Tutto in 30 secondi
[was] appunti e note sul mondo islamico contemporaneo

Turmoil Watch e un articolo da leggere


Di seguito trovate una valanga di numeri (da “The Media Line“).

Un fondamentale backgrounder lo trovate qui.


Facts in Context: Turmoil Watch

Since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself afire December 14 in Tunisia, anti-government protests have erupted throughout much of the Middle East, bringing down two leaders and threatening others.

This table details the likely social, economic and political factors that might lead to mass protests, the means for organizing and leading it, and how significant the collapse of the government would be for the rest of the world. Countries that are relatively small and/or have been quiet to date have not been included in the survey.

For the sources and explanations of the material, see below.


Motivation      Median age 26.2                   Poverty rate 22.6%

Higher education 23.9%      Jobless 10%                                                                          Treated respectfully 84%       Income inequality 35.3

Corruption 2.9 / 105

Human rights: Torture banned since 2004 but Red Cross cannot inspect all security facilities to verify; emergency rule in force since 1992.

Leader in power: President Abdelaziz Bouteflika since 1999, won re-election in 2009 with 90.2% of the vote; last real elections were in 1991 when Islamists won and government cancelled results.

Means            Internet access 11.9

Press freedom          47.33 / 133

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: Rally for Culture and Democracy

Who Cares   Algeria has 12.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 2009 (world’s 15th largest) and 4.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas (10th largest).

So Far           Anti-government protests broke out in early January after prices rose sharply for flour, sugar and other food staples but have more recently evolved into calls for the president to step down.

Concessions Bouteflika promised Feb 14 to lift a longstanding state of emergency.


Motivation      Median age 28.1                   Poverty rate: NA

Higher education 29.9                     Jobless: NA                                                                                      Treated respectfully: NA       Income inequality: NA

Corruption 4.9 / 48

Human rights:            Conditions deteriorated sharply in 2010; authorities have regularly employed torture since 2007.

Leader in power: King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has ruled since 1999 as

hereditary monarch. He appoints the prime minister; elected parliament has existed since 2001.

Means            Internet access 51.9

Press freedom          51.38 / 144

Symbol: Ali Abdul Hadi Mushaima was killed in Feb 14 Day of Rage protests

Organized opposition Islamic National Accord Association represents Shiites in parliament; Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Who Cares   No oil, but strategic location in the Gulf, off coast of Saudi Arabia; home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet

So Far           Demonstrations spurred mainly by Shiite majority protesting second-class status have left two dead.

Concessions Government has handed out equivalent of $2,560 to each Bahraini family and has promised easing of media restrictions.


Motivation      Median age 23.9                   Poverty rate 16.7%

Higher education 31.2%      Jobless 9.2%                                                                         Treated respectfully 90%       Income Inequality 32.1

Corruption 3.1 / 98

Human rights:  Police, security forces regularly employ torture in police stations, detention centers and points of arrest; emergency rule since 1981.

Leader in power: Until he resigned Feb 11, Husni Mubarak had ruled for 30 years; the head of Egypt’s Higher Military Council, Mohamad Hussain Tantawi, is now in control.

Means            Internet access 16.6

Press freedom          43.33 / 127

Symbol: Wael Ghonim, jailed Google executive who helped instigate protests

Organized opposition: April 6 Youth Movement organized mass protests via social media; Muslim Brotherhood is best organized and biggest of major opposition groups.

Who Cares   Egypt is world’s most populous Arab country, whose political influence extends throughout the Arab world; it is a key U.S. ally in the region

and one of two countries to have signed a pace treaty with Israel; Suez Canal is a major world shipping route.

So Far           Unrest has persisted after resignation, compounded by labor strikes. 300 killed in protests.

Concessions Since Mubarak resigned, army has dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and called for elections in six months.


