Arab Uprisings Are Global Uprisings

Perhaps the most terrifying revelation to be had after reading the two articles is the fact that not only are the uprisings in Arab countries emblematic of a much larger issue, but the catalysts and the reasons for which the uprisings occur the first place are actually present in dozens and dozens of countries around the world. The problem is growing so fast, with the power of the people being eroded so effectively, that authoritarian rule, economic misery, a growing gap between rich and poor, widespread corruption, and so much more are all commonplace in most governments. It is frightening to realize that every single one of those problems is present in the American government today. With a twitter troll president elect who has the power to destroy company stock by the whims of fingers that type heinous messages 140 characters at time, to the untold power of potentially appointing three supreme court justices, Donald Trump is eerily skirting the line between democracy and authoritarianism. His wealthy cabinet appointments and willingness to allow Wall Street to police itself are also lending doubts to the sentiment that one day soon the gap between the rich and poor will be finally closed. And most recently, allegations that his campaign team might have worked with Russian agencies to weaken the DNC during the election race, also depict corruption that reaches the highest levels of two of the most powerful countries in the world. Couple all of those things with the fact that an ever-growing mass of young people, angry at the climate that they find themselves in, are not afraid to stand up to the traditions of old, and the entire American social system mirrors almost perfectly the trials and tribulations that people in Arab countries face.

The major difference between the two is that in the United States of America, citizens have a right to question and to disagree and to fight for what is right. Often times in Middle Eastern and North African countries the people are subjected to the impulses and tempers of those who govern them. The people of eastern countries have it far worse than the citizens of the United States. But much like how law abiding citizens are being thrown in jail for speaking their minds, black men and women are slaughtered in the street for being nothing but a different race. The American way of life is under attack more than it ever has been and it is under attack by its own self. It is as close to the hardships that Arab countries face everyday, than it ever has been. It’s sad that it’s taken for us to get to this point to perhaps start to comprehend what’s happening all over the world but from experience and from trying to solve our own issues we can hopefully now start to pay attention to what’s going on outside our own borders. We can now work to fix our own society while at the same time help to rebuild and free other people from their own suppression using what we learn to free ourselves.

Understanding Social Movements

What I ultimately collected from the two readings by Joel Beinin and Joe Stork was the importance of learning about social movements and social movement theories. The message that the two articles give is robust and understanding the social circumstances of different countries is vivid. Something that normally catches my attention when it comes to these social operations is the wear and tear that the citizens of a nation have to go through in order to make progress. Before I began reading these pieces, I expected to expand my knowledge on social movements in the Middle East. Of course, these articles had fantastic details on different countries and their justice movements. What I enjoyed most was reading about how these Arabic figures used their intelligence in literature and philosophy to create movements and push them forward. Also, learning about the preparations of these intense revolutions and internal conflicts between different rights leaders made for a good reading experience. One thing I’m curious about (from Joel Beinin and Frederic Vairel’s reading) is how do citizens safely advertise their thoughts and opinions against the government/military? Thinking about such a question reminds me how lucky I am to have the ability to voice my opinion through social media. However, the true spotlight I believe, is in the impact that is created by the people involved in these movements. “The element of surprise and the end of political apathy of large sectors of the population have embodied and set in motion dynamics of political change, varying from one country to another.” The article conclusively explains that the hasty spread of violence is absolutely unacceptable and therefore, people should understand the dynamics of what people are going through across the world. There are multiple countries with citizens going through hardship and understanding their social conditions is important because they need help and one day, what is happening over there could eventually hit the U.S.