ILR-Sponsored Free Lecture: From the Arab Spring to the Arab Winter—What Happened?

Dr. Sandy McNabb

Ken Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is pleased to sponsor Dr. Sandy McNabb who will be presenting a two-hour program titled “From the Arab Spring to the Arab Winter—What Happened?” Dr. McNabb’s presentation will be held in the DesertView Theater on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, from 4 to 6 p.m. and is open to all SaddleBrooke residents free of charge. Dr. McNabb is a familiar face here in SaddleBrooke. She moved to SaddleBrooke in 2011 and shortly thereafter joined the faculty of the ILR and has taught five courses on the history, politics, and tensions in the Middle East, all of which were well attended.

Dr. McNabb had an international career, including university professor, Internet technologist, and telecommunications executive, and lived in Egypt, England, Belgium, Germany, and the U.S. After retiring from T-Mobile International in England, Sandy moved to Egypt in 2004 to study Arabic: five hours a day plus three hours of homework! She was pulled back to her technology roots to lead a USAID technology project and then as associate professor at Egypt’s newest technology university. After Egypt’s revolution, she was not able to get her work permit approved, and Egypt was reducing approvals for residence visas. She decided that after 20 years working outside of the U.S., it was time to come back home. She chose Tucson because it had the same climate as Egypt, and like many of us, she fell in love with SaddleBrooke after coming over the hill. Her presentation will look at some key moments of the Arab Spring and identify what went wrong and some lessons learned.

The Arab Spring started in December 2010 when a young Tunisian fruit seller set himself on fire in front of the municipal office out of despair, hopelessness, and humiliation. In January 2011 Egyptians were galvanized by the beating death, while in police custody, of a young IT student from Alexandria. Similar protests were incited across the Arab World: Bahrain, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, and Morocco. In fact, the 2010s were the most politically active years in history: Arab World, Turkey, Brazil, Ukraine, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Chile. And yet, the Arab Spring protests did not result in a more democratic, inclusive government. It is clear that the Arab Spring has transformed into the Arab Winter. Arab governments are now more autocratic than ever, often with the consent of the people. But were these protests all in vain?

Mark your calendar for Dr. McNabb’s informative presentation on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, in the DesertView Theater from 4 to 6 p.m. The lecture is free to all SaddleBrooke residents. Come early to get a good seat.

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