Egypt

National Football Masculinities and the Game in Egypt

As football fans around the world tune in to the World Cup in Qatar, President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s regime is rather turning its back on the game, which used to constitute a centerpiece of Egyptian nation building. Based on research conducted for his book, Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, masculinity, and uneasy politics, Carl Rommel discusses the history of football in Egypt between 1990-2019. How has the sport shaped and been shaped by notions of masculinity? What is its role in and relationship to the country’s dramatically changing political landscape?

The Lasting Significance of Egypt’s Rabaa Massacre

The Egyptian military’s massacre of nearly 1,000 supporters of deposed president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Mursi at Rabaa al-Adawiyya square in August 2013 continues to reverberate. Abdullah Al-Arian explains the massacre’s long-term impact on the Muslim Brotherhood movement and Egyptian society. He shows how President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s regime continues to use the memory of Rabaa along with the extreme violence initiated by the massacre to extinguish Egyptians’ revolutionary ambitions, discredit opposition to its iron grip on state and society and silence dissent to its decimation of social welfare.

The Egyptian Legion

During the First World War, innumerable imperial subjects were called into military service. More than 600,000 Africans and Asians deployed to various European fronts. Approximately a million and a half Indians fought on behalf of the Allies.[1] The Middle East, one...

Rethinking Informal Labor Through the Lens of Film Production in Cairo

Many movies, television shows and advertisements film on location in the busy and crowded streets of Cairo. Mariz Kelada explains with ethnographic detail the complex and multilayered work of production assistants, fixers and sub-fixers to create the right conditions and relationships for filming in diverse neighborhoods and navigating inevitable tensions. Despite their precarious status as informal workers, she makes the case that their labor is integral to the formal system of media production in Egypt.

The Networks, Strategies and Implications of Chinese Industrial Cooperation in the Middle East

Special economic zones are fast becoming the instrument of choice for African countries looking to attract mobile capital and increase their integration into global markets. Among the many initiatives planned or in operation on the continent are a series of economic cooperation zones in six African countries, all established with financial and technical support from China. The Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (SETC-Zone) in Egypt, established in 2008, is a flagship of Chinese zone-based cooperation in participating African countries and an important example of the impact Chinese industrial zones have on the development pathways of host locations.

Rethinking Informal Labor Through the Lens of Film Production in Cairo

Mariz Kelada 07.26.2022

Many movies, television shows and advertisements film on location in the busy and crowded streets of Cairo. Mariz Kelada explains with ethnographic detail the complex and multilayered work of production assistants, fixers and sub-fixers to create the right conditions and relationships for filming in diverse neighborhoods and navigating inevitable tensions. Despite their precarious status as informal workers, she makes the case that their labor is integral to the formal system of media production in Egypt.

Egypt From Icon to Tragedy

When masses of people assembled in Egypt’s public squares and succeeded in toppling President Husni Mubarak in 2011, the world went a little bit mad. That an urban uprising unseated one of the contemporary world’s most favored autocrats became freighted with symbolism. The two-week occupation of Tahrir Square was not unprecedented in world politics; Beijing’s Tiananmen Square was methodically held by student-led demonstrators for six weeks in spring 1989 until the military violently dispersed them on June 4. But though Tiananmen received ample international television coverage, it paled in comparison to the attention lavished on Tahrir. One week into the encampment, Egypt’s protests had become the biggest international news story in the US media, surpassing coverage of the Iraq war, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the US war in Afghanistan.

Hepatitis C, COVID-19 and the Egyptian Regime’s Approach to Health Care

As social phenomena, epidemics and the responses they generate reveal much about a country’s political economy and a state’s relationship with its citizens. In Egypt, the manner in which President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s regime has approached an epidemic of hepatitis C on the one hand and the arrival of the coronavirus on the other illustrate that the politics of healthcare in Egypt are evolving.

Sarah Hegazy and the Struggle for Freedom

Zeina Zaatari 09.22.2020

Responses to the tragic death of the Egyptian leftist and queer activist Sarah Hegazy reflect a significant transformation in the desire of individuals in the Middle East to claim queer identities. Zeina Zaatari places this moment in the historical context of decades of activism and struggle for freedom and social justice that continue despite tremendous backlash from governments and society.

