Last 8th of July in Torino, in the framework of the “Festival of Popular Orality”, IFOR International Coordinator Francesco Candelari was invited to moderate the round table entitled: “Tahrir Square, Zuccotti Park, What’s next?: Nonviolent Revolutions discussed by protagonists”. After taking part in the event “Le Printemps Arabe” (The Arab Spring), that took place in Aosta last April, IFOR considered important to keep the discussion open on the developments of the movements and the revolutions that drastically changed the North-African political scene and inspired a desire of change also in other parts of the world, from the squares of Europe to those of New York. But today, looking at what happens in Egypt or in Syria we wonder what is the legacy of this year of revolutions. What did they have in common? And what directions did they take?
Scholars, journalists and activists discussed from different perspectives on the outcomes of the revolutions and on the future of geopolitical balances.
Aya Homsi: Italian-Syrian blogger
Pierre Piccinin: Professor of History of Arab Countries at the Brussels European School
Domenico Quirico: correspondent for “La Stampa” in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia and Russia
Jacopo Rosatelli: correspondent for “Il Manifesto” in Madrid, activist
Francesco Candelari: International Coordinator of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
A short video (with English translation below) of a question posed to Aya Homsi, Italian-Syrian activist living in Bologna. Her Facebook page “We want a free Syria” is one of the most followed voices of the Syrian opposition abroad:
Francesco Candelari: Facebook and social media had a very important role for the Syrian opposition. How do you collect information and how can you verify that the information you collect are true?
Aya Homsi: Facebook and social networks are the most powerful tool we have against the Assad regime. One journalist asked to a young guy what were the weapons of the syrian rebels, and he took out of his pocket his mobile phone and showed it to him! He used it to film what happens in the country. So, information is the most important weapon we have, against the attempts of the country to hide what is happening there. We built a network of people, activists, organizations to try to establish a constant contact with Syria. For us it is very important to be sure that the information we receive are true, so we always verify sources, and, since we work in Italy we translate then and publish them. We upload on our media videos we receive from activists in Syria about what happens during the demonstrations and the tortures. Today there are no journalists working in Syria because it is impossible for them to go around the country. This is why people are trying to write history with their own hands.