The Arab Spring ushered in a new era in politics in Egypt and Tunisia, emboldening citizens, through social media and other new platforms, who had previously lacked a voice. Professor Said Sadek from American University in Cairo, who has focused his recent work as an Egyptian political and social scholar on the effects of this phenomenon, will discuss these changes at Washington College on Oct. 23.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge.
Since the Arab Spring, public apathy towards politics in Egypt and North Africa (Tunisia and Libya) has been replaced with high interest. Minorities that traditionally have been poorly represented in political institutions are gaining unprecedented voice and political traction. Social media has become a tool for government and the average citizen to speak their minds and reorganize stakeholders over various interests and crystallized demands. Unconventional politicians and independent YouTubers have begun to surpass and challenge existing traditional political parties and mainstream media.
Sadek appears in local, regional, and international media focusing on Middle Eastern developments. He has a BA in political science and master’s degrees in Middle East studies and sociology from the American University in Cairo. He received his Ph.D. in political science specializing in political communication, forecasting, and peace studies from Cairo University in 1996.
He has taught courses in political science, sociology, Arab society, mass communication, political sociology, political communication, terrorism and media, intermarriage in the Middle East, and the contemporary history of the Middle East in many private and international universities in Egypt including the American University in Cairo (AUC), Future University, and Nile University. He also works as a political risk consultant for several regional research centers and think tanks including the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME) and the Beirut-based Tactical Report.
Sadek is a member of the Egyptian National Council for Women and the Arab Association for Political Science. In 1980, he was awarded Sadat Peace Prize for his research on Egyptian foreign policy after the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979. In 2005, Sadek was awarded the Medal of the Knight of the Order of Lion of Finland, by Finland’s President Tarja Halonen, for his contribution to boosting Arab-Finnish academic and cultural relations. He has also been a consultant for the Ministry of Higher Education in reforming education in Egyptian universities.
The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders in and out of government. It has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of national and international stature. It also sponsors lectures, symposia, and visiting fellows, as well as student participation in models and conferences and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy. Its current curator is Christine Wade, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, a highly sought expert on Latin American politics, and author and editor of several books on Latin America, including Captured Peace: Elites and Peacebuilding in El Salvador.
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