Egypt, divided between the former regime and Islamism.

“An Islamist and a former member of the Mubarak regime attend the second round of the presidential elections of Egypt. No candidate has obtained an absolute majority, so call second round.”

The campaign for the second round of the presidential (16 and 17 June) runs the risk of polarizing the country between Islamist unknown future or return to the past of Mubarak’s regime. Egypt citizens will have to choose between Mohamed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ahmed Shafiq, former general.Image

In the background continues commanding the armed forces Supreme Council which has pledged to leave power, what remains to be seen. The losers of the first round of the presidential Egyptian are prompting from Cairo Tahrir square, the revolution that brought down to Mubarak.

They are not the results that the West, and many Egyptians, hoped. Although, not for that reason cease to be less democratic. The Arab spring is not bringing European style democracies, but the triumph of the Islamists.

The Islamist Mohamed Mursi boasts the great machinery of his group, the Muslim Brotherhood, to convince the Egyptians that may be the future President of the country. In this first round he received especially the support of the supporters of the old regime. But also he championed many Egyptians tired of the instability that the country after the fall of Mubarak. In fact, the own Shafik is presented as a strong man can restore security, and why now, calls for vote to the laity and the revolutionaries who managed to the fall of the regime to which he himself belonged.

The President of the Freedom Party and Justice, political arm of the brotherhood, use the Islamic rebirth of Egypt as the main argument to capture the votes of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the undecided in the poorest areas. Being a man of the apparatus of the Muslim Brotherhood has been its main asset but also its weak point which some sectors fear that a single party controls Parliament, the Government and the Presidency as it was the case at the time of Mubarak.

The pass to the second round of two competing candidates, and they generate a huge polarization in the electorate, anticipates three weeks of high tension in Egypt. According to the road map of the military Junta which administers the country following the resignation of Mubarak, presidential elections are the last stage of a troubled phase of transition. Next June 30, is expected that the Board give their powers to President-elect.

As the formation of the constituent Assembly is breaking discrepancies between secular and Islamists, it is not clear what will be the powers of the future President. It is expected that in the coming days the military Junta make public a number of amendments to the constitutional statement that governs the country delimiting the powers of the Presidency and the Parliament until the approval of the new Constitution.

Guest that tells us “the reality” from his own experience

Jose Maria Peredo is a professor of International Relations and Comunication that works in UEM and he has given us a very interesting class in which we have learned the situation in the “Middle East”, especially in Iran and how the religion is a really polemic topic in that area as well

This guest has shown us a different reality of what we see at the newspapers and televisión about the most problematic area of the World. Iran is a country which is around states that don’t share the same islamic branch. that’s why this country is looping for its own security by developing an improtant arsenal of nuclear weapons. That has carried a really critical situation where states are feeling really worried so what they have done is to sanction Iran.This action of the other countries has come out to create tension and aggressivenes between states and that should end in a way.

The talk that Peredo gave to us talked about the Islam religión as well. He gave us a very general idea of what Islam was and finally he specified in two branches of this known and universal religión: Suni Islam and Chii Islam. Both have different ways of interpreting this religion.

We all are in the opinion that this lesson that this International Relations and Comunication proffesor has given to us, has been very interesting and very enriching as well. So in conclusion, we have enjoyed the talk he has given to us and we hop ewe have more lessons like this because through this way guests let us know about their experiences and their personal opinion of different topics so that we enrich our proper thought and knowledge about culture and other places of the world.

Written by : Andrea Sánchez, Victor Corvera, Marta Saguar and María Cortés.

A POINT OF VIEW OF YOUTH

The interview is made to Kasem Fahmi, a 20 year old, born in Spain of Libya descent. Thirty years ago, his parents began a new life here, in Madrid. I know him because we went together to the high school, and has always seemed very interesting to me his point of view on Middle East-related topics. So I think he can provide an interesting point of view on the ‘Arab spring’ due the fact that Kasem lives it more closely.

 

 

How would you describe the ‘Arab spring’?

Like a spectacular move that has come out of nowhere and almost miraculous.

What do you think the intention of this movement was?

