Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spiegel on Arab Spring, stalled

Der Spiegel has a good, lengthy roundup entitled "Autocrats in the Middle East on the Counter Attack". The autocracies range from Libya to Syria to Yemen to the Gulf states.

Reaching the last part of the report, Preventive Measures, you find mention of the UAE:

More and more surveillance cameras are now being installed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, citizens are being asked to report any sign of extremist thought to the police. In both countries, as well as in Oman and Algeria, the government has announced costly housing construction and job creation programs.

...

The House of Saud and the ruling families in Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, at any rate, are determined to distribute power to the people only in homeopathic doses, if at all.

In Dubai, known for its cosmopolitanism, five human rights activists are in prison for having dared to sign a petition demanding a greater say in political affairs.

This alone is suspect to the sheikhs and emirs. They fear Egyptian conditions and, according to commentator Sultan al-Qasimi of the Emirate of Sharjah, sense a "temporary marriage of convenience" taking shape between Islamists and liberal forces.


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