Saoussen Ben Cheikh works for Internews, a media development organisation. She is a project director in a Closed States program supporting freedom of expression in the most challenging contexts of conflict, poverty and repression. She is currently overseeing a wide range of activities with local media and civil society focusing on development, peace building, gender and youth participation.
Saoussen was prior a PhD researcher on State and Conflict in the MENA region in the University of Nice (France).
Latest posts by Saoussen Ben Cheikh
All parties are hostile to human rights and “show no regard to international law or the lives, dignity and rights of the people of Yemen ... ”
“These past 10 post-revolution years, romanticised by the West, have solidified for us as more misery and living with the failing of state’s institutions."
Once the pride of Tunisia, the public health system has deteriorated since the 1990s because of corruption and deregulation in favour of the private sector.
"Not only are women at risk of contracting COVID-19, they are also exposed to an increased threat of sexual violence during the pandemic."
COVID-19 accelerated digitalization in Tunisia like no previous government could achieve, gaining more digital momentum in a single month than it had in prior decades due to corruption and inaction.
The pandemic disrupted FGM prevention measures in the Middle East, where the practice is widely underreported.
"We are the invisible hands. Our work is not valued. We don’t exist for the families we serve nor do we exist for the state."
When large-scale alcohol poisoning outbreaks occur, they make the news in the Middle East, but where is the political will to tackle this sensitive and controversial issue?
As leaders vie to frame narratives and control public opinion on COVID-19, social media is a battlefield where influencers, trolls, bots, and commenter armies fight for influence and power.
Women activists and journalists experience are particularly targeted online in attempts to intimidate, sow disinformation and discredit their work.
From counterterrorism to counter-COVID-19, governments use crises to impose continuous states of emergency in the Middle East
Fighting terrorism used to be the umbrella under which states of emergency were justified in the Middle East. Now, COVID-19 serves as a new justification for sweeping powers.
The coronavirus pandemic has once again exposed the dire state of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa and exacerbated the silent but deadly pandemic of domestic violence.
While the internet provides a lifeline in wealthy countries during COVID-19, this is not the case in conflict-stricken countries in the Middle East.
War-like rhetoric around COVID-19 has allowed governments in the Middle East and North Africa to execute emergency powers and impose draconian measures that would otherwise be unacceptable.
As part of their measures to counter COVID-19, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, the UAE and Yemen, have all banned print newspapers until further notice.