Political Reform in Arab Spring

How much action does one group need to take in order to get political reform in their home country? This was one of several questions going through my mind while I read this article. The author did an excellent job explaining the history, government structure, dominating religions and the overall status quo of the political atmosphere in Saudi Arabia. It helped me brush up on the type of government that was established and a brief description on who was running it. But anyways the main focus was about young activists from all different areas of society: young, old, poor, working-class, you name it was in favor for dramatic political reform. Similar to the young people in Egypt, they wanted equal rights for all. But on the other hand, the major difference between the overall protests against these regimes is the reaction from the regimes themselves. As I read more about the article the Saudi Arabian regime made a significant difference in economic reform instead. With money gained from U.S. aid, donations and other outside channels, they used that money to establish the creation of more jobs and subsidized housing. At first I thought this was amazing that the younger, poor citizens are gaining some economic benefits for at least the short-term. But as I kept reading it looked more and more this was a temporary fixed to the long-term problems. It turns out the regimes economic reform had ulterior motives, it was a means to help stomp out the protests for political reform by targeting in their minds the backbone of the revolution: the young and poor. So in turn their efforts was semi-successful and it was only a momentary distraction than an actual obstacle. So their struggles reminded me of what I learned from a different class discussing how long it takes for those long-term problems to be solved. I believe these individuals may not get the political reform they want by tomorrow or in a month or so. But with enough hard work and determination, they will get the equal rights they truly deserve.

Political Reform in Arab Spring

2 thoughts on “Political Reform in Arab Spring

  1. lizpina says:

    When reading the article, I felt somewhat similar. I first thought how great it was that the different documentations constitutional reformist were establishing were making a difference, however, the more I read the more it seemed like the regime was punishing them rather than assisting their needs. Like you said, it’s commonly seen that some solutions to theses issues are only temporary. It seems like the problem is not getting the word out and doing something about it, it getting word out on the issues and struggles their facing and getting the regime to implement a long lasting solution.

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  2. janakornely says:

    I like how you pointed to the fact that the solutions are only short-term oriented and don’t help to bring around change for the long term. I think that this is a common reaction by governments to citizen protests, show them some proof that you care about them and hope that they will forget about the issue. Sometimes immediate and short-term help is needed, e.g. in Flint people needed drinking water right away and handing out bottled water was not a bad idea, however, it is not nearly enough, as long-term measures need to be taken as well. It is important that people keep fighting not only the symptoms, but also the cause and don’t let the authorities put them off with small conceccions that do hardly any good.

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