Bassam Tibi: Upheaval in the Middle East

Unfortunately we cannot provide a recording of the event, but we would like to point to the text Islamism and the Arab Spring by Bassam Tibi, as well as to a TV talk with Bassam Tibi (German).


Please click to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, Robert-Koch-Saal, Berlin.

Since the Jasmin Revolution in Tunisia and Mubarak’s departure, the Near and Middle East is in a stage of rapid change. The uprisings against decades of political repression, deprivation of rights, lack of perspective, corruption and economic grievance have shaken the rulers as much as the Western picture of an Arab culture, in which people have neither the will nor the capability for democracy. However, there are not only democratic forces who want to use the new political opportunities. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is the best-organized political force, and the Islamic Republic of Iran tries hard to further und exploit the instability in the region. The revolutionary departure could lead to a region in which the Islamist and anti-democratic “resistance block” against Israel and the West would gain hegemony, should the regimes in Iran and Syria not fall. Thus, it is even more important for the democratic forces in the Middle and Near East and the West to cooperate, and to confront Islamist and anti-democratic organizations and regimes.

Where is Egypt heading after Mubarak? How has the balance of power shifted in the region, and what can the West do to support democratic forces and developments? With Bassam Tibi, we will have on of the internationally most renowned experts on the Near and Middle East speaking about these and other questions.

Bassam Tibi was Professor for International Relations at the university in Göttingen from 1973 to 2009, and he taught and researched as guest professor at 18 universities worldwide. From November 2011 on, he will be Professor at the Stanford University. He was born in 1944 in Syria. His books have been translated into 16 languages and cover the history of Islam, the modern political history of the Near and Middle East, Islamism and anti-Semitism, Western-Islamic relations and the integration of Muslims in Western countries. (

Chair: Matthias Küntzel, publicist, political scientist and board member of SPME Germany. Author of Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11 (2007) and Germany and Iran – history and presence of a fatal friendship (2009). (

A cooperation between Scholars for Peace in the Middle East - SPME Germany and the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin.