Democratization and the Internet

When the first demonstrations began in Tunisia, people were surprised. When the popular protest continued and spread out to neighbouring countries, people here in the West simply couldn't believe their eyes. Was this actually happening? Were those people, that we, here in the West, only associate with radicalism, oppression and violence, actually protesting for reforms, democracy and freedom?

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Full frontal

Last week Algerian singer Fulla was refused entry into Egypt. The hugely popular artist was personally invited by the director of a major music event in post Moubarak and reborn Egypt.

In 1996, Fulla was deported from Egypt. The official reason was that she was involved in a prostitution scandal, but insiders knew and know better: a woman in Egypt can easily be eliminated by accusing her of immoral behaviour and getting her into trouble by sending the vice squad over to her. No need to worry about any evidence: a biased judge often won't fuss about the lack of it.

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My old village lies between two dykes. On one side is the Merwede Canal and on the other, the River Linge. Back in the days when it still used to get really cold, the two waterways would freeze, and my brothers and I would go skating on them. We would nearly always come home crying from the cold, and go quietly snivelling to revive ourselves next to a cosy radiator. Those freezing winters are a thing of the past, but the view of the canal and the dyke from my parents' house is unchanged: the field bordered by a small ditch, in which our ball would often land and have to be fished out, beyond the ditch the slope up to the dyke with a long row of tall trees, and then the canal, where in summer young people go swimming.

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© Hassnae Bouazza, 2013