Amnesty International on Arab Spring

Five years later, human rights are under attack across the region. Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them children, have been killed during armed conflicts that continue to rage in Syria, Libya and Yemen. The Syrian conflict has created the largest refugee crisis of the 21st century. In Syria, Egypt, Bahrain and other countries, governments are attacking free speech by locking up human rights activists, political opponents and critics, often in the name of counter-terrorism. What’s more, few have been brought to justice for the violence, killings and torture which took place during and after the protests of 2011. Together, we need to push countries to stop attacking civilians during armed conflicts. They must also stop locking people up just for criticizing governments, and bring to justice the people responsible for human rights crimes”.

“Isis is the result of ignoring the hopes of the Arab people whose desire for democracy, justice and decent living conditions gave rise to the Arab spring four years ago. This is something that must be understood if the present danger is to be tackled…Europeans must realise that our real enemy is not Isis; it is the state of chaos and breakdown in the Levant. Nothing they have yet proposed stands the slightest chance of ending it” ~ Jamal Khashoggi, Financial Times November 23, 2015

Tahrir jubilation

Jubilation in Tahrir Square, Egypt. Photo Mostafa Sheshtawy http://msheshtawy.com

Tahrir tartan

The Tahrir tartan charts the journey from dictatorship to democracy in the Middle East (Tahrir is a word of Arabic origin meaning ‘liberation’). The single black line signifies the martyrdom of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, the oppressed street trader whose desperate act of self-immolation ignited the revolution (represented by the red stripe) that has swept the region, catalysing similar movements worldwide. The green square represents the state building period when new institutions must be established to guarantee the basic rights and freedoms that people are fighting for. The double black lines symbolise statutory opposition, the cornerstone of any enduring democracy. This tartan honours the many thousands of Arab youth who risked everything to free themselves from the grip of authoritarian regimes, reclaim their dignity and shape their own destiny.

Scottish Tartan Register No. 10623; UK Patent Office No. 4022093