from Middle East Matters and Middle East Program

Voices From the Region: Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Yemen

February 19, 2013

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“We do not talk about Morsi’s legitimacy, but rather about his credibility in dealing with the problems of the ordinary Egyptian citizen…We are against his policies, and just as he is legitimate, the opposition is too.” –Former Arab League chief Amre Moussa speaking on behalf of the National Salvation Front

“Am I a foreigner? Are we second-class citizens? Are we your enemies? We are Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninevah and Salahuddin.” – Iraqi cleric Saad al-Fayadh in front of thousands of worshippers in Ramadi

“They must go, all of them, including the prime minister…The game is over. If they stay, one fears to see other assassinations in this climate of fear and violence.” – Besma Belaid, widow of slain Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid

“It seems to me that [Assad’s] chances of staying [in power] are shrinking day by day.” –Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev

“I didn’t say women should not protest. Protesting is a right that I cannot deprive them from. All what I said was that they shouldn’t go to protests if they know beforehand they might be harassed or even raped.” –Egyptian preacher Ahmed Mahmoud Abdullah, known as Abu Islam

“Fordow will never be shut down because … our national duty is to be able to defend our nuclear and vital centers against an enemy threat.” –Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chief of Iran’s parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee

“I am not sure of the threats, but I prefer to do what is necessary because no one knows what will happen with the weapons that are in people’s hands.” –Abdelmalek Haj, a Libyan, explaining why he had moved his family out of the capital

“I envy the Egyptians…There, the independent activists at least have a voice. Here, we have none. There, they have a unified army. Here, everything is divided, and nothing has changed.” – Radhia al-Mutawakel, a Yemeni political activist

“Egyptian measures against tunnels have worsened since the election of Morsi. Our Hamas brothers thought he would open up Gaza. I guess they were wrong.” –A tunnel owner, who identified himself only as Ayed