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Author Talk: Nonie Darwish

It’s hard not to be supportive of what once was called “Arab Spring.” In much of the Muslim world, political “leaders” are ruthless despots and iron-fisted autocrats. And yet, when they fall, whether through popular revolt (as in the case of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt) or Western-assisted civil war (as in the case of Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya), what follows next is not necessarily better. Egypt currently is under military rule, and Libya is on the precipice of tribal anarchy. While the vile Syrian regime could be the next to fall, the fact that al Qaeda has expressed interest in helping dissidents fight President Bashar Assad doesn’t exactly bode well for the country’s future. Egypt-born author and human rights advocate Nonie Darwish addresses these concerns in “The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East,” which she discusses at the Heritage Foundation.

Feb. 29 at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE

Phone: 202/675-1761


Theater: ‘How Old Is a Hero?’

Almost a year before Rosa Parks made national news by refusing to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, a black teenage girl named Claudette Colvin was arrested for the same. It was, in fact, Ms. Colvin’s case that ended racial segregation on Alabama buses. Why does Parks get all the credit? Because Ms. Colvin gave birth to a child out of wedlock. In 2009, the New York Times recovered Ms. Colvin, who then was “living unheralded in the Bronx,” from the dustbin of history. The inspiration for “How Old Is a Hero?” comes from a book about Ms. Colvin, titled “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.” Shortly after the book came out, Ms. Colvin told the Times, “Maybe by telling my story — something I was afraid to do for a long time — kids will have a better understanding about what the civil rights movement was about.”

Feb. 24 at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

Phone: 202/633-8700