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Egypt

Minyan Village Mourns: A Photographic Essay

Galliny, uncle of Gerges Samir, 20, and Malak Ibrahim, 25.

Between agony and happiness, the village of Al-Aour in the Egyptian governorate of Minya received the news that thirteen of its sons were among the twenty-one Egyptian Christians recently beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) organization in Libya. Women and children’s screams echoed through the village. On 3 January 2015 around 2 a.m. in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte, masked gunmen knocked on the door of a dormitory of Egyptian workers. "We came for the Christians. Stay away," they said, according to Milad Ibrahim, who witnessed the abduction of his two cousins behind closed doors in an adjacent dormitory.  The twenty-one victims were workers who had ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (February 23)

[Photo by Gigi Ibrahim via Wikimedia Commons]

[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 and France Sign Rafale Jet Fighters Deal In a nationally televized ceremony, Egypt and France finalized a deal in which Cairo purchased twenty-four French Rafale jets.   Egyptian President Calls for Unified Arab Force to Combat Islamists “Al-Sisi addresses the nation a week after Egyptian warplanes ...

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Islam Kamal: Filmmaker from Alexandria

Alexandrian filmmaker Islam Kamal studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University, before enrolling in several film workshop organized by the Goethe Institut and Jesuits Cultural Center. He worked as DoP in several films in addition to filming and directing his own films and video art works. In this interview with Medrar.TV, Kamal explains his approaches to filmmaking using several examples of his work, including 'Hayat' and 'Local Copy'. He also discusses alternative ways for reaching broader audiences such as screening films in local coffee shops and NGOs. Amira El Masry translated the interview to English.

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A Compound in Common: The Case of “Little Duweiqa,” Haram City

[Empty homes in Haram City. Photo Nicholas Simcik Arese]

While the eyes of the world focused on the intermittent occupations of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in the four years since the Egyptian uprising of 2011, a different kind of social action has persisted at the city’s periphery. On 13 August 2010 and in February 2011, during the eighteen days leading to Hosni Mubarak’s fall, a group of 231 resettled slum dweller families from the impoverished Duweiqa district of Cairo abandoned their allocated twenty three square-meter homes to squat liveable ones in Haram City, a budget gated-community marketed by developers and development practitioners as a new best-practice “cooperative” public-private partnerships for low-income housing. ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (February 16)

[Cairo, Egypt. Photo by ideacreamanuelaPps 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 Update: Egyptian Airstrikes Significant, but More Action Needed: Analyst Mada Masr reports on Egyptian-Libyan coordinated airstrikes targeting the Islamic State in Libya. UPDATED: World Leaders Condemn IS Killing of Egyptian Copts in Libya  “Global leaders speak out, demand action after Islamic State ...

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Rami Abadir and Mostafa El-Sayed: On 'Shawakish' Album

In early 2014, Cairo based musicians Rami Abadir and Mostafa El Sayed decided to jam together. They had known one another for a few years and shared a passion for using synthesizers and analog technologies in their music production. The result of this improvisation session was different from the music they played individually. So they decided to push it further and start performing live, while continuing to develop it. Almost a year later, they launched ‘Shawakish’ (Hammers), their first album together at Rawabet Theater in Downtown Cairo. Medrar.TV invited Abdel-Rahman Hussein, a musician, journalist and co-founder of the Arabic-language sound hosting website Dandin ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (February 9)

[Photo by Sarah Carr 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 French Defense Minister Confirms Rafale Talks with Egypt: TV Jean-Yves le Drian, French Defense Minister, confirms that “advanced” talks are underway with Egypt over the purchase of twenty-four Rafale jets and a Fremme frigate from a French defense firm. The deal is estimated at 5 billion euros, i.e. from 5.7 ...

