Great Decisions at the Library tackles the topic of the Middle East


Tumult. Tragedies. Victory. Exultation. That was 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, where longstanding dictators were swept away by popular revolts. Yet the Arab Spring, or Arab Awakening, as it has been alternatively dubbed in the media, is hardly over. “Middle East Realignment” is this week’s topic for Great Decisions at the Library from 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, March 3 at Bainbridge Public Library.

In Egypt, protesters are back in the street, wondering if they have simply traded one military regime for another. In both Egypt and Tunisia, the uprisings have opened a path to power to long-suppressed Islamists. In Libya, the provisional government formed after Qaddafi’s overthrow has found itself paralyzed by rivalries among the various militias that brought that overthrow about. Meanwhile, the “awakening” continues in Bahrain, Yemen and, most dramatically, Syria, while the international community agonizes over how to respond to the increasingly brutal crackdown on protesters and civilians by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

What lies ahead for the Middle East’s transition to democracy? What are the prospects for the governments that have held out in this new order? With many longtime U.S. allies ousted, how will the U.S. recalibrate its relations with the new regimes?

Drop by the library for the free presentation which includes coffee, a short film and a lively discussion of this timely issue. The discussion will be moderated by John Sinno, a Lebanese-American film producer and past board member of the Arab Center of Washington, whose documentary, “Iraq in Fragments,” was nominated for a 2007 Academy Award. Sinno is president of Arab Film Distribution/Typecast Films.

More information and suggested background readings are available at or by calling 842-7901.

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