(Tommy Alexander / MJ)
(Tommy Alexander / MJ)

BY TAYLOR HAWKINS, Staff Writer

A little more than a year after the first uprising of the “Arab awakening” in Tunisia, Raed Charafeddine, the vice governor of the Lebanon’s central bank, gave a lecture on the economic and financial impacts of what he is calling the “Arab awakening” in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA).

Charafeddine spoke about his understanding of the the events, the economic and financial impact, the strengths and weaknesses of the MENA region, and the necessity of each nation to achieve the “correct political, economic, and social mix.”

He emphasized the importance of increased access to social media and smaller grassroots movements in giving the initial revolt in Tunisia the momentum to spread throughout the region. He also noted that all of the countries involved in the uprising except Syria (and to a degree Libya) have been “close western allies” and have tried to emulate western financial systems.

In his closing remarks, he noted that social and economic transformations must follow the political revolutions that have taken place in order to utilize the strengths and address the challenges facing each nation.

He has spent that past 20 years within the banking industry in Lebanon and also works for the International Monetary Fund, the Arab Monetary Fund, and the Capital Market Authority.