Beyond yes or no

My Time op-ed on Egypt's referendum is up:

Ahmed is 19 years old, fresh-faced; he sports jeans and a gray "New York" T-shirt and wears his hair gelled back. Like most of his fellow Egyptians, he is young, relatively poor and lives in a dense urban area — specifically Helwan, a sprawling industrial suburb of Cairo dominated by the chimney stacks of nearby cement factories that leave the air thick and gritty. His thumb is stained a bright magenta, a sign that he has just voted — for the first time in his life. And like most Egyptians, he approved the amendments to the constitution that were put to a popular referendum on Saturday. For him, that yes vote was an endorsement of the revolution he participated in, occupying Tahrir Square last month until the only President he has known in his lifetime was forced to decamp.

Read the rest here: Egypt's Referendum: What the Nation's Historic Vote Means - TIME

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.