Teaching about the
Arab Uprisings
Deborah Smith Johnston
Lakeside School, Seattle
TED talk by
involved in
Arab Spring
in Egypt
Ted Talk by
Wael Ghonim
Role of Social Media
now– The
Cooking Up A Revolution
Your goal is to write a recipe for a SUCCESSFUL revolution.
What are the essential ingredients?
What are some optional “seasonings”?
Is making a revolution more akin to cooking a dinner entrée, baking a dessert or
making bread? For each different rules apply. Or perhaps it needs to incorporate
the whole menu.
Think carefully about proportions to show how important one cause is when
weighted against another. Don’t worry too much about yield as we can multiply to
“feed” larger populations.
Think about method / preparation. Do revolutions “taste better” (are more far
reaching, successful…) if they are flash fried? Put in the pressure cooker? Cooked at
high heat on the grill outside? In a crock pot? Pot roast? Stir fried? Sashimi? Include
preparation time needed.
You should be able to apply your recipe to the Haitian and the French revolutions
(and possibly the US if you buy the argument that it was a revolution). The true
test of course will be whether or not other chefs can apply it to future revolutions
(China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia etc.) but that is a task for another day.
World History:
Revolutions Compared
DBQ on UDHR and Egypt (Winter 2011)
The Question:
Use all the documents to comment on the
connections between Human rights and the Egyptian
revolution as they relate to Motivations, Tools, and
Legacy using the documents below. Include a
request for an Additional document.
Was the Revolution motivated by primarily by the
desire for more economic or political rights? What
“tools of revolution” were employed that reflected
the attainment of some political rights? What will be
the human rights legacy of this historic event?
AP World History DBQ
DOCUMENT ONE: Preamble of the United Nations Charter
DOCUMENT TWO: Speech excerpt by spokesperson for
DOCUMENT THREE: Image of Women protesting in Tahrir Square
in Cairo on Feb. 1 to protest rising food costs and widespread
joblessness amongst young males.
DOCUMENT FOUR: Speech excerpts by President Obama , 10 and
11 Feb, 2011
DOCUMENT FIVE: Hosni Mubarak, former President of Egypt
addressing the world, prior to stepping down. 11 Feb, 2011.
DOCUMENT SIX: Political Cartoon, 11 Feb, 2011.
DOCUMENT SEVEN: Blog from Bruce Nussbaum blogger and
former assistant managing editor for BusinessWeek. Feb 15,
DOCUMENT EIGHT: Book excerpt by Mosab Hassan Yousef, the
son of one of the founders of Hamas, who published a book called,
Son of Hamas.
DOCUMENT NINE: Written by Egyptian Americans in NYC following
the end of Mubarak’s rule.
DOCUMENT TEN: Interview with Wael Ghonim.
DOCUMENT ELEVEN: Tom Porteous, director of Human Rights
Watch and former foreign correspondent in Cairo.
AP World History DBQ Docs
Course Description
What a time to be learning TOGETHER about the Middle East! So
much has happened in the last two years that we could spend the
entire time just unraveling these events. We will certainly address
the changes but we will also look at the entire region in the context
of what has happened over the past 100 years, focusing particularly
on the role of media, development, conflict, and human rights. Our
overarching theme will be on CHANGE—how change has happened
in the region and what prospects there are for more.
 James Gelvin, The Arab Uprisings What everyone needs to Know
 Alaa Aslani, The Yacoubian Building
 Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree
 Rajaa Alsanea and Marilyn Booth, Girls of Riyadh
Current Issues in the Middle East
Central Topics- Fall 2012
◦ Media Literacy: Syria, Israel, Iran and the US
presidential Elections
◦ Globalization and Change as seen through Social
Networking in Saudi Arabia and throughout the
◦ Arab Awakening, with a focus on Egypt
(Socio-Economic Development Issues,
Political liberalization and Gender roles)
◦ Change in the Middle East (class focus on Israel and
Palestine, but other conflicts will come up in
individual research)
◦ Finding Solutions in the Region
Current Issues in the Middle East
Choose your group (Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen,
Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain)
Create a ONE PAGE visually interesting document
in the next 60 minutes.
Consider using a Template or more images to
make it interesting
 Timeline of Events (at least 10) (could be
conditions, sparks, methods… )
 Highlight (at least ONE) Turning Point
 Include a picture of the deposed (or embattled)
leader (and more pictures or clip art if possible)
 Be sure to include things that help you to
distinguish this uprising from the others.
Review Assignment– Arab
Why and How did change happen in _______________?
 Choose one of the following countries:
Yemen Libya Syria
(Feel free to make comparisons to any of the others as well:
Morocco, Bahrain, Algeria)
Agree or disagree with one of the following statements and
include this tailored more specifically for your country (or
something like this) as your thesis.
“The spontaneity, leaderlessness, diversity and loose
organization that have marked the uprisings have been
both their greatest strength and their greatest liability.”
“The internal strength or weakness of a state and the
relative independence of state institutions play a critical
role in determining the course an uprising will take.”
Essay Assessment
As you respond to the questions be sure to include in your essay, the following
What conditions existed on the eve of the uprisings in this country?
What four factors did (or did not) make this country vulnerable?
What were the methods used (by both the government and the
protestors)? Think about force, social media, policies, reforms…
What made this country unique in the way that they responded to the
Within your response above, be sure to compare (similarities and
differences) to at least one other place).
