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Egypt

Egypt Media Roundup (September 15)

[Cairo, Egypt. Photo courtesy of Nadia Mounier. www.nadiamounier.com]

[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 Foreign Ministry: Egypt Won't be Part of US Alliance Against ISIS Mada Masr reports on Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s press conference on his country’s stance on the coalition to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Egypt's Options in Dealing with the Libyan Crisis (Part I) In a two-part ...

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New Texts Out Now: Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet

[Cover of Linda Herrera,

Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet. London and New York: Verso, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Linda Herrera (LH): In the months prior to the Arab uprisings, I had been conducing research on Egypt’s “wired generation”—their social media habits, ways of doing politics, and networks. When it became known that Egypt’s popular mobilization on 25 January 2011 was launched from a Facebook page, I literally found myself pulled by the astonishing force of events, as if lifted by a political tornado. I did not know where this force would take me—indeed I could not have imagined—but I knew ...

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Roundtable Introduction: New Media, New Politics? Revolutions in Theory and Practice

[Photo from Malmo Univesity Blog. Courtesy of Ahmed Alwaeli (Creative Commons)]

In April of 2013, the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster's CAMRI hosted its annual Arab media studies conference under the title of “New Media, New Politics?” At a critical juncture in the progress of the region’s uprisings, the common denominator at the event was (the need for) a prevailing dialectical understanding of the Arab revolutions, namely as a process demonstrating important, and often intractable, contradictions. As some forms of knowledge production are challenged by this paradigmatic shift, others are fostered and furthered, therefore making these dramatic transformations difficult to understand at the levels of theory and practice. Studies ...

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Activism on the Move: Mediating Protest Space in Egypt with Mobile Technology

[Graffiti in Cairo depicting a television with the text

The 2011 revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa abruptly captured global attention as the world was drawn breathlessly into the tumult with a profusion of media content, from Tweets to amateur video footage. Amidst the media blitz, analyses yielded two conflated and reactionary narratives of events. One contended that the popular protests of the so-called “Arab Spring” were wholly unexpected, a shocking diversion from the familiar politics of the Middle East in a seeming contravention of the reigning global political apathy at the turn of the millennium. The other narrative pivoted on the role of digital technology, which was quickly cast as a ...

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Special Address: Digital Media and the Freedom Struggle

[Cartoon by Omar El-Momani. Courtesy of 7iber (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

  [Jillian York giving the Special Address at the Westminster Conference] The Special Address tackled the most salient conditions in the region that precipitated the revolutions and the role the new media actors played in galvanizing support for these movements. While states have become increasingly adept at undermining freedom of expression, the press, and the Internet, inventive ways continue to be developed to circumvent the tightening spaces of dissent.  

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (August 2014)

[U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry sit side-by-side as they meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, on July 22, 2014, to discuss a possible ceasefire between Israeli and Hamas forces fighting in the Gaza Strip. Image by US Department of State.]

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyyastrives 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).] On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open ...

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The Iron Way

[Cairo's train station, built in 1853, is the most important station in Egypt. Photo by Ahmed Ashraf.]

Two years ago, I took a ride on the train in Egypt. After experiencing this unique world, all I wanted to do was find the human inside the train — not the one who takes the train every now and again but the one who constantly uses it and has made it an enduring part of their life. These are the forlorn people who spend a quarter of every day just to go back and forth from work. They come from villages, cities, and small towns. The crowded third-class train, the cheapest one, is packed with three to four times the number of passengers it should carry. It is unbelievably jammed. Taking photos in third-class trains with so many eyes gazing anxiously at my camera wasn’t ...

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Revolutionary Street Art: Complicating the Discourse

[Image from Hossam El-Hamalawy]

The graffiti and street art of revolutionary Egypt have been researched many times over by now. Journalists and scholars have explored the phenomenon in its many aspects—as evolving visual text, as political rhetoric and as an act of protest in its own right. The claims about the protest street art and graffiti that have proliferated across public Egyptian walls since 2011 have been many, and include: the spread of revolutionary graffiti in Egypt was a sign and act of citizens reclaiming public space from the regime; street art worked to raise awareness and build community and solidarity among people; street art served as a tool by which citizens could (re)claim agency, ...

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Beard Phobia

[Ahmed Samir, thirty-three, a businessman, became a Salafi and has had a beard since 2001. After the dispersing of pro-Morsi protesters from around the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque, Samir decided to shave off his beard since he had heard of friends being harassed in the streets. Photo by Mohamed Ali eddin.]

[Photos and text by Mohamed Ali eddin.] During the 25 January 2011 revolution, Egyptians thought they were united against President Mubarak’s regime. They believed in the power of Tahrir Square, in how the square gathered Islamists, liberals, and leftists together against injustice and dictatorship. People dared to imagine that they would achieve freedom, better economic conditions, and justice. Instead, two years later, after the Islamists under President Morsi unilaterally pushed through a new constitution in December 2012, bloody clashes erupted between Islamists and liberals across the country. Protests escalated as millions demonstrated countrywide and called for ...

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An Open Letter

[Photo from Mada Masr]

At 4 p.m. today, I celebrated with my colleagues my last meal in prison.  I have decided—when I saw my father fighting against death locked in a body that was no longer subject to his will—to start an open hunger strike until I achieve my freedom. The well-being of my body is of no value while it remains subject to an unjust power in an open-ended imprisonment not controlled by the law or any concept of justice. I've had the thought before, but I put it aside. I did not want to place yet another burden on my family — we all know that the Ministry of the Interior does not make life easy for hunger strikers. But now I've realized that my family's hardship ...

