Sunday, July 31, 2011

Arab unrest, high food prices as a result of the Arab Spring

Creating a democracy is hard.  Perhaps harder now than it was when America cast off its totalitarian rule 250 years ago.  Today, most of us are not farmers capable of feeding ourselves and our families; today we rely on jobs to trade our skills for such sustenance.  If democracy is to continue to germinate, take root, and flourish in the Middle East, we must find ways to ensure that the people can sustain themselves through this transition.

The story below was one of our worst fears at the 11th Doha Forum.  How do we help the people with necessary food and water during the Arab Summer?

From Syria to Libya and Egypt, the uprisings and unrest gripping the Arab world have cast a pall on the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month when the traditional focus on piety will likely be eclipsed by more unrest.
Food prices — part of the economic hardships that catalyzed the ouster of the Egyptian and Tunisian leaders — are still climbing. And protesters have shown little patience for conciliatory gestures by governments after decades of empty promises.
With momentum strong to drive out authoritarian regimes, there is no sign that opposition forces will ease up on protests — even with the difficulties of the month of dawn-to-dusk fasting that begins Monday.
Predictions of a tense Ramadan have already started to be realized.

Libyan rebels are turning their weapons on each other, dimming hopes for the overthrow of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.


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