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Profilbild för 10 years of Arab Spring: Justice and Democracy in the Maghreb?

10 years of Arab Spring: Justice and Democracy in the Maghreb? Har passerat

Måndag 6 december 2021 12:30 - 13:30 Kongresshallen

Talare: Mohamed Cheikh Khouman, Said Amidan, Slama Said Filali, Youssef Sakkej
Moderator: Anna Roxvall

In swedish below.  

A decade ago, tens of thousands of Sahrawis gathered outside of the Western Saharan capital El Aaiún to build a protest camp called Gdeim Izik. These massive protests against Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara are sometimes referred to as the spark of the Arab Spring.

A month later in Tunisia, street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and protests started to spread across Tunisia. People were tired of corrupt politicians, social injustices, and the high levels of unemployment. They demanded transparency, better living standards, and democracy. Discontent was widespread also in neighboring countries, and soon, the hope for a better and more democratic future spread across several countries, such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and Syria.

Ten years later, however, only Tunisia has achieved what can be described as a rather successful democratic transition. This can be put into contrast with other countries where people also raised their voices on the streets during the Arab Spring. In fact, in many countries, the democratic development has rather been reversed. Simultaneously, abuses of human rights and violence against journalists, human rights defenders, and democracy activists continue every day.

Demographically, the region has a very young population which brings challenges since the education sector and the job market in many countries do not create enough work opportunities for youth. In turn, this results in discontent, social unrest, and decreased trust in institutions. The large share of young people also demonstrates the importance of representation and inclusion of youth in decision-making processes to achieve a sustainable, inclusive, and democratic development.


In swedish: 

För ett decennium sedan samlades tiotusentals västsaharier utanför huvudstaden El Aaiún och byggde upp ett protestläger, Gdeim Izik. Denna massprotest mot Marockos ockupation har av flera kallats för startskottet till den arabiska våren. 

En månad senare i Tunisien tänder gatuförsäljaren Mohamed Bouazizi eld på sig själv och snart sprider sig protester även över Tunisien. Folket var trötta på korrumperade politiker, sociala orättvisor och hög arbetslöshet. De ville se transparens, bättre levnadsvillkor och demokrati. Det utbredda missnöjet fanns även i grannländerna och snart spred sig hoppet om en ljusare, mer demokratisk, framtid till andra länder, bland annat Egypten, Algeriet, Marocko och Syrien. 

Men idag, 10 år senare och med facit i hand, har det endast skett en någorlunda demokratisk övergång i Tunisien bland de länder där folkets röster hördes på gatorna under arabiska våren. Faktum är att den demokratiska utvecklingen i många länder tvärtom har gått baklänges. Samtidigt fortsätter kränkningar av mänskliga rättigheter och våld mot journalister, människorättsförsvarare och demokratiaktivister varje dag.  

Demografisk sett präglas regionen av en mycket ung befolkning vilket medför problem då utbildnings- och arbetsmarknadssystemen inte skapar tillräckligt med arbetstillfällen för unga. Det leder till missnöje, social oro och minskad tilltro till institutioner. Den stora andelen unga visar även vikten av representation och integration av unga i beslutsfattande processer för att uppnå en hållbar, inkluderande och demokratisk utveckling.

Arrangör(er)

Emmaus Stockholm

Form

Seminarium

Prioriterade målgrupper

Studenter vid högskola/universitet, Civilsamhälle, Media

Språk

Engelska

Tolkningsalternativ

Teckenspråkstolkas

Ämnestaggar

Shrinking space, Global utveckling

Föreläsare

Profilbild för Mohamed Cheikh Khouman

Mohamed Cheikh Khouman Talare

Moroccan Association for Human Rights

Mohamed Cheikh Khoumani. Vice-president of regional office Southwest at the Moroccan Association for Human Rights.
Mohamed is also a trade union activist and focuses on advocacy in the issues of economic and social rights. MAHR is one of the biggest Moroccan human rights NGOs working to defend human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara. MAHR issues newspapers, conferences, seminars.

Profilbild för Said Amidan

Said Amidan Talare

Equipe Media

Said Amidan is a media activist, journalist and co-founder of the collective of independent journalists Equipe Media that aims to document Morocco’s repression against those who work for a free Western Sahara. Said has been threatened, arrested and persecuted for his work by Moroccan authorities.

Profilbild för Slama Said Filali

Slama Said Filali Talare

Nova. Non Violence Action in Western Sahara

Slama Said Filali is a project coordinator at the organization Non-Violence Action in Western Sahara (NOVA). Slama coordinates the project Dialogue For Peace in which NOVA works for opening dialogue channels among civil society organizations in the Maghreb region. The organization operates mainly in the Saharawi refugee camps and wants to show that a peaceful path to a free Western Sahara is possible.

Profilbild för Youssef Sakkej

Youssef Sakkej Talare

Intersection

Youssef Sakkej, researcher at Intersection. Well-known human rights defender and activist in Tunisia.

Profilbild för Anna Roxvall

Anna Roxvall Moderator

Anna Roxvall is a freelance journalist from Sweden who has reported from Western Sahara, Kenya, Burundi, among other places. Roxvall was awarded the journalistic award Nils Horner-priset in 2017.