Upcoming Talk: Said Graiouid (Middle East and North Africa)

Tuesday, April 12th at 12:00 pm in the Wasch Center.

“Political Change and Youth in the Middle East and North Africa”

Said Graiouid
SIT Study Abroad Academic Dean for Africa and the Middle East
Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies,
University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco

The pace of political change in the Middle East and North Africa calls for a
rewrite of conceptual frameworks which have been dominant in the
theorization of social and political organization in the region. The popular
upheaval in Tunisia and Egypt provides evidence that regime change and
transition into democratic mode of governance are born out of the
transformative power of human agency rather than a ³knock-on² approach (as
attested by the abysmal failure of the experiment in Iraq). The debate in
international media remains focused on the role and impact of Islamist
groups and movements in ongoing social uprisings while all indicators thus
far show that these can be credited only with a marginal role in the
instigation of the Revolution either in Tunisia or Egypt. Youth, however, is
the emergent force that is driving change in the region. The presentation
gives highlights of a sample of the specificities of the revolutions in the
Middle East and North Africa and surveys some of the important areas in
which youth groups and cultures are shaping the agenda for public debate and
impacting political change.

**Sponsored by the International Studies Program at Wesleyan**