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Uprising in Tahrir Square

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Uprising in Tahrir Square is designed as an engaging contemporary resource for advanced Arabic learners. It immerses language students in the monumental events that unfolded in Cairo, Egypt during the mass youth uprisings of January 2011. Before toppling President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule in February 2011, the Egyptian youth movement had captivated the world and transmitted its message of anger, hope, and change to a global audience. The world watched as more than a million protestors gathered to press for reform, democracy and regime change.

Uprising in Tahrir Square places students of Arabic at the epicenter of these real-life events through a simulated journal project and writing exchange. Students become authors in their own right as they invent personas and speak through the voices of diverse characters who all reside in the vicinity of Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Writing in first-person narrative, students’ journal entries bear witness to the early days of the nascent uprising, through its surprisingly rapid conclusion with Mubarak’s resignation, and the uncertainty of what Egypt’s future may bring. Not only do the invented characters grapple with the uprising’s tragedies and triumphs through their own perspectives, but they also interact with a cast of invented neighbors, using contemporary technology tools, creative drama activities and other approaches. The book’s units trace the actual sequence of the Cairo uprising and intersperse fictional scenarios – providing both historical background and interpretive content.

The structure of Uprising in Tahrir Square supports learning on multiple levels. Students deepen their understanding of the cultural, political and social contexts for Egyptian youth’s historic uprisings, while developing essential Arabic skills. The book’s activities and array of resources are carefully designed to promote listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary development, critical thinking and interpretation, research, peer collaboration, creative writing, and oral language fluency. Students apply essential skills by using the Arabic language in a vital, authentic context. Uprising in Tahrir Square is designed as a springboard for further discussion and study of this compelling time in history.

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Published: Nov 30, 2019

Section Chapter Authors
Dedication and Acknowledgements Abdelkader Berrahmoun
About the Author Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Author’s Note Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Notes to Teachers Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Notes to Students Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Create Your Character! Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Useful Information Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Writing Rubrics Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 1
The Revolution Begins Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 2
Internet Blackout Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 3
A Friday Unlike Any Other Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 4
A Knock on the Door Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 5
Pursuit Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 6
The Tanks Roll into Cairo Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 7
Caught in the Chaos Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 8
"The Battle of the Camel" Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 9
Women Speak Out Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 10
Brotherhood and Solidarity Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 11
Power to the People! Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Unit 12
After the Fall of Mubarak’s Regime Abdelkader Berrahmoun
End Matter
Postscript Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Character Reflections Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Guided Reflection Abdelkader Berrahmoun
List of Web and Video Resources Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Vocabulary Master List Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Appendix A Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Appendix B Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Appendix C Abdelkader Berrahmoun
Credits Abdelkader Berrahmoun


A truly fresh approach to the learning of Arabic at the advanced levels.
Christopher Stone, Associate Professor of Arabic and Head of Arabic Program, Hunter College of the City University of New York

A welcome addition to the current canon of study aids in the area of teaching Arabic as a foreign language.
Ahmad Atef Ahmad, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara