Debate on the revolutions and their consequences in the Middle East. With: Ko Colijn, Henri Beunders, drs. Bertus Hendriks, Dick Douwes and Leon Verdonschot

The uprising in Tunisia of December 2010 seems to have spread to other countries in the region. Egypt has dominated the news for many days now. Activists who are either in favour or against President Mubarak have turned the country into a political hotbed. But unrest is also stirring in Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Morocco and Jordan.

Ko Colijn, Bertus Hendriks & Henri Beunders

Here in ‘the West’ we believe that we are receiving the latest (objective) news about recent developments but what is going on exactly in the countries around the Mediterranean? How can this ‘domino effect’ of protests be explained? What is the role of the new social media including Facebook and Twitter? Are these protests similar to the ones in Iran a few years ago, when social media also played an important role, or are there different forces at work here?

On Wednesday 9 February 2011 Studium Generale and the Erasmus Podium of the Erasmus University Rotterdam are organizing a current affairs debate about the tensions in the Arab countries including Tunisia and Egypt. Can this news be compared with revolutions like ‘the Collapse of the Berlin Wall’ and other major revolutions in history? What is a revolution exactly? Are these protests caused by corruption, dictatorships and poverty or is this a Mediterranean ‘spring’ of the Muslim Brothers and other Islamic political groups? Key speakers will give you an insider’s view behind the scenes of the television news and the latest inside information about which future scenarios seem realistic and likely for the geo-political future of the Arab world.

With contributions from: Professor Henri Beunders (professor of History and Society, Media and Culture, EUR), Professor Ko Colijn (professor of International Relations, EUR, columnist at Vrij Nederland magazine and director of Security at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, drs. Bertus Hendriks (journalist, Middle East specialist and senior visiting fellow Institute Clingendael), and prof. dr. Dick Douwes (dean Erasmus School of History, Culture, and Communication, Arab specialist). Moderator: Leon Verdonschot (journalist, writer).   

Wednesday 9 February

Doors open at 12.15 hrs, the programme begins at 12.30 until 14.00 hrs.

Forumzaal (Erasmus Expo- and Congress Center), M-building, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Woudestein campus.  

Entrance free. No registration.

This debate will be held in English.

Organized by: Erasmus Podium and Studium Generale, Erasmus University Rotterdam