The Arab uprisings a decade on: Egypt and Tunisia

A Conference Paper by Miriyam Aouragh, published by Transnational Institute

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

Miriyam Aouragh


Dr. Miriyam Aouragh is a Reader at CAMRI. She has studied the implications of the internet as it was first introduced (“Web 1.0”) in Palestine (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2000-2008) to understand in particular the significance of techno-­social evolutions by analysing how a new technology coincided with the outbreak of a mass uprising (Second Intifada 2000-2005). She then focused on the political role of new internet developments, such as blogging and social networking (“Web 2.0”) for grassroots activism in Lebanon and Palestine (Postdoc, Oxford Internet Institute, 2009-2011). After earning a Leverhulme Early Career (UoW, 2013-2016) funding Miriyam set-up a critical research project in which she relates theory with online analysis through a focus on the complex revolutionary dynamics in the Arab world. In these new techno-social relations, marked by revolution and counter-revolution, she researched and wrote about the paradoxical context of online-revolution and cyber-imperialism. During fieldwork in Palestine, Jordan Lebanon and Morocco, she combined participant observation and interviews with media analyses and throughout her academic projects and collaborations in general, she relates online studies and observations with ethnographic (offline) methodologies, and theoretical focus on critical race, political-economy and infrastructures. Miriyam theorizes how the contradictions of capitalism shape the modes and meanings of resistance in the era of revolution and digital transformations. Her work is published in several books and journals (see Publications) including her own monograph Palestine Online (IB Tauris 2011), forthcoming book on Cyber Imperialism (2021) and monograph about the (r)evolutionary dynamics of protest in Morocco (2022). Miriyam teaching about internet, (global) media, (Middle East/race) politics and anthropology. She welcomes and supervises PhD students.


10 February 2021
Published By
Transnational Institute
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