Egyptian Ultras Are Down, But Not Out

April 02, 2018

Sisi will have to ensure that economic reform trickles down to the ordinary Egyptian. In late March, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won a second term virtually unchallenged in what was widely seen as a flawed election. But the run-up to the poll, including a soccer protest, suggests...

Egypt Moves Closer to Labeling Soccer Fans as Terrorists

April 15, 2015

The battle for political change in Egypt is not only hampered by the government’s relentless repression. Egypt has moved closer to labeling militant soccer groups as terrorist organizations. These groups form the backbone of opposition to autocratic rule, with the recent arrest of five alleged...

Saadi Qaddafi and the Dark History of Libyan Soccer

March 10, 2014

Saadi's trial is likely to shed light on a dark and brutal era in the history of Libyan soccer. It was only a matter of time before Al-Saadi Qaddafi, the notorious, soccer-obsessed third son of toppled Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi, would be extradited to Libya by Niger. His trial is likely...

Lessons from the Egyptian Revolution

February 12, 2014

Egyptians psychologically need a strong national institution. Two sayings often come to my mind when I think about the Egyptian revolution these days. The first is attributed to Prophet Mohammed: "khayr al-amur al-wasat" (the best path is the middle one). The second is attributed to James...

Middle East Peace Only Gets Harder

February 11, 2014

Circumstances for reaching peace are significantly more complicated than ever. In fact, the environment today may be the worst in the entire history of the 65-year conflict, and certainly more so than the high-water mark of the 1993 Oslo Accords or even the ill-fated 2007-2008 negotiations between...

Revolution Square One: Egypt Three Years On

February 11, 2014

Egyptian revolutionaries face an upward battle against the tides of the establishment. With the world watching, Egypt’s long-time intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, announced the departure of Hosni Mubarak from his presidential throne on February 11, 2011. The epic eruption of cheers, tears,...

May-December Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

February 05, 2014

Africa must ensure that youth have an opportunity to engage in all aspects of society. In 2009, African leaders met in Addis Ababa to declare 2009-2018 as the "African Youth Decade." Despite rhetoric promising to mobilize resources to help spur human development and curb unemployment,...

Referendum in Egypt: International Monitoring Helps the Regime

January 11, 2014

The EU should not monitor the Egyptian referendum, but instead push for political inclusion. The military coup of July 2013 did not only topple the government of President Mohammed Morsi, but it also suspended Egypt’s constitution. The constitution had been adopted through a referendum in...

The Rise and Fall of the Salafi al-Nour Party in Egypt (Part 1/2)

December 14, 2013

Al-Nour was providing an Islamist fig leaf for an adulatory, ultra-nationalist and oppressive military regime. When Mohamed Salmawi, the spokesman for the committee appointed to draft Egypt’s post-coup constitution, appeared before the press on October 29, the message was clear. There...

Egypt’s Black Bloc: The Arrival of Anarchism in the Middle East?

December 08, 2013

The Egyptian Black Bloc is not the first example of anarchism in Egypt. When in January 2013, Egyptian protesters commemorated the two-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a mysterious group emerged in Cairo. Protesting against the Morsi regime, the newly-formed anarchist...

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