Understanding the Arab Spring and the Rise of the Islamists to Power
December 2012 marked the second anniversary of the Arab Spring – a movement for social justice and human rights that spread like a fire storm across Northern Africa and the Middle East, keeping the free world at the edge of its seat every step of the way.
Peaceful and unrelenting mass demonstrations forced the ouster of entrenched, despotic leaders such as Tunisia's President Ben Ali and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak. Arabs are experiencing their first societal evolution in fourteen hundred years. Free and fair elections are replacing regime-orchestrated self-selection. The Islamists, taking a page from the U.S. political play book, learned how to get out the vote. Overnight and via the ballot box, Islamist leaders find themselves out of the shadows and legitimately in power. Suddenly, they must learn how to govern a populous with zero tolerance for failure. Islamists are obliged to master the art of keeping their constituents happy, or run the risk of being voted out next time around. They can no longer shun the Western world, its financial and trade institutions, if they are to keep their campaign promises to voters who demand social and economic progression.
How long will the social unrest and political turmoil persist? What are the implications for the Western World and the future of global terror? What are the immediate and long-term challenges for U.S. foreign policy in the region?
This informal and entertaining seminar provides attendees with a solid understanding of what is transpiring in the Arab nations and why the Western world must exercise patience, understanding and restraint.