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A New Generation Challenges the Old Order?

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 30 April 2014

Egyptian author Tarek Osman uncovers the history of the modern Arab world by tracing some of the great political dreams that have shaped it, from the 19th Century to the Arab Spring.

Throughout the series, he focuses on two countries that are currently high on the news agenda: Egypt and Syria. As Tarek discovers, these are also the states from which many of the crucial characters and ideas in this story emerged.

In this final programme, he examines the build up to the Arab Spring as two worlds collide. As the previous experiments with liberalism, nationalism and Islamism founder, the region's presidential hard men seek to consolidate their power by passing it onto their sons.

At the same time, riding the wave of a population explosion which leaves two thirds of the Arab world under 25 years old, a new generation frustrated by the lack of jobs or political freedoms rises up to challenge the old order.

Picture: Tear gas is fired by Egyptian riot police during clashes with students, Credit: Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty

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