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Profile: Alexandrian Filmmaker Ahmed El Samra

Ahmed El Samra is a filmmaker and video artist, based in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Alexandria, and developed his career as a filmmaker through a series of workshops. Samra produces short fiction films and documentaries, as well as video art works. Several of his films documented zar rituals in Egypt, and he collaborated with others in investigating the life of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in Alexandria. He shoots most of his fiction films on the rooftop of his home/studio, where he uses props to change the setting. Medrar.TV visited Samra in his studio to discuss his various film projects and the self-funded approach he adopts in his ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (February 2)

[11 February 2011, Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Maged Helal 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 Al-Sisi, Ethiopia’s PM Agree on Further Renaissance Dam Coordination Daily News Egypt reports. Egyptian Court Declares Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades a 'Terrorist Group' Ahram Online reports that Hamas rejects the court verdict. Security North Sinai Violence Ongoing as Death Toll Continues to Rise Mada Masr ...

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Triumph of the Bureaucracy: A Decade of Aborted Social and Political Change in Egypt

[Soldiers carrying each of the flags corresponding with their branch of the armed forces. Photo credit is to: Hipster Ntvqi via Wikimedia Commons]

The developing military-backed regime under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signals the triumph of the Egyptian bureaucracy, with all of its military, security and civilian components, over three processes of political change in the last decade. The first was the political project led by Gamal Mubarak and his allies to succeed his aging father Hosni Mubarak. The succession project aimed at altering the political elite composition and redefining the state’s economic role. The second abortive process was the January revolution, which was not a clearly defined political project. It was rather a massive protest movement that challenged state authoritarianism and corruption. Continuous ...

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Revolution and Despair

[28 November 2011, the Arabic graffiti reads:

Things in the Middle East usually appear far worse than they really are when looked at from the outside. But  on my recent visit to Egypt—as I talked and listened to people, watched local television, read daily papers and made observations—it became clear that revolutionaries were going through painful times. A deep disenchantment seemed to color the sentiments of many who once held high hopes for their remarkable revolution, but now have to face the vulgar triumphalism of the counter-revolution airing from what looked, not long ago, like an independent media. Despair is neither surprising nor peculiar to Egypt. Almost all post-revolution moments are marked by an ...

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Composer Maurice Louca on Salute the Parrot

Composer and musician Maurice Louca is an exciting and distinct voice coming out of Cairo, Egypt. Having been part of numerous bands over the past decade including: Bikya, Alif Ensemble and Dwarfs of East Agouza, in addition to his solo compositions (Garraya, 2011), he has made a name for himself locally and internationally. In November 2014, Louca released his second solo album, titled 'Salute the Parrot'. As he explains in this interview with musician and critic Rami Abadir, Louca developed the project following a non-conventional approach of live performance and improvisation with carefully composed sets that were recorded over and over in a studio over the past three ...

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Burj el Imam: Music by Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin and Alan Bishop

Beirut-based musicians Sharif Sehnaoui and Raed Yassin came together with Alan Bishop for a special performance of their upcoming "Burj el Imam" album at 100Copies Music Space in Cairo, Egypt. The album is a collaboration between Sehnaoui and Yassin known as 'A Trio' and Bishop, and is produced by Annihaya Records. Sehnaoui is a free improvising guitarist. He plays electric and acoustic guitars, with (or without) extended and prepared techniques, focusing on expanding the intrinsic ...

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Sacrificing Humans

In recent months, to general horror, the Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria) has carried out many beheadings and one immolation.  So, too, have others loosely or closely affiliated with it, most recently of twenty-one Egyptian Christians in Libya.  These events have provoked significant debate and widespread condemnation on many levels.  Some have argued that there is nothing Islamic in these actions despite the claim by the perpetrators that theirs is the Islamic State.  Others have ...

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Khaled Galal Eldeen: A Rolling Stone Gather No Moss

A rolling stone gathers no moss is the first solo show by Khaled Galal Eldeen in Cairo. Paper collages, printed sheets of silk, GIFs and an animation video offer different states of visual flatness, reflecting the mixed reality of objects made after the internet. Galal Eldeen developed the work over the past four years, using found images to create soft, hypnotic patterned surfaces  Khaled Galal Eldeen holds a BFA and MFA from Alexandria University, where he currently works as a teaching ...

