Interview with Rami Khouri on the Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprising

Jun 19, 2014

Author and Professor Rami Khouri
Credit al-Jazeera America

Rami Khouri talks about the consequences of the Arab uprisings starting in Tunisia: were they a flash phenomenon, or the beginning of fundamental changes in the Middle East? 

Rami Khouri and host Jonathan Judaken discuss the history of the creation of many countries in the Middle East, and how the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and other countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa came about. Khouri is an internationally syndicated columnist and the Director of the Isssam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and editor-at-large for the Daily Star.

In an article titled “The Middle East’s freedom train has just left the station,” written just after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011,  Khouri penned these lines: 

  • "We are witnessing the…most significant Arab historical development, which is the spontaneous drive by millions of ordinary Arabs to finally assert their humanity, demand their rights, and take command of their own national condition and destiny….This is a revolt against specific Arab leaders and governing elites who have implemented policies that have seen the majority of Arabs dehumanized, pauperized, victimized and marginalized by their own power structure. But it is also a revolt against the tradition of major Western powers that created the modern Arab states and then fortified and maintained them as security states."

Together, Khouri and Judaken discuss these uprisings, which are filled with tension; identity conflicts; ideological differences; and local, national and regional pressures. They talk about the historical aspects that led to the uprisings, the history of the speed of democratic movements worldwide, the influences of social and traditional media, and what the results might be of this enormous, populist movement.