The Global Progressive Forum, together with Solidar, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), the Arab Social Democratic Forum and CCOO, will organize a common workshop in Tunis on 25 March in the framework of the World Social Forum.
The hope that once inspired the uprisings has no turned into despair. Egypt went through a chaotic transition, ending with the ousting of Mohammed Mursi by the Egyptian army. The recent killing of activist Shaimaa Al Sabbagh shows that the original aspirations of the Egyptian people have not been fulfilled.
The war in Syria has led to 220,000 fatalities, 7,32 million internally displaced and 3,2 million refugees. What started out as peaceful protests by local committees, turned into a savage war between the Syrian government and competing Islamist groups. Today ISIS is holding the sceptre in the war against Bashar Al Assad, who is still conducting brutal attacks on his own citizens.
Libya and Yemen have been torn apart by civil wars and tribal infighting. While Yemen is facing a full-fledged civil war, internal strife and tribal infighting has weakened Libya, and it seems that Daesh is gaining the upper hand. The only country to come out of the uprisings unscathed seems to be Tunisia, where free and fair elections took place in October and November.
Today, no one talks about democratic transition anymore. Rather, the whole world struggles to find answers to deal with the unprecedented force of ISIS. We have to consider that the root causes of the uprisings might also be the driving forces behind ISIS: poverty, unemployment, social injustice, disappointment in the system. We need to counter the appeal of extreme Islamist movements by providing a solid, progressive alternative.