Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jashn-e-Tahreer : History As It Happens

New Socialist Initiative
Invites you to a discussion on

People’s March for Liberation:
The Upheaval Across Arab World

Qamar Agha
(Senior Journalist and Academic)

Bonojit Hussain
(Researcher and Political Activist)

Activity Center (Above SPIC MACAY Canteen),
Arts Faculty, DU; 2 pm, 18th
February, 2011

Background Note: The recent upsurge of people’s movements against decades of dictatorial regimes, especially in Tunisia and Egypt, and its ripple effect, could establish the year 2011 as the turning point in contemporary history, both of the region and the history of the world itself. If today the Egyptian people’s popular uprising is a mirror of the declining power of the US over its most precious Arab ally, then the geopolitical location of this uprising hints at the ‘possible’ demise of US imperialism in general. More specifically because US has high stakes in the Arab World due to its insatiable greed for oil, and Egypt being the key political player in the region.

While dominant section of political scientists the US have maintained democracy as something incongruous to Arab society and politics (thereby legitimizing dictatorial regimes in the region), the truth is otherwise today; the high handedness of a blinded theory like this is brought into serious discredit, which perhaps couldn’t have arisen if the ‘United States of America’ was not a failure in understanding and above all respecting Arab history as well as the world history.

The historic political turmoils in Tunisia, Egypt and rest of the region is a consequence of the sustained oppression of people’s rights and freedom. Though it might not be at the same scale as the Russian revolution that marked the inception of the 20th century, the events that have unfolded in Egypt and the Arab region indicates the potential of a people’s revolution. If the international community have been fed with the fear of potential Islamisation of Egypt after the January-February 2011 uprising then one needs only to read, hear and see the slogans during the three weeks of protests. Probably an immediate tectonic shift might not be visible as of now, but we surely do have this question of regional revolutionary change in general terms: we have the chance to watch a full dress rehearsal, as it were.

Qamar Agha (Senior Journalist and former Professor at Center for West Asian Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia University) will talk on the contemporary uprising in the Arab region with special focus on Egypt and Tunisia.

Bonojit Hussain
(Researcher and Political Activist) will speak about the role of New Social Media in popular uprisings across Asia in recent years and why "undemocratic regimes" feel threatened by the Internet and new media.


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