On Tuesday, October 30th CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab came to DePaul University to speak on a panel titled, “What is the Next Season After the Arab Spring?” Other panelists included visiting Fellow from Egypt Zeinab Abdelwahab and Rachid Touhtouh from Morocco for Citizen Bridges International’s Legislative Fellows Program as well as Laith Saud, lecturer at DePaul University.
Each panelist opened the event with a fifteen minute lecture on their experience and observations with the Arab Spring. Rachid Touhtouh gave a unique perspective from Morocco, and both Zeinab Abdelwahab and Ahmed Rehab discussed the Egyptian revolution. Rehab told anecdotes from his own experience in Tahrir Square, from the very beginning in February 2011 to the first free elections which subsequently lead to the first democratically elected President of Egypt- Mohamed Morsi. Laith Saud brought the discussion to a more historical perspective, talking through the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ways in which American foreign policy affected the Arab world and the recent uprisings.
Following the lectures, moderator Scott Hibbard of DePaul University lead the panel in a discussion driven by audience questions on issues such as women’s roles in these revolutions, the place of religious minorities in the Muslim world, and whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood had a positive or negative affect on the Egyptian Revolution.
Ahmed Rehab and Laith Saud both noted that those who participated in the Arab Spring uprisings still have a long way to go, and the fight for democracy and freedom is not over yet.