Gamal Eid is founder and executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the Arab world's leading organization providing original research, legal aid, and technical, networking, and strategic support for the defense of freedom of opinion, expression, and belief. A graduate of `Ain Shams University College of Law, Eid has been lead defense lawyer in many of Egypt's most important human rights cases, and writes and speaks regularly on international human rights and freedom of expression developments. He is also an experienced trainer on human rights research, monitoring, and legal aid, and issues relating to the use of the internet in defense of human rights.
This event is part of CCAS' spring series Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View.
In January and February 2011, the governments of Tunisia and Egypt were toppled in populist uprisings, and the countries have since entered a political transition whose outcome remains uncertain and open-ended. While the full dimensions of the Arab revolutions of 2010-2011 remain unknown, they have already carried dramatic implications for the Arab authoritarian regimes and the western governments that support them. Indeed, the specter of anti-authoritarian revolt now looms across the political landscape of the Arab world, from Morocco to Iraq, as the reverberations of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution have impacted fundamentally the relations between local governing elites and their respective populations. The unfolding developments in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, and Iraq merely confirm that the Jasmine Revolution has transcended the boundaries of Tunisia proper to lay claim to a broader regional mobilization of democratic aspirations and demands for radical sociopolitical reforms.
The lecture series on 'Revolution in the Arab World: The Long View' proposes a variety of interdisciplinary and long-term perspectives on the repercussions of the revolutions of 2010-2011 for the Arab world and beyond. By addressing the question of “authoritarianism” both as a thematic and regional issue, the series seeks to interrogate two aspects of these momentous and complex events. The first concerns the fluid situations in Tunisia and Egypt, where state elites, the military, and emergent non-state actors are struggling to define a new balance of power. The second pertains to the wider implications of the Tunisian and Egyptian events, specifically in their challenges to the patterns and operations of Arab authoritarian governments. Among the thematic questions the series aims to examine and address are: the prospects for Tunisian and Egyptian reformers to institutionalize the achievements of their revolutions; the potential for the Tunisian and Egyptian examples to be repeated in other Arab countries; the comparative vulnerability of Arab authoritarian states to similar popular uprisings, and the various counter-strategies they may employ to resist, contain, or co-opt the momentum of the populist protests.