Synopses & Reviews
When Mohammad Bouazizi sets himself on fire on December 17, 2010, he started a series of extraordinary events that spread across the Middle East with stunning rapidity. In less than a month, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia, ending a twenty-three year regime. Shortly thereafter, on 11 February 2011, President Mubarak of Egypt stepped down after nearly thirty years in power.
In The Arab Revolution, Jean-Pierre Filiu offers a concise but sweeping account of the earth-shattering revolts that began in Tunis and continue today throughout the Middle East. Stressing the deep historical roots of the events, Filiu organizes the book around ten lessons that illuminate both the uprisings in particular and the region in general. He shows, for instance, that these movements didn't erupt out of thin air--Arabs have been fighting for their rights for more than a generation. The author sheds light on the role of youth--whose anger is power, he notes, and who embrace the message "tomorrow is yours, if you fight for it"--as well as the important role that social networks played in Tunisia and Egypt. Filiu also argues that in the aftermath, jihadists are in a difficult position, because the essentially peaceful grassroots protests in Tunisia and Egypt have undercut their message of violence and indeed have called into question their relevance. The book also reveals that, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the Arab uprising, Palestine remains the central concern throughout the Middle East.
By shining a light on these lessons rather than providing a strictly chronological account, Filiu provides a far richer and deeper portrait of the revolutionary movements sweeping the region--as well as an insightful look at life in the Middle East today.
"Jean-Pierre Filiu's book provides a remarkable, in-depth analysis of the 'Arab spring,' putting it in perspective and exploring its long-term consequences. Thanks to his exceptional knowledge of the Middle East, Filiu has been able to grasp the meaning of this revolution and make it comprehensible for a wide readership."--Olivier Roy, author of Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways and Globalized Islam
"Few writers bring teh combination of diplomatic, policy-making, and scholary experience to analyzing the Arab revolutions as does Jean-Pierre Filiu. And none but him could have written such an authoritative and spot-on analysis of the causes, implications, and possible futures of these momentous events as the are unfolding. This book will be the gold standard against which the flood of soon-to-appear books on this subject will surely be measured."--Mark LeVine, author of Heavy Metal Islam, Professor of History, UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting Professor, CMES Lund University
"With this timely, major book on the subject, we have the Arab revolution of 2011 recorded as a major event in world history. Filiu, the leading French authority on the politics of the Arab world, convincingly treats the Arab revolution, which has so far succeeded in Tunisia and Egypt, as a singular event whose consequences will unfold in the coming decads. The ten lessons capture the main import of this great event, and the appendices give the reader a flavor of its tenor. A book written with great verve and for the general public."--Said A. Arjomand, Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and Director of of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies, State University of New York
"Filiu...has distilled a great deal of knowledge and sensitive and well-written analysis into this first take on the new Arab awakening." - Financial Times
"Filiu's timely, concise and authoritative book makes the complexities of the rapid political changes sweeping the region comprehensible, even for the most casual observer." --The National (Abu Dhabi)
About the Author
is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and has held visiting professorships at both Columbia University and Georgetown University. His book The Apocalypse in Islam
was awarded the main prize by the French History Association. His books on the Arab world have been published in a dozen languages.
Table of Contents
1. Arabs are no exception
2. Muslims are not only Muslims
3. Anger is power for the younger
4. Social networks work
5. Leaderless movements can win
6. The alternative to democracy is chaos
7. Islamists must choose
8. Jihadis could become obsolete
9. Palestine is still the mantra
10. No domino effect in the renaissance
1. Lyrics of "Mister President" by El-General (Sfax, December 2010)
2. Manifesto of the Gaza Youth (14 December 2010)
3. Message of the April 6th Movement (Cairo, 15 January 2011)
4. Comments by Sheikh Salman al-Awda (Riyadh, 7 February 2011)
5. Communiqué of the Revolutionary Youth (Cairo, 12 February 2011)
6. Charter of the National Transitional Council (Benghazi, 2 March 2011)
7. Statement of the Syrian local coordination committees (22 April 2011)