mercredi 30 mai 2012

Urgent help/ Aide urgente مساعدة

Few days ago , a woman contacted me to tell me the story of Moemen and Molka Tarres, two children ( aged 7) who urgently need a liver transplant. She explained that the father is ready to be the donor , that the tests were made and that he can do it. Nevertheless, the two children should do the transplant outside Tunisia for several reasons. I visited the family and recorded a small video with the father and mother. Indeed, the parents were in a state of despair : "we are loosing our children and we can do nothing about it!"

The family is rather a modest one. The medical treatment is too expensive and social security refused to take it in charge. The family discovered the illness of their babies since 2006 and their situation is going worse. We can help them by collecting the money for their liver transplantation. To contcat the father you can dial : + 21622438326
If you want to help : 
in Tunisia; RIB UBCI Mornag: 11078002219605078815
Outside Tunisia: TN5911078002219605078815

منذ أيّام اتصلت بي سيدة لتروي لي رحلة  عذاب الطفلين مؤمن و ملكة التراس مع المرض و حاجتهما الماسة لاجراء عملية زرع كبد.كما أخبرتني أنّ والدهما مستعدّ للتبرّع بجزئين من كبده لانقاذهما و قد أثبتت التحاليل الطبية امكانية تبرّعه لهما  و لكنّ العملية يجب أن تجرى خارج  حدود البلاد التونسية لعدة اسباب .زرت العائلة و قمت بتسجيل  شريط فيديو قصير يروي فيه الوالدان قصة مرض الطفلين و ضرورة اجراء العملية في اسرع وقت و قد بدا الياس يدق أبوابهما فلقد قال لي نشعر بالعجز و نحن نرى فلذتي كبدينا يرحلان ببطء
 العائلة ليست بالميسورة و يتطلّب علاج الطفلين و توفير حاجياتيهما الخصوصية أمولا كثيرة و قد رفضت صناديق الحماية الاجتماعية التكفل بمصاريف الطفلين 
اكتشفت العائلة مرض الصغيرين منذ سنة 2006و هما في الشهر السادس من عمريهما و قد حارب الوالدان طيلة هاته السنوات من اجل ابقائهما على قيد الحياة و لكنّ ضعيتهما بدات تتعقّد يوما بعد يوم فلم يبق من حلّ سوى  اجراء عملية زرع كبد لهما  فلنحاول مساعدتهما و ذلك بتوفير الاموال الازمة لاجراء العملية 
للاتصال بوالد الطفلين 0021622438326
للمساعدة من داخل تونس
RIB UBCI Mornag: 11078002219605078815
و من خارج تونس 

Il y'a quelques jours , une dame m 'a contactée pour me raconter l 'histoire de Moemen et Molka Tarres deux enfants âgés de 7 ans et atteints d'une maladie nécessitant une transplantation hépatique.Elle m 'a expliqué que le père est donneur et que les analyses médicales ont prouvé une  compatibilité  entre le père et ses deux enfants. Cependant , il s'est avéré qu'il est non envisageable de de faire l’opération en Tunisie pour différentes raisons. J 'ai visité la famille et j 'ai enregistrée une petite vidéo. Le père et la mère y racontent l'historique de la maladie de leurs enfants et demandent de l 'aide. La famille est modeste. Le traitement médical est trop cher et les caisses de la sécurité sociale ont refusé de les prendre en charge. Ils souffrent depuis 2006 et leur situation s'est dégradée. La transplantation hépatique devient une urgence absolue . Essayons de les aider en leur collectant de l'argent pour qu’ils puissent voyager et faire leurs opérations. 
Pour contacter le père :  +21622438326
Pour aider  : 
Depuis la Tunisie : RIB: UBCI Mornag: 11078002219605078815
De l 'étranger : TN5911078002219605078815

mercredi 16 mai 2012

Somaly Mam: the road of lost innocence

Few days ago, I had the opportunity to take part in the third edition of the Oslo Freedom Forum and I also had the chance to meet some of the most brilliant human rights defenders in the world. Somaly Mam is one of these heroes. Indeed I had the opportunity to both read her book and listen to her speech during the forum. I will never forget her smiling face and the sweet words she told me when she greeted me.

Somaly Mam is a Cambodian human rights activist and an author. She used to be one of the victims of sexual slavery in her country. But she succeeded in getting out of it and is now fighting to rescue others. 

In her book " the road of lost innoncence", Somaly recalls her own life. A life full of suffering and pain. Her parents abandoned  her in her earliest years. She does not even know her real name: " My name is Somaly. At least, that's the name I have now. Like everyone in Cambodia, I've had several. Names are the result of temporary choices. You change them the way you 'de change lives" she starts her book. She had lived  in the forest until the day she was sold to a man who abused her before selling her to the owner of a brothel. A long life of fears and pains started for her. Despite all the threats and the dangers she faced, Somaly managed to escape the prostitution life and to start a new life that she dis dedicating to the victims of human sex trafficking. 

By telling her story, Somaly shed lights on the on sexual slavery. She tells the story of the suffering of millions of innocent girls sold cheaply to be sexually abused, raped and sometimes killed by heartless traffickers and meebons. She gives a voice to millions of forgotten girls...

