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Power, normality, revolution

from The Immanent Frame by Samuli Schielke

As I write this, the Egyptian revolution of January 25 continues in the streets of Egypt, and anything that is written these days will bear the characteristic traits of that moment, and will be proven wrong in one way or another by the further course of events. This is one lesson academics can take from this and other revolutions: realities change in a way that forces us to change our way of thinking much faster than we are used to, and to recognize how historically specific our theories are. In this essay, I try to offer some preliminary conclusions about how the revolutionary momentum has already changed the way Egyptians view their possibilities of action. To put it in more romantic words, I try to make some preliminary sense of the revolutionary spirit, but also of some of its limits.

2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant

Defying the will of the people that have come out in their millions throughout Egypt in premature celebration of President Mubarak’s widely rumored resignation.

Mubarak announced in his speech on Egyptian state TV tonight that we would not step down as president as the people have been demanding.

Mubarak’s $70 billion nest egg

from FP Passport by Elizabeth Dickinson

Mubarak’s ‘speech from the heart’: A heartbreaker

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

ElBaradei calls for military intervention

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Egypt: Mubarak’s Speech Booed by Tahrir Crowds

from Global Voices Online by Amira Al Hussaini

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

A defiant Mubarak addressed the people of Egypt tonight, saying he will continue to remain president until presidential elections in September, but would delegate presidential responsibilities to newly appointed vice-president Omar Sulieman.

US Middle East policy: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? just act surprised , Rob Prince

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Rob Prince
None of the Arab Revolts of 2011 have played themselves out as yet. So it will be a while before the Obama Administration can assess the damage to its interests: a set back or a debacle?

Many years ago ? 43 to be exact ? Phil Jones and I, both Peace Corps volunteers stationed in Tunis at the time, walked into a reception in the garden of the US embassy there where Hubert Humphrey was doing his best to give a pro-Vietnam War pep talk, trying to explain how the February 1968 Tet Offensive wasn?t a U.S. military setback despite Walter Cronkite?s suggestion on national television that indeed it was. As Humphrey launched into his remarks, Jones and I, somewhat nervous and uncertain as to our impending fate, took out our anti-war posters from under our sports coats and held them high in the air.

Why Mubarak must follow Ben Ali, Kamel Labidi

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Kamel Labidi
Egyptians who are systematically raised to believe that their country?s fate is to play a leadership role in the Arab world seem increasingly determined

Until the recent eruption along the Nile of the hugest pro-democracy protests ever to shake the Arab world, Egyptian officials arrogantly trumpeted that their country was immune against an uprising similar to the one that forced Tunisia?s dictator into exile in mid-January.

It?s not because they?re Arab, Gregory White

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Gregory White
To frame the crisis in the region as an ?Arab crisis? is to risk essentializing the problem in another, unique ?world.?

Most analyses of Tunisia?s ?Jasmine Revolution? and the ongoing turmoil in Egypt – as well as  similar upheavals in Algeria, Jordan, and Yemen – have framed it as an ?Arab crisis? in the ?Arab world.? It is convenient to use Arab and Arabic in making sweeping generalizations about countries and societies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The riots and protests have spread like a contagion throughout ?Arab societies,? we are told, and ?Arab countries? are in crisis in no small part because they are, well, ?Arab.?

Obama, Mubarak, and the Iron Cage of Liberalism, Daniel Ritter

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Daniel Ritter
When a nonviolent battle is fought before curious, and sometimes fearful, international audiences, Western politicians face a near impossible task in supporting blatantly dictatorial regimes.

Facebook: virtual impact on reality in the Middle East, Karim Khashaba

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Karim Khashaba
Beyond the analysis of how Facebook, Twitter and other social media are rapidly bringing about political change in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere lies a more complex, and compelling, picture of how social media is changing the identities and lives of young people in supposedly ?closed? societies

What has changed in Egypt?

from Hurriyet Dailynews by HDN
As the upheaval in Egypt heads into its third week, the present situation is different from the initial days of unrest.