In principle end the dictatorships that were established and progress towards democracy.

Do you think made (or are on track to achieve) the goal?

I do, but is not finished yet, so I think it will advance to achieve the objective slowly.

For you what has meant this movement?

It was very important, almost like a before and an after in life and the truth is that it has opened to me many doors to the future.

And what do you think is the point of view of young people like you?

It depends, but the vast majority thinks that everything will go to better and gradually settle the objectives of this movement and in the future enjoy more freedoms and opportunities.

Do you think that will improve the situation for young people? (In terms of opportunities)

Yes, I think so. Of course that’s not overnight. But when normalized the current turmoil, I think there will be more work, more opportunities … they open more doors for our future.

How has it affected your country, Libya?

For better and for worse, the things have changed. At first it is no longer a dictatorship established and is on its way to becoming a democratic country. The downside is that there is a lack of control. Always after a revolution of these features establishes a situation of chaos, it will take to normalize. Weapons have been distributed, people have become accustomed to see and experience things they should not see or live …

What has it meant for you and your family?

As a huge accomplishment, because my father (for political reasons) could not come to Libya and now I do. We have more freedoms…

When this new government is seated, do you think someone in your family may be seeking to return to Libya to establish its future?

Yes, there are intentions. What happens is that we’ve lived here long, so what we will do for now is to spend time in both countries. Although who knows the future…

What kind of government do you think will be implemented in Libya after recent events?

A democratic government, for sure, but I don’t know what inclination, at the moment it will be a transitional government with people prepared to devote at first, his efforts to rebuild the country. And as time passes it will go toward seeing what type of government will take.

Finally, do you think that the revolution has had some negative aspect?

Yes, the chaos that has been formed, it is as if he had suddenly been too much freedom, and the people had lost the control… but I think it will be something ocean will be a process slow, of course, but I have faith that in the end the situation normalizes because that is what most matters to us, a stability at the end.

Thank you very much for your time.

You’re welcome!

By: Marta Saguar González

Women’s situation, changing in the world?

Progress or a threat to the future of women’s Rights? Unlike in west countries, Arabia Saudi is a country in which women are discriminated and one of the things that they have forbidden is to do sport. Why does it happen in countries like that?

We see it as something immoral and inhuman that breaks with the universal rights. However, people from Arab countries, in this case, from Saudi Arabia, think that this kind of behaviour is quite normal.

Nevertheless, there are some particular cases in which women are recognised as something more than a simple object that has no participation in the society. A very interesting and a possible example to take a step to the progress of women situation is Dalma Malhas.  In the next Olympic games of 2012 this young girl may compete against other girls and she will be the first girl who plays in those games representing Saudi Arabia. However, Malhas competed in Singapore Youth Games in the year 2010 but she was elected by the International Olympic Committee. This situation is not only exceptional  but also  very important because this is the first time that an Arab woman can probably go to the Olympic games.

Looking at the current situation in Saudi Arabia women don’t have the chance to do nothing if they are not accompanied by their husbands. In addition, they have to cover themselves up wearing burqa or hijab and they cannot drive any car or eat alone into a restaurant. And if we realise that this is happening why don’t we do nothing?

The situation of women in those Arab countries has always been the same, they are submitted to men and they have no right to freedom of expression or participation in the society issues. Therefore, many international organizations work in order to look for Arab women social welfare.

Although the situation has not changed we can observe that globalization has created a transformation in women’s mind and therefore they look for their rights although it is a very difficult problem that they have to solve.

Written by Andrea Sánchez , Victor Corvera, Marta Saguar and María Cortés

Interview with Mr. Musa Amer Odeh, the chief of the diplomatic mission of Palestine in Spain.

Mr. Musa Amer Odeh is the ambassador of Palestine in Spain; he has been Palestinian ambassador in many other places, such as Nicaragua, Brazil or Philippines. He was born on Doura-Hebron the 20th January 1947 and had studied in Jordan and Syria. He can speak Arab, English and Portuguese. This interview was made the morning of 10th May 2012 on the Palestinian Embassy in Madrid.

I decided to sent an e-mail to the Palestinian embassy in Madrid to arrange an interview because I am very interested on this issue; they answer me fastly and they offer me the great opportunity to interview the ambassador who answer all my questions without fear. He explains me the conflict and the situation in which are living most of the Palestinians but he also told me some anecdotes which help us to put a human face on that conflict that last too much time and that sometimes seems far away from us.Image

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: How would you understand the possible influence of the recent revolutions of the Arab World, the Arab spring, can have on the geopolitical situation on Middle East?

Musa Amer Odeh: Sure, we are part of the region and everything that happen will affect our situation but why the Arabs are moving for democracy is for the benefit of our people to have a democratic system in the Arab world. We used to receive support form regimes controlled by one person or a group of people, now we will have a democratic regime of Arab people, and those will support a lot to Palestine; so we are not afraid about what is happening in the Arab world, but Israel is unfortunately till now not treating correctly this, it is a deep change, an important one and there is an opportunity that Israel is loosing to have peace with us, because we are their neighbours, they are our neighbours and we must find how to live together they on their state we on our state, but the main question is that the occupation must finish, must have an end to be equal state-to-state.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: About the situation on Gaza par example, is there any influence of those revolutions? Because it’s in the border with Egypt.

Musa Amer Odeh: Ehm… no, we have an internal in Palestine because we are divided. People in Gaza under the control of Hamas and people in the West Bank under the control of the PLO, but we are in are having now reconciliation between Hamas and the PLO, in order to be united to archive peace in our region. About the changes in Egypt we must understand those changes serve also the interest of Palestinian people.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: Turkey had suspended their military treaties with Israel because of the incident of the attack against the “Freedom fleet” that carry humanitarian help to Gaza on 2010 and the overthrow of leaders as the Egypt’s one, Mubarak. Had suppose that Israel is waging more “aggressive” and less permissive politics against Palestinian population, per example the recent order to build new settlements on West Bank?

Musa Amer Odeh: Well, I think that Israel is responsible of loosing an allied like Turkey, which is an important allied in the zone, a very important Muslim country; but they are also loosing also Egypt because of their wrong policy. You can not be a continued occupying power an to look for normal relations with your neighbours. The leaders ofIsrael must realise that the interest ofIsrael remains on maintain peace with the Palestinians and with the Arabs, unfortunately they don’t. They have the military power, they have the support from the USA and they can’t continue like this. So for us Israel is not a democracy, because we understand that democratic countries can not controlle the lives of another people, confiscate the rights of another people. Second we think that they are not a democratic country because there is a discrimination against the Arab, that are 20% of their citizens. There is discrimination; you can go to the report of the European Council Generals in Jerusalem where they have a report of this year about the discriminations of Arabs inIsrael. And we must also remember thatIsrael is the only nuclear power in the zone, which attempts against stability in the region. Now they are calling all countries to wage a war against Iran whom they don’t have yet nuclear weapons, Israel already had them. So I don’t know how they understand that they have the right to have Nuclear Weapons and Arabs don’t have it. For us, Palestinians, we are in favour of a Middle East clear of Nuclear Weapons. We don’t want Israel to have nuclear weapons, we don’t want Iran to have Nuclear Weapons, we don’t want any country to have Nuclear Weapons. We need Middle East clean of Nuclear Weapons.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: About the international recognition, after the entry of Palestine as a member of UNESCO the last year, 2011. What will be the next step to follow?

Musa Amer Odeh: We had our application for a UN member in the Security Council, because it need to pass through this. In the Security Council, the five permanents members have right of veto and the USA till now they don’t want us to be member of the UN, violating their own principals regarding the right of self-determination for people like the Palestinian people.

Now, we are planning to go to the UN again, to the General Assembly where there is no veto for anyone. So we can got a number of states as the Vatican now or Switzerland ten years ago, and we will continue asking as a full-membership in the UN based on the rules of the rules of UN. It’s our goal to be free and to end wit the exile and the occupation. Unfortunately Israel claims that we are trying to delegitimize Israel, which is not true, we only try to delegitimize the occupation of Israel. Because we are willing to live with Israel side by side, they in their state, we in our state.

