Public Space Key in Arab Unrest

At the center of ongoing protests and uproar in the Middle East, iconic and historical public spaces hold political clout.
May 20, 2011, 6am PDT | Jason Van Patten
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With attention often directed towards the influence of social networking, one cannot dismiss the influence public areas hold. From Egypt, to Tunisia, to Syria, protesters have taken to the streets to voice their opposition.

"the uprisings in the Middle East has largely been overshadowed by the role that social networking played in fomenting rebellion. For all the praise that has rightly been lavished upon the Arab world's youthful revolutionaries, one must not forget the gray, old spaces where they massed."

According to Colombia University Professor of Architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti, governments recognize public space as a threat,

"You need to actually denigrate the public space to denigrate the meaning of the movement."

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Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 in Time Magazine
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