Voices of the Arab Spring: Personal Stories from the Arab Revolutions

Asaad Al-Saleh. Columbia Univ., $22.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-231-16319-4
In this collection, University of Utah professor Al-Saleh brings together personal stories from the democratic uprisings against authoritarian governments that spread throughout the Arab world in 2011. The goal of this assembled testimony, according to historian Peter Sluglett’s preface, is to urge readers to “reassess the potential for social, political, and cultural change in the Arab world.” Assembling a wide variety of voices—men and women; faculty and students; young and old; fighters on the ground in Libya and “techno-activists” in the Egyptian diaspora fueling the revolution via social media—Al-Saleh illustrates the shared sentiment that spurred so many to join in unified civil resistance. While inspiring, these selections shoulder a certain sadness as they reveal the oppression, bloodshed, and unfinished business of a revolution that continues to evolve. Still, there is also a sense of hope, and this proves Al-Saleh’s most stirring touch. The cumulative effect of the pieces is to insist that leaders, in the Middle East and outside of it, must listen to and heed the voices of the Arab Spring before lasting positive change can take place. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/17/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-231-16318-7
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-231-53858-9
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