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...

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,...

America and the Muslim World: Why Outreach Matters

August 22, 2013

US diplomacy must engage the street in the Muslim world. The Muslim world is one of the most rapidly expanding demographics that will command the attention of US foreign policymakers and diplomats in the foreseeable future. The challenge for Washington in recent years has included...

Egypt: The Emperor Has No Clothes

August 20, 2013

Egypt's army and the technocratic elites have also exposed the old face of authoritarianism. Two years ago, at the first meeting of my MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University, the Arab Spring – the transnational domino revolution – was all over the place and on...

Egypt’s Coup: Liberals’ Dark Chapter

August 06, 2013

The military coup in Egypt is a historic error that carries big costs and risks. Egypt's liberal forces have aborted the country's nascent and shaky democracy by bringing the army back to power. Their shortsightedness is compounded by shamelessness, as leading liberal figures accepted...

Egypt: Failing to Progress

July 31, 2013

The military coup hallows major setbacks for the flourishing of a democratically-led Egypt. After the June 30 anti-government protests, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took just 24 hours to announce a 48-hour ultimatum for Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi to step down or face...

Egypt: A Coup or the Will of the People?

July 30, 2013

Morsi's ouster shows that the march towards democracy is far from linear. Background Egypt's political history was turbulent in the 20th century. After the failure of the “liberal experiment” in the 1940s, the Free Officers Movement, led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser,...

Egypt’s Revolution is Not a Liberal Conspiracy

July 23, 2013

Analysis on Egypt is often marred by a revisionist vision of history.  In response to Reza Pankhurst's article in Fair Observer, let me be blunt: “Liberals” do not make up a large percentage of the population in Egypt, no matter what his definition of the term is. In the main...

Egypt: The Deep State and Democracy

July 19, 2013

Egypt is far from ripe to embark on a truly representative democracy.  Due to a widening disparity between the elitist “haves” and the preponderant disenfranchised “have-nots” in Egypt, the split could transform into a stark class division for decades to come. This...

Mubarakism Without Mubarak: The Struggle for Egypt (Part 2)

July 18, 2013

Call it a coup or not, but Egypt now has Mubarakism without Mubarak. This is the second of a three part series. Read part one here. In the case of Mohammed Morsi, the media campaign against him and the Muslim Brotherhood, most prominently on CBC and ONTV satellite channels (both owned by members...

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