“I Still Have a Realistic Expectation of Better Prospects for Egypt’s Future”

by Jessica Winegar
published in MER281

Wael Eskandar is a Cairo-based independent journalist who blogs at Notes from the Underground. He has written for Ahram Online, al-Monitor, Daily News Egypt, Counterpunch and Jadaliyya, among other outlets. He has also contributed to Egypt’s Kazeboon campaign and other projects that focus on youth and digital information. Eskandar spoke with Jessica Winegar, associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern University and an editor of this magazine, in April 2017.

Virtual Space and Collective Action in Egypt

Post-Revolutionary Communities on Facebook

by Sherine Hafez
published in MER281

Traffic crawls as usual through Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, making its noisy way around the 65-foot pole flying the Egyptian flag newly erected in the middle of the plaza. It is hard to imagine that in January 2011 this very spot was the epicenter of the grassroots revolution that toppled President Husni Mubarak. Since the summer 2013 coup, the military-backed regime has remade this space of insurrection into one of imposed national unity. The revolutionary graffiti is long since whitewashed; the headquarters of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, incinerated during the uprising, is demolished.

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The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

by Dina Ramadan
published in MER280

In January 2015, Christie’s announced that a painting by the Palestinian Suleiman Mansour, Camel of Burdens II (Jamal al-Mahamil), would be the highlight of its annual auction of modern and contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art held in Dubai. The piece was listed as the second version of the 1973 original, which was thought to have belonged to Muammar al-Qaddafi, the long-time Libyan dictator, and to have been destroyed in the US bombing of his Tripoli military compound in 1986. An iconic portrayal of Palestinian steadfastness (sumud) in the struggle for a homeland, it was expected to sell for somewhere between
$200,000 and $300,000.

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On the Breadline in Sisi's Egypt

by Neil Ketchley , Thoraya El-Rayyes | published March 29, 2017

On March 6, 2017, hundreds of local residents took to the streets of towns and cities in Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta after the Ministry of Supply cut their daily ration of subsidized baladi bread. By the following day, thousands were protesting in 17 districts across the country. In Alexandria, protestors blockaded a main road at the entrance of a major port for over four hours, while residents in the working class Giza suburb of Imbaba blocked the airport road. Elsewhere, women in the Nile Delta city of Dissuq staged a noisy sit-in on the tracks of the local train station, where they chanted, “One, two, where is the bread?” and called for the overthrow of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s government.

The Subversive Power of Grief

by Paul Sedra | published December 13, 2016 - 3:09pm

The state-run funeral for the victims of the Butrusiyya Church massacre was a carefully organized, managed and controlled affair. Mourners without officially printed invitations were turned away from the proceedings, ostensibly for security reasons. Watching the ceremony on television, one could scarcely escape the impression that the relatives of the martyrs were of only secondary importance compared with the tightly interwoven array of military, state and church officials who dominated the scene.

Wadi Natroun and Worse

by Nadeen Shaker
published in MER279

On January 25, 2014, Karim Taha and Muhammad Sharif organized separate marches about five miles apart in Cairo to commemorate the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled Husni Mubarak. Both demonstrations were quashed, and the two men met up to share a cab home. The driver took a detour that led them straight into a police checkpoint. They were both arrested and interrogated at a police station. The next day, they were transported to an unofficial prison at a military camp near one of Cairo’s satellite cities.

The Plight of Egypt's Political Prisoners

by Nadeen Shaker
published in MER279

On December 2, 2013, Mahienour al-Massry organized a protest on the corniche running along the Mediterranean seafront in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. The human rights attorney’s raven ponytail and oversized black glasses made her easy to spot amid the dozens of people with their backs turned to the sea and their eyes trained on the courthouse across the busy roadway. Inside the building, two police officers were appealing their conviction for the brutal killing of Khalid Sa‘id in 2010, one of the incidents that galvanized the 2011 uprising that brought down President Husni Mubarak. The protesters shouted: “Down with every agent of the military!”

Dissidence and Deference Among Egyptian Judges

by Mona El-Ghobashy
published in MER279

After the coup of July 3, 2013, judges in Egypt repeatedly shocked polite world opinion. In hasty proceedings held in police facilities, in the absence of defense attorneys, courts passed down sentences of death and life imprisonment for thousands of supporters of the ousted Muhammad Mursi, Egypt’s first elected president. In one pair of cases in Minya province in 2014, 1,212 people were condemned to die for the killing of two policemen. Mursi himself faces six separate trials. In one of these, related to Mursi’s escape from illegal detention as a political prisoner in the early days of the 2011 uprising that unseated Husni Mubarak, judge Shaaban al-Shami imposed the death penalty.

Shenker, The Egyptians

by Joshua Stacher
published in MER278

Jack Shenker, The Egyptians: A Radical Story (London: Penguin, 2016).

Jack Shenker’s book is the definitive account of the 2011 Egyptian uprising to date. Many scholars and journalists have taken as their point of departure the notion that the uprising was a one-off democratizing experiment that failed. With his on-the-ground reporting, Shenker offers a compelling alternative view of a historical process—a revolution—that is still unfolding. The Egyptians weaves the voices of ordinary people into an analysis of social movements and crumbling governance as vampire-like capitalism sinks its fangs into the largest Arab society.

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Egypt's Transition under Nasser

by Joel Beinin , Ellis Goldberg
published in MER107

Mahmoud Abdel-Fadil, The Political Economy of Nasserism: A Study in Employment and Income Distribution Policies in Urban Egypt, 1952-1972 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).

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