2012 was an all-around nightmare for the Middle East, politically, economically, socially: no stone was left upturned The turmoil and strife of 2012 needs to be left behind, and 2013 needs to be the year of peace and prosperity! A list of resolutions for the New Year:
1. Syria: The ending of the war between State and Rebels. The fact that the media doesn’t really want to call this a civil war, as it did with Libya, proves that nobody fucking believes that this is really a “war” and can thus be resolved within the country. What?! Both sides are at a stalemate, but neither want to give up. Can Bashar al-Assad please realize that, despite the fact that the international community does not want to physically assault him or his country, that no one likes him and it is finally time to step down?! Or can the Arab League prove that the brother/sisterhood of Islam actually EXISTS and step in, since the United Nations is obviously out of action?
2. Israel/Palestine: Creation of two separate states. That old segregationist motto “separate but equal” in this case would be a huge relief. Can 2013 please, please, please be the year that Israel finally admits that it should stop being a 21st-century imperialist and withdraw from Gaza and the rest of the scant land the Muslims were given which constitutes as Palestine? Can the Palestinians finally, for the sake of peace, accept that their country will never be whole again? Can the United States stop being greedy, and believing in the so-called mystical powers that caused the British to start this whole mess? Come on guys, it’s been too long.
3. Iran: Ending the nuclear program. Iranian scientists, please realize that you’re making the world-not just the United States’ world, but the whole world-a terrifying, dangerous place with your nuclear research. If you bomb [the US], someone is going to bomb you back. It doesn’t need to come to this. So please stop listening to Mr. Ahmadinejad.
4. Tunisia: Become a model of justice. As the birthplace of the Arab Spring, as a relatively stable and peaceful country which successfully voted in it’s first Democratic president with none of the snafus that Egypt has experienced, Tunisia has the potential to be a great model for it’s neighbors. I would like to see Tunisia become more of a presence in the Arab, and international, world.
5. Libya: A successful transition. Although Libyans elected a new government and prime minister back in July, the country is still witnessing violence (although, interestingly, not protests-perhaps because the new government is not hell-bent on Islamic rule?) I hope that things like the recent assassination attempt on Mohammed Megaryef, president of the National Assembly, don’t become the norm.
6. Egypt: Regain peace and stability. There are too many resolutions for Egypt to go in-depth, so I’ll just list them: Restore the police and order to the streets. Stop massive protesting. Get that damn constitution revoked. Reestablish tourism and the economy so Egypt can pull itself out of the massive hole it’s in. Give justice to Copts and women, and if you can’t do all this, President Morsi, then I want you voted out! Yella!
7. Morocco, Algeria and Jordan: Reform! These three countries (two of the Maghreb) have been pretty silent during the Arab Spring, their leaders (only Algeria is a ‘democracy’) crushing any protest. In 2013 I would like to see Algeria get a new prez and Morocco and Jordan’s kings listen to their subjects!
8. Lebanon: Get back on Track. A recent article on Al-Arabiya says that Lebanon has “missed the boat,” politically and economically. What with Syria raging over the borders next door, and the ever-constant threat of Israel on the other, Lebanon is not exactly the “Paris of the Middle East” that it once was. Can this tiny bastion of Christian presence in the ME bounce back to rival the gulf states?
9. Saudi Arabia: Women gain the right to Drive. Listen up, Al-Saud family: it’s 2013, okay? 2013. If you’re going to grant women the right to work-no matter how limited the occupations-than you better grant them the right to drive, because I’m sure not every woman in Saudia is swinging around town in her chauffeur-driven Escalade with the tinted windows. Why don’t you just spare women the anguish, the jail time and the bad publicity for your kingdom and just let them drive already. Didn’t you know that women are safer drivers?
10. Iraq and Afghanistan: To see these countries completely handed back to their people. I want to see the foreign troops go home. In 2012 France withdrew it’s last soldiers from Afghanistan, but soldiers-British, American, etc.-still remain in both of these struggling countries. And while the lack of foreign troops might mean a little less stability, these countries need to stand on their own two feet again. They do not need the insult of being propped up by the countries that largely made them that way.
11: The Gulf Kingdoms: Encourage Arab fashion. (Obviously there needs to be major reform too, but I felt like going lighthearted for this resolution). A quick troll of Instagram will show that the Gulf states are bubbling over with fashion inspiration, no doubt thanks to the convergence of new money and Western exposure. From Khaleda Rajab haute couture to Lady Fozaza blazers and Sofia Al-Asfoor bags, style in the Middle East (at least in the glitzy, wealthy Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait) means dressing like….Lady Gaga. I want to see it stateside!
And last but not least, I can’t wait to see more of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy in 2013!
Aliaa has since gone abroad from her native Egypt (where she stirred up all that nude controversy) to protest with Ukrainian women’s rights group FEMEN-nude, of course. I wasn’t aware of her current whereabouts until there was an upsurge of people looking for “Aliaa Magda porn” on my blog. This time, she’s got flowers in her hair and words painted on her naked flesh and she’s holding up signs, and her nudity does make a little bit more of a punch than it did in her infamous photo, as she stands with her fellow feminists in front of the Egyptian embassy in Sweden. I think they should make action figures of her to inspire women heroines everywhere.
Let’s here it for s-l-m, prosperity and democracy in Arabia in 2013!