It is a well known fact that racism is a bigger problem in Arab countries than in Europe or North America. Way bigger. An acquaintance of mine whose parents were originally from Nigeria just came back from the Mid East, after living in Saudi Arabia/Egypt/UAE for the past seven years, with tales of the worst kinds of racism and discrimination against black people. Iraq, a country home to over 1 million people of African descent, has stayed under the radar because the attention has always been on the struggles of Kurdish and Christian Chaldean minorities. Despite being the third largest ethnic group in the country, the African population has no representation in the political process so the discriminations against them by fellow countrymen have prevented them from participating in the country’s economy.

Categories: Middle East | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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