The Wave of Freedom: Early Lessons from the Middle East


May 26, 2011 - May 27, 2011

In recent months, the world has witnessed dramatic expressions of freedom across the Middle East. Touched off by Mohamed Bouazizi, the 26–year–old Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire to protest an attack on his economic liberty, millions of brave men and women have demonstrated their commitment to a future rooted in freedom. These events reconfirm that the desire for freedom is universal.

As the wave of freedom spreads across the Arab world, what early lessons can be learned for those who seek democracy in countries like Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria and Burma? Activists, technology experts, government leaders and scholars addressed this question by analyzing the challenges and successes of recent uprisings, enhancing understanding of technology’s role and considering the impact on those who still struggle for freedom around the world.