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Tag: January 25 Revolution

Tahrir and Gala’

N.B. This article was written in May 2011. An Arabic translation was published in Majlallat al-Dirasat al-Falastiniyya, v. 86, Spring 2011. On January 25, I had my first encounter with tear gas. Answering many calls on Facebook and other social network media, I went to Tahrir Square to join my sister and her son who had already been there for a few hours. As soon as I entered the square I realized that something big was happening—the last time I saw such a large crowd in Tahrir was in 2003 during the demonstrations against the US invasion of Iraq. The…

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The war of attrition against revolutionaries

Published in Al Jazeera on January 25, 2017 By Khaled Diab Khaled Diab is an award-winning Egyptian-Belgian journalist, writer and blogger. He is the author of Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land. He blogs at www.chronikler.com With the world’s attention on Washington and the new administration’s open assault on the media and journalists, whom Donald Trump described as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth“, few eyes are turned to Egypt, where “alternative facts” have been a reality for some time, and its continued clampdown on the press and civil society. Among the recent…

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How A Leading Egyptian Historian Found Himself In The Middle Of A Revolution

An article by Nick Robins-Early published in The Huffington Post on January 29, 2016 Khaled Fahmy shares his memories of Egypt’s uprising, five years after Tahrir.   After over a decade of teaching in the United States, Professor Khaled Fahmy arrived in Cairo a few months before the Egyptian revolution. A leading historian of modern Egypt and an expert on the Middle East, he would find himself unexpectedly at the center of one of the most pivotal moments in the region’s history. Fahmy joined thousands of others in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where 18 days of intense protests finally caused Egyptian…

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The long revolution

Published in Aeon on November 3, 2015 This is an historical perspective on the Arab Spring – particularly in Egypt, but generalisable to some extent to other Arab countries – from a historian by education and practice. A peculiar personal experience drew me from being another Egyptian protesting in Tahrir Square in Cairo to the state historian of the Egyptian revolution. Only one week after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president, the head of the Egyptian National Archives together with the Minister of Culture appointed me as Chair of an official committee empowered to document the momentous popular uprising of…

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Egypt in Crisis

I was interviewed in this PBS Frontline documentary titled “Egypt in Crisis: The inside story of a revolution gone wrong“. Here is the press release of the documentary : Less than three years after the popular uprising that led to President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, and just one year after Egypt’s first free and fair elections, the democratically elected government has been overthrown and the Egyptian military is running the state. And the Muslim Brotherhood—the secretive, long-outlawed Islamist group that came out of the shadows to win the presidency in June 2012—is once again being driven underground, its members killed and…

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Why it was necessary to remove Morsi

Published in Ahram Online on July 4, 2013 The revolution aimed to change the rules of the game, not just its players. When it was clear that Mohamed Morsi was picking up the mantle of Mubarak, he had to go I did not vote for Mohamed Morsi in the previous presidential elections. I invalidated my ballot in these elections because I realised that Egypt deserves better than either Morsi or Shafiq. Yet when the results were announced, I was glad because I realised that we had managed to carry out the first free and fair elections, and I considered Mohamed…

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Why I signed the Rebel campaign

Published on May 25, 2013 Incompetence and inefficiency are not enough to annul the mandate of the ruling president, gained at the ballot box. But continuing the system of torture used by the former regime is Before midnight on Friday, 17 May 2013, I decided to go to Tahrir Square to sign the “Rebel” campaign’s petition, which asks for the withdrawal of confidence from President Mohamed Morsi El-Ayat. This was not an arbitrary decision, nor was it a product of the moment. It was the result of deep reflection as well as an appreciation for the importance of this campaign…

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Dripping with blood and dirt

Originally published in Al-Ahram Weekly, December 20, 2012. In 1805 Mohamed Ali, a young upstart who hailed from Kavala in what is now Greece, who spoke no Arabic and who had no prior links with the land, ended up as governor of Egypt on behalf of the Ottoman sultan. In the few years to follow, he struggled to establish his authority and to restore the productivity of a country ravaged by years of internecine warfare, devastating plagues and foreign invasion. Most seriously, he found himself embroiled in the quagmire of complex Mamluk politics with literally hundreds of Mamluk war lords,…

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A baseline “biography” of the revolution in Egypt

A radio interview with Chris Lydon of Radio Opensource on the historical meaning of the January 25, 2011 Revolution. Recorded in Cairo on November 14, 2012 CAIRO — Khaled Fahmy came home to Egypt just months before the uprising in Tahrir Square. He was leaving a big university career in Oxford and New York, drawn by intuition and maybe destiny to be the historian of a great event. In an hour’s conversation he will recharge your sense of the Arab Revolution of 2011. It was just what we half-guessed at the time: a watershed more cultural and psycho-social than it was political. It…

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