Arab Spring/Catalogs

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An informational catalog, or several catalogs, about Arab Spring.


Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim

Grand Mufti of Egypt since February 2013. Formerly a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University.

Bashir al-Assad

President of Syria since 2000, following his father's 30-year presidency. (website)(BBC profile){Interview August 2011).
Authoritarian ruler. Accused of repression and "massive violation of human rights[1].

Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Leader of the Islamist Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade. Formerly a leading figure in Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Believed to have been responsible for the December 2012 attack on the Tigantourine oil installation in southern Algeria. (BBC Profile)

Abdul Hakim Belhaj

Leader of the Libyan Al-Watan party since its foundation in April 2012. Former commander of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Denies Al-Qaeda connections [2]. (BBC profile)(interview)

Abdelilah Benkirane

Prime Minister of Morocco since November 2011 ([BBC profile]). Leader of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika

President of Algeria since 1999. Autocratic head of a regime that has been accused by the UN Human Rights Committee of "massacres, torture, rape and disappearances".(CBS profile). Opponent of Islamic extremism.

Mohamed ElBaradei

Leader of Egypt's Constitution Party since its inception in April 2012. Nobel prize-winning law scholar and diplomat.(BBC profile) (CNN interview)

Muammar Gaddafi

Former President of Libya[3] from 1969 until his capture and death in October 2011.

Iyad Ag Ghaly

Leader of the Malian Islamist group Ansar Dine BBC profile

Rachid Ghannouchi

Islamic scholar, teacher, and activist, leader of the Tunisian Ennahda Party (Reuters profile).
An admirer of the political situation in Turkey[4]. Said to be widely considered as a moderate who believes that Islam and democracy are compatible (text of statement). Has no formal position in the current Tunisian government.

Ali Gomaa

Egypt's Grand Mufti (Berkeley Center profile)

Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi

President of Yemen since February 2012 (China daily profile). Vice President for the previous 17 years.

Riad Hijab

Former Prime Minister of Syria (Al Jazeera profile), who defected to the revolution in August 2012.

Mustapha Ben Jaafar

President of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly since November 22 2011. Founder and Secretary-General of Tunisia's Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (Ettakatol). Formerly a doctor and radiologist. (Tunisia Live profile).

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil

Former chairman, Libyan National Transitional Council. Former Minister of Justice BBC profile.
Advocates a democratic state based on Islamic law [5].

Hamadi Jebali

Prime Minister of Tunisia since November 2011. Former Secretary General of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda(Tunisia Live profile).

Mahmoud Jibril

Former Prime Minister of the Libyan National Transitional Council and international spokesman. Previously head of Libyan National Economic Development Board. Previously a lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh Daily Telegraph profile. Resigned on 24th October 2011.

Shokri Ibrahim Abdel Karim

Grand Mufti of Egypt since 18 February 2013. Formerly a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University[1].

Saad al-Katatni

Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party since October 2012. Former Speaker of the Egyptian parliament. (Carnegie profile) (CNN interview)

Abdurrahim el-Keib

Interim Prime Minister of Libya from 31 October 2011. An academic specialising in electrical engineering(BBC News) (Time interview)

Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa

King of Bahrain since 1999 (profile)

Ahmed Moab al-Khatib

President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, since its formation on 11 November 2012. Formerly the Imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and a respected figure within Syria profile.

Mohammed Magariaf

President of Libya's National Congress since August 2012, and interim Head of State. Formerly Secretary General of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, and previously a defector from the Gaddafi administration. (BBC profile)

Moncef Marzouki

Tunisian human rights activist, politician and physician. Leader of the Congress for the Republic political party.

Mahmoud Mekki

Former Vice-President of Egypt from August 2012 until his resignation in December 2012. Senior Judge and campaigner for the independence of the judiciary. (BBC profile)

Mohamed Morsi

President of Egypt from 24th June 2012 until 3rd July 2013. Former Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. Educated in the United States, Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005. Ousted from the presidency in a military coup. CNN profile

Mohammed VI

King of Morocco since 1999. There have been some economic and social liberalisation measures during his reign, but he has retained sweeping powers (BBC country profile).

Hosni Mubarak

Deposed president of Egypt. On trial for corruption and for ordering the killing of protestors<ref.Mubarak trial: Egypt's ex-president denies all charges, BBC News, 3 August 2011</ref>.

Hisham Qandil

Prime Minister of Egypt since 2 August 2012. Former water resources minister( profile).

Ali Abdullah Saleh

President of the Republic of Yemen (website)(BBC profile).
He has been urged to resign, by the United Nations Security Council[6] as per the Gulf Cooperation initiative, but he has rejected both the UNSC resolution and the Gulf Cooperation initiative [7].

Essam Sharaf

Interim Prime Minister of Egypt. US-educated civil engineer and former Minister of Transport (BBC profile)

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

Egypt's Minister of Defence since 2 August 2012. Leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Formerly interim Head of State since February 2011. Previously Minister of Defence from 1991 and general commander for the armed forces from 1995.(BBC profile)(Carnegie Endowment profile).

Ahmed Shafiq

Former Prime Minister of Egypt (Jan-March 2011), the army's unsuccessful candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

Ahmed el Tayeb

Principal of Al Azhar University [8]
Initiator of the Al-Azhar Document[2].

Ali Zidan

Libya's Prime Minister since October 2012. Former diplomat and outspoken critic of the Gafddafi regime (BBC profile).

Groups ideas and institutions

The AKP model

Turkey's ruling "Justice and Development Party "(Berkeley Center profile) has been described as adopting "passive, not assertive secularism"[9]. The AKP is said to be providing Islamist and non-Islamist Arab parties with a model of Muslim politics in a passive secularist, rather than Islamic, state. The party’s pragmatism encourages it to pursue policies for their substantive, but its not ideological, worth, but its commitment to promoting Islamic values allows the party .to pursue Muslim politics in a secular state.

Al-Azhar University

Al-Azhar University is the principal Egyptian centre of Islamic learning. In July 2011 its scholars issued a liberal statement of principles known as the Al-Azhar Document[10] . In 2012 it was defined in Egypt's constitution as " an encompassing independent Islamic institution, with exclusive autonomy over its own affairs, responsible for preaching Islam, theology and the Arabic language in Egypt and the world. Al-Azhar Senior Scholars are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law". The constitution also stated that "The post of Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh is independent and cannot be dismissed. The method of appointing the Grand Sheikh from among members of the Senior Scholars is to be determined by law". [11]. The outcome of the debate within Al-Azhar concerning the role of religion and the state promises to be influential in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world[12].

Dar al-Iftaa

Dar al Iftaa is the term for a centre of Islamic jurisprudence. Dar al-Ifta’ al-Masriyya (The Egyptian House of Religious Edicts) plays a consultancy role in the judicial system and is headed by the Grand Mufti

Grand Mufti

The highest official of religious law in a Sunni Muslim country. The Grand Mufti issues legal opinions and edicts, fatāwā, on interpretations of Islamic law for private clients or to assist judges in deciding cases. (website of the former Grand Mufti of Egypt).

Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt's largest Islamist organisation whose political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party won half the seats in the parliamentary election of February 2011, and whose candidate Mohamed Morsi was elected President of Egypt. (website) (BBC profile)

National Salvation Front

Egyptian opposition coalition formed in November 2012, comprising various liberal, secular and leftist groups. (BBC profile)


Nomads who inhabit the Saharan regions of North Africa - Niger, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Burkina Faso. Mainly Muslim but they are not strict followers of Islamic practices, and they are not considered to be Arabs. (UNHCR profile)