While this is the most important moment in the history of the modern Arab world, there are significant risks arising from the uncertain political directions that Egypt and possibly other Arab countries may take, according to a former Australian Ambassador to Egypt and Jordan.
Dr Robert Bowker will present a lecture on Egypt and the Politics of the Middle East at The University of Western Australia. Dr Bowker's visit to Perth is arranged jointly with the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
Dr Bowker is Adjunct Professor in the Australian National University's Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, having retired from the Australian Foreign Service in 2008 after a 37-year career specialising in Middle East and Islamic issues.
"Egypt is on the brink of a new political era, reflecting the significant changes that have taken place over the past three decades," he said.
"Triggered by events in Tunisia, and now affecting the entire Arab world, a process has begun in which established authoritarian regimes are facing popular demands for empowerment.
"The situation unfolding in the Middle East has implications that go beyond the future of the Arab world. It is a contest between those demanding the right to be simultaneously modern, Arab and Muslim, and those who see the values of Arab society as determined by orthodoxy of belief and behaviour, both social and political," Dr Bowker wrote in an opinion piece in The Age on 7 March.
Dr Bowker's latest book, Egypt and the Politics of Change in the Arab Middle East, was published in 2010. His visit is hosted by the University's Centre for Muslim States and Societies and co-sponsored by the Australian Institute for International Affairs and Royal United Services Institute of Australia, WA branch.
What: Egypt and the Politics of the Middle East
Where: Alexander Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Hackett Entrance 1
When: Thursday 17 March 5.30 - 7pm
Cost: $10.00 ($5.00 AIIA and RUSI-WA members)
RSVP: Naaimah Ali, UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies, (+61 8) 6488 4554
Media interviews: 4pm - 5pm at lecture theatre
Naaimah Ali (UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies) (+61 8) 6488 4554
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716