The Arab Spring of 2011 was the first time in contemporary history that mass mobilisation and political protests toppled authoritarian incumbents in North Africa and the Middle East. More than six years after these dramatic events, how do citizens, among them activists from Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere, perceive the current situations in their countries? How do they envision the political futures in their societies, and to what extent will they be able to shape them? Moving away from the media and Western political focus on the day-to-day and often violent events in the region, this GIGA Forum aims to give voice to local perspectives from different movements in the Arab Middle East and North Africa.
Dr. Wendy Pearlman is an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University in Chicago. She is also a EUME–CNMS fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin. Her book We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria chronicles the Syrian uprising and war through testimonials from some of the hundreds of displaced Syrians whom she has interviewed since 2012. The book will be released on 6 June 2017 by HarperCollins.
Dr. Merouan Mekouar is an assistant professor at York University in Toronto. He is currently a guest researcher at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies. His book, Protest and Mass Mobilization. Authoritarian Collapse and Political Change in North Africa, published by Routledge in 2016, examines why some citizens decided to engage in protest activities while others preferred to support local regimes in four Maghreb countries.
Yazan Doughan, MA, is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies, where he is participating in a research project examining the effects of the Syrian war in Jordan. A social anthropologist by training, he is writing his PhD dissertation (“Corruption, Authority and the Discursive Production of Reform and Revolution in Jordan”) at the University of Chicago.
Dr. André Bank is a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies.