This important book looks at the tumultuous recent events in the Arab region in the context of long-term historical pressure to build societies that will respond to Arab citizens’ longing for freedom and opportunity. Only through the painstaking process of constructing an Arab world defined by pluralism and tolerance can this dream be realized.
Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening. Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab Israeli conflict, and he underscores the importance of efforts to strengthen education and expand traditional definitions of Arab citizenship for the long-term process of democratic transition.