New York University’s Jurow Hall, November 16, 2011
In cooperation with the NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
The following report is the product of discussions that took place in November 2011 before national elections in Egypt brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power and before the Islamist Ennahda Party took charge of the government in Tunisia. This report captures the attitude and predictions of eminent scholars and policymakers at a moment when citizens in Tunisia and Egypt were going to the polls to elect new national governments for the first time since the revolutions.
In hindsight, the panelists’ reflections were quite prescient. They foresaw many of the challenges confronting the Arab world after the revolutions: from the fight for freedom of expression in Tunisia, to the struggle for political participation in Bahrain. As developments continue to unfold, we recommend that the reader use this report as a guide to understanding the political climate before the elections and as a tool for remembering the alternative paths for change that were thought possible before events took their own course.
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