The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising

Synopsis

When Mohammad Bouazizi sets himself on fire on December 17, 2010, he started a series of extraordinary events that spread across the Middle East with stunning rapidity. In less than a month, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia, ending a twenty-three year regime. Shortly thereafter, on 11 February 2011, President Mubarak of Egypt stepped down after nearly thirty years in power.

In The Arab Revolution, Jean-Pierre Filiu offers a concise but sweeping account of the earth-shattering revolts that began in Tunis and continue today throughout the Middle East. Stressing the deep historical roots of the events, Filiu organizes the book around ten lessons that illuminate both the uprisings in particular and the region in general. He shows, for instance, that these movements didn't erupt out of thin air--Arabs have been fighting for their rights for more than a generation. The author sheds light on the role of youth--whose anger is power, he notes, and who embrace the message "tomorrow is yours, if you fight for it"--as well as the important role that social networks played in Tunisia and Egypt. Filiu also argues that in the aftermath, jihadists are in a difficult position, because the essentially peaceful grassroots protests in Tunisia and Egypt have undercut their message of violence and indeed have called into question their relevance. The book also reveals that, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the Arab uprising, Palestine remains the central concern throughout the Middle East.

By shining a light on these lessons rather than providing a strictly chronological account, Filiu provides a far richer and deeper portrait of the revolutionary movements sweeping the region--as well as an insightful look at life in the Middle East today.

Excerpt

On 14 January 2011, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia after a twenty-eight-day protest that terminated his twenty-three-yearold regime. On 11 February 2011, President Mubarak of Egypt stepped down after nearly thirty years in power. It had taken the democratic protest this time only eighteen days to oust the discarded ruler. The unprecedented success of those popular movements is still sending shockwaves all over the region. It also triggered some soul-searching among the various branches of expertise and scholarship, since nobody had foreseen or predicted the magnitude and speed of those revolutionary changes.

History is in the making in the Arab world, with all its turmoil and expectations, so it would probably seem safer for an historian to wait for this new picture to stabilise before daring to analyze and interpret it. But this Arab revolution already offers a fascinating body of experiences and data from which ten lessons can be drawn and discussed. The purpose of this book is to put this ongoing process in historical perspective and to go through this new set of realities and observations while the general situation is still so volatile and fluid. Any far-fetched conclusion is doomed to be preposterous, so the ten lessons here are just a modest contribution to the collective appraisal of this tremendous event.

A decade-long cycle, opened by the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, has come to an end with the demo-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.