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The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building, Room 1501
The West was blindsided by the Arab Spring. Its political class, its media-long accustomed to seeing the Arab world through the prism of oil, terrorism or Israel-was even unsure of the vocabulary to use to describe the momentous events unfolding. Hundreds of thousands of Americans migrated from their usual media of choice to Al Jazeera English's website. One of the leading figures interpreting the Arab revolution on Al Jazeera was and continues to be Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's Senior Political Analyst. Bishara will discuss his new book, THE INVISIBLE ARAB: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution. Hailed as a brilliant, lucid and provocative analysis of the dynamics of the Arab revolution, it is particularly relevant given today's context, as the world returns its gaze to the Middle East and North Africa with the first anniversary of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions approaching-and as events in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain are still up in the air. As a leading figure in Al Jazeera-whom Robert Malley and Hussein Agha have described in the Washington Post as a "leader of the Arab world"-Bishara is uniquely positioned to explain the course of the Arab revolts and the leading role played by a media superpower like Al Jazeera. He argues that just as Washington was unable to see the Arab Spring coming in 2011, it won't be able to see what is coming in 2012 and beyond.