Struggle Against Authoritarian Rule in the Middle East round table

Nic532055On Monday, February 7, at noon, the International Institute at the University of Michigan will be hosting a round table discussion on the events unfolding right now in the Middle East. The following description comes from the event website, where, I believe, you will also be able to watch the discussion live.

The University of Michigan International Institute will hold a round table discussion to analyze the underlying tensions in the Middle East that have led to widespread unrest and political instability. The round table will feature six leading U-M scholars in a candid, informal discussion about how protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries have led to a shakeup of the existing governments.

The event will take place at noon on Monday, February 7, in room 1636 of the School of Social Work Building located at 1080 South University Avenue in Ann Arbor.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies and is free and open to the public.

Joshua Cole, Associate Professor of History
Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History
Nadine Naber, Assistant Professor, Program in American Culture and Department of Women’s Studies
Mark Tessler, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science
Atef Said, Graduate Student, Sociology
Susan Waltz, Professor of Public Policy

Or, for those of you who don’t feel as though you can afford to wait a week for your scholarly insight, here’s a little something from America’s professor – Glenn Beck:

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  1. Posted February 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    And, if that video wasn’t enough, you can watch Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly discussing what’s happening in Egypt here.

  2. Timmy
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    From NY Times:

    “I’m fighting for my freedom,” Noha al-Ustaz said as she broke bricks on the curb. “For my right to express myself. For an end to oppression. For an end to injustice.”

    Damn jihadist commies! The only thing worse is Nazi jihadist commies (which I’m counting on Beck to get to).

  3. Kim
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Glenn Beck would get eaten alive on this panel. I’d love to see it.

  4. Mark Higbee
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    EMU is sponsoring a teach in on events in Egypt, tonight, Thursday, in the Student Center Ballroom, 6pm. Free and open to the public; the Student Center is on the north west edge of campus, plenty of parking (for a small fee, alas).

    EMU professor of sociology, Mansoor Moaddel (one of the world’s top authorities on popular opinion in Muslim societies) and EMU history professor John Knight (a scholar of modern Middle East history), are among the participants in this teach in. I highly recommend it! Moaddel and Knight won’t even attempt to make complex things simple enough to fit on a Glenn Beck chalkboard….Instead, they are both well informed and articulate, and they each know a lot about that vital part of the world, the Middle East….

  5. Posted February 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    If they are experts, then nothing they say can be trusted. We have Glenn Beck as interpreter in chief.

  6. M Fleiss
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Juan Cole has a good blog post up today. Here’s part of it.

    It might seem surprising that Mubarak was so willing to defy the Obama administration’s clear hint that he sould quickly transition out of power. In fact, Mubarak’s slap in the face of President Obama will not be punished and it is nothing new. It shows again American toothlessness and weakness in the Middle East, and will encourage the enemies of the US to treat it with similar disdain.

    The tail has long wagged the dog in American Middle East policy. The rotten order of the modern Middle East has been based on wily local elites stealing their way to billions while they took all the aid they could from the United States, even as they bit the hand that fed them. First the justification was the putative threat of International Communism (which however actually only managed to gather up for itself the dust of Hadramawt in South Yemen and the mangy goats milling around broken-down Afghan villages). More recently the cover story has been the supposed threat of radical Islam, which is a tiny fringe phenomenon in most of the Middle East that in some large part was sowed by US support for the extremists in the Cold War as a foil to the phantom of International Communism. And then there is the set of myths around Israel, that it is necessary for the well-being of the world’s Jews, that it is an asset to US security, that it is a great ethical enterprise– all of which are patently false.

    On such altars are the labor activists, youthful idealists, human rights workers, and democracy proponents in Egypt being sacrificed with the silver dagger of filthy lucre.

    The rest can be found on his site –

  7. Kim
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink


    How did the EMU event turn out? I wasn’t able to make it.

  8. Mark Higbee
    Posted February 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Kim —
    The EMU teach in was very good, great talk by Prof. Knight, and lots of good comments from the floor, and questions too. Exceptionally lively, respectful dialogue raising lots of issues. “Down with Dictatorship” was one theme of many of the comments. And a very good sized crowd, too: 150 people, I’d guess — pretty impressive for something organized 48 hours in advance, especially with a blizzard taking place during that 48 hours and the university closed for a day. Most participants were EMU students, and most of the crowd was born AFTER Mubarak came to power in 1981. The info presented on the Muslim Brotherhood, and its moderation compared to the corporate media’s conflation of it with Muslim extremism, was very valuable.

  9. Ted
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Given their success in Egypt, pro Democracy forces are beginning to protest in Algeria. Their government, however, has been fast to shut them down.

  10. jb007
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    The tail has long wagged the dog in American Middle East policy. The rotten order of the modern Middle East has been based on wily local elites stealing their way to billions while they took all the aid they could from the United States, even as they bit the hand that fed them.

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