King of Bahrain handing out 2728$ per family after Mubarak was pressured to resign.
Many of Egypt and Tunisia’s neighbors have tried to adopt cautious reforms to stop similar protest movements in their own countries. On Thursday, the King of Jordan, King Abdullah, formed a new government with both an Islamist and five left-wing politicians among the 26 ministers after recent weeks where protesters in Amman demanded political and economic changes. Prime Minister Mohammed Abu Hammur has a difficult job as he needs to calm down the protesters who demand cheaper food and energy. At the same time he must reassure the World Bank and the United States, who fear that the economy is out of hand again with subsidies.
The little Gulf state Bahrain has a history with strong conflicts among Sunni and Shia Muslims and already last summer huge violent riots occurred. While Shiites form the majority, the Sunnis have the control. Although Bahrain has a parliamentary system, many Shiites feel that they have a harder time getting access to public benefits and jobs than sunnimuslims have. Monday is the 10th anniversary for the country’s constitution, and it has been notified of demonstrations. Precisely for close ties to the United States was one of the objections against the Mubarak regime in Egypt, and the same thing is been said about Bahrain. So as a solution, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, announced on Friday that all families will receive 2728$ to stop the planned protests.
U.S. allies in the Middle East have put hard pressure on Washington to keep a protective hand over Hosni Mubarak. Along with Jordan, countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel warned of the spread of contagion if Mubarak is expelled. Saudi Arabia is America’s other strong allies in the Arab countries.
In Kuwait, all demonstrations have been banned after yesterday’s Friday prayers in mosques.
This week it was suddenly possible to get in on Facebook and YouTube in Syria who follows after the neighbouring countries as these popular sites have been closed for three years.
Iranian television announced that Mubarak’s departure is a major victory for the Egyptian people but the opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi was placed under house arrest after he called for demonstrations on Monday. The aim of the demonstrations was to show support for the rebellion in Egypt and Tunisia.
In Yemen proclaimed President Ali Abdullah Saleh is already in early February that he will not seek re-election and that he did not want his son to take over power in the country. He has tried to calm the protests by promising half of the level of taxation and impose price controls on food.