Friday, January 22, 2016

The Egyptian revolution #Jan25: Important Readings




It's January 2016 now and it's the 5 year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution (Not just the 18 days, the past five years). 

In the past 5 years I tried my best to do some documentation for what's been going on in Egypt, what I witnessed firsthand and what I heard from friends and trusted networks when I wasn't present. 
My main motivation was recognizing the lack of diversity in the perspectives that are represented and highlighted about Egypt in English. When I say the perspectives on Egypt I mean the following:

-Western media.
-Non-Arabic media.
-Western academia, think tanks, and literature.
-Egyptian English speakers working in the media or academia.

There's not much diversity or inclusion within most of what I read, watched, or heard in English.
I don't think the people I identify with and many others are given enough space to voice their own opinions. 

Who's writing the history of Egypt post 2011? Who's telling the story? Certainly not the people who should do this.

This is my little trial to contribute and change this. There were times when I wasn't writing or publishing my writings and unfortunately, my writings are all over the place on the web now. 
This is not everything and there are important events that I haven't written about for reasons outside of my control. However, I'm so glad I was able to write and speak when I had the opportunity to.
The Egyptian revolution is one of the few events I'm so proud I've witnessed in my short life. 

Some of the elders in the civil rights movement shared that the biggest mistake they've done in regards to their movement was not working as much as they should have on documenting what took place around this time and what they've experienced and learned. 
I'm dreaming of that day when my Egyptian friends will realize this. When they realize there is a dire need for the collective documentation of their stories so that the people who don't speak Arabic and the people who're not there learn about what truly happened.  The links are arranged according to what I think is important the most first. 

The Essentials 
(Egypt Revolution 101)

*Egypt's Military Industrial Complex
*U.S - Egypt relationship
*Palestine and Egypt
*The Egyptian Student Movement
*The Ultras Revolutionary Movement

1- What you must know about the Egyptian military industrial complex (January 2013)

"Since Morsi became president and later after Tantawi and Anan "retired", it seems that people are gradually overlooking this significant player in Egypt's politics:  The military industrial complex and its long direct relationship with the U.S military industrial complex. People are fighting the civilian front of the Egyptian military dictatorship and forgetting its core. The military might not be on the front but it's influencing the process and intervening in a direct manner using indirect approaches. Controlling an estimation of 25-40% of the Egyptian economy while making sure they're persevering more privileges than any other Egyptian faction in the new constitution, the Egyptian military should be talked about more often." 


2-When a revolution calls for "military rule" (February 2013)

Who would call for a military coup in Egypt? Why call for a military coup in a military dictatorship with a civilian cover? Does Egypt really need to get more militarized than this? 

My early predictions of the military coup of 2013 and my analysis for the Egyptian political groups that are involved directly in that as well as the ones who endorsed and welcomed a complete military take over in Egypt less than a year after the first elections. A very important piece for people who are still confused. 


3- The U.S hypocrisy continues in Egypt (March 2012)

Important fact-sheet on the U.S military aid to Egypt and how the U.S administration supported the Egyptian oppressive military regime since Camp David. Very important for American taxpayers. 



4- The student movement in Egypt: Statistics and context (October 2014)

Learn more about the student movement after the Egyptian revolution and after the military coup.
Get links for updates and student run media outlets on the student movement in Egypt.

"The movement I'm referring to here is the revolutionary student movement which developed after #Jan25. The generation of students who started or shifted their activism as a result of what took place in the past few years. I have talked about my experience a little bit in a previous post, this was during the one semester I had to spend as a student here after #Jan25" 

5- On the Ultras, Port Said Massacre and Mohammad (February 2013)

Do you understand the Ultras movement in Egypt and the important rule they played in the Egyptian revolution? Do you know about the Port Said massacre that hit the Ultras movement really bad? 
An important piece on a complex and essential player and participant in the Egyptian revolutionary movement. There's very little on the Ultras in English and they are overlooked in political analysis on Egypt.


6- Contextualizing pro-Palestine Egypt in the light of the current crisis in Gaza (August 2014)

Learn more about what revolutionary Egyptians think of Gaza and the longtime shared struggle between Egyptians and Palestinians. See photos and documentation of Egypt-Gaza solidarity effort in parts of Egypt that don't get coverage. Learn more about Sinai. 

"I'm a young woman who happened to be born and raised in Cairo, Egypt whose politicization began with the Palestinian cause in the early 2000s and late 1990s years before the cable TV and the internet.  I'm also an Egyptian who participated in the revolutionary movement opposing the US funded Egyptian military regime in early 2011 and its domestic and foreign policies most importantly the long lasting shameful Egyptian diplomatic position on Palestine and more specifically on Gaza. 

