Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions

Overview

Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Arab Revolutions brings together soul stirring essays by Arab youth who have directly inspired and sparked a revolutionary spirit that toppled governments. Their stories, songs, and cartoons, told by over twenty contributors from nine different countries, meet at the crossroads between journalism and intimate diary entries. Each story captures the changes revolutionizing the region and especially social media's role in uniting like-minded...

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Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions

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Overview

Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Arab Revolutions brings together soul stirring essays by Arab youth who have directly inspired and sparked a revolutionary spirit that toppled governments. Their stories, songs, and cartoons, told by over twenty contributors from nine different countries, meet at the crossroads between journalism and intimate diary entries. Each story captures the changes revolutionizing the region and especially social media's role in uniting like-minded citizens through civic engagement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The essays in the third I Speak for Myself series prove that the revolution was televised, tweeted, and updated on Facebook. Muhammad Radwan, an Egyptian-American, describes choosing between living or tweeting as he found himself in a standoff between protesters and pro-regime forces in Syria. Dina Sadek, an Egyptian English literature graduate with bleak prospects, became a well-paid translator for a U.K. journalist covering the revolution. The essays focused on Bahrain are particularly shocking, with one former member of the Bahrain Parliament describing his days-long detention and torture. Some pieces (particularly the editors’ introduction) come across as self-indulgent and in stark contrast to the hardships, violence, and torture other contributors have endured and the sobering reality of the work that must be done yet. Most of the contributors are male, Western in outlook, and observers rather than organizers. Despite these shortcomings, the proud spirit of the young Arabs featured in this book shine through. Most readers will be inspired by little nuggets within, from the first all-Palestinian Model U.N. to the vendor selling “freedom tea” in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
The essays in the third I Speak for Myself series prove that the revolution was televised, tweeted, and updated on Facebook. Muhammad Radwan, an Egyptian-American, describes choosing between living or tweeting as he found himself in a standoff between protesters and pro-regime forces in Syria. Dina Sadek, an Egyptian English literature graduate with bleak prospects, became a well-paid translator for a U.K. journalist covering the revolution. The essays focused on Bahrain are particularly shocking, with one former member of the Bahrain Parliament describing his days-long detention and torture. . . . [T]he proud spirit of the young Arabs featured in this book shine through. Most readers will be inspired by little nuggets within, from the first all-Palestinian Model U.N. to the vendor selling “freedom tea” in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
Publishers Weekly

“This is a powerful—and disturbing—book. Don’t miss it!”
– Cornel West

“The voices in this book chronicle a time of courage, turbulence, and extraordinary hunger for change. An essential read for anyone interested in understanding the Arab revolutions from the perspective of the resilient young people who ignited and accelerated it all.”
– Arianna Huffington

“It would be hard to match the charge that courses through the stories of those who fought and bore witness to the ongoing wave of protests and uprisings in the Arab world. The authors are to be commended for their wise and far ranging-choices and for rendering them eloquently. A powerful answer to those who despair for the future of the region.”
- James L. Gelvin, author of The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know

“This book is essential reading for all those trying to understand an Arab world in profound transformation. It provides a fresh approach on a fundamental, and often misconceived reality that affects everything and everybody”
- Manuel Castells, author of Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication, University of Southern California

“After a decade of being the "terrorists", Arabs have become the "revolutionaries". The voices in this book capture this rare moment in history, revealing stirring stories, both personal and collective of the ongoing struggle for self-determination.”
-Dima Khatib, Latin America Correspondent, Al Jazeera

Library Journal
The first two volumes in the "I Speak for Myself" series brought together essays reflecting the views of American Muslim women and American Muslim men from different walks of like. This third volume is a collection of essays by 20 young contributors from nine Arab countries. They consider the uprisings that shook the Arab world from North Africa to the Persian Gulf in 2011 and beyond. Many of the contributors either live or were educated in the West. Moreover, they report as observers rather than field organizers of the various upheavals they report on. They are also well versed in electronic social media and help the reader understand the significance of the new modes of protest in the Arab world. All the essays are crisp and emotionally moving. The essays on Bahrain are especially worth reading as they portray the crimes of the Bahraini ruling family in a personal way that bland Western narratives on human rights abuses in Bahrain tend to deemphasize. VERDICT This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the still-unfolding revolutions in the Arab world and should benefit general readers as well as students of Arab politics and society.—Nader Entessar, Univ. of Southern Alabama, Mobile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935952718
  • Publisher: White Cloud Press
  • Publication date: 12/25/2012
  • Series: I SPEAK FOR MYSELF , #3
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,380,761
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Maytha Alhassen is a doctoral student candidate in American Studies & Ethnicity at University of Southern California. Alhassen’s writings have appeared on CNN, The Huffington Post, Counterpunch and in academic journals, and she has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and The Nation.

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is a journalist, producer and co-host of Al Jazeera English's "The Stream." Ahmed worked as a multimedia producer at PBS’s award-winning documentary series Wide Angle, and The New York Times. He helped launch The Huffington Post’s World section.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

A Young Man's Spark (Bouazizi) Anas Canon 1

Serendipity in Syria Muhammad Radwan 4

Bahrain Cartoon Carlos Latuff 15

Another Flight Maryam Al Khawaja 17

Flying into a Revolution Abubakr Al-Shamahi 31

From Nowhere to Somewhere Dina Sadek 45

Hopeless Optimism Rami Jarrah 57

Live-Tweeting a Revolution Sultan Al Qassemi 67

A Journey to Activism Yasmin Haloui 75

Egypt to Libya: Arab Solidarity 2.0 Adel Abdel Ghafar 88

I Do Not Read History, I Write It Achref Aouadi 103

Yemen Cartoon Carlos Latuff 116

Progress Is Painful, Costly, and Slow Atiaf Alwazir 117

Battling Bahrain's Crimes of Humanity Matar Ebrahim Matar 129

Not Your Prisoner by Arabian Knightz ft. Shadia Mansour 142

Muslim, Christian-One Hand! Adel Iskandar 145

After Years of Silence Baraa Shaiban 159

Escaping Politics: When It Runs in Your Blood, It Ain't Easy Dina Duella 174

Inspired by Revolution to Educate my Generation Jalal Abu-Khater 188

Faceless Brutality in Egypt's Revolution Sarrah Abdelrahman 199

It's about Dignity Omar Radi 208

By the People, For the People Hummingbird 217

Change in Saudia Arabia Is Inevitable Ahmed Al Omran 231

Domino Theory Cartoon Carlos Latuff 241

Domino Effect Omar Offendum 242

Afterword 246

About the Editors 251

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