In December of 2005, a high level official of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, was invited to address a small gathering of U.S. and European senior retired government officials in a conference room at a Beirut hotel.1 Joining the Hamas official was a prominent Salafist from Syria, who’d traveled from Damascus to provide a commentary on the Hamas official’s presentation. The meeting’s organizers met to explore and assess the growing strength of politically motivated Islamists.
A Fire in the Minds of Arabs: The Arab Spring in Revolutionary History
Fire is both the symbol of revolution and its most potent weapon. Much like the American Revolution and other key historic events, the Arab Spring began with fire when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest his treatment by police. Ever since the Arab Spring’s onset, experts have debated about its eventual conclusion and concentrated on major forces, including the army and the clergy. The future of the revolutions, however, rests with the masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The uprisings marked deep and irreversible changes in the Arab world and will inevitably entail future repercussions. For onlookers, the best policy is not to interfere, but to let the fire burn.
Egyptian army blocked the anti-coup demonstrators from entering Tahrir Square. AA
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