In a post made to his Chinese-language weblog on April 15, Ezzat Shahrour, chief correspondent for al-Jazeera Arabic in Beijing, voiced his frustration with Chinese state media reporting on the upheaval in the Arab world this year.
Despite continuing criticism of the European Union over its delayed response to the turmoil in the Arab world, Poland’s foreign minister said this week that the crisis provided an opportunity for the bloc to help that region on a road toward democracy.
The Arab Spring is in its third month, and some already express concern about its next phase. In Tunisia things are moving too slowly. In Egypt, the moment of the revolution has been replaced by the routines of national politics, and the revolutionaries are frustrated.
The user's online handle is Abumubarak, and the forum where he spends hours at a time is not a gaming site or a forum about celebrity gossip, but one of the dozens of hard-line Islamist sites where commenters post news articles, terrorist propaganda, and their own opinions on the subject of jihad.
One implication of this is that the burden on U.S. public diplomacy has never been greater. As the role of publics expands, it becomes ever more urgent that the U.S. better understand them and effectively engage with them across a far wider spectrum (it's incomprehensible that Congress wants to slash funding for these functions at precisely the time they are most needed).
In the context of the Libyan civil war and unfolding revolutions across the Arab region, Turkey is stepping up efforts to make its mark as a role model and diplomatic broker. EurActiv Turkey contributed to this article.
Paris has the Institute de Monde Arab, Madrid has the Casa Arab, but what about London? Home to Edgware Road, “Kebab” & Chips, and one of the largest expatriate communities of Arabs in Europe, it’s almost ironic that the United Kingdom has yet to house a permanent major cultural center to signify this strong bond between the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
On the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Latin America, Washington's traditional role as "regional hegemon" is being reevaluated as its attention focuses on the Arab Spring and an emerging commercial competitor - China - focuses on the U.S.'s backyard.