What happens when a revolution unravels?
While motivations vary widely, revolutions are, at their core, a clash between old and new ideas. The Tahrir Square uprisings were no different. Nearly two-thirds of Egypt's 70 million citizens were under thirty years old and newly online, and it became harder for the regime to isolate the public from radical ideas. That influx of ideas—and the political sentiments that followed—created a new wave of turmoil for many young people torn between the ever-shifting balance of tradition and change in their own lives.
In her new book, Generation Revolution, journalist Rachel Aspden offers a window into the Arab Spring through the millennials who experienced it firsthand. Following the stories of four young Egyptians—an atheist software engineer, a village girl in defiance of her community, a one-time religious extremist, and a would-be teenage martyr—the book reveals a growing generation in Egypt vastly different from preceding ones, struggling to find a place for various voices during the chaos of government upheaval.
As misinformation about religious extremism and the refugee crisis accelerates, New America NYC presented a discussion on where the next generation will take the Middle East and how Americans can better understand the doubts, resentments, and hopes they carry into the future.
PARTICIPANTSRachel Aspden @rachelaspden
Author, Generation Revolution: On the Front Line Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East
Sana Amanat @MiniB622
Director, Content & Character Development, Marvel Entertainment
Moustafa Bayoumi @BayoumiMoustafa
Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Author, How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America
Angie Gad @Angieslyst
Katherine Zoepf @katherinezoepf
Fellow, Better Life Lab, New America
Author, Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World