What is your prognosis for what happens there in the next 10
years (short and long term)?
[Challenge: Critique Gelvin’s interpretation of what has happened.
How would you interpret things differently? ]
The Yacoubian Building
by Alaa Al Aswany
Yacoubian Building Creative Response
Choose one of the characters in the book. Think about what societal issues matter
most to him or her. Track character traits, as well as significant quotes as you read.
Complete ONE of the choices below.
Create a 1000 word dialogue between your character and Mubarak that addresses the
Causes of the Revolution. Use both evidence of issues raised by Alaa Al Aswany in
Yacoubian Building, as well as news stories from the present to make your case to the
former dictator of Egypt. (Note: Your interview may be used by the Egyptian court
currently trying him.)
Write a 1000 word petition to President Morsi of Egypt from the perspective of one of
the characters in the book (presume everyone lives). Now, almost 2 years later, what
do you see as continuing trends in Egypt, based on what you read in Yacoubian Building
about the past, and what you see in the news today? What alarms you most and what
changes do you want to see implemented?
Write a 1000 word one act play set in the present day that creates a dialogue between
at least five of the characters of the novel. Choose carefully so that you have a variety
of people from different classes. Discuss the Revolution in Cairo in 2011, bringing up
references to the events in the novel, as well as to the present. What issues relating to
class and development are most relevant? (for example, Garbage Dreams, news
stories, development indicators…)
4 November 2012
To His Honor President Mohammed Morsi,
It brings such great joy to my heart to know that the tyranny of Hosni Mubarak has
ended; I have great hope that the future of Egypt is much brighter than it was before. Although I was
hundreds of miles away in France during the revolution, I watched the news day and night to the
point where it seemed that I was there myself with those countless Egyptians who stood up for their
rights. Although my home is in Paris now, and not Cairo, I tweeted daily about my hopes and
aspirations for the revolution and my solidarity with those brave men and women in Tahrir square. For
us Egyptians who are scattered across the world today, social media is a marvel of technology that we
never could have imagined in Egypt before. I am so proud of what our people have accomplished
together, and I congratulate you on your victory in a pure and uncorrupt political election.
However, as you are no doubt aware of, there is much work to be done. Egypt is a country
plagued by problems, issues, and rifts that prevent us from becoming the great nation that we can
be. Corruption will not end with Mubarak’s exit, and the vast economic inequality between the richest
and poorest members of our society will not disappear overnight. I have known people in my life who
have been driven to do terrible things just to feed their families, and the culture of inequality has
created a society where few people can trust each other.
…I am writing to your eminence to bring to your attention to an issue which has largely
been swept under the rug in the excitement over the new political system. Women, who were
formerly among the foremost leaders of the revolution, have been pushed to the foreground during
the elections and under the de facto reign of the SCAF. We who marched next to our male brothers in
Islam have been relegated to little more than figureheads at best…
To fix this great rift between the two genders, I suggest two things. First, you must use
your power as president to ensure that women are granted the political power that they deserve as
befits their contribution to the revolution. Second, you must crack down harder on the brutality of
those who seek to quash our attempts to exercise our right to protest. Before, the thugs of Mubarak
both physically and sexually assaulted women who took to the streets, while today, the SCAF does the
same. …
Busayna el Sayed 34, Talaat Harb Street
Student Sample
A New Egypt?
A short play written by Isabella about the
aftermath of the Egyptian revolution including
snippets of the lives and opinions of characters
from Alaa Al Aswany’s book The Yacoubian
BUSAYNA: This is such a mess.
ZAKI BEY: What is it now, Busayna? I told you not
to read those papers anymore, every time you do
they get you all strung-up, can’t we just enjoy the
beautiful day? Look around you!
BUSAYNA: That’s easy for you to say, Zaki, the
only person you left behind in Egypt was your
sister who despises you. My family is still there,
Zaki, my brothers and sisters too. We were so
hopeful that Morsi would make things better, keep
his promises, but Zaki it’s gotten worse! (Cook,
Student Sample
BUSAYNA: Morsi promised he would get the people more jobs, that
he would lower the price of bread, that the streets would be safer…
it was all a lie. (Fadel)
ZAKI BEY: But Busayna, it has only been a few months since he
went into power, you have to give the guy a chance.
BUSAYNA: There’s no time to lose though! Zaki, our people have
been living in hell. Do you know what it’s like to have to give up
your honor and your dignity to barely make a living? What it’s like
to work ten hour days and still not have enough food at the table
every night for your family? To have a mother who expects you to
do everything that you can, even if it means completely throwing
your integrity and education out the window to make a living in the
jungle that is Cairo, Egypt? You don’t. (Aswany, 138) We had hope,
Zaki, that Morsi would be different… a breath of fresh air. A change.
But look what’s happening! Look at these numbers! Since he went
into office things have gotten even worse than before. The
unemployment rate has skyrocketed; there are blackouts in Cairo
every day still, and they’ve gotten longer, more consisted. There is
a lack of fresh water, there is no affordable food (Cook, Fadel). I
can’t imagine things being any worse than they were before. What
a liar. He’s no better than Mubarak was.
A Year of Change
Modeling Future Timelines
Teaching about the Future (too?!)
Modeling Future Timelines
Teaching about the Future (too?!)
Modeling Future Timelines
Teaching about the Future (too?!)

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