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Street Classes Return to Cairo (and thus AbuTawil returns to the Blogosphere)

Three months have passed since the last post decrying the strong causal link between violence and blog posts. As Egyptian politics calmed, daily life accelerated. An internship was begun at Ashoka Arab World whose understaffed office began to demand increasingly more quantities of time (more on this at a later date;) long-forgotten queries remerged in the forms prompting the continuous revaluation of a worldview; refuge was sought in journaling and books adding further questions to the already troubling queries; a left-wrist was broken making daily-Egyptian life both an adventure and a frustration; college friends came and went leaving behind shared laughter and memories; Morocco was visited, photographed, and pondered (more on this at a later date); and finally summer and fall unknowns caused much panic before becoming tentatively planned. And in the midst of this chaos, the blog was forgotten, neglected, and abandoned. Read More…

The Future of Egyptian Liberals…مستقبل المصريين اللبراليين

An op-ed I wrote on the future of Egyptian liberal protestors and politicians was picked up by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Fikra Forum. To put it in brief, they are in danger of becoming marginalized as the transition process unfolds this spring. For those desire a more verbose version the op-ed is below:

Undeterred by their electoral failure and fearing their imminent marginalization in political institutions, liberal protestors marked the one-year anniversary of the revolution by demonstrating in Tahrir Square against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and its manipulation of the transition process. Yet while the liberals’ continued popular protest signals their unwillingness to passively accede to the status quo, the combination of a fractured society, durable Muslim Brotherhood-military alliance and imminent economic collapse requires that liberals revaluate their tactics. Keep Reading

A Year Removed…بعد سنة من

A little over a year ago liberal Egyptian activists celebrated National Police Day by organizing a series of protests against police brutality. Ultimately, these small protests in Cairo exploded into massive sit-ins and labor strikes across the country prompting the Egyptian military to defect from the Mubarak family and National Democratic Party in order to protect is substantial economic and political interests – specifically a 25-40% ownership of the Egyptian economy, American military aid, and its role as the supreme political power broker. Satisfied with the resignation of Mubarak, the masses left the squares entrusting the generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) with the transitional process.

In brief, the so-called ‘revolution’ was little more than a military coup. The generals have not only left the abusive Central Security Forces of the Interior Ministry and the censorship and propaganda apparatus of the state media intact but also used them to destroy civil society and consolidate their political power. Individual rights and liberties are trampled upon on a daily basis and young protestors are killed on a monthly basis. While (relatively) free and fair elections have elected a representative parliament, it wields no constitutionally defined political power outside of the right to select the members of the constitutional assembly drafting the new constitution. Meanwhile, society itself has fractured into a series of competing interests and identities, grown weary of the continued political instability and come to fear an imminent economic collapse.

Unsurprisingly, January 25, 2012 as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians marched to their local ‘Tahrir Squares’ there was considerable tension about whether the day ought to be one of celebration or protest.  Read More…