Tunisia and Algeria: the wind of anger rises

President Ben Ali’s promise on Televison yesterday night to create 300 000 jobs in the next two years will not appease the feeling of anger that blows among the Tunisian population. The mobilization and the protests in Tunisia over high unemployment and cost of living have actually been ongoing since the 17th of December 2010.  … Continue reading

Doing it Our Way

It all started out quite innocently, really. Another conversation with a close north african friend of mine about the obsession of the Arab societies for marriages, about the pressure young women have to endure to get married and about how families meddle into relationships and private affairs (one of the greatest laughs of my life … Continue reading

On Being an Atheist in the Land of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad

To be an atheist or an agnostic in the Middle East is an issue seldom analyzed or even talked about. We can consider it as a taboo in the region, in which religious identities are still a way to define individuals or groups and where religion plays an important role in your every day life … Continue reading

Lebanese Women: Yes, They Can (They just have to struggle ten times more)

It is a very rare occurrence that my father is all smiles in the morning. Like me, we’re both the grumpy-before-I-had-my coffee kind. It is an even more rare occurrence that my father actually smiles while reading the Lebanese newspapers. A look of contempt and disgust is usually more likely to appear on his face. … Continue reading

Social entrepreneurship: No, not a joke

I have a confession to make. I’m obsessed with Lebanese-made clutches and clothes. Now, I need you to realise that this is quite a statement for me to make. For centuries, women who studied and fought for what they believed in were not supposed to care about mundane things such as clothes and shoes. But … Continue reading

Obama’s Nobel Prize: An Arab perspective

Passionate debates on the web, in newspapers and more generally in the world Medias on Obama’s Nobel Peace prize granted last Friday have gone on for a few days now. Reactions from all over the world were manifested to the new successful laureate and especially from governments who mainly congratulated him. Civil society, personalities and … Continue reading

Blogging away, Arab style

Café Thawra is a blog, as you all know now, trying to give an alternative view of the Middle East and explanations on different events happening in the region. We like to think, Paola and me, that this blog ables us to be closer to the Middle East and always remain in contact with the … Continue reading


It’s Friday evening, and an animated crowd is pressing itself at the Pitoeff theatre in Geneva to attend the roundtable with five Lebanese authors during the Fureur de Lire Festival that’s focusing on Lebanon this year. The discussion, chaired by Farouk Mardam Bey ,director of the French Sindbad collection, and organised by Alain Bittar from … Continue reading

Pictures from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan

3 weeks of traveling between Lebanon, Syria and Jordan gave us time to take many, many pictures of these fascinating countries…We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did…Each ot them has a story, but I would like to relate the story of what I would call “the absent picture”. While walking in Beirut … Continue reading

A Coffee with Maya Zankoul

When Maya joins me for coffee on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Beirut, we have already tweeted, facebooked, texted and called each other. Thanks to Facebook and the 800 photos of me, she knows full well what I look like, but that doesn’t prevent me from texting her « I’ll be the girl in the … Continue reading