BACKGROUND GUIDE

League of Arab States
IITDMUN’11
                                     

 It  was  formed  in  Cairo  on  22  March   1945  with  six  members:  Egypt.   Lebanon.         IITDMUN©2011   .  Yemen  joined  as  a  member  on  5  May  1945.   COMMITTEE  DESCRIPTION     The  Arab  League  (Arabic:  ‫ة‬￿‫ع‬￿‫م‬￿‫ا‬￿‫ج‬￿‫ل‬￿‫ا‬￿  ‫ة‬￿‫ي‬￿‫ب‬￿‫ر‬￿‫ع‬￿‫ل‬￿‫ا‬￿  al-­‐Jāmiʻa  al-­‐ʻArabiyya).  Saudi  Arabia.  and  Syria.  Iraq.  and  to  consider  in  a  general  way  the  affairs  and  interests  of  the   Arab  countries.  to  safeguard  their  independence  and   sovereignty.  and  Southwest  Asia  (Middle  East).  Transjordan  (renamed  Jordan  after  1946).  officially   called  the  League  of  Arab  States  (Arabic:  ‫ة‬￿‫ع‬￿‫م‬￿‫ا‬￿‫ج‬￿  ‫ل‬￿‫و‬￿‫د‬￿‫ل‬￿‫ا‬￿  ‫ة‬￿‫ي‬￿‫ب‬￿‫ر‬￿‫ع‬￿‫ل‬￿‫ا‬￿  Jāmiʻat  ad-­‐Duwal   al-­‐ʻArabiyya).  The  main  goal   of  the  league  is  to  "draw  closer  the  relations  between  member  States  and  co-­‐ ordinate  collaboration  between  them.   The  Arab  League  currently  has  22  members  and  four  observers.  is  a  regional  organisation  of  Arab  states  in  North  and  Northeast   Africa.

 release  of  political   prisoners  and  re-­‐elections  to  the  constitutional  assembly.  One  must  note  that  the  protests  were  not  an   immediate  outburst  of  angst  against  the  government  but  a  result  of  prolonged  ignorance  of   the  needs  of  the  people  by  their  state.   ARAB  SPRING   INTRODUCTION   The  series  of  protests  and  demonstrations  across  the  Middle  East  and  North  Africa  has  come   to  be  known  as  the  "Arab  Spring".     As  people  of  many  Arab  countries  are  striving  towards  establishing  a  structure  of   governance  based  on  principles  of  democracy.It  was  sparked  by  the  first  protests  that  occurred  in  Tunisia   on  18  December  2010  following  Mohamed  Bouazizi's  self-­‐immolation  in  protest  of  police   corruption  and  ill  treatment.  and  then  spread  to  other  countries.  Egypt  witnessed  similar  mass   uprisings.  Jordan."Arab   Awakening"  or  "Arab  Uprisings"  .  and  Yemen.  The  Tunisian  revolt  started  with  the  self  immolation   by  one  protester  and  the  protests  resulted  in  ousting  of  President  Ben  Ali.  a  wave  of  unrest   struck  Algeria.  Egypt.  With  the  success  of  the  protests  in  Tunisia.     The  Arab  Spring  started  from  Tunisia.  starting  11th  February  2011.  resulting  in  the  end  of  the  three  decade’s  presidency   of  Hosni  Mubarak.         IITDMUN©2011   .  for  such   transitions  do  not  only  set  precedence  for  many  other  civil  societies  and  governments  but   have  direct  and  immediate  social  political  and  economic  ramifications.  and  sometimes  as  the  "Arab  Spring  and  Winter".  the  world’s  eyes  are  on  this  region.    The  Egyptian  civil  society  revolution  will  go  down  as  a  remarkable   example  of  a  successful  non  violent  civil  society  disobedience  movement  that  had  the   strength  to  bring  down  a  three  decade  powerful  dictatorship.

