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Unfinished RevolutionsYemen, Libya, and Tunisia after the Arab Spring$
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Ibrahim Fraihat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215632

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215632.001.0001

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Truth Seeking and Grappling with the Past

Truth Seeking and Grappling with the Past

(p.103) Six Truth Seeking and Grappling with the Past
Unfinished Revolutions

Ibrahim Fraihat

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that dealing with the past through a robust and transparent truth seeking process is an integral part of the transition process for Arab Spring countries. While truth seeking has drawbacks, the chapter finds that it is key to learning from mistakes, clearly breaking from the past, and preventing grievances and grudges from shaping the future. The author summarizes the human rights violations that Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia experienced and the unanswered questions they still face, as well as each country’s debate over how far back to delve. The issues of concern include systemic repression and discrimination, massacres, past wars, and the fates of those who were disappeared. Only Tunisia has made significant progress in starting a truth seeking process. The chapter draws several lessons: truth seeking approaches should be country-specific, are highly politicized, are necessary for redefining identity, and help end polarization by strengthening a collective memory and creating a unifying national narrative.

Keywords:   Truth seeking, Truth commissions, Human rights violations, Transitional justice, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia

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