Friday, February 18, 2011

It's been quite a week in the Middle East: Bahrain, Libya and Yemen, oh my

After Egypt and the bloody demonstrations in Bahrain, as well as unrest in Libya and Yemen, it's starting to get a little close for comfort over here. And very painful to watch. I am all for the right to peaceful protest – growing up with it and all, I once took it for granted, until moving overseas and perhaps right up until #Jan25, but no longer – and praying that not too many more lives are lost.

In other, completely unrelated news, things are sort of shaping up in the (very peaceful, not-much-on-the-public-squares) UAE. Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has been on a tour of the emirates, meeting rulers and finding out what the locals have to say. According to WAM, the state news agency:

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed on the necessity of close and continuous follow up of the outcome of this tour in order to live up to the aspirations and hopes of nationals, already a high priority by the government as part of its strategy to continue the march of comprehensive development the UAE currently witnesses.

Still unrelated, there was a fun half-step to reform in the UAE this week, when the Government tripled the size of the electoral college in each emirate and announced the second Federal National Council election. The first elections were in 2006, when half of the 40 members were elected by a caucus of almost 7,000 people and the rest were appointed, The National reported.  The FNC's most recent term ended last week after its final session.

"It's not a giant leap, but a step in the right direction."
-Najla al Awadi, an FNC member appointed in 2006. Her term has just ended.

1 comment:

mezba said...

It just shows that freedom doesn't come cheap and often blood is lost - a fact lost on some modern Canadians here I see who doesn't see the point of civic participation!

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