APTTCA delegation leaders.
On February 10, AUAF political science professors held a panel discussion on Egypt, focusing on the driving factors behind the protests that eventually led to President Hosni Mubarak’s removal from office. The panel, entitled “Grassroots Democracy in the Middle East,” answered basic questions about the democratic process in Egypt, the role and reactions of neighbor countries and what the protests meant for the region and for the world. Dr. Seamus O’Sullivan chaired the panel, and 40 students, staff, and faculty were in attendance. Each panelist addressed a different aspect of the protests, from the specific demands of youth to the role of Facebook and social media in formenting change. Mohammed Isaqzadeh discussed the implications for Afghanistan and noted the differences in the political structures. “One of the failings of the Egyptian political system was that it allowed no room for opposing politics,” Isaqzadeh noted. “The likelihood of seeing similar protests here in Afghanistan that result in mass resignations, led by disenfranchised political parties, is minimal. This is because the current system, while not without complications, does allow for competing political parties to gain seats and voice their opinions.” While debates emerged among the students on the specifics of Afghan democracy, all expressed their strong interest in having more panel discussions on world affairs and current events on a regular basis.
USAID/Afghanistan Program Highlights: 2/1/2011-2/15/2011