The road to Tahrir

from The Immanent Frame by Charles Hirschkind

While the uprising in Egypt caught most observers of the Middle East off guard, it did not come out of the blue. The seeds of this spectacular mobilization had been sown as far back as the early 2000s and had been carefully cultivated by activists from across the political spectrum, many of these working online via Facebook, twitter, and within the Egyptian blogosphere. Working within these media, activists began to forge a new political language, one that cut across the institutional barriers that had until then polarized Egypt?s political terrain, between more Islamicly-oriented currents (most prominent among them, the Muslim Brotherhood) and secular-liberal ones. Since the rise of the Islamist Revival in the 1970s, Egypt?s political opposition had remained sharply divided around contrasting visions of the proper place of religious authority within the country?s social and political future, with one side viewing secularization as the eminent danger, and the other emphasizing the threat of politicized religion to personal freedoms and democratic rights. This polarity tended to result in a defensive political rhetoric and a corresponding amplification of political antagonisms, a dynamic the Mubarak regime has repeatedly encouraged and exploited over the last 30 years in order to ensure a weak opposition. What was striking about the Egyptian blogosphere as it developed in the last 7 or so years is the extent to which it engendered a political language free from the problematic of secularization vs. fundamentalism that had governed so much of political discourse in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Egypt: A Very Egyptian Coup

from Global Voices Online by Salam Adil

Tweetography: the sounds of Egyptian silence

from anthropologyworks by admin

Guest post by Graham Hough-Cornwell

This post is not a content analysis of the recent tweets about Egypt. Their volume is staggering and would demand a more rigorous analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, than is possible at this time. Just click on the hash tag ?#Egypt,? wait a minute to refresh, and you will have hundreds of new tweets in dozens of different languages.

Egypt uprising: different media ensembles at different stages

from media/anthropology by John Postill

A great deal has been said and blogged about the role of social media in the Tunisia and Egypt uprisings. Missing from the debates so far is a key dimension of all political struggles, namely the fact that they go through developmental stages. This is what members of the now defunct Manchester School of Anthropology referred to as the ?processual form? of a political conflict.

Misconceptions about the role of new media in protests in Middle East

from Editors Weblog – all postings by Larry Kilman

At WAN-IFRA’s Middle East Publishing Conference underway in Dubai, one of the speakers pointed out how the ongoing demonstrations in the Middle East illustrate misconceptions about digital media.

“Mubarak?s fatal miscalculation” by Andrew Watt

from Social Europe Journal by Andrew Watt

My blogs and columns deal mainly with issues of European political economy. I don?t have any pretensions to expert knowledge of Arab/Middle Eastern societies and their political processes. But I don?t think that is why I am at a loss to understand Mubarak?s bid to hang on to power.

2011-02-07 Egypt?s new VP Omar Suleiman: willing to serve Israel

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has published a set of cables that shed light on Omar Suleiman?s willingness to serve the interests of Israel. The man recently appointed as vice-president of Egypt, according to a cable from 2005, was willing to help former head of security in the Israeli Defense Ministry Amos Gilad by guaranteeing there would be no democratic elections in Gaza in 2006. He was also willing to help Israel better manage the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

2011-02-07 UPDATE Google Executive Wael Ghonim in Tahrir Square & the Mubarak Regime’s Repression of Bloggers


For many in Tahrir Square, his presence was why they had come out February 8. Ghonim, who was released on February 7 by authorities, played a key role in organization demonstrations against the regime before being arrested in late January.

ISLAM: The Politics of Revolutionary Surprise

from Project Syndicate by Timur Kuran
ISLAM: The Politics of Revolutionary Surprise The mechanisms underlying the political unpredictability of mass protest are not unique to the Arab world. Unforeseen uprisings are possible wherever repression keeps people from expressing their political preferences openly.

Why Mubarak is Out

from The Jadaliyya Ezine by Paul

2011-02-08 Cables suggest Suleiman handling Egyptians as he has handled Palestinians

Congressional delegation meeting in June 2008 detailed in cable

A recently released cable describes three congressional delegation meetings with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit. The congressional delegation present at the meetings included Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), and professional staff members David Adams, Jamie McCormick and Howard Diamond.

2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!

Egypt’s Supreme Military Council has had only three public meetings in it’s history. The first one was in 1967, the second was in 1973 and the third took place today. In it they announced that they had convened the meeting in response to the current political turmoil and that they would continue to convene such meetings. It is most significant that Mubarak didn’t chair the meeting as he normally would have. Instead the meeting was chaired by Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi. The statement says

2011-02-09 February 20 is Morocco’s Day of Rage

A February 20 protest has been planned to restore “the dignity of the Moroccan people and for democratic and constitutional reform and the dissolution of parliament.” One of Morocco?s leading Islamist movements, Justice and Charity, which has an estimated 200,000 members and is banned from politics but tolerated, has called for ?urgent democratic change.? It?s website states ?It is unjust that the country?s riches should be monopolised by a minority.?

FP’s new special section: Revolution in the Arab World

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

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