A decade ago on 14th January 2011, after weeks of historic protests, Tunisians deposed their decades-long dictator Ben Ali. Inspired by this revolutionary development, Egyptians embarked on an equally inspiring revolt which in barely 18 days culminated in the overthrow of Mubarak; another despot. These revolutionary uprisings shook the world in a few weeks and swept away western-backed tyrants – one after the other – in what is still undoubtedly among the most unforgettable historical events. The melodious chants “The people want the fall of the regime” echoed across the region and crossed several continents, expressing a deeply self-emancipatory transformative experience.
Like most revolutionary situations led by common peoples, the 2011 uprisings released enormous energy, a collective effervescence, an unparalleled sense of renewal and a major shift in consciousness. Despite an amazing show of resilience and people power, these revolts faced considerable challenges and setbacks.
The movements found themselves pitted against entrenched authoritarian and counter-revolutionary forces that were sent to crush them. But before we hurry to the aftermaths, and without declaring ‘revolutions’ the discursive property of a past tense, we intend to look back, to take stock precisely in order to look forward. This webinar is the first of a series – each with a different focus and angle -and will focus on Tunisia and Egypt, the birthplace of the magnificent revolts. The aim is to revisit these historical moments with some of the finest scholar-activists, participants and witnesses from those very contexts.
Hosted by Miriyam Aouragh and Hamza Hamouchene
Panelists Mabrouka M’barek: is a doctoral student in sociology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Chafik Benrouine: a Tunisian activist and economic analyst Hossam el-Hamalawy: an Egyptian journalist, photographer and activist