Sunday, 7 August 2011

Gene Sharp and the Arab revolutions

A VISUAL presentation of the work of nonviolence pioneer Gene Sharp featured prominently in the opening event of the 2011 Festival of Spirituality and Peace, held at St John's Church in the heart of Scotland's capital, Edinburgh.

Gene Sharp, the man now credited with having a significant role in the strategy behind the toppling of the Egyptian government and the spread of largely peaceful, democratic revolutions across the Arab world, is perhaps the foremost contemporary expert on non-violent revolution. Today, his work has been translated into more than 30 languages.  His books have often slipped across borders and have escaped the eyes secret police all over the globe.

As Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine also fell to the rainbow revolutions sweeping across Eastern Europe, each of the democratic movements involved paid tribute to Sharp's influence. Yet his work has remained largely unknown to the public, he has been harassed by the CIA as a subversive, and he has lived in modesty if not poverty.

Gene Sharp's most famous book is From Dictatorship to Democracy. The Albert Einstein Institution, which he haeds, is based in the ground floor of his home and guided by executive director Jamila Raqib

The NGO is a nonprofit organization advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

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