The story is a strong and moving one. Somaly ends the book by listing the reasons that drove her to write it and by expressing her own feelings ; a very strong passage that will be carved in my memory forever is the following : " The memories that torment me the most are those of rape and the stink of sperm. In brothels they don't change the sheets very often. The smell of sperm is everywhere. It's insufferable. Even today I have the sense that I'm breathing in the smell of whorehouses. The customers were dirty. they never showered. I remember one man, who has the most hideous breath. We had no toothpaste but we would brush our teeth with ash or sand . Some of the clients never bothered at all; their teeth were yellow and rotting. I lived amidst this stench for so long that I can't bear it now. Even fifteen years later I feel dirtied by it. The smell is still in my nostrils. So I wash myself like a madwoman and cover myself in eau de toilette in order to mask the sperm stench that pursues me. At home I have a cupboard full of perfume. I spend money to lot out a smell which probably only exists in my fevered imagination. I chase it away with the contents of my bottles. "

samedi 12 mai 2012

Tunisian journalists on hunger strike

Four days ago Mr Nebil Jeridet the founding director of 'Al Ula'  newspaper started wild hunger strike to denounce:  the spread of corruption and favoritism between news papers in the allocation of state advertising, the distribution of advertising-based on political policy and partisan orientation  or worst for the benefit of newspapers claiming to be independent newspapers but that have  a partisan editorial line without any legal support or statistical data;the disappearance of serious newspapers published after the revolution due to their deprivation of public advertising and obstacles imposed on them on the one hand, by economic forces that monopolize the channels of distribution of newspapers, and on the other hand by political forces that interfere in the distribution of government advertising and the continual silence towards the newspaper of defamation and the tabloid press, as well as their support by granting them public advertisement..
Today two other journalists announced that they are starting a hunger strike to support Mr Nebil Jridet. They are Hana trabelsi and Walid Hayoun. 
To support them you can call this number:00      . 21655434534

vendredi 11 mai 2012

ثورة تونس ثورتان : واحدة صنعها الشعب والأخرى خرجت من تحت إبط القرضاوي. مقال للصادق بن مهني صدر في جريدة صوت الشعب ل10ماي 2012

هل سمعتم ما سمعت ؟ : الثورة التونسية خرجت من عباءة القرضاوي، وبالضبط من تحت إبطه !
كنت قبلا قرأت أو سمعت تحاليلا وأشباه تحاليل ربطت بين الثورة وبين مخابرات عديدة، وبين الثورة وبين الخارق دوما العمّ سام، وبين الثورة وبين جيوش لا ترى من الخفافيش، وبين الثورة وبين أيادٍ خفيّة غير محدّدة الهوية... لكنّ هذا الخبر قد تعدّى كلّ ذلك وأوقعه قشّة لا اعتبار لها.
فصاحب الخبر هو الحبر الأعظم والشيخ المتميّز وصاحب الحكم الجالس على عرش بينه وبين الربّ شبكة اتّصال مباشر والساعي إلى بسط خلافته السادسة بل خلافة صاحب العباءة –صاحب الإبط الولاّدة ومن يرعاهما حمدا ونفطا ودولارا وموزا من المحيط إلى المحيط... ومن هو بهذه الذّات وعلى هذه الصّفات تشرب أقواله عذبة ومرّة ولا يحق فيها ردّ أو جدال.
بل إنّ صاحب الخبر هو جنرال الثورة السيّارة، والزّعيم المتحكّم ظلاّ في التأسيسي الذي لا يؤسّس وفي الحكومة التي لا تحكم بل تتصرّف : "هذا أبتغيه فهو معي أسمّيه و/أو أحميه و/أو أنفضه نفضا حتّى يكون معي  و لي عبدا صبورا ووشاء وداعية... وذاك ليس معي وإن لم يكن ضدّي قد أمنحه كلمات سمحة بين الحين والحين ولكنّي أصلا وكثرة أكفره وأعيّره وأجيّش ضدّه وأعدّ له لتُدَق عظامه"...
