Tag Archives: Arab Spring

Mona El-Ghobashy: “The Arab Uprisings and the Many Meanings of Revolution”

After ten years as the Arab region’s only functioning democracy, Tunisia is now imperiled by a presidential strongman who in 2021 dissolved parliament and attacked the judiciary, and in 2022 rewrote the constitution to reflect his plebiscitary conception of direct democracy. Egypt is governed by a personalized military dictatorship that incarcerates or eliminates all forms of opposition, even its erstwhile business cronies. Yemen, the Arabian peninsula’s sole republic, is ravaged by an air war between a Saudi-UAE alliance and Houthi rebels, rendering 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. In Syria, the nationwide uprising did not end the 50-year rule of the al-Assad dynasty. With military support from Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has subjected Syrians to staggering state violence; over half a million have perished and 13 million forced to flee their homes.”

Zeynep Tufekci: “I Wish I Could Ask Alaa Abd el-Fattah What He Thinks About the World Now”

“These days, I wonder even if he would turn into a cynic, observing how far the world has turned its back on the Arab Spring generation of young men and women who dared to hope. Many are languishing as political prisoners, often under horrendous conditions.  I can’t ask what he thinks, though, because he’s been in prison for most of the past eight years.”

Karim Alrawi: A Time of Monsters: On Alaa Abd el-Fattah’s “You Have Not Yet Been Defeated”

“In a series of personal accounts and short essays, Alaa takes the reader through the last eleven years, as the progress towards democracy in Egypt was rolled back by a degree of repression unknown in the country’s modern history.”

Robert Solé: “Ten Years of Hope and Blood”

“But in Lebanon, as in Algeria or Sudan, the game is not over. The same can be said of all the countries that have experienced a “Spring”, however fleeting, followed by a counter-revolution. The Arab peoples now know that it is not enough to overthrow an authoritarian regime to achieve democracy. Elsewhere in the world, the road has always been long and painful. Refusing to despair, the most committed or lucid citizens are trying, in Gramsci’s words, to combine the pessimism of intelligence with the optimism of will.”

“A Decade After the Arab Spring, Autocrats Still Rule the Mideast”

“Ten years later, the collisions between that old order and the popular uprisings across the Middle East in 2011 that became known as the Arab Spring have left much of the region in smoldering ruins.”

Zaynab El Bernoussi: “The Arab Uprisings Ten Years On”

“a dignity lesson from the Arab world to the rest of it … about a need to develop political institutions, empower the youth and expand their share of the economy, and, finally, accept diversities at last.”

“Refusing to forget a revolution: The Arab Spring”

“An event, a revolution, is neither objectively caused so as to be explained, nor subjectively undertaken under some calculus of rational self-interest susceptible to an evaluation based on the success or failure of meeting the chosen ends.”

“A new Arab Spring?”

“East London rs21 held a meeting in May 2019 on the uprisings in Algeria, Sudan and Morocco. The speakers discussed the movements demanding change, the counter-revolutionary forces lining up against them, and the role of international solidarity.

“In solidarity with the Sudan revolution”

“After months of protests, strikes, occupations, the Sudanese state has unleashed a wave of repression against the insurrection. Yet even in face of this terror, millions have now joined a general strike to bring down the regime.  Rebellions are contagious, and with Algeria also in revolt, the region’s authoritarians sense fear; the moment when everything becomes possible.”

Understanding the post–Arab Spring world

Asef Bayat: Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring (Stanford 2017).  “Setting the 2011 uprisings side by side with the revolutions of the 1970s, particularly the Iranian Revolution, Bayat reveals a profound global shift in the nature of protest: as acceptance of neoliberal policy has spread, radical revolutionary impulses have diminished. Protestors call for reform rather than fundamental transformation.”