On February 10, the Valdai Club hosted an expert discussion titled “The Arab Spring 10 Years On: What Will Summer Look Like?”
The Arab Spring was ignited by a wave of protests that affected two dozen states, and led to a series of revolutions, the overthrow of governments and several civil wars. The most acute crises were in Syria and Libya. After a decade, life has hardly improved by states which were affected by the Arab Spring. The level of instability has increased; extremism and terrorism have become frequent occurrences. Protracted armed conflicts arose, large flows of refugees and even more reactionary regimes appeared. Instability increased the importance of external players in the Middle East. However, their views on resolving specific crises are often diametrically opposed.
The anniversary of the Arab Spring coincides with new mass protests in the region. Demonstrations continue in Tunisia and Lebanon. This time, however, the trigger was the coronavirus pandemic and the stringent government quarantine measures associated with it. Tension is also growing in other states of the Middle East.
What were the main outcomes of the Arab Spring? Should we expect new, large-scale shocks in the region? What role could the pandemic play? Is a rebalancing of the role of external players in the Middle East necessary? The participants in the discussion answered these and other questions.
- Amal Abou Zeid, Advisor to the President of Lebanon, Member of the Lebanese Parliament for the Free Patriotic Movement (2016–2018)
- Ali Al-Ahmed, Syrian political and public figure
- Hrair Balyan, Director of the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program
- Youseff Cherif, Head of the Tunisian Branch of the Columbia Global Centers
- Amr Musa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States (2001-2011)
Vitaly Naumkin, Scientific Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Alexey Skosyrev, Deputy Director at Middle East and NorthAfrica Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
- Randa Slim, Director of the Track II Dialogues initiative at the Washington-based Middle East Institute and a non-resident fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) Foreign Policy Institute.