In light of Arab Spring, has ideology made people more separated in the current setting?  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is an interesting question.  I would actually argue that Arab Spring and resistance movements around it have shown that ideology can bring people in closer contact with one another.  I don't see ideology as a force of division, but rather of unification.  When Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia sets fire to himself in protesting the abuse of centralized power a year ago, it was an act out of the ideology that demonstrates the persuasiveness of liberal democracy.  Mohamed Bouazizi's actions are almost akin to the same ideological tenets that defined American expressions of freedom in the time of the colonists or the rebellion of Eastern Europeans under Communist rule.  For so long, the Arab region had been seen as fundamentally "different" than the social and political orders of the West.  I think that Arab Spring resistance movements have dispelled these notions.  The collapse of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya are examples of how ideology can actually bridge divides and bring people together.  The proliferation of these movements through technology like facebook or Mobile devices that make reporting these events more personal and yet more universal only enhance the idea that ideology does not have to be a force of division and fragmentation, but rather one that can bring individuals around the world together in recognition that common core beliefs prompt more likeness than difference between us. To me, this becomes one of the lasting images and legacies of Arab Spring.  To be able to harness this into stability in a post- Arab Spring setting becomes one of the fundamental challenges of all citizens and politicians moving forward.

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