Abdelilah Bouasria is a visiting professor of Arabic studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He worked for three years as a journalist at Voice of America in Washington DC and one year as an Arabic teacher and a Spanish test developer at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
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Following the much-publicized self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi on December 18, 2010, a tempestuous succession of demonstrations, revolutions and civil wars swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. These events, collectively referred to as the “Arab Spring” spread contagiously throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb. However, for autocratic states, instead of ushering in tidy transitions of power, the revolutions and uprising descended into chaos, greatly complicating the task of analysts and historians attempting to make sense of the events. Has the Arab Spring brought much-needed change to the Arab people or will instability and turmoil preserve a perpetual state of “Arab Winter”.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: July 2018
Afia S. Zia is a feminist researcher with a doctoral degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sex Crime in the Islamic Context (1994, ASR) and has contributed essays to several edited volumes including, Contesting Feminism: Gender and Islam in Asia and Voicing Demands.
Vijay Prashad is a professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is author of fifteen books, two of them picked by the Village Voice as books of the year, as well as nine edited volumes. He writes regularly for Frontline (India), The Hindu (India), BirGün (Turkey) and Alternet (USA) and appears regularly on The Real News Network and Democracy Now. He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). Strongmen is his first ever edited book published by a Pakistani publisher, Folio Books.
Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives. She was special correspondent for Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and political correspondent for Reuters. Her first book, Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism, was a finalist for UK’s 2008 Index on Censorship Award and was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Her second book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was shortlisted for the 2009 Crossword Book Award and was a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year.
George Orwell (June 25, 1903 to January 1, 1950), born Eric Arthur Blair, was a novelist, essayist and critic best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Born to British civil servant, Orwell spent his infancy days in India and came to England with his mother when he was one year old. Like many other boys in England, Orwell was sent to boarding school. In 1911 he went to St. Cyprian’s in Eastbourne, where he got his first taste of England’s class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He wasn’t very popular with his peers, and in books he found solace from his difficult situation. He read works by Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, among others. Due to impoverishment, he had to discontinue formal education. Instead he joined the India Imperial Police Force in 1922. After five years in Burma, Orwell resigned his post and returned to England. He was intent on making it as a writer.