Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Middle East in Turmoil

What started in Tunisia and blazed through Egypt is now showing itself in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Civil unrest against oppressive regimes is seeing a surge in North Africa and the Mideast. With citizens in the region taking steps toward over throwing leaders they view as unfit to lead. The poverty of their lands, the cruelty of their dictators and the ability to connect to others through social media have all played a part in getting oppressed people to pursue building the kind of government they want. To give you more background on the situation in the Mideast, please take a look at some Commonwealth Club materials on the issue.

Egypt & the Middle East: Revolutions 2.0

Inspired by the Tunisian people, Egyptians took to the streets in protest of Hosni Mubarak and eventually toppled his 30-year rule. Through Google and Twitter, they began peaceful protests that led to a mostly nonviolent revolution. But just how big was the role of social media in the revolution? And how will the power of Facebook affect world governments going forward? Join The Commonwealth Club's Inforum division on March 10th for a panel discussion of journalists who covered the revolution as they try to answer those questions and others.

Reza Aslan: Bridging the Middle East and America Through Culture

The Arab world is bogged down with the stigma of being an angry society. But the non-violent protests in Tunisia and Egypt paint a different picture. As countries of the Arab world show themselves in a different light – trying to achieve their goals for more representative and responsive governments peacefully – the American media is beginning to see a different side of the region. With the Middle East demonstrating itself as something other than a stereotype, now is the perfect time to learn more about its culture. Listen to Reza Aslan and a panel of artists as they discuss some of the cultural luminaries of the Muslim world.

Middle East Discussion Group

Finally, take your chance to join the discussion. The civil unrest in the Middle East is at the forefront of global news, and now is your chance to take part in a conversation examining what it all means. Come to the Middle East discussion group at the Commonwealth Club on February the 28th.

–By James Dohnert


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