They said that it’s an unilateral state by the Palestinians, it’s not unilateral to go to address 193 countries in the UN. The unilateral thing is the Israeli policy, building settlements in our territory, building walls in the heart of our territory, confiscating lands n our territories and making Jerusalem a Jewish city which is not, because it had the three religions (Christians, Muslims and Jewish). It can’t be a Jewish city, it’s a multi-religion city.

So the Israelis don’t want us to fight for our rights, they don’t want us to go to the UN, they don’t want us to go to the UNESCO. What is the danger against Israel when we got a membership in the UNESCO? UNESCO is for culture, is a peaceful organization of the UN. Israelis don’t want any kind of identity for Palestinians, but there is a determination from the Palestinian side to continue our struggle, a peaceful struggle, to have our rights, to have our independence, to establish an independent Palestinian state because when the UN decided to divide Palestine into two states in 1947 with the resolution 181. They had planed two states Israel with the 56% of this territory and the State of Palestine which had the 44% of the territory, but in 1948 Israelis they established a state on the 78% of the territory, so they occupied from the beginning half of the area which was kept for us from the UN. And now they are not willing to keep us the rest which is 22%, they don’t want because they are building settlements, they are building walls and they are confiscating our water. They are controlling 84% of our water and they are selling us our water at the highest price of water on Earth. We are buying our water, so it’s unfair. And there is a responsibility for the international community to put an end for this unfair situation in the Holy Land.

We, Palestinians, deserve to be free, we had the highest level of education in our region, so we are qualified to have a modern state, a democratic one and to participate on building the future on the coming generations.

The occupation is a problem for Palestinians to build their economy and to build their future, cause if we want to export or import anything we need the permission ofIsrael. Our President, elected for the people, if he wants to move for city to city in Palestinehe needs the permission of Israelis. It’s not fair and it’s inhuman, and it’s a humiliation for our people.

And in the occupied territories which are so small, around 5.000 km2, there are more than 600 military checkpoints, in the heart of our territory, not in the borders between us and Israel, between the Palestinian cities and it made the live of Palestinians a hell.

It’s not easy for you, Europeans, imagine the suffering of the Palestinian people under the occupation; can you imagine that a pregnant woman come form a village to the hospital in the city, they stopped her on the check point for one hour, two hours… so more than ninety times they deliver their babies on the military checkpoints, because they were not allowed to go to the hospital. And imagine that Palestine is like Spain, in winter is very cold, low cero sometimes, and in summer is hot; imagine a lady put deliver her baby on the Israeli check point in front of hundreds of people waiting to pass. Many times ladies die or their babies die. What kind of danger for Israel’s security can be a pregnant woman bleeding? It’s only a humiliation for our people, we will never accept this, and we will continue our struggle, peaceful struggle, to achieve our goal which is peace, the greatest goal on Earth. To reach our objective we need the support of the International Community, to reach justice and peace, but not only for our people, also for our neighbours, including the Israelis, and for the humanity at large.

We need our rights, we are the last country under occupation and this occupation must have an end.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: Knowing the position of the US of America about the entry of Palestine on the UNESCO, they are against the participation of Palestine on the UN’s institutions. What strategies do you consider corrects to avoid a possible veto on the Security Council of the UN?

Musa Amer Odeh: Why? We can ask ourselves: Why are they opposing the rights of Palestinians to be members of the UNESCO? We have historic places for the humanity and they need the protection of the UN. Why any other country have the right to be a state and Palestine don’t have? Why the USA have the right to be a member of the UNESCO and Palestine don’t have? The USA only have 300 years and we have more than 10000 years, we have Jericho which birth last year 10000 years of habited live, the most ancient city on Earth in Palestine.

So why? Why are they opposing? Why are they punishing the people? Why are the punishing the UNESCO, because the had cut their money to the UNESCO? Because Palestine became a member, not through a war, through voting, in a democratic way.

Why if they believe in democracy are they opposing democracy here? The UNESCO voted for our membership. So it’s very strange, I know that if there are elections on the USA they hesitate to take any action that the Israelis wouldn’t accept, because there is an Israeli lobby, a very strong one, and the candidates looks for the votes and the money of this lobby, but we don’t have any kind of interest to confront the US, they are a superpower and we are a small country, we are just looking for our freedom, but we will not accept their double-standard policy about Palestine.