فالخبر إذن صحيح ومؤكّد ومن قلّة الحياء أن يُسعَى إلى التثبّت فيه !
حرتُ كيف أصدّق الخبر. وأوجعني أن لا يكون أمامي إلاّ خيار تصديق الخبر.
لكنّ حيرتي تحوّلت فجأة قناعة انصبّت في خاطري كوحي أو إيحاء : "نعم صحيح ما قاله زعيمهم : الثورة ، ثورتهم، خرجت من عباءة القرضاوي ومن حيث قال.."
وتجلّت لي الصّورة دقيقة شفافة بيّنة التفاصيل : شعبنا صنع ثورة أو انطلاقة ثورة، ثورة بدأت أمطارا تهاطلت أمطار صيف هادرة لكن عابرة تساقطت وأسقطت في الحوض المنجمي وبن قردان، ثمّ عاودت هطلها بمدّ أكثر في تالة، ثمّ في سيدي بوزيد ومنزل بوزيان والرقاب ثمّ في القصرين وتالة، ثمّ صدحت بها الحناجر في صفاقس والقيروان والعاصمة، ثم في كل مكان... شعبنا اُنفجر فدمّر خوفه وسخّره، وبعث الرعب في السلطان فخلعه... ثمّ وقف شامخا لكن حائرا، وانتصب يغنّي ويضحك لكن يسأل : ما العمل ؟ خلعنا رأس السلطة وأقررنا أن لا نرضى بغير التنمية العادلة والكرامة للناس جميعا أفرادا وجهات ووطنا وبغير الحرّيات لا يقيّدها استثناء... لكننا وإن نحن أبدعنا في خلع رأس السلطة بصدور عارية وأيد لم تمسك سلاحا وسلاح وحيد هو حناجرنا وآلات تصوير بسيطة وحواسيب روّضها الشباب، فإنّنا لم نعرف ما نعمله بعد ذلك، وكيف نمسك بالأمر، ولا كيف نقود سفينة الوطن... وعذرنا في ذلك أننا لم نكن مواطنين يفعلون ويتدرّبون بل كنا رعية تقاد ويحرّم عليها أن تسهم أو تدرك أو حتّى تفهم... هذه هي ثورتنا نحن الذين يُهَدّدُ معتصمونا بقطع أيديهم وأرجلهم من خلاف، والذين يُمْنَعُ مثقفوهم من مجرّد الكلام، والذين يوصفون بأبشع وأشنع الأوصاف، والذين يؤمرون بالسكوت والاصطفاف والأذعان، وكلّما تحرّك متحرّك منهم ومن أحزابهم المناضلة نعت بالمتآمر ووسم بالكفر، ورمي بالغاز وصليت أوصاله بالهراوات 
وهذه ثورة لم يصنعها إلا بناتنا وأبناؤنا...
أمّا الثورة التي عناها زعيمهم فهي تلك التي ثارت على الثورة : غازلتها وصاحبتها أيّاما وتغنّت بأغانيها وهتفت بهتافاتها ولمّا اطمأنت إلى غفلتها، انفردت بالسلطة وبالقرار، ومضت تبسط شباكها في كلّ مكان، ولم تهتمّ لا بالكرامة ولا بالتشغيل ولا بالتوازن الجهوي ولا بقوت الناس ولا بحقّهم في إعلام صادق هم  الذين حرّروه، ولا بوضع دستور كنّا نخاله سينقلنا سريعا إلى سماء الحريّات ومربّع الأمم الأكثر حداثة وإنسانية، بل انصبّ جهدها على القبض على مقاليد الشأن العام، وحجب الرؤية على من لم يصطفّ في صفّها، وعلى مهادنة من تسبّبوا في ثورة الشعب تحميهم ويسندونها...
نعم هذه ثورة قد تكون فعلا خرجت من عباءة القرضاوي ومن تحت إبطه... وقد لا يكون إبط القرضاوي والقرضاوي ومن معه اِستلموها وحيا أو إيحاء أو ألهموها واستلهموها لا من ربّ رحيم عادل ومنزّه بل ممّن أهدى القرضاوي عباءته وتحكّم فيه حتّى إبطيه وأزيد...
ولكي يدرك شيخهم –زعيمهم- ملهمهم-أعظمهم أنّنا نحسن سماعه ونصدّقه كلّما صدق أشير، وأنا أنحني للكرم الطائي، إلى ما كتبت الصحافة عنه من أنّه أكّد أن القرضاوي قد تحمل عبء تمويل "مساجين الحركة وعائلاتهم"...
وهنا أسأل : لحد الساعة كنّا نسمع أن مساجين الحركة وعائلاتهم قد عاشوا الحرمان والمعاناة والتفقير والتجويع والعزل فهل لكم أن تنيروا أفهامنا : أكانت أفضال القرضاوي تصلهم وتخفّف عنهم أو حتّى تبدّل كربهم بحبوحة أم أنها أخطأت طريقها وضلّت إلى سلطة... أخرى ؟
وهنا أروي : بداية السبعينات كنّا بضعة شباب اعتقلنا وعذّبنا و رمينا في الحبس لانتمائنا لمنظّمة "آفاق-العامل التونسي" ولم يكن لنا قرضاويٌ كريم يمولنا أو يؤمن تمويننا... خاتل أحد أهالينا الحرّس  والأسوار والأبواب الضخمة وخرق ما لا يخرق وأوصل إلينا رسالة مفادها أن القذّافي (ولم يكن حينها قد تحوّل بعد إلى منبوذ) يرغب في مساعدتنا وبوصفه مواطنا عربيا لا بصفته الرسمية... لم نتحاور ولم نتجادل ولم نناقش بل ما إن نطق واحد منّا بالرّفض حتّى تأكدنا أنّنا جميعا على موقف واحد...
نعم : ثورتهم انطلقت من عباءة القرضاوي ومن تحت إبطه.
أمّا ثورتنا فقد صنعها شبابنا وشابّاتنا وتلك الجموع التي لن يخفت عزمها... بل ستستمرّ في ثورتها.
لهم ثورتهم، ولنا ثورتنا.

