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October 13, 2006



Could a separate RSS feed for Qahwa Sada be set up?

the aardvark

There already is one - just use the whole URL: http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/qahwa_sada

It does work for me in Bloglines, at least, in xml


I would have loved it if you took a deeper cut at the Morocco study. I think Morocco is a very promosing lab for experimenting Arab democracy the constitutional monarchy way. I have been there in June and found a cery politically conducive environment. Some newspapers were openly questioning the King and the political spectrum is in full colors. I am confident Morocco will take further steps to be the 3rd democratic country in the Arab World after Lebanon and Algeria.

The Lounsbury

Algeria? Are you smoking crack? Algeria?

Algeria is not a democratic state.

Lebanon is hardly a real democracy either, but one can forgive the abuse of the term in its context. Algeria, however....

Morocco is an interesting place in terms of political development, but there are lots of signs the political liberalisation is running out of steam and the Makhzen is reasserting itself.

Still, they have taken many steps forward. A digestion period would be normal.


Lounsbury my definition for democratic countries is very simple: it is a state that has ex-presidents that are still living after being removed from power in a democratic way. Do you have other examples in the Arab World. By the way, Crack is another form of social democracy present in Morocco!

The Lounsbury

Your definition is simple bordering on retarded.

Bouteflika and Zeroual were 'elected' under conditions that only a delusional fool would call genuinely democratic, nor does the Algerian state bear any resemblance to a democracy. Quite the contrary, with the shadowy military junta(s) in the background, one can never get straight answers from civil authorities and it is clear that decision making has nothing to do with formal civilian structures as such.

Algeria is a democracy only if your definition includes Left 'People's Democracies' / Dictatorships and Right autocracies dressed up as democracies (as in Mubarek's Egypt).


Wouldn't something like this make for a good post here or at Aqoul or other MENA blogs, though? A kind of commented top list of the most/least democratic MENA countries -- or, perhaps easier to qualify, where the press is more/less free?

That is already done at www.freedomhouse.org and www.rsf.org and by other such democracy watchdog groups, but I for one would like to see some input from people who actually live in the region, speak the language/s, read the press on a daily basis, are familiar with the political "red lines" of each country, etc -- that gives a better understanding of the real situation than just counting the number of journalists in jail.

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