Demanding Dignity: Young Voices from the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions Paperback – Dec 25 2012
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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 Egypts Tahrir Square.
This is a powerfuland disturbingbook. Dont miss it!
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.