Middle Eastern Studies Journal

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Issue 58



The will of Arab Peoples amongst Freedom and Custody

Editor in Chief

Research & Studies

South Sudan Separation and Arab Security

Muhammed Hasab Al-Rasool

Euro-American Management of Libyan Crisis during the Revolution

Kareem Maslouh

Political Transformations in the Arab World: Views of Arab Nationalists and Islamists

Jawad El- Hamad

Issue Files
Results of Tunisian Constituent Assembly

Ahmed Al-Abiedh

Crisis of Political Transition in Egypt

Kheiri Omar

Moroccan Elections: Results and Repercussions

Sameer Bodinar

Documents of Tunisian and Moroccan Elections




    Abstract : Indications of Democratic Transformation in the Arab World

 Editor in Chief

The Arab World has been witnessing strategic changes in the structure of the political systems at national and regional levels. Public protests have taken the shape of unexpected uprisings against current regimes based on the trilogy of injustice, dictatorship and corruption.They displayed the potential of the dynamics and traditional political movements of the Arab society. Some uprisings succeeded in toppling their regimes peacefully in Tunisia and Egypt as well as moving to a free atmosphere paving the way for a system that based on democracy and pluralism. As a result, political and social forces in other Arab countries initiated the struggle to copy those experiences. They aimed to bring about similar democracies that put an end to the capital-security-authority alliance.

Such swift, comprehensive shift, which began to bear fruit in some Arab states in 2011, was created two decades ago. Various signs indicate that the new trend is truly heading towards pluralistic democracies which would restore significance for the Arab- Islamic culture. This culture represents the identity and civilization of those countries and offers better protection for different religions than that stated in modern human rights conventions.

It is most likely that genuine partnerships will be established amongst Islamic movements and other political forces. Such partnerships will help to integrate their efforts, experiences and capabilities to build modern Arab states. The Arab World, as such would be a crucial factor in setting the World Order policies towards the Middle East, mainly in economic and cultural aspects as well as the Arab-Israeli conflict.



Research & Studies

Abstract : Arab League Future and Current Arab Uprisings

Majdy Hammad

Arab regimes were on the verge of collapse when the Arab Spring began to assert it was time for change that should be made through popular revolutions. These regimes have squandered 50 years of the Arab nation's lifetime and has nothing left to give to the next stage. The present study provides a roadmap for the League of Arab States' expected roles, mechanisms for development and future scenarios in the wake of the new variables in the region.

It is concluded efforts could go on through radical handling of various elements to establish a new role and future for the league. This will not take place by means through an internal decision. If the organization is part of a whole, this view depends on the status of member states and their governments, according to their relations with the league. Such a serious, radical decision to reform, along with a similar degree of implementation, means the organization wants a genuine reform of Arab governments because this is the way to move forward.



Research & Studies

Abstract : Chinese Foreign Policy and Middle East

Ahmad Al Bursan

As China becomes one of the superpowers in the world order that is likely to emerge in the 21st century, a major shift has already taken place in the balance of power on the regional and international spheres.  Chinese foreign policy has become a focus of interest in terms of global trade and international relations with one of its aims to build relations with the Middle East region because of its vitality for its energy and as an export market.

Since the uprisings began in different Arab countries, China has been trying to maintain its national interests by adopting a balanced policy. Within the global arena, it insists there should be no intervention in the international affairs of these states. The present study seeks to answer a number of questions:

1.     What are China’s global capabilities?

2.     What are China’s foreign policy principles?

3.     What are China’s interests in the Middle East which would affect that policy?

4.     What is China’s attitude to the Arab revolutions?

It is concluded that Chinese policy, especially in the Arab World, is determined by economic aspirations and energy needs, moving carefully, avoiding direct intervention and taking the track of that of a soft power.

The Asian superpower is not against change but openly rejects foreign intervention and is waiting until new rules take over to see the path of these uprisings.



Reports And Articles

Abstract : Political Analysis: Saudi Stance on the Arab Uprisings

Ibrahim Ali

Rule in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands on four pillars: The inherited leadership by the Saudi royal family, powerful alliance with Wahhabi Salafists, enormous oil-based wealth and US foreign support.

As this formula is generally static, the dynamic that is created by the call for democracy and freedom through the Arab uprisings is likely to  put much pressure or even threaten the regime; making it extremely sensitive to the very concept of democracy and any signs of popular movement in Saudi society.

Firstly, the Kingdom wanted to keep the revolution within the borders of Tunisia. Ben Ali was received in KSA while all other Arab countries rejected him. As well, the Egyptian uprising was more serious, as the former regime was a major part of the leadership of “Arab moderates” and its fall would prevent Riyadh from continuing to have wide influence in the region.

Thirdly, the Saudi attitude to developments in Bahrain and Yemen has been different. The intervention was actually stronger and more direct in Bahrain than the latter country when large numbers of Peninsula Shield troops were deployed there because of the fear of the sectarian form of society.

Fourthly, whilst it is true the collapse of the Syrian regime constitutes an interest for KSA as a chief ally to its own main opponent, it fears this will greatly encourage current popular activities in Jordan. Today, it is the most influential and significant partner in the Fertile Crescent as having a monarchy and a stable political system as opposing to other form of rule.



Abstract : Egypt: Post-Uprising Electoral Map

Khyri Omar

A great deal of controversy is being made in Egypt about the general elections although a referendum on political priorities was held recently. While some have long preferred for the holding of early elections, parliamentary and presidential, others are arguing against such a move. They  maintain there is a deep necessity to prepare for a new constitution that would also pave the way for presidential contestants.  All political options are open for debate. The present report investigates the pre-election context, concentrating on the general democratic framework, in terms of reforming the electoral system of the country, constituencies, organizing the political process, political parties and coalitions. The state and society will be tested for their ability to secure the political and security environs for the elections from October 2011 to March 2012. This is the longest voting period in the world in which the protection against all kinds of violations constitutes the major challenge for the 25 January Egyptian Revolution.



Abstract : Traditional vs. Alternative Energy

Mohammed EL Khayat

When energy is found all around us, markets starts to flourish, whether small or big, close or far away, poor or rich. A new life emerges with a flavor of welfare, cross-continent journeys and Great-Wall-of-China long lists of purchases in a bid to achieve sustainable development. However, the lack of resources may sometimes bring energy with a taste of gunpowder to spread destruction.

As the world depends on various major energy resources of oil, natural gas and coal, other clean supplies in aquatic, wind and solar forms are growing to relieve the Earth from the effect of irrational uses of power. For long decades, poisonous gases have been emitted to kill 2.5 million people in developing countries, according to World Health Organization statistics.

The civilization we participate in constructing is loaded with carbon, seen wherever urbanization is found. This gas is obvious over our factories, out of our cars, above our trains and making arches out of our planes which our children try in vain to follow to the end. We have moved from low-energy societies relying on animals to high-energy ones depending heavily on spontaneous combustion engines.

In addition, energy evidently influences our minute details, such as the rise in cost of food, clothes and travel tickets. Unstable prices of oil could be too low to fill the pockets of importing countries and industrial companies, or suddenly too high to benefit producers. The phenomenon of consumption could mount to an 'avid' level in which the marketplace devours most of the budgets of states. The consumptive spending in Asia is expected to reach $32 trillion by the end of 2030, making up 43% of global consumption, according to the Asian Development Bank in New Delhi.

The present article investigates the effect of energy on markets, sustainable development and life quality. It also looks into our carbonic civilization which has made us submissive slaves to machinery.




Abstract :Proposed Election Law in Jordan: Reform vs. Tradition

Bayan AL-Omari

The present report elaborates on the proceedings of a proposed election law seminar held by the Middle East Studies Center on July 30, 2011. Three topics were in focus including the reformist and traditional approaches to the proposed election law, assessment of major issues tackled and its ability to bring about positive political change.

In order to come up with an integrated reformist election law, it is important to decide on the system of the process. Such a decision is not a mere technicality connected with phrasing which several experts may address and present hypotheses and solutions. It is a political, social and economic matter for an electoral law to meet expectations, answers must be provided to questions related to the basic question of right in terms of elections and nominations and management and reference in resolving disputes.

In a bid to reach a legal wording which pushes for true reform in the Kingdom, the following are recommended by the report to decision-makers and political powers:

1. Calling for fundamental reviews of the draft law proposed by the National Dialogue Committee, taking into account political and public powers' observations to secure freedom and fairness for all categories and establish an Arab model for a democratic life.

2. Calling on the Constitutional Amendments Committee to include in the Constitution texts specifying public and political demands referred to in the report.

3. Calling for comprehensive change in the electoral process congruent with political, economic, social and cultural reform for all sections of the society

4.Warning against any procrastination in carrying out reforms, which would endanger stability in the country.



Issue Files

Abstract : Book Review: The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict

Mohammad Al Mousa

The Palestinian issue, mainly its statehood, has been a central concern for generations of international law specialists. Recently, the issue, implications and complexities that have arisen have come under investigation  by John Quigley, one of the prominent professors in the field and an expert in the legal aspects of the Palestinian cause. His book, The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict is published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.

The major argument is that Palestine has always been a state until this moment- which is believed not only to be an academic theory, but an influential legal and practical factor on all relevant parties including the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel.

The book consists of four chapters. The first three presents a historical review of key statutory questions connected to Palestinian statehood, whereas chapter four undertakes a valuable analysis of the issue.



Abstract : Strategic Reading of the Eilat Operation

Johnny Mansour

On 18 August, 2011 resistance forces launched military operations against targets near Eilat, south of Israel. The four consecutive operations were well thought out and took place within hours of each other. Eight Israelis died and  27 injured. Seven from the resistance were also killed, five Egyptian soldiers and 15 people from Gaza  as a result of Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip in the aftermath.

Although none of the Palestinian factions claimed responsibility, Israel accused the Public Resistance Committees of the Saladin Brigades in Gaza. However, it is not yet clear who was responsible as the Israeli government did not make a public statement.

It can be argued both Israel and Egypt moved to contain what happened because of different reasons. The Jewish state is facing a tense situation with other countries and its government clearly preferred to tone down its reactions. The Higher Military Council in Egypt is currently busy attempting to deal with a potentially volatile internal situation and preparing for the issues relating to the holding of parliamentary polls, a new constitution and general elections.