Ellis Goldberg, Egypt and a Reverence for Life

Mona El-Ghobashy pays tribute to the scholar Ellis Goldberg and his pathbreaking work on Egypt. Living in Egypt at the time of the revolution in 2011, Goldberg provided in-depth commentary on events in his blog, Nisr al-Nasr. El-Ghobashy’s appreciation of Goldberg explains why his insights were so unique and so influential for MERIP writers and readers.

Trauma as a Counterrevolutionary Strategy

Recent research in Egypt demonstrates how trauma can be (and has been) weaponized as a counterrevolutionary strategy by military and political elites who seek to maintain and strengthen their economic and political power.

Egypt’s Post-2011 Embrace of Russian-Style Misinformation Campaigns

Since the 2013 coup, Egypt’s posture vis à vis information and cyber warfare has evolved from a defensive one—geared toward domestic surveillance and blocking—to an offensive one also focused on influence operations abroad. This shift has pulled Egypt further into an open embrace of Russia.

Trump’s Enabling Role in Rising Regional Repression

US President Donald Trump’s public embrace of autocrats and his virtual silence on their repressive behavior appears to have made autocrats, particularly those allied to the United States, less constrained than they were in the past.

Remaking AUC in the Corporate Image of US Foreign Policy

Over the past few years, students and staff at the American University in Cairo have joined forces with faculty against the increasingly draconian measures taken by the AUC administration.

The Egyptian Revolution’s Fatal Mistake

Early in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, activists and protesters battled their way into state security archives around the country. But the revolutionaries handed over the documents to the army, who later took power. Inside the state security archives were the blueprints for uprooting the police state and making lasting structural change.

Egypt’s Arrested Digital Spaces

Samuel Woodhams 07.22.2019

Egypt’s President Sisi has acquired sophisticated technological capabilities to block internet activity, passed restrictive internet legislation and now surveils users and censors content on a scale never seen before. Much of this has been facilitated by Western allies who have been more than happy to sell potentially repressive technologies to the authoritarian regime, emboldening Sisi’s attempts to eliminate freedom of expression in Egypt.

Egypt’s Arrested Battlegrounds

Wael Eskandar 02.7.2019

While mass arrests and arbitrary detentions are nothing new to Egypt, the escalation and widening pattern of arrests over the past year indicate that the authoritarian mindset of the Egyptian regime has significantly changed. Egypt under President Sisi has succeeded in reestablishing authoritarianism in a manner that is far more brutal—and far-reaching—than that of the deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak. Once contested, albeit controlled, battlegrounds for politics are being decimated.

Egypt’s Left Opposition Party Holds Second Congress

Cairo, July 2. The National Progressive Unionist Party (Tagammu‘) held its second national congress in Cairo on June 27-28, 1985. The Tagammu‘, Egypt’s principal left opposition party, is a united front formation including members of illegal communist organizations, independent Marxists, Nasserists, enlightened religious elements and a number of newer, less politicized members who have joined the party since the parliamentary elections of May 1984. The Tagammu‘ did not win any seats then in the People’s Assembly, due to an undemocratic election law and some falsification of the election results. [1] But the nationwide campaign and the presence here of some 750 representatives from throughout Egypt—including women, workers and peasants—indicates that the party has substantially increased its size and organizational capacity since its first congress in 1980.

Alexandria, City of Dispossession

“In Egypt, provincial cities do not exist.” This statement by French geographer Eric Denis eloquently summarizes the relationship between Cairo—the capital city—and the rest of the country. Little seems to exist beyond Cairo, except perhaps Alexandria. In the late...

Overstating Climate Change in Egypt’s Uprising

Jessica Barnes 10.1.2018

Although climate change is a major issue of global consequence, blaming climate change for the 2011 uprising in Egypt fails to account for the political and economic issues that were behind the uprisings across the region and distracts from the factors that produced bread shortages in Egypt.

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