Representations and Reflections, from 9/11 to the Arab Uprisings
Chapter 5. Voices of Tahrir Square: Representations of Egypt and the Arab Uprisings
Chapter 5 Voices of Tahrir Square: Representations of Egypt and the Arab Uprisings Descriverei la rivoluzione con due parole: popolo, di cui ho parlato e scritto molto ma solo a Tahrir ho capito il suo significato; e morte… — alaa al-aswany In the preface to his highly regarded work The Second Arab Awakening, Adeed Dawisha writes that most observers had, in the early years of the twenty-first century, given up on the hope of meaningful political reform occurring in the Arab world and that no one could have anticipated the momentous happenings that were to sweep through Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and other parts of North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010.1 In their similarly esteemed commentary The Battle for the Arab Spring, Lin Nouiehed and Alex Warren argue that the event marked the end of a decade of protest, political activism and media criticism that prepared the ground for more open political systems. They point to the growing rejection of what they define as the uneasy marriage between inefficient Soviet-style bureau- cracy with crony capitalism, a combination which encouraged corruption and left younger generations facing few job prospects and an unremitting rise in the cost of living. They also point to the media revolution that had, through satellite TV and the internet, occurred across the Arab world in the decade leading up to 2011 and which served to undermine the basis of authoritarian governments. Yet, while they suggest ways in which the Arab Spring might have been predictable,2...
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