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Egypt

Egypt Two Years after the Coup

[Presiden Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. Source: Official Facebook Page of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi]

Today marks two years since the 3 July 2013 coup that paved the way to the rise of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and the military-sponsored regime that he leads. On this occasion, Jadaliyya brings its readers a diverse set of contributions both contending with the current moment in Egypt and the long road that led to it.   Egypt under the New July Republic, by Sarah Carr   More than Money on their Minds: The Generals and the Economy in Egypt Revisited, by Abdel-Fattah Barayez   The Saudi Leaks and Egypt: A Recap, by Wael Eskandar   Mahienour Al-Masry: An Icon of the Revolution in Prison, by Heba Khamis   New Texts Out Now: Marc Morjé ...

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Egypt under the New July Republic

[President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and government officials at the funeral of Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat who was killed in a car bomb attack on 29 June 2015. Source: Official Facebook Page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces.]

The prevailing characteristic of the time before the revolution, all those moons ago, was Egypt’s political moribundity.  There were elections of sorts, or at least votes went in ballot boxes but their provenance was not always from voters. Political parties did politics, sort of, following a script. There was a parliament. But outside of university campuses and the workers’ movement genuine politics was largely absent from public life. Egyptian Facebook was a very different animal back then, and while it would prove useful for mobilization in 2011 and beyond, the majority of people ignored both political developments, when there were any, and the routine and ...

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More than Money on their Minds: The Generals and the Economy in Egypt Revisited

[President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi at a military gathering in December 2014. Source: Official Facebook Page of the Spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces.]

Following the July 2013 power takeover by Defense Minister and later President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, the economic activities of the Egyptian military have been reportedly on the rise. For many, that trend only meant that the military under Sisi was preparing to do what it has long done under previous leaders, namely use its political privileges to make money and run easy profits. Indeed, the military establishment has always been a major player in Egypt’s economy. Its leaders have traditionally sought to use their institution’s economic interests to enhance the military’s resources and access to patronage. Yet the military’s more recent intervention in the economy ...

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New Texts Out Now: Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters, “Mass Mobilization and the Democracy Bias”

[Cover of

Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters, “Mass Mobilization and the Democracy Bias,” Middle East Policy 22.2 (2015): 145-155. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article?           Marc Morjé Howard and Meir R. Walters (MMH & MRW): We wrote this article in response to problematic-seeming reactions to recent uprisings in places such as the Arab world and Ukraine. We saw journalists, policy commentators, and some academics echoing popular narratives that use clichés to talk about uprisings. For example, clichés about seasons (spring, winter) or colors (orange, green, rose) turn complex events into marketable ...

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Alif: Aynama-Rtama

[Courtesy of Alif]

Alif, a band of five musicians at the forefront of the Arab underground music scene, is launching its debut album Aynama-Rtama (Wherever It Falls) on the 4 September 2015. Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq), Bashar Farran (Bass), Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics), and Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion). Recorded in Beirut and Cairo in 2014, the album reflects a long process of experimentation that underwent different stages over the past three years. It uses contemporary Arab poetry by late Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944–2007) and renowned late ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 22)

[21 February 2014, al-Sisi supporter in Alexandria, Egypt. Image originally posted to Flickr by Montager]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Egypt Crucial to Stability of Mideast, Combating ISIS: US Report Mohamed El-Menshawy reflects on a newly released US report in which it urges US president to change the country’s strategy toward the Middle East. Saudi Arabia Probes Wikileaks Embarrassing to Egyptian Politicians Ahram Online reports, “Several ...

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EUROPE, EUROPE, EUROPE: Chant Avedissian with Sadia Shirazi

[Chant Avedissian,

It is lunchtime and I am meeting Chant Avedissian again, after an awkward initial encounter. We first met in the childhood apartment he now shares with his sister, amid cigarette butts and vertically hung scrolls in downtown Cairo. After making coffee, we began a conversation in which all my attempts to talk about Avedissian’s artwork were sidelined. We spoke, instead, about my work, interests and intentions. I was then shown around Avedissian’s room and studio, a 3x4 m. room with a built-in loft. It was a tight, spare, wood lined space with standing room on the bottom floor near a computer and dais. Narrow steps led to the top floor where you could sit, stoop, or lie ...

