LONDON, May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!" So wrote William Wordsworth at the start of the French Revolution, and the same spirit of euphoria still infects the young people of Egypt and Tunisia. But in countries with no tradition of democracy, where corruption is entrenched and jobs are scarce, the political and economic aspirations of the youthful revolutionaries are likely to be disappointed. Add to that the fact that the Islamists are far better organised than the liberal groups, and are set to come out on top in the forthcoming elections, and the future seems less bright.
But on the other hand, the new democrats are mobilising themselves to make sure that the benefits of change trickle down to all. There's even talk of a possible split amongst the Islamists between the reactionary old guard and a more open-minded younger generation. Most importantly the fundamental barrier of fear has been removed and, as Ahmed Naguib has pointed out, if their demands aren't met, "The Egyptian masses know their way back to Tahrir Square!"
Welcome and Introduction from Martin Davidson, CEO British Council Speakers For the motion Nora Ayman 23-year-old corporate analyst at the National Bank of Egypt. Graduated from Cairo University Douglas Murray Author and journalist, and Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society Norman Stone Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara. Former Professor of Modern History at Oxford Speakers Against the motion Roger Cohen Columnist for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Reported from Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution Fawaz Gerges Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics. He also holds the Emirates Chair of the Contemporary Middle East Ahmed Naguib 33-year-old Advising and Exchanges Director for AMIDEAST in Cairo, and prominent mobiliser of youth in the Egyptian revolution of 2011 Chair Nik Gowing Main presenter, BBC World News Join the debate on Twitter #iq2rev Tickets: Free and only available to students. Ticket holders must bring valid student ID. Booking and Information: http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/jasmine-revolution
The International Debate Education Association (IDEA), an offshoot of the Open Society Institute (OSI), has come together with the British Council and the debating organisation Intelligence Squared to stage a major debate on the future of the Jasmine Revolutions in North Africa. The event will be free to an international audience of students and young activists, many of whom will be in London for a two-day symposium being held by the British Council, and it will be live-streamed globally online. Along with seasoned speakers, the panel will also include the following two young Egyptians who experienced the recent revolution first-hand.
Nora Ayman, 23, is a corporate analyst at the National Bank of Egypt. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University and holds a bachelor's degree in economics. Nora Witnessed the Egyptian revolution in 2011 and supported the protesters. She has a keen interest in development and has participated in the Model United Nations (an academic simulation of the UN that works as an educational tool) as a delegate and a secretariat in economic councils such as the World Trade Organization, The World Bank Group, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Ahmed Naguib is a 33-year-old Egyptian who serves as the Advising and Exchanges Director for AMIDEAST. Ahmed directs and manages the EducationUSA Center, the cultural and professional exchanges portfolio, as well as the scholarship portfolio which includes the ORASCOM Onsi Sawris and Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programs and finally AMIDEAST's Study Abroad program in Cairo. Since April 2008, he has been directing the Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program, a scholarship programme focused on empowering the marginalized through access to higher education.
On January 25, 2011, Ahmed took to the streets of Cairo, and over the next few days mobilised thousands of young people to congregate in Tahrir Square. He organized them into various committees dealing with security, food and tent and blanket distribution, hygiene, political and media coordination and the group came to be known as the "Trustees of the Revolution".
In close cooperation with the Coalition of the Youth of the 25th of January and four other coalitions, Ahmed launched the Coordination Committee of the Masses, a joint committee for the most influential coalitions since the ousting of Mubarak. This was formed in order to mobilize public opinion in an attempt to pressure the interim government and the Supreme Military Council to ensure the fulfillment of the popular demands of the Revolution.
Ahmed is working on launching three initiatives currently: the International Campaign for Egypt's Debt Forgiveness - ICEDF; the Egyptian Initiative for Political Awareness and Civic Education, which is a knowledge community; and a new social contract for Egypt as part of the National Plan for Egypt's Development, an initiative between civil society and the Egyptian government.
Contact: Kit Cockburn, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44-207-221-1177
SOURCE The International Debate Education Association (IDEA), Open Society Institute (OSI), British Council and Intelligence Squared