Asef Bayat is professor of sociology and Middle East studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His books include “Street Politics: Poor People’s Movements in Iran” (1997), “Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East” (2013), “Revolution without Revolutionaries: Making Sense of the Arab Spring” (2017) and “Revolutionary Life: The Everyday of the Arab Spring” (2021).
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This is a movement to reclaim life. People feel that a normal life has been denied to them by a regime of elderly clerical men. These men, they feel, seem so separated from the people, and yet they have colonized their lives.