 a  deal  the  Yemeni  opposition  informally  accepted  on  26  April.     Yemen:   The  Yemeni  uprisings  began  in  January  2011  and  have  continued  since.  Libyan  leader  Muammar  al-­‐ Gaddafi  has  refused  to  step  down.  although  there  have   been  increasingly  violent  demonstrations  demanding  his  immediate  resignation.  on  27  January.         IITDMUN©2011   .   The  protestors'  demands  then  escalated  to  calls  for  Yemeni  President  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh  to   resign.  Medmah  and  few  others  with   tanks  in  order  to  subvert  the  on-­‐going  protests.       Sudanese  President  Omar  al-­‐Bashir  announced  that  he  would  not  seek  re-­‐election  in  2015.     As  of  July  2011.  demonstrations  have  resulted  in  the  overthrow  of  two  heads  of  state:   Tunisian  President  Zine  El  Abidine  Ben  Ali  fled  to  Saudi  Arabia  on  14  January  following  the   Tunisian  revolution  protests.000  protestors  took  place  in  Sana'a.  On  2  February.   Several  countries  since  then  have  witnessed  several  protests.  Another  leader.  as  well  as  against  the  government's  proposals  to  modify  Yemen's  constitution.  prolonging  the  Yemeni  uprising.  committing  several   atrocities.  In  the  early  phase.  Protests  in   Jordan  have  also  caused  the  resignation  of  the  government  resulting  in  former  Prime   Minister  and  Ambassador  to  Israel  Marouf  al-­‐Bakhit  being  appointed  prime  minister  by  King   Abdullah  and  tasked  with  forming  a  new  government.  Daraa.  Seeking  the  military’s  support  in  order  to   suppress  the  voice  of  discontent  resulted  in  massive  criticism  of  the  actions  by  the   international  community.  The  government  stormed  cities  of  Hama.  President  Hosni  Mubarak  resigned  on  11   February  2011.   as  did  Iraqi  Prime  Minister  Nouri  al-­‐Maliki.  ending  his  30-­‐year  presidency.  During  this   period  of  regional  unrest.  A  major  demonstration  of  over  16.  President  Ali   Abdullah  Saleh  of  Yemen.  arresting  people.  The  Syrian  government   responded  swiftly  to  the  protests.  causing  a  civil  war  between  pro-­‐Gadaffi  loyalists  and  anti-­‐ Gadaffi  rebels.  and  in  Egypt.  whose  term  ends  in  2014.  Yemen's   capital.  even  children.  reason  and  hope  to  pursue  their  cause.   The  success  of  the  Egyptian  and  the  Tunisian  revolution  gave  a  new  color  to  the  ambitions   of  the  people  living  across  sever  Arab  countries.  Saleh  announced  he  would  not  run  for  re-­‐election  in   2013  and  that  he  would  not  pass  power  to  his  son.   protests  in  Yemen  were  initially  against  unemployment.  Saleh   then  reneged  on  the  deal.  after  18  days  of  massive  protests.  announced  on  23  April  that  he  would  step  down  within  30  days  in   exchange  for  immunity.  economic  conditions  and   corruption.  several  leaders  announced  their  intentions  to  step  down  at  the   end  of  their  current  terms.       ARAB  SPRING  CASE  STUDIES     Syria:   Protesters  have  demanded  political  reforms  and  want  that  their  rights  be  reaffirmed  with  an   end  to  the  state  of  emergency  which  has  been  in  place  since  1963.

 2011.  On  18  March.  Protests  started   in  26  January  2011.  There  have  been  mass  arrests.  resulted  in  President  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh.  As  the  situation  remains  volatile  there  have   still  been  sporadic  instances  of  public  outburst.  The  resolution  also  referred   the  actions  of  the  government  to  the  International  Criminal  Court  for  investigation.  getting  injured   in  one  of  the  conflicts.  What   followed  was  a  month  of  protests  by  the  country‘s  marginalized  Shiites.   The  Gaddafi  government  then  announced  a  ceasefire.  The   United  Nations  Security  Council  passed  an  initial  resolution  freezing  the  assets  of  Gaddafi   and  ten  members  of  his  inner  circle.  protesters  in  Sana'a  were  fired  upon   resulting  in  52  deaths  and  ultimately  culminating  in  mass  defections  and  resignations.     Syria:   The  2011  Syrian  uprising  is  an  on-­‐going  internal  conflict  occurring  in  Syria.  the  protests  that  swept  through  the  Arab  world  touched  down  in  the  kingdom.  and  thereafter  he.  His  address  to  the  people  of  Yemen  on  television   from  Riyadh  also  resulted  in  massive  protests.  People  choose  not   to  trust  him  for  he  declined  thrice  from  signing  the  Gulf  Cooperation  Council’s  plan  of   immunity  in  exchange  of  his  resignation.  which  acted  as  a  centre  point   for  the  protests  and  provided  a  number  of  speeches  calling  for  peace.   pushed  eastwards  and  re-­‐took  several  coastal  cities  before  attacking  Benghazi.  but  failed  to  uphold  it.  along  with  his  family  members  flew  away  to  Saudi   Arabia.  After  a  month.  2011.  a  civil  war  broke  out  in  Libya  and  has  been  continuing  since.  The   on-­‐going  violent  protests  in  Yemen.  where  one  person  was  killed.200  troops  with  tanks  from  Saudi  Arabia.  including  800  from  the  United  Arab   Emirates.  More  protests  were  held  in  other  cities.  There  is  no   certainty  about  whether  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh  will  return  to  Yemen  or  not.  A  further   U.  with   forces  loyal  to  Muammar  Gadafi‘s  regime  against  those  seeking  to  overthrow  his  power.   and  citizens  demanded  more  political  freedoms  and  equality  for  the  Shia  majority.  In  early  March.  and  announced  that  he  would  not  be  seeking  another  presidential  term.  and  escalated  to  an  uprising  by  15  March  2011.  firings  of  government  workers   and  reports  of  torture.  and  1.  including  Al   Mukalla.  who  make  up  70  per   cent  of  the  population  (the  rest  of  the  country  –  the  monarch  and  business  elite  –   are  Sunnis).  Libya  currently   witnesses  armed  conflicts  amidst  intervention  by  the  NATO  and  various  international   attempts  targeted  at  establishing  peace  in  the  region     Bahrain:     In  Feb.000  troops.  and  restricting  their  travel.  Bahrain  has  since  become   something  of  a  police  state.           IITDMUN©2011   .     Libya:     On  February  15th.  and  an   arrest  warrant  for  Gaddafi  was  issued  on  27  June.     On  a  "Friday  of  No  Return"  on  11  March.  King   Hamad  bin  Isa  al-­‐Khalifa  brought  in  2.  Protesters  in  Manama  –  the  island‘s  capital  –  camped  out  for  days  at  the  Pearl   Roundabout  (a  central  monument  near  the  financial  district).  resolution  authorized  member  states  to  establish  and  enforce  a  no-­‐fly  zone  over  Libya.N.  Gaddafi's  forces  rallied.  protestors  called  for  Saleh's  ousting  in  Sana'a   where  three  people  were  killed.

  As  the  situation  remains  volatile  there  have  still  been  sporadic  instances  of  public  outburst.     Yemen:   The  Yemeni  uprisings  began  in  January  2011  and  have  continued  since.  In  May.  and  announced  that  he  would  not  be   seeking  another  presidential  term.  getting  injured  in  one  of  the  conflicts.  His   address  to  the  people  of  Yemen  on  television  from  Riyadh  also  resulted  in  massive  protests.  protests  spread  across  Egypt  in  January   2011  against  the  heavy-­‐handed  rule  of  President  Hosni  Mubarak.  facing  charges  including  killing  protestors.  People  choose  not  to  trust  him  for  he  declined  thrice  from   signing  the  Gulf  Cooperation  Council’s  plan  of  immunity  in  exchange  of  his  resignation.   The  uprising  is  influenced  by  concurrent  protests  in  the  region.  for  the  ruling  Baath  Party  to  allow  other  political  parties.  Mubarak  resigned  on   Febraury  11th  2011.  as  well  as  against  the  government's  proposals  to  modify  Yemen's  constitution.  and  broad  political   freedoms.  Fresh  protests  erupted  in  April  when   citizens  felt  that  their  military  was  still  loyal  to  Mubarak‘s  government.  Yemen's   capital.  including  Al  Mukalla.  and  has  been  described  as   "unprecedented.  The  on-­‐going  violent  protests  in  Yemen.   protests  in  Yemen  were  initially  against  unemployment.   On  August  3rd.  Saleh  announced  he  would  not  run  for  re-­‐election  in   2013  and  that  he  would  not  pass  power  to  his  son.  On  2  February.  A  major  demonstration  of  over  16.  and  thereafter  he.  On  a  "Friday  of  No  Return"  on  11  March.  on  27  January.       Egypt:     Following  immediately  after  the  uprisings  in  Tunisia.   Egypt  was  then  placed  under  the  command  of  its  army.  On  18  March.               IITDMUN©2011   .  economic  conditions  and   corruption.  More  protests   were  held  in  other  cities.000  protesters  have   been  killed.  More  than  2.  resulted  in   President  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh.  such  as  freedom  of  press.  while  the  Syrian  government  says   armed  Islamist  elements  in  the  country  are  responsible  for  the  civilian  casualties  and  the   killing  of  more  than  340  members  of  the  security  forces.  many  more  injured."  The  demands  of  protesters  include  for  President  Bashar  al-­‐Assad  to  step   down.  Egypt‘s  top   prosecutor  ordered  Mubarak  to  stand  trial.   The  protestors'  demands  then  escalated  to  calls  for  Yemeni  President  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh  to   resign.   protesters  in  Sana'a  were  fired  upon  resulting  in  52  deaths  and  ultimately  culminating  in   mass  defections  and  resignations.  to  end  extrajudicial  killings   and  torture.  equal  rights  for  Syria's  ethnic  and  religious  groups.  where  one  person  was  killed.   protestors  called  for  Saleh's  ousting  in  Sana'a  where  three  people  were  killed.  speech  and  assembly.000  protestors  took  place  in  Sana'a.  In  the  early  phase.  There  is  no  certainty  about  whether  Ali  Abdullah  Saleh   will  return  to  Yemen  or  not.  after  18  days  of  furious  demonstrations  and  30  years  of  autocratic  rule.  and  thousands  detained.  along   with  his  family  members  flew  away  to  Saudi  Arabia.  Mubarak  entered  the  courtroom  and  faced  the  trial  for  corruption  and   involvement  in  the  killing  of  protesters.