mercredi 9 mai 2012

Oslo Freedom Forum/ Session 2: Arab Uprisings: One Year Later Posted on May 8, 2012

                                             Photo by Manal AlSharif

A discussion with activists, bloggers, and journalists from across the Arab world who spoke at the 2011 Oslo Freedom Forum. Panelists will offer analyses of the events of the past year as well as predictions about the future of the region.
Moderator: Philippa Thomas
Ahmed Benchemsi – Morocco
Lina Ben Mhenni – Tunisia
Ghazi Gheblawi – Libya
Maryam al-Khawaja – Bahrain
Amir Ahmad Nasr – Sudan
We’re here one year later, looking in the cold light of day at which freedoms have been gained and which stories remain. There is no single Arab story: there have been elections in Morocco, and an outpouring of political energy in Libya, but the Grand Prix rolled on in Bahrain, and blood on the streets in Syria.
We want to talk about the relationship between Islam and democracy, the role of women. We want this to be interactive. 
We’re going to begin with Ahmed Benchemsi, who founded two of Morocco’s most popular magazines, and for this he was persecuted. Now he’s a visiting fellow at Stanford.
Ahmed: Unlike other Arab countries like Libya or Syria, where the government shot people in the street, in Morocco, the king said, you want a constitutional monarchy? You got it! And that was a smart move, as protesters dwindled over the months. And three months later, a draft of the new constitution was made public, and it was–in a word–a sham. The king’s cronies were still ransacking the economy, he was still in charge of institutions. And of course, the constitution passed a vote, and the international community applauded, since we weren’t shooting people in the streets–as though all you need to be a democracy is to not shoot people in the streets. A few months later, parliamentary elections happened. Islamists won, which was a first. And the PM is a media friendly figure, so the media is kept quite busy. But the real story is that the monarchy remains as absolute as it ever was, and real democratic voices are stifled, marginalized, and put in prison. For example, a 24 year old rapper, is now in jail for the second time.
Lina Ben Mhenni is the author of “A Tunisian Girl”, a blog where she documented the revolution, and continues to do so today.
Lina: Last year I expressed both happiness and hope, but also fear that another dictatorship would start there. Now, I travel all around the world, and I’m shocked when I hear people say that a new era of democracy has started in my country. It’s true we have had fair and transparent elections, but the performance of the new government is weak and mediocre. Instead of dealing with the real problems, they are diverting our attention through useless debates about identity and religion. Signs of dictatorship are everywhere, there are attacks on freedom of speech and press, and there is violence against demonstrators, including the wounded of the revolution, who were beaten for demonstrating because they did not have healthcare. There is international interference from countries such as Qatar and the United States. I’m still hopeful for my country, because Tunisians are aware of what is going on, and civil society is more and more powerful, and learning to act when they have to. Finally, I want to express my support for all the Arab countries, especially Syria and Bahrain.
Ghazi Gheblawi, a Libyan poet and physician, helped share information with the world when Libya was going through its struggles.
Ghazi: A year ago, Libya was under many threats. We were having a debate about the ethics of intervention as people were being killed on the streets on a daily basis, and it wasn’t clear where the revolution was going. Since then, we’re in a new position in many ways. I say in an optimistic way that we’re progressing steadily, and we’re in a new position than we were one year ago: we have a new government and elections on the way. There are political debates, and a flourishing civil society, and a gush of new media (which may not be independent or free, but certainly much better), and elections, which is the first for two generations of Libyans to express their popular will. But we are facing many challenges, the first of which is constructing a new country. When the dictatorship fell, there was no state. We are facing some insecurity, and we are trying to establish a strong government: the current one is so weak that people are exploiting it and people are using violence to extract things from it. I think the main challenge is to build a society not only on the outcomes of elections, but one that is free and independent, as well as to build a free and independent media that can challenge and resist any sort of dictatorship that could come through the ballot box.
Amir Ahmad Nasr is “The Sudanese Thinker”, one of the more amusing and thoughtful blogs on the Arab Spring.
Amir: I’d like to speak first as a Sudanese. It’s frustrating to see the media repeatedly portray what is happening in Sudan as a conflict between Africans and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, North and South. Six or seven months ago, protests were really picking up in Sudan, and they were completely underreported. They were not huge, but they were diverse, occurring in diverse locations. And the narrative of division is false: the real narrative is Sudanese people against a dictatorship. Omar al-Bashir doesn’t care if you’re African or Christian or Muslim–he cares only if you’re against him. And if you are, you’ll be stepped on, with a shoe. But I am genuinely concerned about the possibility of war between the North and the South. And speaking as a North African, I’m frustrated with the narrative of the Islamists winning. Psychologically, we went through 40 years of stagnation and victimhood, and the revolution was this new mentality of self-entitlement, self-empowerment. And this is strong, and continuing. Will it manifest in strong institutions? It’s a big question. Biology-wise, there’s a simple fact: the dinosaurs currently ruling the Arab world–where will they be in 10 years? Bye-bye. And young people will start taking leadership roles, young people who are more international, more open-minded. They may be religiously conservative, they may not, but they recognize that the old systems, and old leadership, are authoritarian and not relevant.
Maryam al-Khawaja is a Bahraini activist, and the acting director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, since its director has been detained.
Maryam: [A poem on her thoughts about the region, her father's hunger strike].
Ahmed, would you not say there has been some progress? The new Prime Minister is no longer chosen by the king, for example.
Ahmed: If you look at the election engineering in Morocco, no one can win more than a quarter of the seats. This means, to reach 51% to form a governing coalition, you must form with other parties, which are all puppets of the king. So yes, the winning party is governing, but with a gun against their head. For example, look at the new constitution, this thing that was hailed as a beacon and landmark of democracy. But come on, it passed with 98.5% approval. Even if you asked people if they’re for peace and love, you’d still get more than 1.5% of contrarians saying they’re for war!
Lina, what’s your experience been about the realities in Tunisia under the new [Islamist] government, compared with their official language [of tolerance and pluralism]?
Lina: It’s true we had fair elections, for a constitutional assembly which is supposed to draft a new constitution for Tunisia. But now, after 6 months, they haven’t even drafted one line of the constitution.
