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The civil society debates and the Arab Spring

Prince Claus Fund

Friday, September 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM (CEST)

The civil society debates and the Arab Spring

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Lecture by professor Sadik Al Azm (Syria)

Sadik Al-Azm, one of the Middle East's most notable contemporary thinkers, will reflect on the effect of the Arab uprisings on civil society.

Sadik Al-Azm is Professor Emeritus of Modern European Philosophy at the University of Damascus and a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Institute at the University of Bonn. His area of specialisation was the philosophy of Immanuel Kant with a more current emphasis upon the Islamic world and its relationship to the west. He has also contributed to the discourse of Orientalism.

One of his most influential books, Al-Naqd al-dati ba'd al-hazimah (Self-Criticism After the Defeat), challenged the shifting blame that followed the defeat of Syria, Jordan and Egypt after the 1967 war and reasoned that Arabs had to embrace democracy, gender equality and science to achieve progress. When it was first published in 1968, the book marked a turning point in Arab discourse about society and politics and spawned other intellectual ventures into Arab self-criticism. However, in 1970, in response to his writings, Al-Azm was tried in Beirut and dismissed from his teaching post at the American University there. Still actively writing, Mr. Al-Azm has already left a legacy of piercing intellectual examination of the social, religious, cultural and political bases of modern Arab society. He has contributed to the Prince Claus Fund as a member of the Awards Committee.

Culture in Defiance
The lecture is part of the exhibition Culture in Defiance: Continuing Traditions of Satire, Art and the Struggle for Freedom in Syria in the Prince Claus Fund Gallery. Free admission, until 23 November. 

Have questions about The civil society debates and the Arab Spring? Contact Prince Claus Fund

When & Where

Prince Claus Fund Gallery
603 Herengracht
1017 Amsterdam

Friday, September 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM (CEST)

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Prince Claus Fund

Based on the principle that culture is a basic need, the Prince Claus Fund's mission is to actively seek cultural collaborations founded on equality and trust, with partners of excellence, in spaces where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened. 

The Prince Claus Fund is based in Amsterdam and is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Postcode Lottery.  

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The civil society debates and the Arab Spring
Amsterdam, Netherlands Events Conference

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