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Birth of the Arab Citizen & the Changing Middle East, The
edited by Stuart Schaar and Mohsine El Ahmadi

published 2016 6" x 9" • 326 pages
ISBN 9781566569736 • paperback • $25.00


The widespread revolt which began with the Tunisian revolution of December 2010 and inspired uprisings in several Arab countries is arguably one of the most important events to take place in the Middle East this century. Never has there been a more massive outpouring into the streets of people young and old calling for democracy, civil rights, and demanding a say in how and by whom they are governed. But despite the wide popularity of the uprisings, despite the successes and overthrow of major dictatorships, and despite the revolt’s enormous costs in human life and economic hardship, the Arab world remains a tense region, the so-called Arab Spring an unfinished and uncertain cause.
This collection of original essays by 21 internationally respected scholars and experts explores the underlying tensions and conditions that gave rise to the revolt—social, political, economic, and ideological—and explains how Arab citizens are defining new destinies for their societies. It begins with country by country studies of what transpired in many of the revolts and contains analysis of those societies which avoided mass upheavals. It also deals with social and cultural transformations in the realms of the symbolism of immolation, cinema, art, music, social and mass media, and economy that helped define new beginnings that confronted old entrenched forces.

This unique, insightful, and timely compendium, which combines the scholarship of both young and seasoned specialists, is an essential resource for understanding the popular uprisings and the future of the Middle East and North Africa.

Stuart Schaar is professor emeritus at the department of history at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He now teaches a course on the Arab Spring to American students studying abroad at Amideast, Rabat, Morocco. He is a recipient of a 2 ½ year Ford Foundation research grant and five John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowships. He is co-editor of The Middle East and Islamic World Reader (New York: Grove Press, 3rd ed., 2012).

Mohsine El Ahmadi heads Groupe de Recherche et d’Intervention Sociologiques, a research group dealing with sociological inquiry. He is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech and the International University of Rabat, Morocco. He is also Associate Researcher at the Paris-based Center of Analysis and Sociological Inquiry within the National Center for Scientific Research. He is the author of three books on the Islamist movement in Morocco and a co-authored book in French (with Fatima Mernissi) titled Dreams of Youth. He received a Fulbright Fellowship for Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2009-2010.

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