Do you think the world thinks Tunisia has ticked a box?
Lina: The foreign press have moved on, the world thinks Tunisia is okay. They’ve forgotten Tunisia. And the elected government, these people, they have always the same excuse: give us time and let us work. But the wounded of the revolution cannot wait. We’ve already lost two people who didn’t get appropriate health care. This week, two young men set themselves on fire. And the government is ignoring these people. The people who took to the street didn’t ask for an Islamist state, they asked for employment, the punishment of the people who killed our martyrs. And those people are still free, they’ve even had promotions.
Ghazi, you said that government shouldn’t be based on elections, but institutions. One might say Libya is in a better position, you have only a transitional government, and you have the opportunity to build a state from scratch.
Ghazi: When you look at it microscopically, there are plenty of problems. The day to day, of course, there are always issues. But when you look at it from a wider perspective, it does look like we’re progressing. But the government is in a special situation, and it can be exploited for privileges by certain elements, for things like money. And Libya has plenty of money, that distinguishes us from other countries, but most of it is being spent in really inefficient ways, and not being invested into building the country. And now people are competing for that power, and the current transitional government is trying to postpone conversations about this to the next government: they’re no elected, they have no popular legitimacy, so they have no political will.
Amir, in Sudan, do people look to Libya, and say, there’s a cautionary tale?
Amir: Yes, people do bring this up. There’s never going to be a ‘Tahrir moment’ in Sudan. Best case scenario, it will be like Yemen, with protests and sniper and a negotiated settlement. Worst case scenario, it will be like Libya. The leader of the opposition is calling for dialogue, but how do you dialogue with a regime that is this brutal? As a younger generation, we’re the ones with the most to lose and the most to gain.
Maryam, what is the strategy of the government of Bahrain, right now?
Maryam: Test and run. The monarchy will do whatever they think is necessary, then wait and see what the international response is. And if there isn’t too much of an international response, they’ll continue. So, tear-gassing people in their homes every night, shooting people in the street. The three most prominent human rights activists in Bahrain are all in prison: where else in the world is this happening? Unless we see concrete actions and consequences, nothing is going to change.
When we talk about outside powers, Saudia Arabia and Iran are often raised. What other distractions are used to keep people from talking about the issues at home?
Amir: For way too long, dictators have been using the issue of Palestine and Israel as what I like to call a ‘weapon of mass distraction.‘ For example, in Syria, we saw Assad send people to the border to divert attention from the protests. Some were even killed. But it’s not working anymore.
Ghazi: They’re still using these distractions, even in Syria. They’re saying that people don’t really want change, that these interventions are coming from the outside world interference. And they are using Libya as an example: ‘stop talking about intervention if you want to prevent chaos.’ But at the same time they accept other interventions, from other countries they perceive to be benign.
Maryam: From the Bahraini government, they do the same. They label us as foreign agents or whatever, to detract from our protests. First we were all communists, then we were all Iranian agents, and now we’re all terrorists.
Ahmed: Everyone in Morocco is talking about the Islamist government as though this is what matters–what policies they might implement, for example. But this is a distraction. The government is still run by the monarchy, and the Islamists will continue to bend to their will. So we don’t need external distractions, we create our own! The monarchy is very experienced at this.
Lina, is it harder to get people to look at Tunisia, considering all the other things, like the Eurozone crisis and other global news?
Lina: Yes, of course. But it’s like the case of Morocco. Instead of dealing with economic and social issues, which are so urgent, the government is distracting us with religion and identity questions. And of course, they’re using the media as propoganda, to present Tunisia as a new democracy, as though things are working. And some cyber activists are trying to talk about the real situation, but the government is the one with the money and the power.
Some needs are so urgent though, like jobs and food. So is it up to you to continue setting these priorities?
Amir: The biggest threat to the revolutions is the economic situation. That’s absolutely the biggest threat to the revolution. I went to Tunisia for the first time, I was excited to be there and drink in the revolution, and I asked my cab driver what he thought. He said, ‘I’m very proud of my country, of course, but it was hard enough beforehand, and now I can’t put food on the table, there is no business, there are no tourists,’ and of course, people don’t care–really–about the constitution. They care about feeding their families.
The republics have fallen, but the monarchies still stand. Why is this?
Maryam: It’s a geopolitical strategic importance issue. Look around–the governments of the US and the UK are very publicly criticizing the Russians for selling arms to Syria, but the US and the UK is doing the exact same thing with Bahrain.
Ahmed: All these political tricks can be used to fool the media and stifle the activists, but at the end of the day, these critical economic issues remain across the region, in all countries. So even though in Morocco the constitution was a bit of brilliant political trickery, we’re seeing protests across the country. And people now feel empowered, they’ve already gone out to protest, and now they feel as though they’ve bent the monarchy to their will [with the new constitution]. So there’s an opportunity, but the problem is that there are no organizing structures to take advantage of this popular energy.
Whither women? Now, is it easier or harder?
Lina: Of course, Tunisia is different when it comes to women’s rights. Tunisian women are well educated, they are conscious when it comes to their rights. So even if we’ve heard some of these new leaders talking about polygamy, or about making amendments to the Code of Personal Status [which guarantees women equal status in Tunisia], women go to the streets whenever these issues emerge. Women are always at the forefronts of the demonstrations, whether on women’s rights or on universal rights, like freedom of expression.
What about those in the shadows, like the story of the young woman in Morocco who killed herself after being forced to marry her rapist?
Ahmed: I don’t see this incident as part of the regional ripple effect, but you could link the resulting protests it to people feeling empowered. So this time, when this happened, people just stood up, and they said, this is unacceptable. And to protest it–that is our right.
Amir: It goes back to what I opened with. There is real psychological shift from fear to self-empowerment. Yes, there are no democratic institutions yet, and yes, it’s going to be a loooong hard journey. So it might not be in the news anymore, but the feeling and the sentiment are there, and they are only going to grow. Look only as far back as the 1950s in America: it used to be that the father’s word was family law. And now, that’s certainly no longer the case. The Arab world is going through this right now. I look at even my little cousins, and they talk back, and I’m like, damn, I wouldn’t do that when I was that age! [laughs] My mother is like, ‘Kids these days…’