Imagine, If China violate, according the understanding of the USA, the right of one citizen; they immediately create a cause against China, a great cause. But when the came to Israel which is violating our simple rights, they don’t do anything. They are protecting the occupation, the Israeli aggression. They are violating their own principles.

Self-determination is a fundamental right for the people, and they are excluding us, we suppose to be part of the international community and self-determination must work on the Palestinian quiz. So they should let us to decide, and to the International Community to decide, not using the veto. It’s not fair. And also they have the responsibility to take care about stability and peace on the world as a superpower, and in this case they are against this principal, unfortunately.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: Since some years ago, an International campaign against Israel had been waged because of different politics that there are developing on the zone, as the building of a wall in the West Bank and the construction of new settlements of that zone. The great controversy generated by those issues hadn’t archive to stop any of the measures, although they suppose a violation of the “Route Sheet”). Why all that international pressure couldn’t change the things?

Musa Amer Odeh: Well, they had the right to build the wall around the West Bank if they want, although we don’t need walls we need bridges; but they are building it in the heart of the West Bank, on the goal on confiscating more land and to confiscate all Palestinian water sources, as I said we buy our water from the Israelis at the highest price on Earth. So the international community agree with us, they support us, but unfortunately we had the veto of the USA against us and it made the things so difficult for us.

Víctor Corvera Descalzo:  Nowadays the Palestinian political prisoners are waging a hunger strike. What is the position of the National Palestinian Authority (NPA) about that?

Musa Amer Odeh: Well, It’s our duty to protect the rights of Palestinians, because the Israelis putting those people on jail, they are violating the UN’s resolutions and the UN Charter because you can put anyone in jail for ten years without accusing me of something; this is happening now in Palestine, and it’s a violation of our rights. Israel is the only country where the torture is legalized,Israel had passed in their parliament many laws in the last years which discriminate the Arabs inside Israel, I don’t know how the International Community allows this to happen. It’s a shame that they allow it to happen, becauseIsrael still the only country about the rule, by the protection of a superpower. Par example when Iraq occupy Kuwait, theUSA send their troops with the International Community to liberate Kuwait from Iraq, and then some years later the create another war against Iraq because they said that there were Weapons of Massive Destruction in Iraq. In the case of Israel, Israel is occupying Palestine for 64 years and Israel had nuclear weapons since 1956; we are not asking none about create a war against Israel but we want to ask Israel to comply and to respect the UN’s resolutions and if the don’t do it the International Community must take measures, they can put restrictions to their economy as the International Community had done to the apartheid regime of South Africa before, no one send the troops to South Africa, but thanks to the solidarity of the International Community and the struggle of the South African people, the apartheid collapse, and the apartheid Israeli regime must collapse too.

So for us there is nothing against the creation ofIsrael, we already recognize them as a State but at the same time we want to be members of the UN, we want to be free of the Israeli occupation

Víctor Corvera Descalzo: Do you know the opinion of the Arab-Israeli parties with representation on the Israeli parliament (Knesset) (T’Al, Hadash y Balad) about this hunger strike?

Musa Amer Odeh: There are 20% of the population of Israel, and nowadays Israel don’t accept them, because Israel came to them, they are the indigenous people of Palestine. They have their representatives in the parliament but also the representatives are discriminated. If you see the Arab areas of Israel you will see that the development in the Arab zones and in the Jewish zones is very different, both pay the same taxes but Arabs had fewer services than Israelis.

