The Invisible Arab by Marwan Bishara
The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolutions

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The Invisible Arab traces the roots of the revolutions in the Arab world. Marwan Bishara, chief policy analyst of Al Jazeera English and the anchor of the program “Empire”, combines on-the-ground reporting, extensive research and scholarship, and political commentary in this book on the complex influences that made the revolutions possible. Bishara argues that the inclusive, pluralistic nationalism that motivated the revolutions are indispensable to their long-term success.

The Invisible Arab is a voyage in time from the Arab world’s 'liberation generation’ through the 'defeated' and 'lost generations', arriving at today’s 'miracle generation'. Bishara unpacks how this new generation, long seen as a demographic bomb, has proved to be the agent of progress, unity and freedom. It has in turn used social networks to mobilize for social justice.

Bishara discusses how Israel, oil, terrorism and radical Islam have affected the interior identity of the region as well as Western projections upon it. Protection of Israel, Western imperial ambition, a thirst for oil, and fear of radicalism have caused many Western regimes and media to characterize Arab countries and people as unreceptive to democracy or progress. These ideas are as one-dimensional as they are foolhardy. Bishara argues that the Arab revolutions present a great window of opportunity for reinventing and improving Arab ties with the rest of the world— notably the West—on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest.

The revolutions will be judged by how they realize freedom and justice, and how they can pave the way for reconciling and accommodating nationalism and Islam with democracy. Bishara argues that these pillars—liberty and justice reconciled with religion and nationalism, form the bedrock that will allow stability and progress to flourish in the Arab world and beyond.


About Marwan Bishara

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Marwan Bishara is Al Jazeera English's senior political analyst and the editor & host of "Empire", a program on the channel that examines global powers and their agendas. He was previously a professor of International Relations at the American University of Paris and a fellow at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes et Sciences Sociales. Bishara's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Guardian, Le Monde and The Nation, among other outlets. He is also the chairman of The Galilee Foundation, a UK based charity that provides over one hundred students annually with university scholarships. He lives in Washington DC, Paris, and Dohar.
Published January 31, 2012 by Nation Books. 274 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Bishara (Palestine/Israel, 2001, etc.) characterizes the “invisible Arab” as the benumbed masses long brutalized under the military dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi and others who finally found their voice in the Arab Spring uprisings.

Feb 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Arab: The Promi...

Publishers Weekly

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Bishara, chief policy analyst for Al-Jazeera, provides a compelling and spirited history of the modern Arab nation, from colonial liberation to the recent revolutions.

Feb 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Arab: The Promi...

London School of Economics

Bishara is optimistic and continues to see real promise in the revolutions that have swept the Arab world whilst recognising that the movements are vulnerable to the perils of fundamentalism, Western meddling, and regional power politics.

Jun 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Invisible Arab: The Promi...

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