There is, perhaps, a bit of naivete in this statement, borne out of your idealism. 
Ahmed: There is a phasing of this process of change. Phase one: unite around taking down a dictator. Bring together all social forces against one aim. It succeeded in some places, not in others. Phase two: Elections. Islamists are the only organized force in the Arab world, so of course they’re going to win. But democracy is about having a conversation about what society is supposed to be, what sort of society do we want? And now we can’t avoid this discussion, we’re in the middle of it. So, do we want a religious society, based off varying degrees of shari’a and precepts of Islam, or do we want a secular society, which is what, in some places, sort of what we already are, with freedom of thought.
This is the debate happening in Libya right now.
Ghazi: Yes, there is a very robust debate. There’s a whole conversation now about the women’s quota for the elections, and how some didn’t want it to be there. They wanted it to be earned, through their participation, the hard way, not through something that is just ‘given’. But in the end, they’ve learned from Tunisia, for example, to make it about proportion of party participation. In the Arab world, there are all these laws around protecting women, but none of them are enforced, none of them are in action.
And of course, sexual violence is still being used as a tool.
Maryam: In Bahrain, there are three women protesters who are in jail right now for this. My personal heros are the women and young girls, who go out every day and try to care for those who are being beaten and hurt with basic first aid, who go and try to protect and retrieve the young boys, 14 or 15 years old, who are being held by the riot police.
Lina: It’s harder now. In the past there was one enemy, and it was clear. Now it is different. Human rights defenders, cyber activists and the like: they’re receiving threats, sometimes it trends towards physical violence. In April, those protesting in remembrance of the martyrs were savagely beaten. We called those doing the beating the ‘Ennahda army’ [the ruling party], because we saw them coordinating with the police. Journalists were targeted too, and I can’t understand or tolerate this.
What are the prospects for a ‘Spring’ of any kind in places like Qatar or Saudi Arabia?
Amir: Anytime soon, in my personal perspective–it’s just not going to happen. But, from the perspective of biology, this generation of al-Sauds–they’ve got 10 more years, max. And there’s real tension in the royal family, because there’s no clear line of succession. They all married too many women and had too many kids. So what will happen? Will the Wahabbis step in? Will the country’s more modern families stand up and lead? Whatever happens, the royal family will become increasingly unstable.
Ghazi: Back in 2010, no one thought this [the revolutions] was going to happen. People were so oppressed, their will was so shattered. I mean, look at Qaddafi, the guy was so in control that he thought he was invincible, even to the last moment of his life, where he didn’t think anything was going to happen to him. These countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, they try to protect themselves in bufferzones, and by trying to hijack the other revolutions.
Maryam: In Saudi Arabia, no one talks about the protesters who were killed in the Eastern Province, I don’t think people even knew it happened. And in Qatar, they care about human rights everywhere in the world, just as long as it is not in Qatar. They’re willing to fight for rights everywhere else. And the West looks at the Gulf as though only the monarchies exist, as though there are no populations. The Crown Prince of Bahrain can freely visit Washington DC as though there was nothing happening–of course the other monarchies don’t feel threatened.
We’re all talking about Qatar.
Ahmed: Qatar is an extremely unique case, it should be a case study.
Amir: Generally I love Al Jazeera, but on Sudan, they’re biased, just like on Bahrain. They don’t cover the issues, and meanwhile, the Qatari government is pouring millions in investments into Sudan.
Do sanctions work, or are they hurting the wrong people?
Maryam: We need to see the bare minimum of action. Honestly, we should be having a serious conversation about sanctions on Bahrain.
Lina: We have virtual sanctions in Tunisia–there are no tourists! We need foreign people to invest in our country, we need tourism.
Ahmed: We need a new view from the West, a new regional approach. Morocco is the perfect case, there’s always an alibi, the case of one country protecting the status quo of another. Look, in Morocco, everyone goes, well, it’s not Syria. It’s always ‘It could be worse, you could be them’. The major breakthrough would just be for the West to consider policies towards each country on a case-by-case basis.
Amir: I do think authoritarianism is dying a gruesome death. Will it be replaced by secular democracy? I’m skeptical. Eastern Europe for example, when it transitioned, it had its George Soros, it had the support of the United States; but we have no George Soros, and the entire world was hurting economically and couldn’t support the revolutions. Anyway, Soros is Jewish, so of course you’d get all the conspiracy theories! [laughs]
Is foreign support or intervention neocolonialism in another form? All these organizations, financial support, thinktanks coming into the region?
Ghazi: Plenty of foreign organizations are working freely in Libya right now. In the long-run, I see things as a process; it needs to be taken step-by-step and we’ll see how it goes. I agree with Ahmed, we’re not looking for an election outcome, we’re looking for a process to continue. We need people to debate their rights on the streets, in order for those rights to be recognized. It’s not enough to have a lovely constitution. If you have that, the government can still pass an unconstitutional law, and people wouldn’t even know.
Ahmed: It’s just demography. You can’t stop it. The family structure is changing. It used to be that every family had 6 or 7 children, now you only have 2. It’s easier to rebel when it’s just two of you, it’s easier to speak out, it’s easier to see yourself as an individual. Individual rights are the basis of democratic values, and democracy is not a ballot box: it’s the full spectrum of human and individual rights, it’s freedoms of speech, it’s individual agency. Democracy requires every citizen to say, I’m an individual, and I have individual rights.
Amir: It’s indisputable, again, it’s just biology. The question is just, how will it manifest itself? We can’t know. But its the long-term perspective. I’m an optimist. Given enough time, things eventually get better.
Ghazi: Overthrowing a dictatorship might be painful, but it is quick. Building a society is long and hard–and may also be painful at the same time! Building the course ahead is what matters.
Maryam: I think I’m a little more pessimistic than the rest of my friends here. But here in the West you’re standing on the wrong side of history. The West needs to know the best challenge against terrorism and extremism is though democracy, through personal freedoms.
Lina: Despite the gloomy picture I paint now, I am hopeful. I see Tunisian society fighting for its rights and freedoms. We can see changes, and these changes are the Tunisians themselves. Tunisians, and Arab citizens in general, got rid of their fears. They won’t allow these dictatorships to rule them again.

