Monocolumn: That Friday Feeling

Monocolumn: That Friday Feeling

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.

  • 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

tumblr analytics


Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Asia Yesterday

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Health Yesterday

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Yesterday

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud

Women's Health, Education, Advocacy

Design & Architecture Yesterday

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Yesterday

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Yesterday

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 26, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Yesterday

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Yesterday

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fashion Yesterday

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Yesterday

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

No search results found.