There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of of Egyptians like myself out there but for some reason their voices are being sidelined and their existence is being overlooked from the current conversation on the crisis in Gaza."  


7- Political Arabic poetry for you: Don't reconcile! (July 2014)

The Egyptian poet Amal Dunqul wrote his most well known poem “Don't reconcile” لا تصالح to denounce Sadat's decision to sign the Camp David accord with Israel against the will of the Arab and Muslim nations and that of the Egyptian masses whose wounds were still fresh from the war. 
Egypt's role in the region and specifically in regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict has changed forever since this treaty was signed. The shameful reality of today's Egypt is a natural consequence of this move. While Egypt is becoming more Zionist diplomatically than any other time in its modern history, this piece has become the voice which represented the voiceless Egyptians who never wanted to reconcile with the killer of their brothers. And now, as Arab regimes have cracked down on popular uprisings, people have come to relate to the piece in a different light, viewing it as a call to neither reconcile nor negotiate with their own tyrannical regimes.  


8- My thoughts on "the first free elections in Egypt" (May 2012)

A detailed analysis on the presidential elections of 2012 which I boycotted then, it was run by the Egyptian military and it brought Mohammad Morsi to power who's then ousted by a military coup a year after. 



My personal reflections and experience as an Egyptian revolutionary

*Eyewitness accounts.
*Legacy and political stances.
*Trauma and psychological implications of going through revolution.

This is the second collection of important readings and perspectives on the Egyptian revolution. These are articles and analysis on my experiences in Egypt as a student, a media producer, an organizer, and a friend of victims. I also talked about some of the events and perspectives that didn't get enough mention or credit in English. The links are arranged according to what I think is important the most first. 

1- My thoughts on #Jan28 2011: The Egyptian Friday of Anger 

My eyewitness account on one of the most important days within the course of the Egyptian revolution, the Friday of Rage. January 28th 2011


2- Zainab Al Mahdy: When trauma and revolution kill (November 2014)

With the 5 year anniversary of the "revolution" coming soon, I wanted to start publishing here again with a post from November 2014 on a young revolutionary who was found hanged in her apartment in Cairo, Egypt. For some reason I feel like this story resonates so much to whatever happened to the Egyptian movement. I see myself so much in her. I see reflections of my past and present in her. 

Zainab’s end was both a slap on the face and a wake up call. Zainab was too sensitive, innocent, and fragile for all what she had to deal with at this age, at this historical moment, and in this society, where young women and women in general have to fight to survive without expecting too much support. This is happening on a large scale to many young people and young women her age in countries like ours.  The revolution-or what used to be so- has killed and continues to kill its own children in so many ways besides the police and army's bullets. Things like depression, PTSD, lose of hope, extreme unbearable psychological and emotional stress and other issues are among the ways young Egyptians are losing their lives-literally.  


3- What's really going on in Abbaseya? (May 2012)

May 2012 and the Abbaseya massacre right before the presidential elections took place. This was a moment of history which transformed my politics and my ideological stances with everything and on everything. This was the last time I saw my friend that I found out was killed in 2014. This was the first time my whole family was involved in one cause physically and emotionally, this was a time when my neighborhood people and the army tried to kill my friends, some escaped to die later and some didn't make it.

Yet, the Abbaseya massacre of May 2012 wasn't even worth mentioning in the international media because the victims were mostly religious looking Muslims. Here's my documentation of the events supported with video and photos. 


4- Post revolution class: To be a 2011 graduate (May 2013)

My personal experience and the challenges I faced as a college student who had to go back to school 2 weeks after being detained and after the Egyptian revolution has just started. 


5- My legacy: Between Islam, Justice, and Revolution (October 2013)

Where I stand and what I think as a religious Muslim revolutionary from Egypt, a perspective that's always overlooked when people speak and think of the participants of the Arab uprisings.
Some food for thought, "Liberation theology".


6- Once upon a time in an area of conflict (November 2012)

My reflections upon the receiving of the news of the martyrdom of a revolutionary friend and the dimensions of living through "revolution" as an ordinary human being. An advice and wake up call for the outsiders who view us only as numbers, statistics, labels, and news elements. 

"When you talk about people in countries going through political turmoil or talk to them please take a moment to think about the contexts they live in that might not be familiar to anything you've ever seen or experienced in your life." 


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