The Syrian Uprising and Mobilization 
of the Syrian Diaspora in South America

by Cecília Baeza , Paulo Pinto
published in MER284

The Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Asad’s government that began in 2011, and the armed conflict that followed, has generated a strong reaction among the large populations of Arabic-speaking immigrants and their descendants in both Brazil and Argentina. Institutions and community members mobilized in the past around political issues of the Middle East, such as the Palestinian question, the US-led invasion of Iraq and the Israeli bombing of Lebanon in 2006.

South-South Solidarity and the Summit 
of South American-Arab Countries

by Paulo Daniel Farah
published in MER284

A sense of deep connection has reverberated between South America and Arab countries since the early waves of Arab migrations to South America in the late nineteenth century. The Arabic language also played an important role in Brazil’s history. Most of the Muslim African anti-slavery activists and revolutionaries in nineteenth century Brazil wrote and spoke Arabic, or Portuguese and African languages using Arabic letters. Although there are more than 16 million Arabs and their descendants in Brazil, which constitutes the largest Arab community outside the Middle East, no Brazilian president had ever visited the region until President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003.

Stay Off the Street

by Jillian Schwedler | published May 21, 2014 - 8:31am

In a recent Slate article, Anne Applebaum makes the case that Egypt’s presumptive president-to-be ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi should look to India, Brazil or South Africa, rather than the United States or other industrialized states, for examples of how to “do” democracy. She rightly notes that Sisi’s argument that Egypt isn’t ready for democracy is an old standby for authoritarian regimes.