Motivation      Median age 26.8                   Poverty rate 18%

Higher education 36.1%      Jobless                                                                                                          Treated respectfully 81%     Income Inequality 38.3

Corruption 2.2 / 146

Human rights: Torture used to extract confessions; 388 people were executed in 2010, emergency rule

Leader in power: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected in generally free elections in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 in a vote whose results were disputed by the opposition; Ali Khamenei, supreme leader, has been in power since 1989, appointed by assembly of experts.

Means            Internet access 32.0

Press freedom 94.56 / 175

Symbol: Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death by security forces was captured on video.

Organized opposition: Losing 2009 presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi; former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Who Cares   Iran has 138 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (world’s 4th largest) and 43.3 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves (world’s second largest); West believes Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

So Far            2009 protests over Ahmadinejad’s election victory were quashed

by the government; demonstrations erupted again this year on Feb 14 with tens of thousands marching in Tehran streets; security forces fired tear gas and detained demonstrators.


Motivation      Median age 19.3                   Poverty rate 25%

Higher education 15.7%      Jobless                                                                                                          Treated respectfully 84%     Income Inequality 35.3

Corruption 1.5 / 175

Human rights: Widespread reports of torture, other abuse of detainees held by defense, interior ministries and police.

Leader in power: Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has been in power since 2006 and was re-elected in generally free and fair elections in 2010.

Means            Internet access 1.0

Press freedom          45.58 / 130

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: NA

Who Cares   Iraq has180 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (world’s 2nd largest) and 3.2 trillion of natural gas (11th largest).

So Far           Thousands have rallied to protest poverty, joblessness, and food, electricity and water shortages but not to bring down elected government.

Concessions Maliki cut his salary in half, reportedly vowed not to seek third term in 2014.


Motivation      Median age 22.8                   Poverty rate 14.2%

Higher education 37.7%      Jobless 13.0%                                                                                             Treated respectfully 89%     Income Inequality 37.7

Corruption 4.7 / 50

Human rights: Torture, routine and widespread at police stations.

Leader in power: King Abdullah inherited the throne in 1999 as heir to dynasty in power since 1921.

Means            Internet access 27.0

Press freedom          37.00 / 120

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front

Who Cares   Relatively small and poor country, Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the region

and occupies a strategic position between Israel, Palestinian-ruled areas, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

So Far           Weekly demonstrations on Friday had called for prime minster’s resignation, but not king’s. Since new premier was named, protests have grown smaller, less focused.

Concessions New prime minster, Marouf Al-Bakhit, and government named Feb 1 with mandate for political reform and includes opposition and media figures; in January, government cancelled price hikes and added subsidies and government jobs.


Motivation      Median age 26.2                   Poverty rate 33%

Higher education 55.7                     Jobless: NA                                                                                      Treated respectfully 64%     Income Inequality: NA

Corruption 2.2 / 146

Human rights: Numerous reports of torture by security agencies.

Leader in power Col. Muammar Qaddafi has ruled since 1969.

Means            Internet access 5.1

Press freedom          63.50 / 160

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO)

Who Cares   Libya has 41 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (world’s 10th largest) and 1.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas (22nd largest).

So Far           First demonstrations reported Feb 15 in Benghazi; NCLO has called for mass protests inside and outside of Libya to mark Feb 17, 2006 uprisings.


Motivation      Median age 26.5                   Poverty rate 19%

Higher education: NA                      Jobless 9.6%                                                                                    Treated respectfully 89%     Income Inequality 40.9

Corruption 3.4 / 85

Human rights: Islamists and terror suspects have reportedly been subjected to torture.

Leader in power: King Mohammed VI has ruled since 1999 as heir to dynasty whose authority is legitimized by religious tradition and history.

Means            Internet access 33.0

Press freedom          47.40 / 135

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: NA

Who Cares   Morocco is friendly with the West and it shares control of the strategic

Straight of Gibraltar with Spain and Britain.

So Far           No major reported protests to date. Facebook groups have called for nationwide protests on Feb 20.

