Analysts are everywhere these days trying to make sense of what is happening in the MENA region. And it is not so easy either, given the lack of expertise of a number of the pundits, let alone the furious pace of the developments as well as the contradictions inherent in some of the changes from one day to another.
Yemen has been much in the news of late – and the situation there is often portrayed rather negatively. Ekklesia’s Simon Barrow interviewed Progressio’s enterprising on-the-ground representative in Yemen, Abeer Al-Absi, to find out how she sees the situation, and to discover how the strands of hope can be threaded together. The discussion includes the role of women and the HIV-AIDS challenge.
There are plenty of grounds for a paradoxical 'pessoptimism' about developments in the Middle East and North Africa, writes Harry Hagopian. The huge Arab struggles for dignity and freedom are vital but will take a long time. History in Europe and the USA should surely teach us that revolutions are never made in one swoop, but take time and cause pain.
In a region where tensions, animosity and outright violence often abound between different communities and also different faiths (let alone between communities and the 'state' itself), Qatar has been one of those encouraging and forward-looking stories of relative conviviality, learn-as-you-go openness and consequential growth.