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Why The Arab Counter-revolutions Have Failed

Al-Araby al-Jadeed, London, January 3 

As 2019 begins, taking a close look at the Arab world reveals that the phenomenon of counter-revolutions therein has ended. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, several regimes—most notably in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt—implemented measures to keep themselves in place and thus prevent true political reform. We saw this when Bahraini armed forces took control of the Pearl Roundabout in the capital city of Manama and violently cracked down on protesters in the streets. We saw it in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, which pushed into exile former president Ali Abdallah Saleh. This has even been apparent in Syria, where money from the Gulf was funneled to radicalized Syrian youth in Daraa in an effort to ignite an all-out war to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from gaining power. However, all of these efforts seemingly have failed. With respect to Riyadh, the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi has placed the House of Saud, including Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, at immediate risk. The UAE, similarly, recently recognized Bashar Al-Assad’s rule and agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties with Syria. In Egypt, President Abdel al-Fatah al-Sisi achieved nothing besides increasing the debt of and instability in his nation. The Arab Spring, which began 8 years ago this month, symbolized the Arab public’s call for liberty and freedom, which, over the next few years, was muzzled. But the wheels continue turning and change will eventually come. Indeed, it has already started.  –Ali Anuzla

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