Concessions Government on Feb 15 said it will almost double state subsidies by $1.8 billion to counter an increase in global commodity prices.


Motivation      Median age 17.6                   Poverty rate 70% (Gaza), 46% (West Bank)

Higher education 47.2%      Jobless 30% (Gaza), 16% (West Bank)                            Treated respectfully 89%       Income Inequality: NA

Corruption: NA

Human rights: Hamas police in some cases torture people suspected of homosexuality, extra-marital sex. Some 106 complaints of torture by PA security services.

Leaders in power: Mahmoud Abbas was elected president in a semi-democratic election in 2005 but delayed scheduled 2009 elections and remains in office.

Means            Internet access 9.0

Press freedom          56.13 / 150

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: Hamas (West Bank), Fatah (Gaza)

Who Cares   Palestinians are divided between Hamas-ruled Gaza and Fatah-ruled West

Bank; collapse of Fatah, which backs peace talks with Israel, would mark a setback to the U.S. and Israel, especially if Islamists seized control.

So Far           Small demonstrations in the West Bank supporting Egyptian opposition were blocked by security personnel.

Concessions PA cabinet resigned Feb 14 and PA has called municipal and parliamentary/presidential elections for July and September.


Motivation      Median age: 24.6                  Poverty rate: NA

Higher education 29.9                     Jobless 10.5%                                                                                             Treated respectfully 77%     Income Inequality: NA

Corruption 4.7 / 50

Human rights: Detainees face arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment

in detention; Saudi judges routinely sentence defendants to lashings.

Leader in power: King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud, scion of the ruling Al-Saud family, which came to power in the 18th century, has ruled since 2005. He is 86 years old and ailing.

Means            Internet access 31.5

Press freedom          61.50 / 157

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: None

Who Cares   Saudi Arabia has 267 billion barrels of oil reserves (the world’s largest) and 7.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas (5th largest); while militarily weak, its oil and financial resources make it a key Western ally.

So Far           Saudi Arabia has seen no anti-government protests, although demonstrators did organize to protest government failure to deal with flooding in Jeddah last month.

Concessions The government opened a Facebook page in February to allow citizens to file complaints.


Motivation      Median age 22.5                   Poverty rate 11.9%

Higher education NA                       Jobless           11% (2009)                                                                           Treated respectfully 91%     Income Inequality: NA

Corruption 2.5 / 127

Human rights: At least 5 detainees died in custody in 2010, with no serious investigations into deaths; emergency rule in force since 1963.

Leader in power: Bashar Assad inherited presidency from father Hafez although officially subject to referendum, which he won with 97.6% in 2007; Assad dynasty has been in power since 1970.

Means            Internet access 17.3

Press freedom          91.50 / 173

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: None

Who Cares   Syria is Iran’s chief ally in the Arab world and influences Lebanon; fall of Assad regime would likely undermine Iranian influence in region.

So Far           “Day of Rage” organized on Facebook for Feb 5 failed to materialize.

Concessions Assad told The Wall Street Journal Jan. 31 he planned reforms for local elections, a new media law and more power for private organizations; fuel subsidy for public workers boosted in January.


Motivation      Median age 29.1                   Poverty rate 7.6%

Higher education 31.6%      Jobless 13.2%                                                                                             Treated respectfully 91%     Income Inequality: 40.8

Corruption 4.3 / 15

Human rights: Frequent allegations of torture haven’t been investigated by government; emergency rule, declared in January, remains in force after Ben Ali’s resignation.

Leader in power: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled for 23 years until Jan 15. Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi now heads a transition government.

Means            Internet access 27.1

Press freedom 72.50 / 164

Symbol: Mohamed Bouazizi, whose act of self-immolation inspired protestors, first in Tunisia and later elsewhere in the Arab world.

Organized opposition: Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT)

Who Cares   A small country, Tunisia doesn’t have significant natural resources or occupy a strategic location; influence as the cradle of revolution has been overtaken by Egypt.

