Forecasting the Arab Spring | Newberry

Forecasting the Arab Spring

Led by Riad Ismat. Six sessions. 2 - 4 pm.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Tuesdays, September 24 - October 29

2 - 4 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (August 27 at 9 am** – September 13 at 4 pm): $230
Regular Registration Price (September 13 at 4 pm – first day of class): $253

** Registration opens online at 9 am. Phone registration will be accepted starting at 10 am.

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

Register online

Seminar Description

In this seminar, we will study a selection of major Arabic fiction writers and dramatists whose writing tackles corruption and tyranny, the two motives for the Arab Spring uprisings that began in 2011 and continue to this day in countries like Sudan. We will focus especially on the work of Egyptian, Syrian, and Tunisian writers, including Naguib Mahfouz, Tawfiiq al-Hakim, Gamal el-Gheini, Alfred Farag, Ghada Samman, Nizar Qabbani, and Zakaria Tamer.

Six sessions. E - $230, L - $253

Riad Ismat is a prolific writer and director. In addition to authoring many books of literary and arts criticism, he has 18 plays and 7 television series to his credit. He has also won Deutsche Welle’s Prize for Best Arabic Short Story. He teaches at Northwestern University and Columbia College.

Materials List


  • Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology; edited by Salma Jayyusi. Interlink Books, 2003. ISBN: 978-1566564694
  • Riad Ismat, Artists, Writers and The Arab Spring. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. ISBN: 978-3030026677. EBook: ISBN: 978-3026684
  • Naguib Mahfouz, The Time and the Place. Anchor Books, 1992. ISBN: 978-0385264723
  • Ghada Samman, The Square Moon. The University of Arkansas Press, 1998. ISBN: 9781557285355

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.