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النجاة بمصر – ملاحظات تأسيسية

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بين صخب فاسد للسلطوية الجديدة تنتجه دوائر رسمية ونخب اقتصادية ومالية وإعلامية وحزبية تقبل استتباعها للحكم نظير الحماية والعوائد، وبين نزوع البعض داخل الحركة الديمقراطية المصرية إلى التورط في استدعاء سلطوي ومزدوج المعايير لفكرتي المصداقية الأخلاقية والاتساق الفكري على نحو يمارس ديكتاتورية الرأي الواحد باسم الحق ويرتب رفض الاختلاف باسم الحرية ويحدث باسم العدل ضجيجا لا ينتهي من المزايدات فارغة المضمون، تختلط القيم والمبادئ والمفاهيم على الناس وتتداخل مضامينها لتنفر الكثيرين من مواصلة الاهتمام بالشأن العام وتغيب عن الأذهان مقتضيات إخراج مصر من متواليات الاستبداد والإرهاب والتخلف المتكالبة عليها وتضيع تفاصيل الآراء والمواقف. هنا نصبح إزاء مسئولية عظيمة تتمثل في مقاومة صخب ...

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البروليتاريا الفلاحية والإقطاع الجديد : أسئلة الريف المفكك

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بينما كان القطار المكيف المتجه إلى الوجه القبلي يشق طريقه مخترقا حقول ريفية شاسعة على جانبي الطريق، كان رفيقي في المقعد المجاور يُبدي تبرمه من عدم لحاقه بالطائرة المخصصة له، فهو وكيل شركة متعددة الجنسيات تعمل في مجال صناعة مواد البناء، ولها مصنعها الضخم في قلب الصعيد، فالوكيل لا يحتمل طول ساعات السفر في هذا الطقس الحار، حيث القطار المزدحم يقلل من برودة المكيف، كما أن المناظر الطبيعية مُملة - في نظره -؛ فهي متكررة وغير مثيرة، ولكن القطار - في لحظة الصدق- يتعطل قليلا فتزداد معاناة الوكيل، في ذات الوقت الذي تتحول نافذة القطار إلى نافذة اجتماعية تعكس بناء المجتمع الريفي المحيط ؛ فالوكيل الذي لا يحتمل الطقس الحار في القطار المكيف يشاهد من النافذة الزجاجية السميكة فتيات ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 15)

[Pro-Sisi demonstrations on 25 January 2014. Photo by Sebastian Horndasch via Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]   Regional and International Relations Fearing War Crimes Arrest, Egypt's Sisi Cancels Trip to African Summit Al-Sisi cancels trip to the African Union summit held in South Africa to avoid possible arrest over war crimes. Factbox: Sisi in Germany EgyptSource details the topics covered during al-Sisi’s visit to Germany. German Government ...

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Egypt Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (May 2015)

[Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Tarek Siala via Flickr]

  [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on Egypt. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of Egypt-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to post@jadaliyya.com [click “Submissions” on the main page for more information] Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin Jadaliyya Reports ...

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Chocolate Bar of the Future

Chocolate bar of the future is Hend Samir's first solo show. It is organized and hosted by Medrar for Contemporary Art as one of the awards for its annual arts competition titled Roznama. The exhibition takes a critical view of modern consumerism, individuals’ shopping habits and the role of advertising in manipulating consumer behavior. Chocolate Bar of the Future emulates the visual and sentimental experiences of shopping, with a collection of paintings based on manipulation of photos and magazine advertisements. Samir (b.1986) studied at the Helwan Faculty of Fine Arts and graduated in 2008 from the department of printed designs. She experiments with numerous ...

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Mahienour Al-Masry: An Icon of the Revolution in Prison

Text and Photos by Heba Khamis Translated by Eman Hashim Whether as a revolutionary activist chanting at protests or as an attorney advocating on behalf of the underprivileged in the courtroom, Mahienour Al-Masry is a strong voice defending social justice and fighting police brutality. She chanted against the murders of Khaled Said and Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh and against the injustices suffered by Egyptian workers, whether under the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the ...

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In Response to Mubarak

On 10 June the Youm7 website carried a summary of my book Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance (Cambridge University Press 2012), translated into Arabic under the title إجهاض الديمقراطية.. الحصاد المر للعلاقات المصرية الأمريكية فى أربعين  عاًما (Dar El Thaqafa El Jedida 2013).  The book draws on interviews with key decision makers and previously untapped written sources to argue that authoritarianism is a transnational phenomenon in which multiple ...

