All democracy activists around the world followed enthusiastically the wave that shook the Arab world beginning in December 2010 in Tunis. Our hopes were rekindled while watching the youth taking to the streets. Our hearts broke with every life lost. We were stirred with every new heartening step, we cheered for every victory. But mostly, we chanted loudly. While we identified ourselves with them, we also confessed that neither could we have the courage to undertake nor achieve that much.

Now, it is our time to join them.  We are eager to listen to the stories of the revolution. We would like to hear the history the Arab youth had written with their audacious, exemplary and righteous struggle that overthrew the bloody autocrats without using a stick, a stone, a gun; from those who stood up in the public squares. We have witnessed minute by minute, how men, women, children and youth rewrote history on the streets.

We acknowledge that building up anew is more difficult than bringing down. Destruction can be accomplished with momentary outbursts, but “constructing” requires a long-term, meticulous and toilsome effort and commitment. Let us put our heads together and debate what we can do. Now, let us talk with each other.

It is time for democracy activists to meet and exchange stories to inspire new ones.
Nahda Network is an initiative of the Turkish independent, pro-democracy group Young Civilians, aiming to create a platform for young activists to share their stimulating and encouraging stories, and voice their demands regarding the post-revolution period. Nahda Network hopes to contribute to the foundation of a new future for the region by opening up new channels of dialogue, and forging closer bonds between the youth of the Arab countries and Turkey. Bringing influential activists, journalists and scholars of the region together, Nahda Network intends to lay the groundwork for the construction of democratic, fair and transparent political structures and processes in the region.

The very first Nahda Network meeting will be held in Istanbul on November 18-20, 2011. This time Know-it-all analysts will be quiet, academicians will take a break. We will reserve our sentences to the question & answer sections, and we will listen to the extraordinary adventures of ordinary heroes of the revolutions and their experiences.
Prominent activists, bloggers, artists, journalists will discuss the means and creative methods they employed to topple down the regimes. These exchanges will keep us inspiring each other, learning from each other, sharing a destiny and cooperating to create a more democratic and open Middle East which we all deserve.

Believing in a free and fully democratic Turkey and the Middle East, Young Civilians proudly presents:
Nahda:  The Extraordinary Revolutions of Ordinary Heroes…