Let’s put an example, the city of Nazareth, there are hundreds of Palestinians there, and the Israelis ha created “High Nazareth”, a new one; and you can see the differences, you can see which settlement is supported by the government and which not although the Arabs pay taxes like the others. It’s also easy to see the difference between West and East Jerusalem, although it violates some UN’s resolutions, it’s like East Berlin and West Berlin years ago. But the Israelis had annex Jerusalem to Israel violating the international rules but they still treating the East part like a part of the third world. So this is a huge discrimination, discrimination sometimes by law, I don’t know how the international community can accept this; only Israel impose this measures and they have a very important lobby in the USA. Some European Countries they believe the story because the have a dark history with the Jewish people in Europe, so the Arabs inside Israel, they suffer discrimination. You can see that there is democracy and that they are in the parliament; ok… they are in the parliament because they have the right to be there but it’s not from the Israelis kindness, it’s because they are citizens and Israel must be a State for all citizens, not only for the Jewish, for all, Greeks and Muslims too, but nowadays it’s not like that, Muslims are discriminated about the jobs and also in the University, but there is even discrimination between the Jewish. It’s unfair, and we are on the XXI century.

 

Madrid, 10th May 2012

Interviewing Ignacio Cembrero, Spanish journalist in Morocco

El País, 15th May 2012

[By Andrea Sánchez Ibarbia]

Ignacio Cembrero is a veteran Spanish journalist whose career swings from Europe to its North African neighbours, but who is disappointed and bored by the immobility of the Old Continent and increasingly looks to the south. I have talked to him in order to know a bit about his life and also about his opinion in many issues that he has lived in the countries he has worked.

Andrea Sánchez. We all know about your professional career, but could you make us a brief summarize of it? I mean, tell us about you experience at the journalistic world.

Ignacio Cembrero. Well, is a journalistic trajectory that oscillates between the Arab World and Europe, the foreign policy of Europe, with a small parenthesis in the European Commission in end 90s. And at the moment I use to work with the North of Africa.

AS. You are a man who has an excellent professional experience in this world, why did you decide to focus on the Arab countries and Magreb?

IC. Well, I thinks that there is always a combination of many factors. On the one hand, one of those factors is, of course, the chance, and on the other hand, the other factor is that the Arab Countries and also the countries from Magreb are our south neighbours, many of them unknown but they are quite important for Europe and specially for Spain.

In addition, it consists on a very interesting topic to talk about. Secondly, I think that these countries have societies with lots of problems. Nowadays we complain about the crisis but who really is living a crisis are this countries.

Then, talking about Middle East, as I have said, it has been one of my assignments in the past and I am absolutely sure that is the most conflictive area of the world.

 

AS. After reading many of your publications in “El País” , the Spanish Newspaper, Morocco is one of the places about which you more write, ¿What attracts your attention of it?

IC. What I think that Morocco has, is that is a country that interests to Spain but it doesn’t mean that this country is the most important one. However, as I have said, I repeat that Morocco is the country that most interests to customers, but I think that Argelia, due to other reasons, is also a very relevant territory because it is almost a bordering country, it is 130 km far from the coast.

AS. A piece of news that has been published two weeks ago, named “ Mohamed VI aborta la islamización de la TV que planeaba el gobierno” , what do you think about it?

IC. I think it is a very interesting topic to talk about because since January there is a new government, mainly Islamic, it is a coalition government. I also think that it is very interesting the “back and forth” that exists between the government and the Royal Palace, although as last resort the role of the Palace is the one that finally wins and commands. But in the end, this is a new phenomenon that didn’t exist in Morocco and now is the first time in which we see many different points of view. However, I repeat that the arbitration is taken by the Royalty and not by the government.

 

AS. Which is the role of the Islamic radicals in the Moroccan policy?

IC. There exists a lifestyle with more play comparing it now with some years ago. Now they are used to have bigger political life spaces but well, the Moroccan political system is not possible to be compared with the European systems, just because they are not similar and it doesn’t matter the monarchies, republics among other. Even the monarchies that we are used to have in Europe, don’t have nothing to do with the one established in Morocco, although the new Constitution has come into force on the last 1st July.

 

AS. How is the society in Morocco?

IC. The society has lots of tensions and contradictions, it is a very conservative society in all his elements, I would say. However, it is a nation that looks for progress, for something much better. That’s why there is a big temptation to emigrate, although in these days it has been reduced because Europe is submerged in a deep crisis which makes it to be less attractive.

Another important point that differences this society from the European one, is that this nation is impregnated of religion. Despite most of them are Muslim cities, it is important to say that not all of them are. In addition, it is a society in which for example the woman, although there has been a reform in 2003, is not legally situated in the same position as the man.

