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Panel at U.Va. to Revisit and Give Updates Since the Arab Spring

The University of Virginia is revisiting the Arab Spring Tuesday, convening a panel of top scholars who will address events since a fateful day in December 2010 when a Tunisian burned himself to death to protest his treatment by police.

Rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have been forced from power in the past two years and major anti-authoritarian protests have broken out in many other countries, most notably in Syria. In late January, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said more than 50,000 people had been killed since that uprising began in early 2011.

The Center for International Studies will host “Whatever Happened to the Arab Spring?” at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of Nau Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The center’s interim director, Majida Bargach, said after the revolution started in Tunisia, “what followed was a string of dramatic events, as pro-democracy rebellions erupted across the Middle East and North Africa. Scholars and practitioners of the region will update our students, faculty and community on what's happening.”

The scheduled panelists are:

  • Alma Abdulhadi Jadallah,  president of Kommon Denominator, a conflict management consulting firm;
  • Nejib Ayachi, president of the Maghreb Center,  a volunteer-driven, nonprofit educational and research organization concentrating on North African affairs;
  • Nathan Brown, George Washington University professor of political science and international affairs;
  • Ahmad Masa'deh, secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean, a multilateral partnership encompassing 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean basin;
  • William B. Quandt, Edward R Stettinius Jr. Professor Emeritus of Government & Foreign Affairs at U.Va.

U.Va. politics professor Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl will moderate the session.

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