With Parliament dissolved, Egyptians now face a Presidential election between two extreme candidates, without any assurances about the authority the eventual winner will assume. As the situation stands, the next President will have supreme power of government – with no balance of Parliament and a constitution that is still written for a [...]
Today Tahrir Square is not the scene of demonstrations against the military. Instead, it is a centre for political campaigning for the 50 newly-formed political parties, divided mostly between Muslim and secular ideologies. This is Egypt’s first free Presidential election – Hosni Mubarak had formed the euphemistically named National Democratic Party, which made a charade of elections and planned to have Mubarak’s son succeed him.
It is a year to the day since the infamous camel charge during the Egyptian uprising. That day, Ultras from al-Ahly and Zamalek football clubs, along with many other Egyptians, fought in the streets against the regime. It is being claimed that the atmosphere in Cairo today is very much like the day after that camel charge. Yesterday’s events in Port Said, in which over 70 football supporters died, is therefore not just ‘another football tragedy’, however terrible it was. Rather, the disaster takes place in a context of heightened political tension over the state of post-Mubarak Egypt, and concerns about security, order and the pace of democratisiation.
During the Egyptian revolution, some of the most inspiring scenes to emerge from Tahrir Square were the scenes of solidarity between Muslims and the Coptic Christian minority. Egypt’s Copts were particularly discriminated against under Mubarak rule, so many hearts were warmed by images of Christians forming human barriers around Muslims as they lined up for [...]
Yesterday, Egypt’s State Security Investigation Service, or the “SS” as it has been locally named, was dissolved, as announced by Interior Minister Mansour al-Issawi. This comes just a week after Egyptian activists demonstrated at State Security buildings across Alexandria and Cairo, including its headquarters in Nasr City, in the north of Cairo, which was occupied [...]
The police are back on street corners, guns slung over their shoulders. They were forced out during the revolution, but have been instructed to return to duties. Children clothed in dirty t-shirts and sandals sell packets of tissue paper out of cardboard boxes. A man who can’t walk drags himself across the pavement past a [...]
It is strange to read in the news that the Saudi monarchy has “banned” demonstrations; as if such demonstrations were allowed in the first place. Nevertheless, small protests in the east of Saudi Arabia do signal a change. With March 11th being ear-marked as a ‘day of rage’, thousands of security forces are being sent [...]
Just over a month into the year, and we are two dictators down. Who will be next for the chopping board?
For eighteen days, the Egyptian people have inspired us all. Finally, their revolution has won. Mubarak is gone, Suleiman is gone. Of course, this didn’t start in Egypt, but with Mohamed Bouazizi, in the Tunisian [...]
As I drove up the M1 towards Leicester last night, where I was due to give a speech about Palestine, I got a message saying that Hosni Mubarak would be addressing the Egyptian people at around 8pm. We all presumed that he would be leaving. In fact, he refused to step down, adding yet more fuel to the fire of the Egyptian revolution. You never can under-estimate the arrogance of an ailing dictator.
Mark Zuckerberg claims on his Facebook page that he is motivated by the desire to “make the world a more open place”. Likewise, Twitter boasts the best way to immediately get “what’s new in your world.” I doubt either of them would have suspected this though. It seems they are getting their wish, but with surprisingly powerful and violent consequences; we have moved into the era of the socially networked revolution, and we are all the better for it.
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