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Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice from North Africa to Iran by Nasser Weddady and Sohrab Ahmari

Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice from North Africa to Iran

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Sue Baker's view...

Reading here of the Arab peoples and their struggles seems to echo uncomfortably with our own history, knowing how long it took to wrestle power from the religious and political elites, how long for women in particular to gain the rights that should be theirs. This book of wishes and dreams lays out the hopes – and prayers of those in the Arab world struggling for the most basic of human rights. It shows vividly that beneath the public face seethes discontent, fear and longing for a better world. There is optimism, sadness, hope and despair, a growing number of people unhappy with their lack of rights and freedoms. One is left feeling anger at the sclerotic regimes who hold down their population at any cost and with hope that there will be a better way.

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Who is Sue Baker


Arab Spring Dreams: The Next Generation Speaks Out for Freedom and Justice from North Africa to Iran by Nasser Weddady and Sohrab Ahmari

Young Middle Easterners describe their experiences with the region's laws and cultural mores, including the crime of holding hands before marriage and young women fighting for education. Beautifully written and profoundly moving, these stories present a decisive call for change at a crucial point in the evolution of the Middle East.


'A slim volume that successfully presents 'treasures, surprises, and rewards.' Kirkus Reviews

'. . . Immediate and raw, the essays in this collection provide glimpses of daily life in countries where civil rights do not exist. Though the essay contest seemed like a quixotic gesture at its inception in 2005, it turns out to have been prescient.' -- Publishers Weekly

'You are now holding an exceptional book. It is particularly now when the eyes of the whole world are anxiously set on the Middle East that I am so eagerly looking forward to getting to know the stories which often do not make themselves heard among the brouhaha in the media. The essays collected here are a particularly important testimony and close to my heart as they are written by young courageous people who dare to dream of the things their parents never dreamt of. The book clearly demonstrates that no matter where we live or what religion we follow, certain fundamental values are universal.' -- Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and the former President of Poland

'This is a wonderful book, and a stirring testament to the truth that the desire for freedom and democracy transcends the boundaries of nationalities, religion, ethnicity, race and gender.' -- Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

'For too long, American readers have looked to unreliable intermediaries to learn what's on the minds of the Arab youth. But now two of the most promising young thinkers from the region have offered up a gem, Arab Spring Dreams, giving us access to their generation's most authentic voices. To further their worthy plight for freedom, let us begin by lending an ear to their moving narratives.' -- Roya Hakakian, author of Journey from the Land of No and Assassins of the Turquoise Palace

About the Author

Sohrab Ahmari is a Law student at Northeastern University, USA. As a member of the American Islamic Congress's New England Council, he organizes in Boston's Iranian and Muslim communities and frequently addresses diverse, interfaith audiences about the struggle for individual liberty in the Middle East.

Nasser Weddady is Civil Rights Outreach Director of the American Islamic Congress. He helped design and administer the 'Dream Deferred' essay contest, and has helped lead several high-profile campaigns to free imprisoned dissidents in North Africa, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and beyond.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th May 2012


Nasser Weddady and Sohrab Ahmari

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Palgrave Macmillan




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