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Quick Thoughts: Paul Sedra on the IS Massacre of Egyptian Copts in Libya

Among the most important points to make about these horrific murders relates to context. I would argue this event cannot and should not be placed within the context of domestic Egyptian politics or of Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt. Without question, Egypt has a persistent problem with sectarianism and violence against Egypt’s Coptic community. But these latest sectarian murders represent an effort by the Islamic State (IS) movement to advance its transnational agenda rather than an Egyptian one. ...

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Cairo Downtown Passages Redesign

The Cairo Laboratory for Urban Studies and Environmental Research (CLUSTER) has been exploring the network of Cairo’s downtown passages for almost three years. as CLUSTER co-founder Omar Nagati explains that they see the passageways as an 'in-between' space that allows for unique possibilities for the development and revitalization of the city center. Their interest also stems from hopes to engage the public more with existing arts and culture spaces, as curator and CLUSTER co-founder Beth ...

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Who Are the People? A Conversation on the Assemblages and the Archives of the People

Scholars of the Middle East have grappled for several decades with what seemed to be the death of “formal” or “official” politics in their attempt to explain the seemingly impenetrable force of authoritarianism and the pacification of Arab politics. Some work reified older understandings of the idea of agency and the centrality of state institutions. Others broke new ground on the idea of the individual, critically deconstructing the seemingly self-evident meaning and universal values of “freedom” and ...

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At Least Twenty-Two Dead in Clashes between Zamalek Football Fans and Police

At least twenty-two died and many more were injured on Sunday evening during clashes between Zamalek’s hardcore football fans, the Ultras White Knights, and police forces at the Air Force stadium in New Cairo, according to the official Facebook page for the Ultras White Knights. The page listed the names and ages of the deceased, most of whom were between seventeen and twenty-three years old. The clashes erupted when a number of football fans attempted to get into the ...

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Egypt Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (January 2015)

[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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انتصار البيروقراطية: عقد من إجهاض التغيير السياسي والاجتماعي في مصر

بالإمكان القول أن النظام السياسي الآخذ في التشكل في مصر برئاسة المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي وبدعم من القوات المسلحة وأجهزة الدولة هو انتصار للبيروقراطية المصرية بمكوناتها العسكرية والأمنية والمدنية على ثلاث عمليات سياسية هدفت خلال العقد الماضي لإحداث تغيير سياسي في مصر، إما من خلال تعديل تكوين النخبة السياسية الحاكمة لتكون من خارج البيروقراطية، وإما إلى تعديل علاقة الدولة بالمجتمع والانتقاص من سيطرة الأجهزة البيروقراطية على الموارد الاقتصادية ومن القدرة على إدارة المجال العام.  كان أول هذه المشروعات هو ...

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The Guide for Using Life: A Graphic Novel and Exhibition

In late November 2014, Cairo based journalist and author Ahmed Naji and comic and storyboard artist Ayman Al-Zorkany launched their new novel, titled The Use of Life at Medrar in Cairo. The novel which develops over three time periods and is inspired by life in Cairo was published by Dar Al Tanweer. It follows a non traditional structure where a mixture of standard and colloquial Arabic as well as illustrations complete different parts of the story.  The book signing event was accompanied by a ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (January 26)

[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 In Rafah, A Tale of Two Cities Mohammed Omer writes, “Egypt’s decision to raze Rafah city in Sinai, in order to establish a buffer zone with ...

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January Culture Bouquet

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? — Shelley Even in winter, some flowers will bloom. Their blossoms may be fragile, sad and short-lived, but the strongest of all flowers are those which fight the ice. Each petal reminds us that the dead land is yet not dead, and that dull roots soon will stir with spring rain and with that, memory and desire may mix. Here is a bouquet of long-stem pieces that do not fear the frost.  — Zein El-Amine recounts a ...

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