 It  is  worth  mentioning  that  Egypt  stock  market  has  declined  by  25%.  In  Egypt  only  15%  of  women  and  70%  of  men  are  literate.  Thus  volatility  in  the  region  will  have   massive  economic  connotations  for  world  prices.  and  Tunisia  is  in   excess  of  $15  billion.   affects  prices  of  almost  every  other  commodity.     The  combined  current  account  deficit  of  Egypt.  Economic  growth  in  2011  was   1.         The  World  Bank  believes  that  if  the  transfer  to  democracy  is  peaceful  and  sound.5billion  USD.  Morocco.  In  the  most  general  terms  it  can  be  said   that  the  economies  of  the  non-­‐oil  countries  are  on  the  verge  of  collapse  and  are  semi-­‐ bankrupt.5%.    In  the  short  term  we  shall  witness  a  reduction  in   production.  Many  oil  producing  countries   in  the  region  have  the  ability  to  influence  world  oil  prices.9%.    The  tourism  sector  which  is  an  important  component  of  the  economy  suffered  a   45%  decline  in  Egypt  and  Tunisia  since  the  wave  of  protest  began.  given  most  of  them  are  export  oriented  economies.  The  other  direct  economic  implications  of  the  protests  and  civil   war.    The   World  Bank  promised  to  grant  Egypt  two  billion  USD  over  the  next  two  years  and  to  provide   a  loan  of  2.  The  combined  oil  import   bill  for  the  non-­‐oil  Arab  countries  will  have  to  be  covered  by  the  international  community   through  the  mechanisms  of  the  IMF  and  the  World  Bank.  One  Arab  newspaper  estimated  that  some  $30  billion  has  left  Egypt   since  the  onset  of  the  Arab  Spring.  salary  increases  for  Public  Sector  employees  and  increased   investment  in  education  and  social  services.   It  is  expected  that  during  2011  Egypt’s  economy  will  shrink  by  2.  Even  neighbouring  Lebanon  is  feeling  the  impact  of  a  weaker  tourist  activity.  To  plug  the  gap  external  financing  is  needed.  the  economy  of  most  Arab  nations  gets  directly  affected  by  volatile  conflict   situations.       IITDMUN©2011   .  a  decline  in  trade  services  and  other  economic  activities.         The  other  aspect  of  this  economic  downturn  is  that  wealthy  Arabs  are  transferring  their   funds  to  Europe  and  North  America.  In  Syria  tourism  has  dried   up  completely.  Saudi  Arabia  is  investing  $130  billion  to  finance   low  cost  housing  projects.  an  intermediate  product.    On  the  plus  side  the  high  oil  prices  have  helped  to  cushion  the  economies  of  the   members  of  the  Gulf  Co-­‐operation  Council.  we  should   have  economic  growth  in  the  years  2012/2013  of  3.  The  losses  from  the  Tahrir  Square  protests  were  estimated  to  be  around  1.  Experts  predict  an  upturn  in  economic  activity  in  the  years  2012-­‐2014  with  the   expansion  of  the  financial  sector.  It  is  an  undisputed  fact  that  investors  are  nervous  and   afraid  of  uncertainty.5  to  4.5  to  3%  and  Yemen’s  by   more  than  4%.     Non  oil  producing  countries  will  be  particularly  hit.7  Billion  US   Dollars.  Yemen.  is  that.         Egypt  for  example  needs  economic  aid  to  cover  the  shortfall  in  its  budget  over  the  next  2-­‐3   years.     Economics  Implications  of  Arab  Spring     The  stock  market  responded  positively  to  the  announcement  of  Hosni  Mubarak’s  stepping   down  as  President  of  Egypt.  Syria.  Oil.  There  is  a  great  need  for   urgent  economic  reforms  to  reap  the  benefits  of  the  political  reforms.   Fighting  of  corruption  must  accompany  political  and  social  reforms.    Reforms  in  education  and  the  introduction  of  literacy   programs  are  urgently  needed.

 in  terms  of   reaffirming  the  strength  of  civil  society  and  further  stating  that  the  real  power  in  any   governance  structure.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201183081433165611.org/wiki/2011_Libyan_civil_war           IITDMUN©2011   .org/middle-­‐east/issue-­‐guide-­‐middle-­‐east-­‐north-­‐africa/p23929   http://en.  making  the  citizen  a  subject  governed  by  a  set  of  rules  and  regulations   established  by  the  state  itself.  This  has  emerged  to  be  true  for   autocratic  societies  too.  However  one  must  understand  that  the  nature  of  democracy  in   principle  is  such  that  the  state  comes  from  the  people.  The  phenomenon  of  state  perpetuating  its  own  existence  is   eminent  in  all  democracies.carnegieendowment.  