Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Author Marwan Bishara Discusses the Invisible Arab

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Author Marwan Bishara Discusses the Invisible Arab

Article excerpt

Al Jazeera senior political analyst Marwan Bishara appeared at Georgetown University's Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center in Washington, DC on Feb. 14 to discuss his new book The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolutions (available from the AET Book Club).

Bishara began his remarks by suggesting that "context" and "perspective" have been lacking in discussions of the Arab revolutions. According to Bishara, many observers became enraptured by the initial successes of the protesters, and thus arbitrarily predetermined that the Arab Awakening would follow a positive trajectory. Due to the fact that the uprisings have not lived up to utopian expectations, Bishara opined that many individuals are now incorrectly portraying the region's transitions as failures.

Saying that he was inspired by the youths' capacity to conduct sustained and peaceful revolutions, Bishara admitted that he, too, succumbed to blind optimism for the first several months of the uprisings. However, he continued, the initial period of hopeful euphoria has given way to the much "less dreamy" reality that each post-uprising country must now confront a bevy of challenges. …

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