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The Arab Spring: Between Hopes & Challenges

Arab Spring Countries Map

Jonathan Fine

1:30 p.m. February 11 2013

West Hall room 135

Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Center for the Study of Religion & Conflict and School of Politics & Global Studies.

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Two years ago, a series of dramatic events which led to mass demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt were coined by many Western scholars as "The Arab Spring." Some, like New York Times editor Tom Friedman, went as far as comparing it to the downfall of the Berlin wall and the USSR in the late 80s and early 90s. Others were even talking about the American and French Revolutions. Today, one must look back and try to evaluate the preliminary outcomes of these changes with some scepticism. This lecture will analyze the current situation in the region—with special emphasis on the role religion is playing in local politics—while focusing on major key players such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, the Maghreb, Syria, Turkey, The Palestinians and Israel. At the end of the day the major question is: where are we heading?

Dr. Jonathan Fine received his doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is a graduate of the Executive Course in Counter Terrorism at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT). He is a former advisor on arms control and conflict resolution at the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) strategic division planning branch. He is a researcher at the ICT,  a member of the International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, Kings College, London. His forthcoming book is: Holy War in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—A Comparative Analysis: Past & Present.