Friday, November 22
6:oo pm to 7:30 pm
World Policy Institute
December 17 marks three years since the self-immolation of a 26 year-old Tunisian fruit and vegetable vendor that sparked a domino effect of uprisings against autocratic rulers from Casablanca to Manama. Three years later we wonder: was it worth it? After catalyzing the spread of "dignity revolutions" throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisia has stood witness to political assassinations. Egypt—after undergoing parliamentary elections, a presidential election, and drafting of a new constitution—saw its Armed Forces remove its democratically elected President, Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi, last June. What began in Syria as a largely nonviolent, nonsectarian, noninterventionist movement against the Assads’ four decade dynasty has unraveled into a profoundly deadly, international, geopolitical proxy war flanked by humanitarian relief and refugee crises. What did these uprisings heard around the world accomplish? Where are they now? Can we even begin to predict where they are going?
This Political Salon features HuffPost Live host and producer Ahmed Shihab-Eldin and University of Southern California doctoral candidate and freelance journalist Maytha Alhassen, co-editors of Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions, a collection of essays written by young Arab activists. Shihab-Eldin and Alhassen will discuss and reflect on the past, present and future of the region; the role of youth, women, and social media in the uprisings; and the centrality of "dignity" in these enduring "revolutions."