Delegates  must  focus  on  the  emerging  strength  of  civil  society.guardian.bbc.wikipedia.html     http://www.org/wiki/2011_Syrian_uprising   http://en.org/wiki/Arab_Spring#Impact_of_the_Arab_Spring   http://en.org/wiki/Arab_League       Base  Research:   http://en.  the  state  cannot  afford  to   be  oblivious  to  the  needs  and  desires  of  its  citizens.org/wiki/Impact_of_the_Arab_Spring   http://en.wikipedia.aljazeera.  Thus  in  every  democratic  state   despite  the  increasing  distance  between  the  state  and  its  citizens.voanews.wikipedia.  From   the  Aristotelian  understanding  of  citizenship  which  lay  the  foundation  of  modern  day   definition  of  democracy  to  what  democracies  in  practice  have  become  by  suppressing   information.co.uk/news/world-­‐middle-­‐east-­‐14153583   http://www.com/english/news/Arab-­‐League-­‐Seeks-­‐Relevance-­‐in-­‐Arab-­‐Spring-­‐-­‐ 123920639.  leading  to  information  asymmetry  and  distancing  the  state  from  the   citizen  in  real  terms.   changing  dimensions  of  governance  in  the  Arab  world.  The  Arab  Spring  bears  massive  symbolic  value.cfr.org/wiki/International_reactions_to_the_Arab_Spring   http://en.wikipedia.  be  it  a  democracy  or  a  dictatorship  lies  in  the  population  of  that   nation.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/mar/22/middle-­‐east-­‐protest-­‐ interactive-­‐timeline   http://www.       IMPORTANT  LINKS  FOR  RESEARCH     Must  Refer:     http://english.wikipedia.wikipedia.     Political  implications  of  Arab  Spring     The  relationship  between  the  citizen  and  the  state  has  evolved  over  a  period  of  time.html   http://www.org/topic/?fa=list&id=839   http://www.

 this  has  ceased  to  be  the  case.  it  was  almost  always  with  a  heavy  negative  connotation.   Three  things  should  be  said  about  this  sea  change  in  perceptions  about  Arabs.  And  it  has  become  respectable  in  the  West  as  well.  This  is  true  even  though  both  countries  possess  many  of  the  prerequisites       IITDMUN©2011   .  it  also  includes  a  large  ideological   archipelago  of  faux  expertise.  there  is  an  enormous  investment  in  the  “us  versus  them”  view  of   the  region.  the  artists  and  intellectuals.  The  “experts”  taught  us  instead  that  this  was  a  fanatical  people.  Egypt  is   now  thought  of  as  an  exciting  and  progressive  place.”  not  only  the  industries  that  supply  this  war  and  the  battalions  of  contractors  and   consultants  so  generously  rewarded  for  their  services  in  it.  This  includes  not  only  entire  bureaucratic  empires  engaged  in  fighting  the  “war   on  terror.  Even  if  all  the  Arab   despots  are  overthrown.  the   feminists.  the  tech-­‐savvy  young  people.  with  vast  shoals  of  “terrorologists”  deeply  committed  to   propagating  this  caricature  of  the  Middle  East.  to  be  an  Arab  has  become  a  good  thing.   They  are  the  ones  who  systematically  taught  Americans  not  to  see  the  real  Arab  world:  the   unions.  Events  in  the  Arab  world  are   being  covered  by  the  Western  media  more  extensively  than  ever  before  and  are  being  talked   about  positively  in  a  fashion  that  is  unprecedented.       The  second  feature  of  this  shift  in  perceptions  is  that  it  is  very  fragile.  People  all  over  the  Arab  world  feel  a   sense  of  pride  in  shaking  off  decades  of  cowed  passivity  under  dictatorships  that  ruled  with   no  deference  to  popular  wishes.  those  with  a  commitment  to  the  rule  of  law.   Third.  and  that   could  rapidly  erode  these  tender  new  perceptions.  Virtually  all  we  heard  about  were  the  ubiquitous   terrorists.  were  most   Western  media  images  of  this  region.  when  anything  Muslim  or  Middle   Eastern  or  Arab  was  reported  on.  Before.  Wisconsin.  where  the  despots  are  gone  but  a  real  transformation   has  barely  begun.   An  Arab  Awakening  –  Article  from  the  Western  World   Suddenly.  