Lasting Impact of the Arab Spring Conflict the Focus of GU-Q Webinar


The Arab Spring uprisings took place a decade ago, but a panel of experts hosted by QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) say the events continue to have a major impact on the lives and activities of emigrants. Their analysis was shared at a webinar titled “Activism in Exile: Diasporic Communities in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings” organized by the GU-Q Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS).

Co-moderated by Dr. Abdullah Al-Arian, Associate Professor of History at GU-Q, and Dr. Sami Hermez, Director of the Liberal Arts Program and Associate Professor in Residence of Anthropology at Northwestern Qatar, the webinar featured a panel of scholars, activists, and practitioners. They explored the changing roles of the millions of refugees who fled to escape economic pressure, political repression, and violence as a result of their involvement in the Arab Spring.

“This is really an important and groundbreaking field, given that we’ve focused so much attention on the Arab uprisings, yet comparatively little on the conflict’s effects on these diasporic communities, and in turn, the impact of the diaspora on the uprisings,” explained Dr. Al-Arian. “In many ways, this is an incredibly important field to continue to examine.”

Participating experts included Noha Aboueldahab, Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institute, Nadwa Al-Dawsari, researcher, conflict practitioner, and policy analyst, Dana Moss, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and Lea Muller-Funk, Research Fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

The moderators led a deep discussion on the role of Middle Eastern diasporic communities, both old and new, in providing humanitarian support to their home countries, drawing international attention to ongoing abuses, and continuing the fight for justice through international courts. Stressing the social, economic, and political diversity of the active transnational network of Arab Spring exiles, the participating scholars made it clear that the events of the Arab Spring, though no longer garnering the same media attention, continue to impact the region and beyond.

The webinar was part of the Ten Years On project, a consortium of over a dozen academic institutions and research centers working to mark, interrogate, and reflect on the Arab uprisings over the course of a year.

As a contributing partner, CIRS organized the webinar in support of the project’s aim to produce resources for educators, researchers, students, and journalists to understand the last decade of political upheaval historically and today. The CIRS webinar marks the 7th signature event of the TYO project.


Source: Georgetown University