Book review : Expat-ing Democracy: Dissidents, Technology and Democratic Discourse in the Middle East

Nir T. Boms, Expat-ing Democracy: Dissidents, Technology and Democratic Discourse in the Middle East, (Bern: Peter Lang Publishers, 2017), 246 pp.

The upheavals throughout the Middle East in 2010-2011, popularly known as the “Arab Spring,” changed the political paradigm throughout the region. For several decades, gradual political and economic changes were the norm and the political paradigm seemed to be fixed. The sudden regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt, however, reverberated in Syria, Iran, Bahrain and elsewhere. Nothing has remained the same. Hence, the importance and timeliness of Dr. Nir T. Boms’s study, Expat-ing Democracy.

A research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University and the vice president of the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), Dr. Boms offers both academic and scholarly expertise and an approach of practical application. His book presents a penetrating analysis of the nature of the events and causes which led to the upheaval and the political and social consequences of these transformations in the Middle East. He discusses aspects of the “Arab Spring” which have not appeared in other scholarship on the subject. This is the result of his unique selection of sources which includes surveys conducted by the author over a period of several years and interviews with individuals active in attempting to implement the democratic process in the region. As both an observer and a participant, Boms encouraged the activists whom he interviewed. His initiatives in humanitarian projects, such as assistance to people stranded in Southern Syria, provided him with a rare opportunity of building a network of activists who are directly involved in social and civic initiatives for democracy. Ex-pating Democracy not only presents the content of the interviews but also describes the circumstances under which they were conducted. Therefore, the book is informative, original and exciting. View full post…

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Building Bridges in an Insane World – an interview

lchaim nir bom

By Sharon Rapoport

It was a cold November night and the Publisher for L’CHAIM and I met with Dr. Nir Boms at The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach. It had been a little under a month since the French terror attacks, and the after the non-stop media coverage the world seemed to have turned sour. Newscasters recommended that people watch out for stray packages in malls on Black Friday. Nations were reconsidering allowing entry of countless Syrian refugees, and social media was abuzz with satirical memes depicting every Muslim as a potential suicide bomber.

Yet here was this man, whom we knew little about, referencing metaphorical bridges building toward our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters. About tolerance, and assisting Syrian refugees … ideas which usually make sense, but in the wake of another radical Islamic terror attack, seemed awkward at best. View full post…

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