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The Saudi Leaks and Egypt: A Recap

It was not long after Wikileaks had released the Saudi cables that the dirty laundry it revealed about Egypt’s political elite began circulating in news reports and social media. Although many of the leaks have only confirmed what observers had long suspected, the details they reveal regarding the conduct of various Egyptian political actors were quite shocking. The Saudi government first responded over twitter holding that these leaks were both false and destabilizing, while urging citizens not to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles

Reem Abou-El-Fadl, editor, Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles. London and New York: Routledge, 2015.       Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Reem Abou-El-Fadl (RA): Along with many friends and colleagues, I experienced the outbreak of the Tunisian and then Egyptian revolutions while far away, in my case based at Oxford in the UK. As time wore on, I had to try to make sense of all the momentous changes in the long ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 29)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Practicing Politics by Proxy: Turkey and Egypt Maged Atef writes on Egyptians’ reactions to Turkey’s parliamentary elections results and ...

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From Rags to Riches: On Public Art in Cairo

From rags to riches is a year-long project initiated by the Cairo-based foundation Baad el Bahr and curated by Mashrabia Gallery to produce a number of art installations and projects made from recycled materials for pubic spaces across the city. The first phase of the project was a four-day workshop in March, led by Dutch public space designer Marjet Wessels Boer and Italian material processing artist Eugenia Morpurgo. The workshop offered training for artists to increase their skills in the use of ...

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Seeing Egyptians: Hany Rashed from "Toys" to "Bulldozer"

In his exhibition Bulldozer at Cairo’s Mashrabia Gallery this May of 2015 and in his previous show Toys in May 2014 Egyptian artist Hany Rashed (building on a long line of earlier work) puts people front and center. The gallery is the same: the rooms and walls are the same; the streets outside are the same. But Egypt mid-2015 is not the Egypt of mid-2014. Lurking behind an aura of calm indifference an anxious mood is palpable as people go about their daily lives. Moving about in an unsettling ...

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عرَّابو الاختلاف

"مش لازم الناس تكون شبه بعض، الاختلاف ده حاجة جميلة". كانت هذه الجملة دائما ما ينطقها صديقي الذي يكبرني بعقدين من الزمان. كانت تتقلص مساحة غضبه مني لسبب أو لآخر، وتجعله يغفر لي أو أغفر له. أخذ هذا " الاختلاف" درجات في علاقتنا، واكتسب أشكالا كثيرة حتى وصل لشكله الحالي الهادىء. فى البداية كان هذا "الاختلاف" نوعا من التماهي بيننا، بالرغم من فارق العمر الكبير. ربما بسبب كوننا ننتمي لفصيل اجتماعي صغير يحب الفن والكتابة والسينما. كل أفراد هذا الفصيل، دون أن يدروا، أو بدرايتهم، ...

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A Walk Through 'Ahmed's Revenge and Other Untold Stories'

Ahmed’s Revenge and Other Untold Stories is Mohamed Abdelkarim’s first solo exhibition. It brings together a selection of videos, installations, books, digital images, sculptures, found materials and objects he produced from 2010 to 2015. On the opening night, Abdelkarim presented Ahmed's Revenge, a performance commissioned by AUC-LAB, and is part of the series Possibilities of Telling a Story.  In his work, Abdelkarim probes the narrative patterns of myth, history and ideology, by ...

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Triple Exposure

During the wave of uprisings and resulting crackdowns on Islamists in Egypt in 2013, all the media outlets were accused of taking sides. “When you point a camera to a side you neglect the rest of the real scene,” a protester said to me. “People are following those media outlets that confirm what is already in their minds, not to get new information!” he added. For this project, I have been shooting many events related to the latest waves of the uprising in Egypt including the police storming of the ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 1)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations China, Egypt Agree to Nuclear Cooperation World Nuclear News reports, “A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in the construction of ...

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Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin

[The following letter was issued on 26 May 2015 in support of Emad Shahin, a professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC) whose was charged, tried, and recently sentenced to death (in absentia) as part of a broader set of cases brought forth by the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.] For those familiar with even the barest facts of the case, the provisional sentence of Emad al-Din Shahin,  to death seems appalling.  Professor Shahin is a widely respected and accomplished academic who has ...

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