New BLOG post | Has Covid19 put an end to the wave of popular uprisings in the MENA? | Georges Fahmi

The spread of Covid19 to the MENA region has coincided with a heightened period of popular mobilisation for political change in a number of countries, namely Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria. In response to the initial impact of the virus, all types of popular gatherings were put to an end in an attempt to contain its spread. This has provided the regimes in place some respite from the protests that have been taking place for months. More importantly, however, the current crisis has assigned greater credit to authoritarianism in facing the spread of the virus. Glorifying the Chinese model for its strict measures as a means to effective survival of the Covid19 challenge – unlike more relaxed measures in other democratic countries, including Western Europe and the US – has been widely advocated by authoritarian voices in the region to counter the narrative of those calling for political change.


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