PITAPOLICY tweets were underwhelmed with stories of human development, gender balance and other advocacy issues -- excluding voter discrimination. Take a look at the year in review: Yemen's poverty rate increases from 42 to above 50 percent with the upswing of Qat production. You know another country with dramatic increase of both poor people and a narcotic commodity -- the U.S. DoD already got that introduction.
TIME's 2012 Person of the year overlooked the intimidation of Malala Yousafzai who was wrongly accused of apostasy. Ironically, the International Business Times wrote about her courage, blogging, and fighting illiteracy. Predictably, Reason magazine contests the conclusions of both Foreign Policy magazine and official doctrine on drones about its real efficacy.
Chemical weapons and sectarianism headlines supersede Palestine's UN member vote and war crimes, like rape, in Syria. Thanks to Abu Aardvark's list of top 12 books, some will choose reading over social media or hysteria. More likely, as exemplified by Mona Eltahawy, it could be hysteria over social media with the hashtag #sexisapanacea.
We witnessed the annual contests at the Republican and Democratic conventions regarding who loves AIPAC more. Just when I think only Code Pink gets it and the mainstream media never will, American veterans stand up for no war with Iran to settle the nuclear score. Bob Schieffer sent me to the wicked '80s with his Freudian slip of Osama for Obama -- just like Cheney, Rumy, and Bush did by substituting Iraq with Iran -- curses upon that revolving door!
Two years ago, I wrote, "Ding Dong, the Pharoah's gone!", but then Morsi tripped me with some executive powers nonsense.
Nonetheless, the region has promise in the fields of social media, communication and technology: Take, for example, the savvy Egyptians that founded Qabila that combines education with animation to literally illustrate a voting analogy. Add to that Marwan Bishara who traces when the invisible Arab re-awoke, from intifada, to an activist pedagogy.
Saudi writer Turki al-Hamad tweets: "The world is busy with Iran's nuclear capability and we are busy with women driving...cars..." al-Hamad has now joined 30,000 other activists and intellectuals as political prisoners behind bars. The man's right: The GCC has an awkward obsession with Iran, like a Lifetime movie marathon on the perils of stalkers and relationship scars.
Bassem Youssef finally meets Jon Stewart, the American king of satire. Yet, Youssef's following does one better: It's watched in the Arab world -- it's not just good television when Al Bernameg can inspire. I can't wait for copycats to establish it in other countries -- it's better than bootlegged copies of Argo and imported theories that I'd rather retire.
What is the measure of freedom within a society to debate, cogitate and investigate? I request that Freedom House, and the like, to track black comedy and satire and incorporate it. The mark of personal freedom is the right to protest; the mark of society's freedom is the right to protest and laugh when leaders transform into characters that better relate.