So Far           Granddaddy of revolution, protests began in mid-December and forced Ben Ali into exile; transition government faced continued unrest until remnants of Ben Al’s allies were removed in early February; 200 killed.

Concessions Ben Ali’s allies purged from interim government and his political party banned; interim government has promised presidential election by July, dissolution of parliament and election of constituent assembly to draft a new constitution.


Motivation      Median age 31.7                   Poverty rate 19.5% (2003)

Higher education 25.2%      Jobless           4.0% (2008)                                                                          Treated respectfully 94%     Income Inequality NA

Corruption 6.3 / 28

Human rights: Allegations of torture by police.

Leader in power: Confederation of seven emirates each governed by hereditary rulers; legislative body, Federal National Council, is half appointed, half elected by an electoral college.

Means            Internet access 65.2

Press freedom          23.75 / 87

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: None

Who Cares   The UAE is a major business center and major producer of oil and gas. It occupies a strategic position in the Gulf

So Far            No significant protests to date.

Concessions UAE said in early February that electoral college will be increased 300-fold to about 12,000 people, but delegates will continue to be chosen by the rulers (12 out of every 1,000 Emiratis will be entitled to vote).


Motivation      Median age 17.8                   Poverty rate 41.8%

Higher education 10.2%      Jobless:          NA                                                                  Treated respectfully 84%       Income Inequality: 37.7

Corruption 2.2 / 146

Human rights: Arbitrary arrest and use of force against demonstrators; allegations of torture.

Leader in power: President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled for 32 years.

Means            Internet access 1.6

Press freedom 82.13 / 170

Symbol: None

Organized opposition: Common Forum, an alliance of parliamentary opposition groups.

Who Cares   Arab world’s poorest, least developed country, Yemen has

emerged as a base for Al-Qaeda, whose strength could be enhanced

by the collapse of the Saleh government, and lies close to oil-shipping routes.

So Far           Organized and largely peaceful protests have occurred since January, but since Feb 13, tone has changed, with demonstrators called for the president’s resignation.

Concessions Saleh has pledged not to run for re-election when his term ends in 2013 or allow his son to run; he has raised army salaries, halved income taxes and imposed price controls.

Sources and Explanations

Median age assumes a younger population is more likely to take to the streets and, given

high rate of jobless youth in Arab world, more likely to be facing economic distress or dissatisfaction.. Median age for developed world is 39.9 and for Arab world 23.1. Source: UN Human Development Report 2010.

Higher education measures percentage of relevant population enrolled in post-high educational institutions in 2001-2009. It assumes that more educated people are more likely to engage in sustained protests.  Source: UN Human Development Report 2010.

Treated respectfully refers to percentage of people who responded to a Gallup World Survey during the 2006-2009 period, “Were you treated respectfully all day yesterday?”

Poverty measures percentage of population under national poverty line. Sources: UN Development Program, CIA Factbook.

Jobless measures percentage of civilian labor force without work in 2010. Youth jobless rates are typically much higher. Source: International Monetary Fund.

Income Inequality is measured by the Gini co-efficient. A higher score means more inequality. Sweden’s Gini co-efficient is 25. Source: UN Human Development Report 2010.

Corruption measures perception of malfeasance based on a survey of business people with a score of 10 meaning government is entirely clean and 0 entirely corrupt. Denmark was the cleanest country, scoring 9.3. Source: Transparency International 2010 report.

Human Rights focuses on torture and emergency rule, two violations that opposition leaders have cited as key to their demands. Source: Human Rights Watch 2010 report.

Internet access per 100 people is a measure of how deeply social media and other on-line tools reach the population. For comparison’s sake, the U.S. rate is 75.9. Source: UN Human Development Report 2010.

Press freedom measures censorship imposed by the government and self-censorship attacks on journalists. A lower score means greater press freedom. The second number is the country’s world ranking. Source: Reporters Without Borders 2010.

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febbraio: 2011