Is freedom on the march in the Middle East?

According to an organization called “Freedom House”: yes:

But the most significant improvements were noted in the Middle East, where Lebanon was upgraded from “not free” to “partly free,” despite a series of political killings that shook the country.

The Lebanese witnessed major improvements in both political rights and civil liberties following the withdrawal of Syrian troops based in the country, the report said.

It also noted elections held in Iraq, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories, the introduction of women’s suffrage in Kuwait, and improvements in Saudi Arabia’s media environment among other encouraging signs in the region.

“This emerging trend reminds us that men and women in this region share the universal desire to live in free societies,” commented Thomas Melia, acting executive director of Freedom House.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think that Freedom House is particularly biased for or against the US – considering the commentary made in the article about the concerns they had for things that went on here like what they called “sophisticated forms of gerrymandering.”

Perhaps the President has been right all this time?

Here’s a direct link to Freedom House’s press release regarding the findings reported in the above AFP article.

Here’s a look at Freedom House’s “About” page, for anyone interested in learning more about the organization.

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