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Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions [Paperback]

Maytha Alhassen , Ahmed Shihab-Eldin

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Book Description

Dec 25 2012 I SPEAK FOR MYSELF (Book 3)
The voices of 20 young activists from 9 Arab countries undergoing dramatic revolutions. Their stories put readers on the frontlines of the Arab Revolutions, where youth are shaking the foundations of entrenched corruption and power. Their voices are as varied as their individual stories, but their destinies are shared.
'Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions' brings together essays written by today's generation of Arab youth who have directly inspired and sparked a revolutionary spirit that toppled governments, unearthing the corruption of decades of dictator dominated countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Their voices are as varied as their individual stories, but their destinies are shared. They are the connected generation.Stories come from the streets of Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Palestine. Inspired in part by universal human values and aspirations, each story captures the changes revolutionizing the region and social media's role in uniting like-minded citizens through civic engagement.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: White Cloud Press (Dec 25 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935952714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935952718
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #605,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The essays in the third I Speak for Myself series prove that the revolution was televised, tweeted, and updated on Facebook. Muhammad Radwan, an Egyptian-American, describes choosing between living or tweeting as he found himself in a standoff between protesters and pro-regime forces in Syria. Dina Sadek, an Egyptian English literature graduate with bleak prospects, became a well-paid translator for a U.K. journalist covering the revolution. The essays focused on Bahrain are particularly shocking, with one former member of the Bahrain Parliament describing his days-long detention and torture. . . . [T]he proud spirit of the young Arabs featured in this book shine through. Most readers will be inspired by little nuggets within, from the first all-Palestinian Model U.N. to the vendor selling “freedom tea” in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
Publishers Weekly

“This is a powerful—and disturbing—book. Don’t miss it!”
– Cornel West

“The voices in this book chronicle a time of courage, turbulence, and extraordinary hunger for change. An essential read for anyone interested in understanding the Arab revolutions from the perspective of the resilient young people who ignited and accelerated it all.”
– Arianna Huffington

“It would be hard to match the charge that courses through the stories of those who fought and bore witness to the ongoing wave of protests and uprisings in the Arab world. The authors are to be commended for their wise and far ranging-choices and for rendering them eloquently. A powerful answer to those who despair for the future of the region.”
- James L. Gelvin, author of The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know

“This book is essential reading for all those trying to understand an Arab world in profound transformation. It provides a fresh approach on a fundamental, and often misconceived reality that affects everything and everybody”
- Manuel Castells, author of Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication, University of Southern California

“After a decade of being the "terrorists", Arabs have become the "revolutionaries". The voices in this book capture this rare moment in history, revealing stirring stories, both personal and collective of the ongoing struggle for self-determination.”
-Dima Khatib, Latin America Correspondent, Al Jazeera

About the Author

Maytha Alhassen is a doctoral student candidate in American Studies & Ethnicity at University of Southern California. Alhassen's writings have appeared on CNN, 'The Huffington Post, Counterpunch' and in academic journals, and she has been featured in the 'Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald,' and 'The Nation.'

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is a journalist, producer and co-host of Al Jazeera English's "The Stream." Ahmed worked as a multimedia producer at PBS's award-winning documentary series Wide Angle, and 'The New York Times.' He helped launch 'The Huffington Post's' World section.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very important, excellent book April 2 2013
By Nikki Henderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For me, the authors of a book are just as important as the subject. Not only are the essays in this collection timely, emotionally charged, and inspiring, but you can see and feel the respect and love the authors had for the young people they profiled.

These are people's lives. The Arab Revolutions happened in real time, to real people, and it's something often forgotten in the word-count era of media. "Demanding Dignity" reminds us of this fact with frank prose and wisdom from those who participated most heavily in the re-shaping of nations.

I'm very grateful that this book exists. I'm very grateful that someone chose to tell THESE stories, this way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poweful, awe-inspiring. March 12 2013
By A. M. Ahmed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having indirectly witnessed the Arab uprisings on TV and the internet, I very was excited to read this book. I have to admit, outside of the situation in Egypt and somewhat in Libya, I was not that informed about what had been going on in Tunisia, where these uprisings began, and in Yemen.

That being said, reading about and getting a more depth look at how activists and ordinary people were suffering and often sacrificing their lives and often those of their families fighting for their dignity (thus the apt title, which you can read about in the Afterword) and the truth were heart-breaking, breath-taking and awe-inspiring all at the same time. Both as a Muslim and as a relatively young person, these changes were something I had wanted to see happen in the region in general - though I never thought it would occur in in my lifetime to be honest. When it came to Egypt the , the events I witnessed from my laptop and then read about here in this book, it really brought the events that much more to life.

Of course, by no means are these revolutions over, but to get further insight from events of the very recent past and viewing them in the context of the subsequent developments and ongoing struggle, makes this book timely and of course, very relevant. Just as the footage we saw online and on TV, these accounts bring those images to life with words and further detail that we can only begin to hear about now, after time has passed to allow these stories to be re-collected, written down and shared.

All of the essays, save maybe one (that of a young Palestinian boy, though his view was also appreciated, though just misplaced in this collection) were each in their own way troubling (in terms of their content and the suffering witnessed and recalled) and moving. Two of the essays that I was particularly struck by and appreciated were that of Adel Abdel Ghafar and Atiaf Alwazir, whose accounts of assistance to and documenting the horrific crimes against the people of Libya and Yemen, respectively, was truly moving - especially the former as I'm in the medical field myself and Adel's efforts were truly inspiring in regards to providing basic medical supplies to those in need.

I highly recommend this book to read and to purchase too, as I think it's a great addition to our home libraries - a momentous period in modern history regardless of whether you have any connection to this part of the world - afterall, these uprisings were about fundamental rights and human dignity - thing that we all strive to have and should have, regardless of our status in society.

I salute the efforts of Ahmed Shihab-Eldin and Maytha Elhassen for putting this book together as well as the contributors for sharing invaluable stories - ones that should never be forgotten by the current generation and preserved for future generations to learn from, especially those of course, who will inherit a hopefully forward-moving Middle East that will one day, be free of oppressive dictators who deny their people their basic rights and dignified lives.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring Book Feb. 25 2013
By Jaycee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Excellent choice of essays that convey the energy of courage and excitement behind the Arab revolutions. It was a very inspiring and interesting collection of stories written in the voices of the people who experienced the revolutions first-hand. I'm glad it was written and published. Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing essays that are unlike anything out there May 5 2013
By theBedouins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the modern Middle East. Filled with insight and perspectives about activists and their stories. Absolutely riveting.
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