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ICSR BLOG SERIES Part 12: Atkin Fellow Perspectives on the Arab Spring

02/06/2012

The past few months have seen a tremendous amount of change in my region. We are leaving behind a past filled with dictatorships, oppression, repression and regimes that did not encourage our youth. These regimes have controlled their people using outdated slogans and profound asymmetries of power, violence and exclusiveness.

The revolutions and protests that have swept the Middle East will, in my opinion, lead to dramatic regional and global changes. The most important aspect will see the Middle East embarking on a new period – one that will allow for inclusivity, greater social participation with integrated communities and new political and social orders that will alter the dynamics not only internally but also with the rest of the world. I hope that it will also end the occupation of my country.

I see these current events as an exciting opportunity for the youth of today. The revolutions will have a monumental motivating impact on them – never before had they had such opportunity and incentive to take part in the running of their countries. This generation, unlike several that have gone before it, will have a real chance to influence upcoming changes to the political, social and cultural developments in their countries. As well as social and political changes we will see a shift in the previous status quo – which means opportunities for all of us to play a greater role in our internal domestic politics.

I feel fortunate to have taken part in the Atkin Fellowship, as it has affected and improved the way that I can analyse and witness these life changing events. Since I underwent those enriching four months working with my Israeli colleague, Odelia Englander, I feel that I have more opportunity and a greater ability to explore what might now be possible and open to since the region is waking up to the Arab Spring.