Those   with  power  and  influence  who  hold  these  borderline-­‐racist  views  are  not  going  to  change   them  quickly.  one  needs  only  a  brief  exposure  to  the  sewer  that  is  Fox   News.  during  this  Arab  spring.  and  its  bright  young  activists  are  seen   as  models  for  a  new  kind  of  twenty-­‐first-­‐century  mobilization.  those  with  a  reasonable  knowledge  of  Western   culture  and  values.  a   people  without  dignity.  its  people’s  expressions  of  solidarity  are   welcomed  by  demonstrators  in  Madison.  the  ordinary  people  who  simply  want  decent  opportunities  and  a  voice  in   how  they  are  governed.  a  people  that  deserved  its  terrible  American-­‐supported  rulers.  brutal  despots  who  were  the  only  option  for  control  of  such   undesirables.  The  first  is  that  it  shows  how  superficial.  Nothing  has  yet  been  resolved  in  any  Arab   country.  if  at  all:  for  proof.  not  even  in  Tunisia  or  Egypt.  Muslims  and   Middle  Easterners.  An  area  that  was  a  byword  for   political  stagnation  is  witnessing  a  rapid  transformation  that  has  caught  the  attention  of  the   world.  These  talking  heads  who  pass  for  experts   have  ceaselessly  affirmed  that  terrorists  and  Islamists  are  the  only  thing  to  look  for  or  see.  things  could  easily  and  very  quickly  change  for  the  worse  in  the  Arab  world.  and  how  false.  the  omnipresent  bearded  radicals  and  their  veiled  companions  trying  to  impose   Sharia  and  the  corrupt.   Now.

 Oman.  nascent  public  opinion  and  a  press  that  insisted  on   national  sovereignty  and  a  fair  share  of  their  own  resources.  tear-­‐gassed  and  shot  while  demanding  change.  although  both  Turkish  and  Arab   nationalists  have  fiercely  denied  any  Ottoman  impact  on  their  modern  nation-­‐states.  whose  ambitions  and  interests   were  often  obstructed  by  parliaments.  These  governments  were   systematically  undermined  by  the  imperialist  great  powers.   Much  has  been  said  in  recent  weeks  about  the  potential  of  applying  the  “Turkish  model”  to   the  Arab  world.  The  Western  powers   not  only  gave  little  or  no  support  to  democratic  rule  in  the  Middle  East.  shaped  the   understanding  of  these  concepts  for  their  peoples.  or  has  no  constitutional  traditions  or  has  always  suffered  under   autocratic  rulers.  even  less  has  been  transformed  in   other  Arab  countries.  Later.   and  massive  illiteracy  and  poverty.  Still.  Iraq  and  elsewhere.  The  Middle  East  has  certainly  suffered  recently  under  a  string  of  appalling   regimes.  In  all  these  respects.  These  were  flawed  experiments  that  faced   massive  obstacles  in  the  form  of  entrenched  interests.  And  despite  the  bravery  of  those  who  have  been   beaten.  a  mature  democracy.  Turkey  and  the  Arab  states  came  to  their  understanding  of   modernity—and  with  it  of  constitutions.  whether  through  civil  war  in  Libya  or  Yemen.  of  a  workable  cultural  synthesis  between  East   and  West.  and  of  how  to  exert  influence  on  the  world  stage.  Later  still.  In  fact.  in  1906.  many  highly  educated   people  and  some  strong  institutions.  to  America’s  interference  in  Lebanon  and  Syria  and  overthrow  of  the   Iranian  government  in  the  1950s.  This  era.   paralysis  in  Tunisia  and  Egypt.  in  the  interwar   period  and  afterward.   As  people  in  the  West  learn  more  about  this  crucially  important  part  of  the  world.  or  endless  fruitless  contestation  with  those  in  power  in   Bahrain.  All  of  it  could  turn  sour.  including  Syria  and   Iraq.  the  semi-­‐independent  and  independent  countries  of  the  region  were   mainly  governed  by  constitutional  regimes.  it  is   perceived  as  a  more  attractive  model  than  what  is  widely  seen  in  the  Arab  world  as  a  failed   alternative:  the  thirty-­‐two-­‐year-­‐old  Iranian  theocratic  system.   It  also  serves  as  a  model  of  economic  success.  and  human.  In  other   words.  there  are  a   few  more  truths  that  should  be  transmitted.  the  pattern  was  continually  repeated.   for  a  constitutional  government.  they  often  actively   undermined  it.  From  the  European  powers’   undermining  of  the  Iranian  and  Ottoman  constitutional  governments  in  the  first  decades  of   the  twentieth  century.  economic  progress  and  social   justice—like  a  strong  civil  society.  a  history  of  labor  organization.  preferring  to  deal  with  pliable  autocrats  who  did  their  bidding.  civil  and  political  rights— through  a  shared  late  Ottoman  past.  Today   Turkey  does  provide  a  model  of  how  to  reconcile  a  powerful  military  establishment  with   democracy.  One  is  that  this  is  not  a  region  that  is  uniquely   unsuited  to  democracy.  Jordan.  and  a  secular  system  with  a  religious  orientation  among  much  of  the  populace.  At  that  time  the  empire   included  not  only  today’s  Turkey  but  most  of  the  eastern  Arab  world.  the  autocratic  proclivities  of  rulers.  Iran  established  a  constitutional  regime.  democracy.       IITDMUN©2011   .  from  the  1860s  until  1918.  the  failures  to  establish  sustained  constitutional  and   parliamentary  regimes  were  not  due  solely  to  those  factors.  the  pattern  of  Western  support  for  easily  manipulated  dictatorial  regimes  is  by  no   means  a  new  one.  Morocco.  But  this  is  also  a  region  where  debates  over  how  to  limit  the  power  of  rulers  led  to   sustained  constitutional  effervescence  in  Tunisia  and  Egypt  in  the  late  1870s  and  to  the   establishment  of  a  Constitution  in  the  Ottoman  Empire  in  1876.

 There  has  been  little  or  no  emphasis  on  foreign  policy.  it  is  vital  that  a  new  Arab   world.  be  treated  with  the  respect   it  deserves.         IITDMUN©2011   .  But  there  is  also  a  demand  for  the   collective  dignity  of  proud  states  like  Egypt.  social  justice  and  dignity.  After  that  generation’s  failures.  If   the  people  of  the  Arab  world  are  fortunate  in  achieving  democratic  transitions.  and  of  the  Arabs  as  a  people.  So  far  they  have  focused  almost  entirely  on  the  root  causes  of  their  problems.  social  justice  and  dignity.  which   have  been  the  universal  demands  of  their  peoples  during  this  Arab  spring.  for  the  dignity  of  the  individual  in  the  face  of  rulers  who  treat   their  subjects  as  without  rights  and  beneath  contempt.  born  of  a  struggle  for  freedom.  The  term  “dignity”   involves  a  dual  demand:  first.  by  repressive  rulers   and  vis-­‐à-­‐vis  the  outside  world.  whether  it  relates  to  the   patronizing  way  the  United  States  has  long  treated  the  region  or  the  casual  dismissal  of  the   beliefs  of  most  Arabs  that  justice  has  not  been  and  is  not  being  done  to  the  Palestinians.   The  Arab  states  have  a  long  way  to  go  to  undo  the  terrible  legacy  of  repression  and   stagnation  and  move  toward  democracy.  that  demonstrators  from  Rabat  to  Manama  seek  to   eliminate.  they  were  replaced  by   dictators  who  provided  the  “stability”  so  prized  by  the  West—stability  purchased  at  the  price   of  the  dignity  of  the  individual  and  the  collective.  and  that  for  the  first  time  in  decades  it  is  beginning  to  earn.  as  they  targeted   colonialism  and  neocolonialism.  and  can   begin  to  confront  the  many  deep  problems  their  societies  face.  It  is  this  humiliation.  This  was  the   demand  that  nationalist  leaders  rode  to  power  starting  in  the  1950s.  the  rule  of  law.  no  visible   anti-­‐Western  feeling  and  limited  mention  of  Israel  or  Palestine.   There  is  great  peril  in  ignoring  this  demand  for  collective  dignity.   which  are  largely  internal.

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