Four years after uprisings swept the Middle East millions of people still struggle for freedom and social justice. In 2011 dictators fell and new movements emerged in countries from North Africa to the Gulf. Their demands won support worldwide and inspired a host of campaigns for radical change.
Challenged by the prospect of democracy, regimes have since attempted counter-revolution. Some have used extreme violence; some have encouraged sectarian division or attempted to co-opt and control organisations of the mass movement. Activists across the Middle East nonetheless continue to work for change.
This conference addresses achievements of the revolutions and the challenges that now confront them:
- what can we learn about struggles from below and the responses of the state?
- have attempts at counter-revolution been successful?
- how are activist networks sustained – and how can we support them?
The conference will draw on experiences in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Morocco – and other countries in which activists have attempted to launch movements for change. It will consider the centrality of Palestine for movements across the region – and the impact of the uprisings within Palestine. Speakers will include activists from the front line, with assessments from academics, human rights experts and media analysts.
Bahrain speakers include:
Bahrain Watch members John Horne, Ali Abdulemam & Ala’a Shehabi and the co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja
Gilbert Achcar – Anne Alexander – Miriyam Aouragh – Sherif Azer – Mohamed Boutayeb – Joseph Daher – Kamil Mahdi – Nadine Marroushi – Sameh Naguib and others.
Opening session (6-9pm, Friday 13 February) will be a screening of the documentary ‘We are the Giant’ plus panel discussion with Maryam al-Khawaja and others.