Middle Eastern Minorities: The Impact of the Arab Spring

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Taylor & Francis, Mar 27, 2017 - Political Science - 274 pages

This is a comprehensive survey of minorities in the Middle East with a special focus on the post Arab Spring era.

Minority communities in the Middle East are the most susceptible to the turbulence engulfing the region; the majority may suffer physical violence and socioeconomic loss, but minorities could potentially vanish. Instead of ushering in democracy and inclusive politics, the revolutionary upheavals have prompted chaos and fear and reinforced the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the region. Zabad uses historical sources as well as first-hand interviews to vividly describe the current status of minorities in the Middle East, explaining attitudes towards the revolutionary upheavals as well as the various strategies they used to avail themselves of the opportunities presented and to confront the risks posed. The question of ethnic, sectarian and religious minorities is situated in the context of the broader history of the region in order to explain the underlying institutional and ideological factors that caused their predicament and problematized their relationship with the majority.

The book providesa rich trove of information and insights generated from ten case studies that covered the Shī‘a in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt, the Druze, the Alawites, Christians and Kurds in Syria, the Copts in Egypt, and the Zaydis in Yemen.

 

Contents

The Underlying Institutional andIdeological Causes
1
Chapter 2 The Fate of Christians in the Arab Spring
39
The Beleaguered Community
83
The Vulnerable Community
125
Chapter 5 The Shia in the Arab World
135
Between Opportunities and Threats
191
The Accidental Winners
213
The Spring of Broken Mirrors
235
Bibliography
241
Index
259
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About the author (2017)

Ibrahim Zabad is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Co-director of the International Studies Program at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York.