The Arabist

This website

About this site

The basics

The Arabist was launched in Cairo in November 2003, by Issandr El Amrani, partly in response to the the lack of interest in the domestic politics of Arab countries in much Western media. It has long focused on Egypt but also follows broader issues in the Arab world, US policy in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and cultural developments throughout the region. Over the years, it has had multiple contributors – for the most part journalists and academics specializing in the region. Each contributor is solely responsible for the views he/she expresses.

The Arabist covered the tumultuous 2004-2006 period of political upheaval in Egypt, the reversal of that small opening thereafter, the twilight years of the Mubarak regime. Starting out as a niche site, it gained major international following for its coverage of the Arab Spring and particularly Egypt's post-Mubarak transition. Since mid-2013, it has become less frequently updated due to the professional obligations of its founder.

This website is a labor of love and makes very little revenue from Google ads. It has no institutional support and its contributors are (well, relatively) poor journalists. Please contribute to keep this site going.

Getting in touch

For any questions, suggestions, recommended links, contributions or anything else please use this contact form. Please do not contact me via Facebook (I am no longer on it) or LinkedIn (I never check it). Twitter may get you a response.

Press queries: I am available for interviews on a limited basis.

Research / student queries: Specific questions have the most changes of being answered. Do not contact me to get a broad introduction to a general topic ("Egyptian politics" or "blogging in the Arab world") — do your homework first! I usually do not share contacts for research sources, either. Also, read this post. But if you are smart, passionate and well-informed, and have a well-defined project, I can promise you many long geeky and obtuse conversations.

Advertisers: I am happy to consider all types of advertisements. Please use the contact form to get in touch and discuss rates and placement.

Geeky stuff

This website is powered by Squarespace, which provides both hosting services and the content management system. Previously it was a self-hosted Wordpress site, and before that a Blosxom site.  

I use the following online services in the everyday running of this site:

  • Pinboard for bookmarking 
  • Twitter for sharing links and general time-wasting and IFTTT to feed the blog to Twitter
  • Feedburner to manage RSS feeds
  • Reeder to read RSS feeds
  • Instapaper to send long articles to my iPhone for later reading

Indispensable reference books

For Arabic-English translation, we rely on Hans Wehr 4th Edition and al-Mawrid dictionaries. 

I love the National Geographic Atlas of the Middle East, now in its second edition.