Panelists offer perspectives on timeline of Arab Spring

October 8, 2014

Texas A&M Law panelists Hisham Kassem, Sahar Aziz and F. Gregory Gause present What Happened to the Arab SpringPanelists Hisham Kassem, Sahar Aziz and F. Gregory Gause discuss "What Happened to the Arab Spring?"

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas A&M School of Law hosted the panel “What Happened to the Arab Spring? Examining Sociopolitical Developments in the Middle East” with guest speakers Hisham Kassem, independent journalist, former editor of The Egyptian Today, and former vice president of The Tomorrow Party in Egypt as well as F. Gregory Gause, department head, International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and author of Oil Monarchies. The panel was moderated by Texas A&M School of Law Associate Professor Sahar Aziz.

The panelists offered a brief history of events related to the Arab Spring leading to present day and offered perspectives on attempts the Middle East has made to move towards a more democratic society.

Texas A&M Law panelists Hisham Kassem, Sahar Aziz and F. Gregory GauseL-R: Panelists Hisham Kassem, Sahar Aziz and F. Gregory Gause

Kassem offered an eyewitness account from the uprising in the Middle East that began Jan. 28 and described it as “shocking.” As a journalist, he was among the fray of speeches, demonstrations and was even exposed to tear gas and shots. Kassem, born a Muslim, remarked on the events in the Middle East.

“It will be a fight to the end. For people like me, there’s no backing off,” he said.

Gause said, “Order is the prerequisite for state building. It will be a long-term process. We’re looking at a decade of confusion, violence and lack of authority (in the Middle East). Get ready for 10 years of shifting alliances in many parts of the Arab world.”

Aziz indicated panels like this one are beneficial to students.

“You can go beyond the headlines, and you’ve got to hear it from the people on the ground, so you can have a sophisticated, global perspective,” she said to the audience.

The interview with Gause and Kassem was broadcast on KRLD News Radio 1080.

Texas A&M Law panelists F. Gregory Gause, Sahar Aziz and Hisham Kassem with Texas A&M Law studentsThe panelists met with Texas A&M School of Law students after the event.

- Article by Daniella Wiedel, Communications Specialist for Texas A&M University School of Law. Photos by Christy Cleger, Marketing Coordinator at Texas A&M School of Law.