In 2016: How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the ‘Arab Spring'

Much has been written about democracy (or the lack of it), political Islam and violence in the Middle East after the ‘Arab Spring’. But how do these aspects relate to the realities of everyday life in the post-revolutionary Arab world? And aren’t there many other matters that are much more important to ‘ordinary’ Arabs than these three catchwords of western media coverage?

Cairo graffito 2016

“Baby milk”, “Dual identities/Masking”, “Father figures”, “Football”, “Gated communities/Compounds”, “The Policeman criminal”, “Psychiatrists” – these are only a few out of more than sixty entries in a publication that assembles the results of the NFR-funded research project "In 2016" that looked into Arab everyday worlds in Egypt and Tunisia five years after the ‘Arab Spring’.

Underrepresented realities

A major objective of the project was to highlight aspects of post-revolutionary realities that tend to be heavily underrepresented in the media coverage as well as in mainstream academic treatment of the contemporary Arab world, dominated as they are by a focus on war and violence, Islamist extremism, autocratic rule, and humanitarian tragedy. To do so, the project focused on life-worlds as reflected in cultural production (fiction, cinema, music, architecture, art) and in social media.


At today’s event, the research team will introduce its work to a larger public and unveil an interactive website that allows one to ‘jump right into’ these worlds and move around in them (via cross-references)—a tool that aims to enable users to form an impression of the experience of ‘how it felt’ (and feels) to live in the Arab World in this period of transition and historic change.

ParticipantsStephan GuthAlbrecht Hofheinz and members of the research team in conversation with Brynjar Lia.



If you have any questions concerning the seminar, please contact our CIMS coordinator, Alexandra H. Koritzinsky, either by email:, or at: (+47) 957 21 103.

Published Oct. 17, 2018 2:23 PM - Last modified May 10, 2019 3:35 PM