For Immediate Release, December 13, 2011

Contact: Allison Sturma, 202-429-4725

(Washington) – Experts from the United States Institute of Peace, who have been working in the field  throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the last year, are available for comment on the progress of the Arab Awakening  and what still needs to happen to ensure stability in the region.

Manal Omar, director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa programs, recently returned from the region, commented:

“The one year anniversary of the Arab Spring is a crucial time to pause and remember the initial motivation behind the protests: the call for freedom, dignity, and access to better opportunity. The movement has reminded the world of the power of the people, which has led to elections in Tunisia and Egypt, the signing of an agreement in Yemen, and a transitional government on Libya. 

“The true challenge moving forward will be to keep ensuring a participatory approach that leads to true change, and not recreating the system they fought hard to replace. Most important is creating safeguards to ensure the initial voices, such as youth and women, are not drowned out moving forward.”

Omar can be reached for additional comment at 202-429-1981 or momar@usip.org.

Senior Fellow Robin Wright stressed the importance of the youth movement in maintaining the call for change, stating:

“Youth reflected the four reasons that the Arab Spring became the perfect political storm: The young were the overwhelming majority, were literate, had new tools of technology, and were willing to unleash their fury at both autocrats and extremists robbing them of a future.”

Wright can be reached for additional comment at 202-429-3879 (office), 202-320- 0888 (cell), or wrightrb@gmail.com

Having just completed a trip to Yemen, Colette Rausch, director of the Rule of Law Center of Innovation at USIP, reflected that:

“What we are seeing around the world is people’s demand for a voice in decisions that affect their lives and for a society that provides justice, security, and accountability for everyone – in in other words, a society that abides by the rule of law. In the eyes of those who protest against unaccountable leaders, corrupt judges, and heavy handed security forces, the uprisings around the region are calling for their countries to embrace the essence of the rule of law and for citizens to have a voice in the process of reform and change.” 

Rausch is available for additional comments at 202-429-3860 or crausch@usip.org

 As international attention remains focused on Syria, Senior Adviser for Middle East Initiatives Steven Heydemann commented that:

“Conditions in Syria are deteriorating.  Protests continue despite a significant uptick in regime violence, with the death toll among the opposition climbing above 5,000.  Yet the militarization and sectarianization of the uprising continue, and Syrians are under growing economic strains as winter sets in.   None of the diplomatic efforts of Turkey, the Arab world, or the West, has forced the Syrian regime to cease its violence against the Syrian population.  The reality is sinking in that the road to regime change in Syria will be very long and, in all probability, increasingly violent."

Heydemann can be reached for additional comment at sheydemann@usip.org.

###

The United States Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC. To learn more visit www.usip.org.

 

Related News

Peace Teachers Program Announces 2018 Cohort

Peace Teachers Program Announces 2018 Cohort

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

News Type: Press Release

USIP has chosen Ryan Adams of Chelsea High School in Chelsea, AL; Casandra Bates of Centennial High School in Franklin, TN; JoAnne Bohl of West Central High School in Hartford, SD; and Jennifer O'Boyle of Klahowya Secondary School in Silverdale, WA, to participate in the 2018 Peace Teachers Program. Over the course of the next school year, they will receive training, resources, and support to strengthen their teaching of international conflict management and peacebuilding.

Education & Training

'Peace Teachers' Program Spreads to Four New States

'Peace Teachers' Program Spreads to Four New States

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News Type: Press Release

At a time when violent international conflict is spawning humanitarian crises around the world, four high school teachers in Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma and Florida have been selected to take part in a U.S. Institute of Peace program to help their students gain the knowledge, skills and perspectives they need to work toward a more peaceful world.

Education & Training

Diane Zeleny Named USIP’s Vice President for External Relations

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

News Type: Press Release

(Washington) – The U.S. Institute of Peace has named communications and foreign policy professional Diane Zeleny as its vice president for external relations. Zeleny will lead the institute’s outreach and public communications strategy, and will oversee its public affairs, public education, congressional relations and institutional development efforts.

Tunisian Leader Outlines Anti-Terrorism, Corruption Steps

Tunisian Leader Outlines Anti-Terrorism, Corruption Steps

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

News Type: Press Release

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed outlined the country’s efforts to improve security, reduce extremism, curb corruption and jump-start the economy, in a meeting with a group of current and former top U.S. officials and other experts at the U.S. Institute of Peace on July 11.

View All News