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The Arab World's Berlin Wall Moment?

Fawaz Gerges believes that Arabs are on the brink of a democratic wave similar to the ones that swept through Eastern Europe and Latin America. The recent massive political and social upheaval in the Middle East has stunned the world, and many now wonder if the age of oppressive regimes has come to an end. The monarchies—Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan—have been shaken by the social unrest, yet seem less vulnerable than the faltering republics of Syria and Yemen. Will the influences of pluralism and democracy prevail over the powerful legacy of authoritarianism and populism? Is this the Arab world’s Berlin Wall moment? Join Fawaz Gerges for the final part of the fall 2011 Chicago and the World Forum series as he examines the present and future political landscapes of the Middle East.

Fawaz Gerges is a professor of Middle Eastern politics and international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He also holds the Emirates Chair of the Contemporary Middle East and is the director of the Middle East Centre at LSE. Gerges is the author of several books, including Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment? (forthcoming); The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda; Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy; and The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. His writing has also appeared in many significant newspapers and journals, including The New York Times and the Washington Post. Gerges has given interviews for ABC, NBC, CNN, BBC, NPR, and Al-Jazeera, and has appeared on many other prominent television programs. Gerges has received MacArthur, Fulbright, and Carnegie Fellowships, recently returning from a fifteen month field study in the Middle East. He earned a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

His latest book, The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, will be available for purchase and signing following the program.

Generous support for the Chicago and the World Forum series each year is provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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