Guide: Answer Approach Michel Kilo


Michel Kilo, a Syrian Christian writer and human rights activist, in a TV interview narrates an anecdote about this poor young lady who was put in prison in retaliation of her political -opposition-father who fled Syria to Jordan in the early 2000s. When in jail, Kilo was asked by one of the prison guards to amuse a child of this lady, who is about 5 years old, since Kilo was an intellectual and he might have children stories to tell. He says, when I started telling the child about a bird flying, the child stopped me asking, “what is a bird”? He was shocked, then started explaining that a bird who sits on the tree, again the child asks, what is a tree? Kilo knew that he was in a bad situation that the child never left the prison cell since he was born in it. He escaped the situation by singing a children song, and then left the room. (the Hook )

The Arabs had been just like that child before the Arab spring, they had been imprisoned by their dictators, they hardly understood what human rights, democracy, elections, etc, mean?

for these reasons, it is not surprising to see this setbacks in most of the cases Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and to a degree, arguably Egypt. Tunisia, however, emerged to be the only case that seems to succeed to pass the transition period.

  1. Which theory provides the best framework to explain revolutions? (required)
  2. What were the main causes of the Arab Revolutions? (Required)
  3. What accounts for the historical rise of Islamism? (required)
  4. Can Tunisia be the new model of regional democracy? Your answer should include comparison between Tunisia and other relevant cases.
  5. Can Egypt become a new source of regional stability? Can it resume a democratic transition? Or is it moving backward toward deepening authoritarianism?
  6. What are the forces that led to growing sectarian conflict in the Middle East? What lessons can be learned from other religious wars? What is the future of Syrian and other refugees?
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