This article is based on the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) report on the situation of human rights in the Arab World (ʿAwad et al. 2010), which was issued in July 2010 and is comprehensive for the period extending from mid-2009 to mid-2010. This connotes a pivotal and decisive period when the Arab nation was obliged to confront critical decisions that will influence the future and the fate of the nation (ummah) for a long time to come.

Across a wide range of pivotal issues central to the Arab nation there have been decisive gains at the level of the right of self-determination in Palestine and Iraq, and at the level of civil peace and territorial integrity in the Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, as well as on reform and democratic transition in many Arab countries. For a very long time there has not ceased to be a choice between development, social policies and Arab economic cooperation in the period between two global crises, the first of which depleted Arab sovereign funds by half and the second of which is brewing ominously on the horizon of the global economy.

This paper tackles the most prominent features of the human rights condition through four main sections: the development of national legislation; political and civil rights; public freedoms; and developmental and environmental challenges and their impact on the implementation of social and economic rights.

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