The original version is here

في الهجرة الجهادية و مصائب أخرى

توالت الأخبار عن  توّجه بعض شبابنا الى بلدان اخرى بقصد الجهاد و لما لا نيل الشهادة .  وصلتنا أخبارهم عن طريق أخبارمتفرّقة  و ضبابية نشرت على صفحات الشبكات الاجتماعية و بعض المدوّنات و نشرت صور البعض منهم أيضا .أحذر الوقوع في فخّ الاشاعات و أنا خارج أرض الوطن فأتجنّب الكتابة عن الامر.  ثمّ تشاء  الاقدار أن أستمع الى حصة مثير للجدل  التي أعدّها صحفيّو راديو اكسبرس ف.م عن الموضوع فيزيد ألمي لسماع  لوعة أمّ و بكاء أخت اختفى محبوبهما منذ أيّام في رحلة البحث عن الشهادة  و أعجب من تستّر عائلة أخرى عن خبر هروب ابنها و يمكنكم الاستماع الى الحصة هنا 
لا اتمالك نفسي و اشرع في البكاء فبايّ حقّ يهدى المستقبل  قربانا لشيوخ التطرّف؟
أطفال -نعم فبالنسبة لي تلاميذ البكالوريا أطفال - من صيّادة يعبرون الحدود الى الجزائر بقصد التوّجه للجهاد في سوريا و مجموعة اخرى من الشباب التونسيين يقتلون في سوريا و قد توّجهوا هناك لنفس الغايات .أتمعّن في الصور فلا أرى الاّ براءة و حبّا للحياة و تعلّقا بها . شبان تونسيون ما من علامات تطرّف على سماتهم أو هيأتهم.  فكيف ينجح المتطرّفون و أعداء الحياة في غسل أدمغتهم؟ كيف يصلون اليهم و كيف ينتقونهم و كيف ينجحون في زرع هاته الأفكارالاجرامية المتطرّفة في عقولهم ؟ و بايّ مقياس يعدّ الذهاب و حمل الاسلحة في سوريا جهادا ؟ أين العائلات  من كلّ هذا؟  أين السلطات؟ أين رجال التعليم و نساؤه؟

استمعت الى الحصة و لم تقنعني اجابات المسؤول من وزارة الشؤون الدينية كما لم تقنعني اجابات و تبريرات لمسؤولين ووزراء غيره من قبل لمصائب أخرى حلّت بهذا البلد المسكين

اعتقدت أنّ الحكومة ستقيم الدنيا لما حدث. خلت أنّ السلطات المختصة ستشرع في البحث عن المسؤولين و ستفتح تحقيقات جدية و فورية و لكن خاب ظنّي وبعد تفكير  عاد اليّ رشدي. ففي اليام الاخيرة تتالت المصائب و الكوارث و لا حياة لمن تنادي أحرق شابان جسديهما نجا الاوّل و مات الثاني و مرّت الحادثتين مرور الكرام اقدم شبان معتصمون امام وزارة التشغيل على محاولات انتحار و ما من ردود أو اهتمام تعرّض طلبتنا الى العنف و ما من مهتمّ و لا مجيب . أضرب جرحى الثورة عن الاكل و ما من مجيب . ضربت حرية الاعلام و الصحافة و التعبير و ما تراجعتم .فالى اين تقودوننا يا حكّا منا الشرعيين الاهيا و انتخابيا؟ . 

mardi 8 mai 2012

Oslo Freedom Forum Begins Today in Norway—Rights Defenders Bring Repression “Out of Darkness, Into Light”

Oslo Freedom Forum Begins Today in Norway—Rights Defenders Bring Repression “Out of Darkness, Into Light”

OSLO (May 8, 2012)—An array of activists, abolitionists, and artists will take the podium today to bring some of the world’s most daunting humanitarian issues to the forefront of global awareness.
“These speakers are at the vanguard of the struggle for the most fundamental human rights,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum. “They may hail from places as different as Ecuador and Equatorial Guinea, but the commitment to protect individual rights is their shared vision.”
The 2012 conference—titled Out of Darkness, Into Light—begins with a performance by Grammy-nominated singer and Fugees collaborator John Forté. Today’s program will feature slavery survivor and anti-human trafficking activist Somaly Mam; actor and advocate Julia Ormond; Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif; and a presentation on the world’s last communist police states from photographer Tomas van Houtryve. We will also unite activists, bloggers, and journalists from five countries across the Arab world in a panel discussion to reflect on the region’s upheaval and its future. It will be moderated by BBC News reporter Philippa Thomas and will include Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi; Tunisian writer Lina Ben Mhenni; Libyan cyber activist Ghazi Gheblawi; Bahraini rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja; and Sudanese blogger Amir Ahmad Nasr.
The day will close with a session—Spotlight on Repression—that will provide an unflinching examination of some of the world’s most skillfully hidden repression, with speeches from Equatoguinean rights lawyer Tutu Alicante; West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda; Zimbabwean journalist and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko; and Kazakhstan’s Respublika newspaper correspondent Alexey Tikhonov; as well as a special video message from Singaporean opposition leader Chee Soon Juan, who was denied permission to travel to attend the Forum by Singapore’s authoritarian government.
A full schedule of the speakers and program can be found here. All conference programming will be streamed live in high-definition at, beginning at 9:30am Central European Time (3:30am Eastern Standard Time). Viewers can participate in the panel discussion by following the Forum on Twitter at @oslofreedomfrm and using the hashtag #OFF12 to ask questions, or by emailing
All talks and panels at the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum will be uploaded to beginning on May 14.
If you have any questions about the live stream, please contact us at

