Georgetown Expertise Showcased at Outreach Workshop on Authoritarianism and Protest in the Arab World

The CCAS educational outreach program held a workshop for pre-college teachers on February 22, 2011 to help understand current events in the Arab world. Four Georgetown professors spoke at the day-long program on campus titled “No Going Back: Authoritarianism and Protest in the Arab World.” The scholars explored the modern history of leadership in the region, analyzing the evolution of authoritarian rule and the basis of its intransigence as well as the possibilities for its demise. They considered the situation in Tunisia, after President Ben-Ali was ousted from power, the populist uprising in Egypt and its aftermath, future political scenarios in both countries, the “domino effect” on other Arab states, and the impact of these events on the Arab world and on U.S.-Arab relations. They also examined the role of the news and cultural media in these events—especially Al Jazeera, the Internet, and social networking sites—and how the state uses or limits the media, and the rich content of the protesters’ signs, jokes, songs, poems, and literary production. Speakers were Professors Samer Shehata, Noureddine Jebnoun, Elliott Colla, and Adel Iskandar.