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The first third of this book is dedicated to a useful and head spinning summation of all the ills that the Middle East has been subject to since the break up of the Ottoman Empire and how these events led to the inception of the Arab Spring This section also outlines the depraved acts that the recently deposed dictators enacted on their populations, as well as the selfishness of Western complicity in supporting these regimes The second third of the book outlines the grassroots activism that The first third of this book is dedicated to a useful and head spinning summation of all the ills that the Middle East has been subject to since the break up of the Ottoman Empire and how these events led to the inception of the Arab Spring This section also outlines the depraved acts that the recently deposed dictators enacted on their populations, as well as the selfishness of Western complicity in supporting these regimes The second third of the book outlines the grassroots activism that has taken place throughout the Middle East that has led up to and provided a strong base for the current revolutions, fomented by the youth movement In doing this it also addresses the erroneous Western media s propensity for touting Western based technology such as Twitter and Facebook for making the revolutions possible Labor unions, marginalized religious groups and the women s movement have all been subject to repression in many Middle Eastern countries throughout the colonial and post colonial era, and the continued struggle of these groups provided internal support for these successful revolutions This is the section of the book that will make you feel excited and hopeful for the Middle East and the world Bishara has an incredibly optimistic outlook for democracy in the Middle East In a brief section in the beginning of the book, he addresses the incredibly racist and for some reason incredibly popular notion of Arab exceptionalism on the basis of Islam, lack of education and overall backwardsness Bishara disproves this based on a historical Arab identification of democracy as a cesspool of authoritarian regimes, foreign interventionism and colonial puppetmastery His conclusion about nascent democracy in the Middle East seems pretty straightforward democratic Islamist groups must be able to reconcile religion with a governing body to protect the interests of all people He uses the recent electoral success of Tunisia s moderate Islamist Al Nadah party as proof that this formula can work.Certain parts of the book seem presumptuous or have just been proven through recent events to be wrong For instance, in one segment Bishara claims that bloody fights between Egyptian football fans have now been replaced by hugs, which is sadly a LOL point in the book The Invisible Arab is slightly Egypt centric, as Bishara also draws conclusions about other revolutionary Middle Eastern countries based on his observances in Egypt For instance, he talks about an influx of Western services and goods in Middle Eastern countries, when pre revolutionary Tunisia heavily regulated these foreign businesses But, the main thing that is keeping this book from getting 5 stars is a long treatise on how amazing Al Jazeera is Believe me, I love Al Jazeera, and I definitely agree with many of the points he makes about the ready availability of news and divergent viewpoints that Al Jazeera provides particularly coming out of a news industry dominated by Western or state controlled media However, after criticizing Western governments for touting Twitter and Facebook, this part is bothersome Finally, he only makes one small nod to the fact that AJ is owned and operated by wealthy Qatari sheiks In any case, this book is really great, and I m realizing it as I m writing this review and have about 1,000 other things to say that I learned in this book For instance, how the violent jihadi movement is associated with Saudi Salfism How the Western media ignores the contemporary place of the Muslim Brotherhood and instead focuses on its dissident members who left the party for the warm embrace of Al Qaeda How conflicts in Palestine, Israel and Lebanon allowed dictators to distract attention from civic issues to continue their regimes Read this book Read it now So much information (((READ KINDLE))) ⇕ The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolutions ☚ The Invisible Arab traces the roots of the revolutions in the Arab world Marwan Bishara, chief policy analyst of Al Jazeera English and the anchor of the program Empire, combines on the ground reporting, extensive research and scholarship, and political commentary in this book on the complex influences that made the revolutions possible Bishara argues that the inclusive, pluralistic nationalism that motivated the revolutions are indispensable to their long term success The Invisible Arab is a voyage in time from the Arab world s liberation generation through the defeated and lost generations , arriving at today s miracle generation Bishara unpacks how this new generation, long seen as a demographic bomb, has proved to be the agent of progress, unity and freedom It has in turn used social networks to mobilize for social justiceBishara discusses how Israel, oil, terrorism and radical Islam have affected the interior identity of the region as well as Western projections upon it Protection of Israel, Western imperial ambition, a thirst for oil, and fear of radicalism have caused many Western regimes and media to characterize Arab countries and people as unreceptive to democracy or progress These ideas are as one dimensional as they are foolhardy Bishara argues that the Arab revolutions present a great window of opportunity for reinventing and improving Arab ties with the rest of the world notably the West on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interestThe revolutions will be judged by how they realize freedom and justice, and how they can pave the way for reconciling and accommodating nationalism and Islam with democracy Bishara argues that these pillars liberty and justice reconciled with religion and nationalism, form the bedrock that will allow stability and progress to flourish in the Arab world and beyond Overall I liked the book It started slowly but about one third through it started to have some meat.Although the history in the book had a positive spin about the Arab Spring I already knew the result of their quest for freedom which is mostly negative The viewpoint from an Arab was quite interesting even though he did not predict the future very well I suppose he was hoping that this time the revolts and demonstrations would work I do feel sorry for the author though as he really thought it Overall I liked the book It started slowly but about one third through it started to have some meat.Although the history in the book had a positive spin about the Arab Spring I already knew the result of their quest for freedom which is mostly negative The viewpoint from an Arab was quite interesting even though he did not predict the future very well I suppose he was hoping that this time the revolts and demonstrations would work I do feel sorry for the author though as he really thought it would work The most interesting part of the book was the author s criticism, an educated Arab, of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton How Obama constantly backed the wrong groups and aided too late those that would have been our friends leading from behind That criticism was charitable compared to the ineptitude of Ms Clinton I think the author should write the sequel next year The book is really interesting it is written with a revolutionary spirit The first chapter on the old regime is quite useful but the following parts are over optimistic about Arab revolutions, with many ideas that turned out to be completely wrong in the following years Also the part on Al Jazeera channel lookslike a sponsored ad.. Though an updated book, do not expect this to mean an up to date examination of the now better known perils of the Arab Revolutions rise of ISIS, devolution of Syria, shifts in Turkey re Syria NATO Still, this is an insightful look into the complexity of the Arab Spring revolutions for the time it does cover I hope Bishara is correct and that the shifts noted do continue to bear fruit for fairer anddiverse societies across North Africa and the Middle East. Although dated now,it is a concise overview of the Arab Spring.There is discussion of the Silent Majority of Muslims.Trying to break free of dictators and oppressors never seems easy.Nor is forming and executing democracy.Freedom isn t easy.Here is hoping they don t give up. Interesting book, shedding some light on the evolution of many middle eastern countries withing the last decade Given how fast things change in the area, some of the predictions and analyses already fail, but given middle east isnon stationary than stock markets, this is fine. This book has helped me to understand eventhe complexity of the society and societues in the Arab speaking world. Good primer on the revolutions and why they happened without the typical clash of civilizations Arabs are barbaric speil The best use of this book is for context in the ever evolving afterstages of the revolutions If you know a lot about modern MENA history, this is an interesting read that fills the gaps that 24 7 news fails to include in their analyses.