CBC's Nahlah Ayed on the Middle East

What the future holds


CBC’s Nahlah Ayed on the Middle East

Nahlah Ayed, London-based foreign correspondent for CBC Television, says the Arab Spring that erupted in the Middle East beginning in late 2010 was born in euphoria but its legacy is mainly one of dashed hopes. Ayed spoke recently to several hundred people at Carleton University in Ottawa at the invitation of the School of Journalism and Communication. She was a graduate of that program in the 1990s and later worked for five years as a Canadian Press reporter covering politics in Ottawa. Then she took a bold step and left in 2002,  determined to cover developments in the Middle East. For the next decade she lived and reported from the region for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She was on the ground when the Arab protests and uprisings spread across northern Africa, notably in Egypt, and eventually into other countries such as Syria.

Ayed described in her talk a region where “fatalistic resignation” has long been the overwhelming sentiment. “There was always something that would ruin hope,” she said. “The Arab Spring provided a glimmer of new hope when young people took to the squares demanding change, but that hope is in great danger of being dashed.”

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Canada and the propaganda war in Ukraine

Deadly name-calling

Vladimir Putin trades propaganda barbs with the West

Truth, as the saying goes, is the first casualty of war. There is no war in Ukraine yet, but the potentially violent standoff has been accompanied by an inflated war of words, …

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Preston Manning and Stephen Harper

A pained and strained relationship

Preston Manning’s painful relationship with Stephen Harper

The Manning Centre’s annual Ottawa-based gathering of Conservatives has come and gone for another year. Reform Party founder Preston Manning and his wife Sandra created the organization in 2006 to act as a training ground for …

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Canadian CEOs make 171 times the average

It’s time to talk about a maximum wage

Peter Drucker, “limit executive pay,” Photo courtesy Creative Commons

In November 2013, people in Switzerland voted in a referendum on something called the 1:12 Initiative for Fair Pay. Under that proposal no one in a Swiss company would earn more in a single month than someone else in that company earns in an entire year. Corporate spokespersons in Switzerland and some in government warned of dire negative economic consequences if such a proposal were accepted. Although it was defeated by a significant margin, it is significant that the issue was being discussed at all.

It is a debate that we should have in Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reports that in 2012 Canada’s top 100 CEOs pocketed an average of $7.96 million. That was an income equal to 171 times that of the average Canadian worker, and 194 times that of the average female worker.

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Canada's war in Afghanistan

Was it worth it?

Canadian soldiers firing artillery in Afghanistan, Courtesy Creative Commons

The long war in Afghanistan has receded from our attention, but as we  prepare to pull our last troops out the media spin cycle has been renewed …

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Edward Snowden's future

Whistleblower pulls back curtain on CSEC

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, Wikipedia photo

Some people believe that Edward Snowden is a traitor and would haul him into a U.S. court if they could get their hands on him. However, countless others believe that Snowden, a young technician who exited …

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Stephen Harper in Israel

Politics and flawed principle

Stephen Harper addresses Israeli Knesset

Stephen Harper has returned from a feel-good trip to Israel on which he was accompanied by an entourage of 208 people, largely at government expense — cabinet ministers, MPs, Senators, rabbis, officials from …

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Religious freedom and gender equality at York University

When a male student at York University recently requested — for religious reasons — that he be excused from interacting with female classmates, it led to an intense debate over competing rights and religious accommodation.

The school’s sociology professor, Paul Grayson, denied the request because he says it infringed upon the rights of his female students …

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