Does a growing global youth population fuel political unrest?

Young people under 30 are the majority in many countries in the Middle East and South America, yet politicians do little or nothing for them. Is the demographics of the ‘youth bulge’ enough to explain the huge rise in disaffection? Patrick Kingsley reports

Pictured: Yemenis shout slogans during a rally in the capital, Sanaa, on 18 September 2013. Photograph: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

From astronomers to Star Wars fans, tourists flock to Tunisia’s desert dunes

Deep in Tunisia’s Sahara desert is an otherworldly planet familiar to Star Wars fans: Tatooine, the twin-mooned childhood home of Darth Vader.

Once a pilgrimage site for aficionados of the cult sci-fi film, the dune-swept landscape that provided the backdrop for almost every Star Wars movie, among many others, has been out of reach since the Tunisian uprising, which kickstarted the Arab Spring three years ago. Now, as the North African country inches towards a successful transition to democracy, many hope that will change. Read more

Photograph: Chris Howes/Wild Places Photography/Alamy

cc: starwars

In April last year Ahmad Mohammad left his village in northern Syria filled with its pomegranate trees, figs, and goats, and moved to Lebanon. He came back five months later with a certificate in mobile phone maintenance – a weapon more powerful than Bashar al-Assad’s helicopters and tanks.

While he was away Mohammad learned how to upload videos to YouTube – a website banned by the Syrian regime. “Nobody in Syria knew how to do this,” he said.

'If there were global justice, Nato would be in the dock over Libya'

Seamus Milne writes for Comment is Free:

A year after the western powers tried to make up for lost ground in the Arab uprisings by tipping the balance of the Benghazi-led revolt, Libya is in the lawless grip of rival warlords and armed conflict between militias, as the western-installed National Transitional Council (NTC) passes Gaddafi-style laws clamping down on freedom of speech, gives legal immunity to former rebels and disqualifies election candidates critical of the new order. These are the political forces Nato played the decisive role in bringing to power.

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Tahrir Square on Sunday night as riot police and troops failed to disperse crowds demanding Egypt’s ruling generals hand over power. Photograph: Mohamed El-Ghany/Reuters

'History haunts Egypt's revolution'

Magdi Abdelhadi writes:

Unlike Libya, where the removal of the brutal Gaddafi regime is complete, Egypt has so far managed only to get rid of the Mubaraks and a few around them. The regime itself, with the army and the security apparatus at the centre, remains largely intact. And no more so than in the shape of Scaf – the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – whose members were handpicked by Mubarak and whose chief, Field Marshal Tantawi, is now de facto head of state (…) Does this make Egypt’s revolution failed or incomplete? Possibly yes, if you consider revolutions to be a point in time. But if you believe that a revolution is a more complex process than removing a dictator, then the jury is still out. And the Egyptian revolutionaries cling to that hope.

Read ‘History haunts Egypt’s revolution’ in full.

Tunisia’s voters go to the polls in Arab spring’s first election

Egypt, football and revolution

Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, politics has entered every aspect of Egyptian life - even football. This is most evident in the Cairo derby, a game between arch rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek

Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man

Tom MacMaster’s wife has confirmed in an email to the Guardian that he is the real identity behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog

Egypt 100 days after the revolution: ‘A mini-Mubarak in every institution’

One hundred days after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s prospects are clouded by insecurity, economic worries and sectarian violence. Four Egyptians outline their views of their post-revolutionary country