When global food prices rose to new heights at the end of 2007, protests and riots erupted in more than 30 countries. In Egypt, the food price hike led to fighting and death in the scramble for subsidized bread and an organized labor protest in the industrial town of Mahalla, which spread to other parts of the country. For some the growing popular tension from the 2007-08 food crisis marked a critical moment in the bourgeoning revolt that culminated in the 2011 uprising.
Thimar interview with Professor Ray Bush on the situtation of family farmers in the region and the political economic context they work in.
" When I was asked by FAO to draft a paper on North Africa and the Near East it was a hell of a challenge to think how to do something with a remit which is supposed to look at family farming in such a large and heterogeneous region, but also a region that has many common characteristics. It is clear to me that there are some organising principles, looking at family farming, which depart from the mainstream. And by that I mean the region is characterised by three very big processes that are very conflictual and promote an incredible social differentiation within countries and between countries in the region. So the organising principles I tried to explore are: the role that conflict and war play, what happens to environmental transformation not just global warming but other environmental concerns, and also what are the consequences of economic reform and structural adjustment."
The war on Yemen is only few months a way from its second anniversary. This savage attack on the country has taken an immense toll, but has hardly been in covered in the non-arabic media. The agricultural sector was and is particularlly targeted in the Saudi strategy of subjugation. This collection of newspaper articles, databases, research documents, and videos focuses on food, agriculture and related infrastructure as they have been targeted during the war and so to contribute to a documentation of the savageness of this assault.
This article in French explores the relationship of state power and irrigation projects on the Euphrates in Syria through a reading of the political economic history of this specific region and including post uprising protests. Although mass protests swept across most of Syria since March 2011, the Euphrates Project lands, a set of large-scale hydro-agricultural developments, remained relatively peaceful with only a small number of registered protests against the Syrian Regime. The purpose of this article is two-fold: first it points to the difference observed between this region and others via a reading of demonstration patterns in Syria; and secondly it explores the political and economic history of this region in order to hypothesize on power relations between the central Baathist state and inhabitants of the project areas.