The Arab Spring was widely proclaimed as opening up the possibility of greater freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Yet the civil war in Syria, the military coup in Egypt and the on-going uncertainty in Libya indicate that these hopes have been dashed.
This video, filmed in August, features Middle East commentator Karl Sharro in a question-and-answer session about Egypt with young filmmakers at the WORLDbytes studio in east London. For Sharro, the biggest problem was the lack of political clarity and organisation in the pro-democracy movement. In the discussion, Sharro provides invaluable background on the context in which the Arab Spring unfolded and how Western commentators and campaigners, by celebrating the lack of politics in these movements, exacerbated the problem of political clarity. He also ridicules the idea that democracy is a Western idea and that Arab societies are ‘not ready’ for it.
To find out more about WORLDbytes and to enjoy the channel’s extensive archive, visit the website here.
Karl Sharro blogs at Karl reMarks.