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One Year after Raba'a: An Interview with Adam Sabra and Mona El Ghobashy

[Raba'a sit-in during the 14 August 2013 dispersal. Photo by Amsg07 from Wikimedia Commons]

Egypt has been the subject of media attention for its role as a mediator between Hamas and Israel during negotiations to end the military assault on Gaza. By contrast, Egypt's own very serious political strife has been largely neglected by the international media. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Raba'a massacre of 14 August 2014, during which at least 817 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were killed by security forces. According to the Associated Press, at least ten protesters were killed by Egyptian police on the anniversary of the brutal dispersal. This coincides with the release of a year-long investigation by Human Rights Watch ...

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Egypt: Rab’a Killings Likely Crimes Against Humanity

[An officer from the Egyptian Central Security Forces (CSF) takes aim at a crowd of retreating protesters as security forces disperse the Rab’a sit-in on August 14, 2013. © 2013 AFP/Getty Images]

No Justice a Year Later for Series of Deadly Mass Attacks on Protesters (Cairo) – The systematic and widespread killing of at least 1,150 demonstrators by Egyptian security forces in July and August 2013 probably amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in a report based on a year-long investigation. In the 14 August dispersal of the Rab’a al-Adawiya sit-in alone, security forces, following a plan that envisioned several thousand deaths, killed a minimum of 817 people and more likely at least one thousand. The 188-page report, “All According to Plan: The Rab’a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt,” documents the ...

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Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani Known As: Al-Husseini – His father is Safdar Date of Birth: August 1838 Place of Birth: ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (September 8)

[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.] Political Economy: Taxing Times for Egypt’s Middle Class Youssef Beshay argues, “proper taxation for the middle class not only aims to balance the budget, but also promotes a more ...

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The Built-In Obsolescence of the Facebook Leader

In times like these, when the hopes of the 2011 Egyptian revolution seem to have faded away, it is imperative to understand what went wrong, and in particular what went wrong in the new forms of digitally supported organizations that were displayed in the course revolution and that became a source of inspiration for other activists around the world. The enthusiastic use of social networking sites among Egyptian activists has been widely celebrated, and to a great extent rightly so, given the importance ...

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Keynote Address: Some Reflections on the Role of Media in Egypt’s January 25th Revolution

  [Walter Armbrust delivering the Keynote Address at the Westminster Conference] This lecture delves into the situational and historic dynamics that undergirded the media practices surrounding the January 25 revolution in Egypt. The notion of social revolution is unpacked to evaluate its application to the Egyptian revolutionary context. By looking at the cultural production of revolution–from rap songs against Mubarak to online memes against the Morsi government–the social mobilization is seen as ...

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The Meme-ing of Revolution: Creativity, Folklore, and the Dislocation of Power in Egypt

It was 20 January 2011, just five days before a major protest called for by many youth and opposition groups in Egypt, when Ali came across a hilarious image on Facebook. One of his friends had shared a photoshopped painting depicting Mubarak atop a majestic stallion as if marching into battle. The then president’s face sported the same cheeky imbecilic smile for which he had come to be known and ridiculed privately. Ali recalls laughing out loud at the absurdity of the image, especially since the ...

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Egypt Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (August 2014)

[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 ...

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September Culture Bouquet

Almost a decade ago, Saadi Youssef began his poem "Imru' al-Qays' Grandson" by asking: "Is it your fault that once you were born in that country? / Three quarters of a century / and you still pay from your ebbing blood / its tax." He ended the poem with an even more vexing question: "What is it to you / now when you are asked to do the impossible?" As this long hot summer ends, we would not be mistaken to imagine these lines could be about Gaza, Mosul, or Ferguson. ...

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Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs

A ministerial-level meeting in Khartoum including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to establish mechanisms for further investigations of the consequences of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) downstream has concluded, on Tuesday 26 August. The gathering took place two months after Egypt and Ethiopia had issued ajoint communique that stressed the importance of the contested water of the Nile River for the two countries and outlined general principles for future moves to resolve disagreements. The ...

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Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam Dies

Ahmed Seif al-Islam, one of the leading human rights lawyers in Egypt died on Wednesday after slipping into a coma following open-heart surgery earlier this month, the family announced in a statement. Involved in political activism since his student days, Seif went into law and became a human rights defender. Seif was imprisoned for five years in 1983, during which time he was reportedly tortured. Seif leaves behind his wife, university professor and activist Laila Soueif, a son and two daughters ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 August)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine-Israel / United States The Shortest Distance Between Palestine and Ferguson, Jaime Omar Yassin Yassin draws a parallel between police ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (August 18)

[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.] Political Economy: The Cost of Lifting Fuel Subsidies Lina Attallah interviews Amr Adly, who offers his perspective on subsidy reforms and austerity measures, and the impact of these ...

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The Terror Metanarrative and the Rabaa Massacre

Just after dawn prayers on the morning of 14 August 2013, Egyptian security forces raided a large sit-in based at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyya Square and another at al-Nahda Square. Six weeks earlier, military leader and Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi staged a coup to remove Egypt’s first democratically elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, from office. In response, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians across the country congregated in public spaces to protest the coup and the ...

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