The Arab Spring was no failure, says one activist who refuses to give up


The mass movement that began as a fight for freedom and dignity has largely become a series of counter-revolutions and violent sectarian wars. In Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen — to say nothing of Syria — many people, once hopeful that popular uprisings would lead to political and social transformation, have given up.

But that’s a big mistake, according to one prominent activist who refuses to call it quits.

Iyad el-Baghdadi had a pretty good gig in early 2011. He was based in the United Arab Emirates, working as a start-up consultant with media companies. But like many people in the Arab world at the time, he got caught up by events.

“As soon as the revolutions kicked off, I did the honorable thing and completely ignored my company, completely ignored my clients, and lived on Twitter for a few months,” Baghdadi recalls.

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