vendredi 4 mai 2012

تدخّلي بمناسبة اليوم العالمي لحرية الصحافة برعاية اليونسكو

 سيداتي سادتي
انّه لشرف أثيل لي أن أقف بينكم  للمرّة الثانية على التوالي بعد  انطلاق ثورتنا  لكنّني في واقع الحال أشعر أنّ في هذا الاحتفال باليوم العالمي لحرية الصحفتان وجهان ثانيهما نودّ جميعا لو لم يكن . الوجه الأوّل هو أنّ أحداث  الانفجار الاجتماعي و السياسي الذي عرفته بلادنا و الذي مازال مستمرا  فيها قد حرّر الألسن و طاقات الابداع و القدرة على الابلاغ و التشبث بالمواطنة الكاملة حقوقا وواجبات و جعل فئات واسعة من شعبنا تتمسّك بطموحاتها الاجتماعية و الاقتصادية و التنموية و بحرياتها جميعا  منها حريتها في التعبير اقتراحا و نقدا و احتجاجا و حتى مشاكسة  و شعبنا قد حقّق بعد في هذا المجال نجاحات  جعلت البعض  يقول أنّ الثورة لم تشرع في تحقيق أهدافها إلاّ هذا البعد
أما الوجه الثاني و هو وجه بغيض  و قبيح كم وددت أن لا يكون  فلا أكون مضطرة للحديث عنه فهو وجه الرغبة الملحّة لدى أطراف  عديدة من بقايا السلطة القديمة  و من أركان السلطة التي تركّز نفسها  و من أطراف أخرى ذات  مصالح لا تنتعش إلاّ  عندما تنعدم  الشفافية  رغبتهم جميعا  في لجم الاعلام  و تقزيمه  و التحكّم فيه  و كبح انطلاقته و هم يجدون لذلك تبريرات  و تعلاّت  عديدة  و شعارات رنّانة  لكن  فارغة  من مثل أعطونا هدنة لنحقّق  الأولويات  و من مثل اتركوا الحكومة  تعمل  و من مثل  تحريك اليات ردعية  خلنا أنّها خلعت مع المخلوع و محاكمات للنوايا  و للفكر و كبت لتحليق الشباب  و عودة الى محاكمات الاختلاف  و التنوّع و التعدّد  تحت مسميات شتى  بعضها يتستّر بالاخلاق  و حتى بالدين مكرا و تعسّفا اذ أنا بينكم  الان أصرّ على أن نتشبّث  جميعا و معا بالوجه الأوّل  وجه الحرية  و بأن نتصدّى  معا  كلّ من موقعه  ووفقا لامكانيانته للوجه البغيض  و انّي لعلى قناعة أنّ شعبا أفلح في هزم خوفه و حقّق  ما لم يكن منتظرا لهو قادر على المضيّ على درب الحرية و ان كثرت فيه الاشواك و المطبات .

في الاخير أ  غتنم فرصة وجودي على هذا المنبر  لادعوكم الى مساندة كلّ الصحفيين و المدافعين على حرية الفكر و الا علام  و التعبير الذين يتعرّضون للقمع و الاعتداءات  و اذكر على سبيل المثال مازن درويش رئيس المركز السوري للاعلام و حرية التعبير الذي يقبع في السجن الانفرادي منذ يوم 6 فيفري 2012 رفقة زميله المدون حسين الغرير و عدة زملاء اخرين مثل يارا بدر و رزان الغزاوي و ميادة الخليل و سناء الزتاني و السادة بسام الاحمد و جوان فارسو و ايهام غزّو و عبد الرحمان حمادة و منصور العمري و هاني زتاني و هنادي زهلوط و القائمة تطول
كما ادعوكم الى حث الحكومة التونسية على فتح تحقيقات جدية لا صورية  فيما يتعلّق بالاعتداءات على  صحفيين و مدونين تونسيين خلال الاشهر الاخيرة و اذكر هنا   جلنّار و فاطمة الرياحي و  سفيان الشرابي و أمين مطيراوي و غيرهم  من صحافيين بقناة الوطنية و عدة وسائل اعلام تونسية أخرى و ايضا في حملات التشكيك و الشتم و القذف كالتي تتعرّض لها نجيبة الحمروني رئيسة نقابة الصحفيين التونسيين 

و شكرا 

                                                                     تصوير سليم العيادي

mercredi 2 mai 2012

الى علي مع حبّي الاخويّ

توقّفت عن الكتابة منذ مدة .اذ   أمرّ بفترة حالكة من حياتي  . و لكنّ قلبي أبى الاّ أن يكتب الليلة . منذ سمعت خبر اقدام شاب تونسي ّ اخر على  احراق جسده و انا أتألّم و أنا أشعر بالحرقة . كم من تونسيّ يجب أن يموت حتّى يفهم الساسة أنّ الأولويّة للشعب و لمطالب أبناء الشعب ؟ متى ستنسون حساباتكم الشيّقة و تلتفتون الى من أوصلوكم الى حيث أنتم اليوم؟ كلّ يوم تردنا أخبار عن محاولات  تونسيين في ريعان الشباب الانتحار يأسا من تغيّر حالهم و أنتم لا تبالون

علي لن أنسى لا لقاءنا الأوّل و لا الأخير فالأوّل كان منذ بضع سنوات عندما رمى نظام بن علي بأخيك في السجن. كان لقاؤنا في بيتكم الدافىء رغم بساطته.  أتذكّر يومها أنّني كنت أبحث عن بعض منه فيك . و تطوّرت علاقتنا فعلمت بحبّك و اخلاصك لفتاة تعشقها من بعيد. و علمت بتضحياتك و قبولك بال قيام بما شقّ من الاعمال في سبيل لقمة العيش الكريم . ثمّ هاجرت الى ليبيا لتعود بعدها الى تونس. لن أنسى تلك الليلة الطويلة التي أقنعت فيها أخاك بمهاتفة رجال الشرطة لاحباط عملية ابحار خلسة بعد أن علمت بنيّتك في ترك الوطن
يوم 9 أفريل كنت متقّدا حيويّة و كانت الابتسامة تعلو محيّاك  و كنت في الصفوف الاولى نعم كنت في المقدّمة . فلماذا  اخترت القيام بما أقدمت عليه؟ لماذا فقدت الأمل ؟أتعتقد أنّهم يسمعون؟ لقد أعمت السلطة  بصرهم و بصيرتهم .
أرجو من الله أن تشفى عاجلالتعود الى قمرة و الحبيب

. .    

مجرد رأي

نحن شعب لا يتعظّ من ماضيه و لا يحفظ دروس التاريخ و كأنّني بنا شعب قصير الذاكرة أو دعوني أقول معدوم الذاكرة. تستهوينا بعض عروض التهريج في مج...