15 November 2013
Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, University of London, won the Phoenix Award 2013 for his exploration of the Arab uprising in The People Want (French title: Le Peuple veut) jointly with well-known French author Sorj Chalandon for his novel Le Quatrième mur.
The Phoenix Prize for Literature in 2013, established in 1996, is awarded annually at the Beirut Francophone Book Fair to books written in French by Lebanese writers, or French-authored books related to Lebanon. The panel is chaired by famous Lebanese author and member of the Académie française, Amin Maalouf.
Professor Achcar’s latest book analyses the specific socio-economic features that hindered the region’s development leading to its political explosion and draws up a balance sheet of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria. The scholar argues that what we have witnessed to date is only the beginning of a revolutionary process that is likely to extend for many more years to come.
The English edition of Professor Achcar's book, which came out a few months ago in both the UK and the US, has been recently reviewed by The Jordan Times (10 November): “Publishing a book about the Arab uprising may seem a perilous venture given how swiftly events are changing. However, Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, avoids the risk of being outdated by zooming in on root causes and abiding trends... The book offers a valuable, in-depth and original perspective for evaluating the popular revolts which continue to determine events in the Arab region.”