Political science professor explores the causes and future of the Arab Spring

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    It was a revolutionary wave that no one saw coming, Manochehr Dorraj said in his presentation for the Faculty Favorite Lecture Series on Wednesday night.

    Dorraj, a political science professor, spoke to a group of 40 students, faculty and members of the Fort Worth community about the Arab Spring in his lecture entitled “Arab Spring and Its Aftermath: Where Do We Go From Here?”

    Dorraj said enabling factors like political corruption, political oppression, unemployment and citizen journalists started the Arab Spring. The most important factor, however, was one not often seen in political movements.

    “Through Facebook, through YouTube, through Twitter, they saw actions of other countries, and that was inspiration to deal with their own dictators,” Dorraj said of those participating in the uprisings. “Social media adds a whole new dynamic.”

    There was one issue not addressed by any leaders of these uprisings, Dorraj said, and the failure to recognize that issue will ultimately affect their outcomes. This is the issue of Crony Capitalism.

    “The issue of political structure has not yet been addressed,” said Dorraj. “Free market and competition, as is common to us here in America, is non-existent to them.”

    Delio Silvestri, TCU alumnus who attended the lecture, said that the Arab Spring is a huge issue that deals with civil strife and politics in many countries. Silvestri was more interested in the vision of what is to come for the Arab World.

    “I am not very optimistic for the short term,” Dorraj said near the end of his lecture. “But the people are getting energized, and if that energy is channeled through the right person, there will be good in the future.”

    The next presentation in the Faculty Favorite Lecture Series:

    WHAT: “Religion Beyond The Religious: The Ballpark, The Stadium And The Alamo” by Dr. Santiago Piñón

    WHEN: Wed., Feb. 20, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

    WHERE: Palko Building, Room 130

    FEE: $10 (Free for faculty and students)