Origins: Arab Spring

I’m gearing up to do more Arabic-related posts on this blog and, by way of an introduction, I’d like to propose a new, additional meaning to the phrase ‘Arab Spring’.

As it is, Arabs speaking in Arabic appear to prefer some variety of ‘Arab revolutions’ (??????? ???????) or ‘Arab uprisings’, even though “Arab Spring” may itself have been coined in the Arab world in early 2005 – following the first demonstrations sparked by former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri’s assassination, though before the largest gathering seven years ago today.

Regardless, seasonal metaphors, by definition, are cyclical, sometimes abruptly so, since the rhetorical spring ushered in by 2011 appears to have passed directly into winter, so far as many prominent commentators are concerned anyway.

Instead of scrapping the term altogether – and it still has the caché of convenience – I’m repurposing it. The increased (though far from sufficient) coverage of the Arab World in the international media over the last 15 or so months has served to underscore the tremendous material wealth of Arab culture, now accessible to to anyone and everyone with an internet connection.

Put simply: There’s no excuse for ignorance anymore.

For me, then, the Arab Spring is an invitation to harvest and enjoy the fruits of an Arab renaissance that has been a long time in developing and that more than merits our attention. More posts to come . . .

Image: Forgive the mixed metaphor, but it is also the year of the Dragon.


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