menu

Monocolumn: That Friday Feeling

Monocolumn: That Friday Feeling
Cities

The first day of the weekend in most Arab countries is no longer just when people congregate to pray; it has become the day when people call for their government to be overthrown.

Monocle
  • 22 april 2011

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

A popular joke going around in Arab countries goes like this. A genie comes out of his bottle and asks the head of government (usually going through a rough patch) to make a wish. The politician pauses to think a second, and says “I wish we could ban Fridays.” The first day of the weekend in most Arab countries is no longer just when people congregate to pray; it has become the day when people call for their government to be overthrown.

No doubt this is what Bashar al Assad is wishing as protesters vowed today would be the biggest demonstration yet since the revolt began a month ago. Last Saturday the Syrian president announced the end of the much-hated emergency law, which for the past 48 years let the dreaded moukhabarat (secret police) do as it pleased with a population stunted by fear. He has also promised to put an end to the High State Security Court that can sentence people in secret and made plans to help college graduates find employment more easily among other reforms.

In exchange, Assad hopes the protesters will stop taking to the streets. As SANA, the Syrian state news agency reported, the Interior Minister has asked the people “to refrain from any mass rallies or demonstrations or sit-ins under any slogan.”

Between 1946 and 1970 the country gained the unenviable world record of political coups, but since then, Syria’s one big selling point has always been its stability, up until the events of a few weeks ago. Saturday’s presidential promises were an attempt at salvaging the regime’s steadfastness.

Yet this week’s events have not been encouraging, with the regime erratically waving both the stick and the carrot. While Asaad’s new government confirmed the reforms protests have continued, so has the repression (an important opposition figure in Homs was arrested Wednesday).

To continue reading click here.

Image by Caro’s Lines







href=”http://www.statcounter.com/tumblr/”
target=”_blank”>
tumblr analytics


Trending

Turn Food Scraps Into Fertilizer In 24 Hours

Food
Technology Today

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Travel Today

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Food Today

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

The Coffee Drop Printer uses a large canvas to design these unique images

Related Expert

Jay Parkinson

Health, wellness, fitness

Travel Today

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Today

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Today

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs Yesterday

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Today

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Today

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Today

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Today

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Today

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising Today

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Today

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.