04 Feb 2013
Since the first day the people took to the streets on 25 January 2011, Egyptians and foreign observers alike have differed on decoding the message the protesters who ousted former President Hosni Mubarak wanted to send. There have been dozens of analyses explaining the triggers of the revolution, the nature of the social powers that led the protests, and the role of the new generation that forced...
03 Feb 2013
As President Mohamed Morsy wagged his finger at Egyptians in his televised address to the nation on 27 January, my mind wandered back to the televised addresses former President Hosni Mubarak gave during his last 18 days in power.
Back then, too, there were pitched battles in the streets of Cairo, Suez and Port Said. Back then, too, the police sought to bludgeon Egyptians into submission as the...
02 Feb 2013
On his way home, Mohamed Yousri was shot dead after clashes erupted between Interior Ministry forces and crowds who gathered outside El Arab Police station in Port Said on 26 January. Earlier that day, 21 defendants from the city were sentenced to death for involvement in the killing of 74 football spectators at a match last year. In the two days that followed the verdict, more than 40...
31 Jan 2013
Our revolution has two faces.
The first is that of 25 January, which called for representative democracy and the rule of law, and was driven by an aversion to the authoritarianism and irrationality of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime. The other face is that of 28 January that rebels against representative democracy, the rule of law and all sensibility that grounds both concepts. This...
30 Jan 2013
Last week in Egypt, integrity became an attribute to be bought, not earned. Former President Hosni Mubarak and some of his former ministers tried to barter their illicit wealth in return for immunity from prosecution on corruption charges.
Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah underlined this deal-making approach to justice by lifting a travel ban on 10 Mubarak-era officials after they had repaid...
28 Jan 2013
Egypt faces a severe economic crisis that has not been seen since the late 1980s, when the country was on the verge of bankruptcy.
The budget deficit soared to almost LE100 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year, and is expected to exceed LE 200 billion by its end in July 2013. This means it will hover at about 13 percent of the gross domestic product.
In the meantime, the already...
27 Jan 2013
Trigger warning: This post contains accounts of sexual violence.
A woman was sexually assaulted with a bladed weapon on Friday night, leaving cuts on her genitals, in central Cairo, in the midst of what was purportedly a revolutionary demonstration.
Read that line over again a few times, and think on it.
If you have any more room in your mind for horror after the past 24 hours: After the...
26 Jan 2013
Commenting on a Brotherhood statement saying “We will not be in Tahrir on the revolution anniversary,” a friend wrote on Facebook, “You weren't in Tahrir on the original 25 January either.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s absence from the party is one of the few similarities between proceedings on 25 January 2011 and during the 2013 redux. In 2011, during its awkward...
25 Jan 2013
I spent days grappling with the difficulty of identifying ways of remembering 25 January — and we’re only down to the second anniversary. Every possible story seems to have been told and retold. Barracks have been cast on both imagination and memory. Everyone suggests these are symptoms of discontent, common to those too attached to the event by virtue of having to recount and...
24 Jan 2013
It is important to consider the story of Qursaya as the second anniversary of the revolution approaches. It’s a story of violence and imprisonment, of the powerful targeting the marginalized, of ruling interests trampling over the rule of law, and of an ongoing struggle against a state that regards its poorest citizens as a bothersome nuisance impeding plans for progress.
The island of...