Al-‘adulah itjima’iah in Transition: Social Justice Philanthropy and the Arab Awakening

The year 2011 marks a watershed moment in the history of the Arab region; successive calls for change were launched across what had formerly been perceived as the most stagnant and change-resistant part of the world. This collective flux had been building up for decades and should be viewed as a continuum that has not yet born its desired fruits – the revolutionary fervor continues in 2013 as well as grievances that set the Arab Awakening in motion. A common denominator across those waves of mass citizen activism was the call for social justice, and the success or failure of the Arab transition seems to be heavily dependent on whether or not social justice is realized. In Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the public discourse had calls for social justice embedded within the more emotionally-loaded term of karama or dignity. Lack of social justice was a key factor that ignited and continues to fuel those uprisings, and its realization has become the goal for those countries as they struggle their way through an uneasy transition.

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Sherine N. El Taraboulsi

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