AS. We have observed that you have a Blog whose name is Orilla Sur, in which most of your publications are related to all the events that have happened this last year, in the North of Africa. The last publication that you have done is called “Marruecos: ¿Un primer ministro mal informado o misógino? “ makes us think about the woman, which one is her situation there?

IC. Well, I consider that the woman situation after applying the law of 2003 has changed and improved something, but overall with the introduction of the new Personal Statute. This Statute has provoked to make the polygamy difficult and the engagement of a teen girl. However, I would say that this new law has been moving back after January 2012 with the formation of the new government and the appointment of high positions.

At the moment, in the new government that has been stated, there is only a Islamic  woman which has worked in the government for a long time. Many years before there were, if I remember, three or four women in the government,  so this is undoubtedly a step to the back for the situation of the woman.

Then, I keep in mind, that in general there has been a higher Islamization and this means that women are forced to adapt behaviours that not all of them assume and obviously they are obliged to wear more modest clothes and as conclusion the women in this case plays a secondary role in the society.

AS. What other countries have you written about? Which one do you think is the most characteristic to write about?

IC. Well, I’ve written about lots of countries but overall about the North of Africa and Siria. I consider that there is no characteristic one because they must be studied separately. I say that because countries are very different and the situation too.

AS. You carry on a very large trajectory as a journalist, which moments do you consider that have been the most difficult? Which one has been your worse and difficult situation you have lived?

IC. So, for me, the epoch in which I have most suffered has been in the years 2002-2003, after the tension that existed between Spain and Morocco, the Perejil Island crisis. That stages were very difficult for a Spanish journalist, it was very difficult to work there in that circumstances. Since that epoch it has improved something. But in conclusion, 2002 and 2003 have been the most difficult times, there have been ups and downs but overall that moment was the most complicated.

So, I have finished with questions and I have to conclude that Ignacio Cembrero is an expert in talking about topics related to Magreb and North Africa. Thank you very much for answering the questions I have already proposed.

What’s going on Siria?

The recent rebellion in Syria is a form of popular rebellion, fighting social and political conflict as well as an armed struggle that is happening in the country. It began on January 26, 2011, influenced by other protests simultaneous in its area of influence.

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Requests for the Syrian people are focused on establishing a democratic system which respects human rights that are being violated for decades.

The country is ruled by a one-party system headed by party Baah. Its current President is Bashar al – Assad, who had taken power for 40 years by means of a coup d ‘ état.

One of the major causes that detonate the malaise in the Syrian people is that the ruling family belongs to the sect Alawita, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, which only represents 12% of the population.

The casualties among the forces loyal to the Government by the actions of the rebels exceed 2,000 dead, according to the Syrian Government. They also are detained or missing between 9,000 and 15,000 people. In addition, 75,000 people have been forced to abandon their cities to seek a refuge and escape the repression.

This situation has not left indifferent to the rest of the world. Various agencies and authorities have begun to take action on the matter in order to put an end to this long struggle.

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 The free Syria army is the main group of armed opposition in Syria. It is composed of deserters of the Syrian armed forces participating in the Syria rebellion of 2011.

The Islamist terrorist organization Al Qaeda has aligned explicitly with the Syria opposition and has supported with attacks against the security forces of the Syrian State.

For the conflict in Syria, the United Nations has delivered favourable to the idea of sending peacekeepers in order to find a negotiated solution. The Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League to Syria – Kofi Annan – requested the cooperation of all the parties to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Among the measures taken by international bodies stresses the policy of isolation. The European Union opted for the arms embargo, sanctions against the Central Bank and the prohibition of flights of Syrians cargo planes from the block. The Arab League supported this policy by suspending Syria of the Organization. In addition, it has added economic sanctions.

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The situation in Syria is complex since despite opposition from the majority of Syrians to Assad and international sanctions; the Government seems to have no intention to relinquish power. How will end this fight and when seem uncertain for now.

Written by : Andrea Sánchez, Marta Saguar, María Cortés and Victor Corvera