The military aircraft in which Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul sat chained to a bench, soaked in their own urine, ear-muffed, masked and unable to see, landed at the American airstrip at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on 14 January 2002. The two men, who had travelled to Pakistan from their homes in Britain five months earlier in order to attend Iqbals wedding, had already survived a massacre of prisoners by their original captors, the private army of the Afghan warlord Rashid Dostum.
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In the months following the start of the Arab Revolutions, articles and analysis poured into openDemocracy from contributors across the Middle East and Europe. Gradually, the impact of Tahrir Square began to extend well beyond the Middle East as democratic inspiration travelled from east to west. Arab Awakening tries to capture that inspiration and use it to help us read a rapidly changing world.
"As students of politics is it is vital to study the power of imagination."
-Professor Charles Tripp, SOAS