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HomeGeopolitical CompassNile Valley & N.AfricaThe revolution will not be cancelled

The revolution will not be cancelled

Authors: Jannis Grimm, Teresa Fehrenbach

Affiliation: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Organization/Publisher: International Politics and Society

Date/Place: April 24, 2020/Germany

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 2334


Keywords: COVID-19, North Africa, Middle East, Revolution


North Africa and the Middle East faced severe political, economic, and social disruption in late 2019 and early 2020. Countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria witnessed what sociologists are now calling a second wave of the Arab Spring. But during the month of March and the spreading of COVID-19, the authoritarian regimes took every possible measure to contain dissenting voices under the shadow of preventive measures against transmission of the coronavirus. According to this study, civil society in these volatile states of MENA is contained to social media to record their protest and remonstration against respective tyrannical regimes. Moreover, these opposition movements encourage their supporters to stay at home during this pandemic; in Algeria slogans like “As part of Hirak movement, I am fighting the coronavirus” can be seen on Twitter. The regimes are taking full-fledged measures against the opposition forces during this pandemic as reported from Lebanon, Algeria, and Egypt where several undocumented arrests are done by law enforcement agencies. It seems that this pandemic brought an opportunity for the status-quo to repress dissents under the flag of anti-coronavirus measures, but the authors believe that the chances of revolution are not eliminated, only delayed. The derivers that motivated the youth of these areas to came out in the streets have intensified due to COVID-19. The socio-economic conditions are worse than pre-Corona period and these regimes have to surrender before the popular demand, i.e. sooner or later massive socio-economic and political reforms. 

By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Research Associate



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