Frank Beuken is a Blogger and a political analyst, he talks to Al-Rasub about his coming novel and changing political conditions of Arab world..
Al-Rasub: Frank, can u tell us briefly about your younger years and school College life .
Frank Beuken: I was born in Baarn, The Netherlands. I have seen many schools as my parents moved quite a lot. Several places in the Netherlands, France and Belgium. High school was my highest grade. Due to severe problems at home I ran away and lived temporary in a shelter home. I first tasted freedom when I lived in a town called Nijmegen in the Netherlands. I became active in protests against government decisions which were undermining normal civil rights. As well against American weapons to be place in the Netherlands. I spent many of these years in the so called underground culture of the town. Evenings were filled with philosophical discussions with friends which lasted often till the next morning. In 1994 I became a Muslim, after an Iraqi family had introduced me to this religion..
Al-Rasub: You have a very close look on Arab Spring, will you explain the context of Arab Spring ?
Frank Beuken: From the first moment in Tunisia when a boy set himself on fire out of pure frustration against the authorities, my attention for the Arab spring was born.
Of course I was always against suppression and followed the news in Romania 1989 when the dictator Ceausescu was captured and shot by a military tribunal. The people of that country suffered for many years just because one man “owned” the country and found he had the right to abuse the people. With fear for their lives, young people, supported by miners dared the stand up against this cruel man. With the fast that 1 of 5 men in Romania had served the Securitate (Secret services) they were never sure who to trust. But they won with the right spirit.
In Tunisia the young people found the strength to stand up as well and they succeeded. Egypt followed, then Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and many more countries. The young people just had enough of these cruel dictators. All they wanted was respect, jobs and a normal future without fear.
Al-Rasub: How do you think Arab spring gets its targets ?
Frank Beuken: The Arab spring was already very successful. Several dictators fled or were killed. The people took back what belongs to them. The country itself. It is now important to stay focused. A good example is Egypt now with Mursi, who wants to get more power than Mubarak had. Maybe his intentions are good and does he really wants to protect the revolution but it is unacceptable for the people on Tahrir square. Many of their friends died or are in prison. Mursi needs to listen to them. Not to Tantawi, who in my opinion is still very much in power. Often I wonder if Mursi is a puppet from the army and with this idea, a democracy is still far away. And the youngsters on Tahrir are aware of this.
Al-Rasub: There is a common perception in many groups in Muslim world that Arab Spring is American funded moment, what are your observation and opinion ?
Frank Beuken: Personally I think it is the biggest offence for all these young people who have given their lives for the revolution. The first real proof that America couldn’t be in control, when Obama mentioned the resign date of Mubarak. But it didn’t happen. Mubarak stayed in charge. Obama lost his face with this awkward moment. People who believe that foreign powers have set up the Arab spring, are conspiracy thinkers. People who always believe that higher powers are behind it. The Arab Spring is pure and started and finished by these brave young people.
Al-Rasub: Some critics says that Arab spring divided Muslim world or specially Arab world in two groups, Liberal and Fundamentalist and they give the examples of Tunisia and Egypt what you think ?
Frank Beuken: These critics are often people from the west, with a huge lack of knowledge of the Arab world. Remember that Ben Ali, Khadaffi, Mubarak and now Assad as well, always mentioned the danger of fundamentalists? They wanted to warn the nation for a fear what doesn’t really exist. I mean of course there are extremist groups but they do not have the power to set the revolution in their direction. Personally I believe Al Qaida is a myth. In a sense that it isn’t a worldwide terroristic group. Every extreme group uses the name Al Qaida to impress the world. Fear is a tool to make the nation to believe in their leader, to protect them against evil.
Al-Rasub: What will be or should but the outcome of Arab spring like moments ?
Frank Beuken: To my opinion this isn’t an issue what will be solved in one or two years. Of course the expectations of the western world are probably the same as the people in the Arab world. We all hope that democracy is installed within a short time. That is the ideal world but unfortunately, reality is otherwise. People lived for over 30 years under suppression. Most of the people, survived by adapting them to the system. And for most families, the basic things are important: A home, a job, to be able to feed your family. Now everything is turned upside down. Suddenly the oppressor is gone. Security forces fell apart and people feel liberated. But then, reality of all day life comes around: Homes, jobs, feed the family etc. To be honest, I think it will take up to 30 years to have a full stable country again. Don’t forget; most people think the same way: Freedom. But still there are many groups who are still either supporting the former dictator or groups who want to take over control. Also these people need to be given a place in the new society. They cannot be ignored, as they are there. It will take a full generation before the whole consensus is a fact.
Al-Rasub: What kind of lessons can be learned from Arab spring, especially in Muslim word.
Frank Beuken: The revolutionaries must stay focused until the end. They have to stay alert until a democratic constitution is established and protected.
Al-Rasub: Tell us something about your Books and what inspires you to write a book ?
Frank Beuken: With all the information and all the conversations I had with revolutionaries from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya I felt to do something. To write a book was a long time wish from my and what subject was better than the Arab Spring. What I did is I combined the protests in a novel. It is a story based on the Arab Spring. The reader will experience the protests in the streets, social behavior and to see a world which is so different than west Europe but so very much alike as well. After all, we are all human beings. This book is an ode to the young man, or the young girl in the middle of the freedom fights. The book is written in my language, Dutch, but soon it will be available in German and English. Inshallah soon in arab as well.
Al-Rasub: What keep you busy during your free time?
Frank Beuken: Since August I started to write a new book. Again a novel in which east meets west. Still I talk a lot with people from “the arab spring” countries.
Al-Rasub: What are your future projects on which you are working or you want to work?
Frank Beuken: As said, my new book of course. Secondly, my wish for next year, is to meet the people I had contact with in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.
Al-Rasub: Your message for our readers ?
Frank Beuken: Believe in mankind. Stay focused and let’s unite because, we are in a far majority compare to small extremist groups who want to tell us how we have to live. So we can win and make this world a better place for all. Respect, dignity, peace and a future for all.
Frank Beuken can be reach at: