Ashraf Khalil is back from his long book-promoting sojourn in Amreeka, and joins Ursula Lindsey and I to talk about the aftermath of the NGO crisis, politics and dissent in the United Arab Emirates, and the launch of presidential election season in Egypt. Sorry for the echoey sound as we're adjusting to new facilities.
We're back after an unexpectedly long absence (we moved Arabist HQ to a new secret location last week.) Our special guest in this episode, Aalam Wassef, was an underground guerrilla video artist and activist who went by the pseudonym Ahmed Sherif. He continues to make videos and launch activist projects under his real name, except now the target is SCAF rather than Mubarak. We discuss his work, the call for a general strike to boot SCAF out, Egypt's military-industrial complex and the NGO crisis between Cairo and Washington. I really think it's a fantastic episode.
In this episode, we discuss Mohamed ElBaradei's decision not to run for president Egypt, the preparations for Egypt's new parliament and for the anniversary of the January 25 uprising, which has divided those who want more revolution and those who favor stability. All through the lens of Ashraf Khalil's new book, Liberation Square.
Remember, you can send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, and donate to keep this podcast going here.
For the first episode of 2012, we reflect of what's to come, discuss the Arab League mission in Syria, Egypt's elections and the rest of the transition timeline, take a first look at the presidential candidates, and wonder about what will take place on January 25, the anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.
As always, send us your questions at email@example.com for questions, suggestions and corrections. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and leave comments and ratings there — I'll help us get noticed among all the other podcasts! As a bonus, we'll put up an iTunes-only outtakes and bloopers podcast you'll only be able to get there.
- Two Arab monitors in Syria injured in attack-Kuwait | Reuters
- Egypt's elections: 2nd round results, 3rd round starts - Blog - The Arabist (for election results)
- Podcast #23: The Sandmonkey Episode (our previous podcast, with allegations of electoral fraud)
- Syria's protesters are on their own (Brian Whitaker)
In this week's episode, Ursula and I talk to the legendary Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey, a major figure of the online coverage of the uprising. Also known as Mahmoud Salem, Sandmonkey was an unlucky candidate in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, standing in a Cairo district. He tells us about his experience there and as an electoral campaign manager in second round in Suez, and how he sees the most recent clashes between protestors and the army in Tahrir.
In this episode of the Arabist Podcast, we take a semi-break from the Egyptian elections to look at the bigger picture: the wave of elections bringing Islamists to office parties across the region, what Morocco's pretty tame Islamists might do, the electoral dilemmas of non-Islamists, and more. And we re-examine the issues of Saudi women getting behind the wheels, and the backlash against that from the powerful moron lobby among the Wahhabis.
- Panic Times for "Arabist" Liberals? — this post on a conservative blog listens to our last podcast and thinks we're panicking. I have a comment there.
- Ursula on her visit to the Salafi heartland of Damietta
- The Saudi 'study' that finds all women drivers on the road to immorality | Eman Al Nafjan | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
- Saudi Woman to Be Lashed for Driving, Despite Royal Pardon - Nivien Saleh - International - The Atlantic
In this edition of the Arabist Podcast, we introduce a brand new segment, Regional Cliffnotes, and then delve into the initial results from the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections. It's a triumph for the Islamists, with the Muslim Brotherhood getting a comfortable plurality, but the real surprise is that Salafists are the country's second political force.
And that's something that worries us.
So the elections in Egypt are upon us, and they didn't turn out to be a catastrophe. In fact, the turnout is looking good. But should we all be celebrating? Ursula Lindsey and I argue that while Egyptians have shown they're ready for democracy, the process still leaves much to be desired. And in any case, what happens next?
As always, please do send us feedback and requests at firstname.lastname@example.org and do donate (or advertise) to keep these podcasts going!
You can read a transcript of this podcast here.
Update on 2011-12-04 21:19 by Issandr El Amrani
A transcript of this podcast is available.
After the last two days' exceptional events in Tahrir Square, Egypt seems to teeter on the brink of another revolution or political chaos. We discuss the recent violence and the scenarios the country faces: more violence and authoritarianism from SCAF, or a new political direction for the transition. Or will Egypt judt muddle through again — if it can?
Update on 2011-11-23 09:10 by Issandr El Amrani
Reader Akkadia has kindly transcribed this podcast — get it as a PDF.
Ashraf, Ursula and I talk about the Arab League's surprisingly tough line on Syria — what what regional games may lie behind it — and then despair about how badly prepared Egypt's elections are, looking at all the things that might go wrong. And we remind you to send in your questions and suggestions at podcast [AT] arabist.net, and donate or advertise to keep this site and the podcast going!
We were away in Tunisia in late October and never got a chance to do the podcast we had promised from there — we were too busy enjoying the well-organized election, promising democratic prospects and excellent fish. We catch up and talk what we saw there, why Egypt is so much worse off with its own upcoming elections, and agree that the French need to grow up about Islamism.
Youssef SidhoumLast week, I interviewed prominent Coptic intellectual Youssef Sidhoum about Maspero and the events that led up to it. I wanted to include it in this week's podcast, but since it was already long, I decided to release it separately. You can listen to it below, or get through your iTunes podcast subscription as usual.
In this week’s podcast, we turn to the tragic events on October 9 in Downtown Cairo, when at least 25 people (mostly Coptic protestors) were killed at the Maspero state TV building. Ashraf, Ursula and I host New York Review of Books contributor Yasmine El Rashidi, an eyewitness to the massacre, and talk about what happened and its consequences.
- Massacre in Cairo by Yasmine El Rashidi, in NYRB
- Yasmine’s May 2011 NYRB article on Copts and the Imbaba church arson
- Get Yasmine’s “The Battle for Egypt” ebook
- Reflections on the invisibility of Copts in Egypt by Anthony Shenoda
- Maspero Testimonies
- Ashraf and Issandr’s appearance on AJE’s The Listening Post, on Egyptian state media
- Latest Maspero round-up by Ursula, including the Bassem Youssef video cited and Maspero Testimonies
- Previous Arabist posts (and links) on the Maspero massacre
This week we discuss those Arab revolutions that are still in progress or are being stopped dead in their tracks: Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.
This week, Ashraf Khalil is back and we talk about the worrying turn Egypt's transition has taken, between the reinstatement of the Emergency Law, restrictions on media, threats against strikers and more. We also discuss Turkish PM Recep Erdogan's visit to Cairo, his reception by the army and Islamists, and which Turkish model is applicable in Egypt — if any.
In this week's podcast, AFP reporter Samer Al Atrush and journalist Steve Negus join Ursula Lindsey. We discuss the clashes of Friday 9 September, in which protester defaced the Ministry of Interior, broke into the Israeli embassy and fought the police, and ask: why did the army and police seem to stand back? And has the protest movement let itself in for a crackdown?
We also discuss Mubarak's trial (for ordering police to shoot at demonstrators, and for corruption) which so far has offered little in the way of a smoking gun and has been marred by chaos. Samer gives eye-witness accounts of the clashes around the Israeli embassy and of courtroom shenanigans.
- Tantawi testimony in Mubarak trial postponed to 24 September, due to "fragile security" - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online
- Egypt's courtroom drama: Much ado about nothing
- Renewed Emergency Law raises fears of coming crackdown | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
- Egypt’s Soccer ‘Ultras’ | PRI's The World
- Egyptian Chronicles: Regarding the Israeli Embassy and the clashes to this endless talk
- Will Mubarak Walk? The Case Against the Egyptian Dictator Looks Shaky - The Daily Beast
(P.S.: we apologize to the poor sound quality of this week's podcast, due to technical problems and a broken microphone these were unavoidable.)
We delayed this week's podcast to bring you two guests with expert knowledge of the Libyan war and its regional consequences: Steve Negus, who just returned from Tripoli and Benghazi, and Middle East correspondent for The Economist Max Rodenbeck. (Ashraf Khalil is off this week dealing with a looming book deadline.) We talk about why Tripoli fell so fast and how secure it is now, what might happen in Sirte and Sebha, the last Qadhafi strongholds, and what governance might look like in Libya for the foreseable future. We also discuss whether there is a Libyan model for humanitarian intervention, what it might mean for Syria, Qatar's steroid diplomacy, and still more. Finally, we discuss Libyan novelist Hisham Matar's novels and play a song from Libya's reggae-influenced pop music.
- Libya: The birth of free Libya | The Economist
- Colonel Qadhafi's Tech Support
- Will Sirte be the new Benghazi?
- Libya: do tribes matter?
- Libya: Can the rebels rule?
- Libya after Qadhafi
- Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya - International Crisis Group
- Issandr El Amrani · Is there a Libya? · LRB 28 April 2011
- Libyan Novelist Recounts His Father’s Abduction : The New Yorker
- The Book Bench: Hisham Matar on Libya : The New Yorker
- This is / was Misurata - Blog - The Arabist
We're back from our break and talk sbout Tea Party politics, how the Mubarak trial is going so far and whether it should have taken place in the way it did, and how the situation in Sinai has created an Egyptian-Israeli crisis. And we touch upon what may be the beginning of the end for Syria and Libya.
In this week's podcast, we give an update on the Tahrir Square sit-in, wonder if the never-ending cabinet shuffle will ever happen, talk about the politics in Upper Egypt with our guest Steve Negus, remember the movies that defined the late Mubarak era, and review the new Arabic comic Tok-Tok.
Sorry for the exclusive focus on Egypt lately — we want to talk about things we can bring added value to, and these days we're pretty Egypt focused. Please do let us know what you think at email@example.com.
We'll be taking a break for the next few weeks, so both blog posting and podcasting will be light. But we should be back up to speed in mid-August.
- Mapping Egypt's referendum - Blog - The Arabist (in reference to Sohag's relatively high "no" vote in the March 19 2011 referendum)
- TokTok bande dessinée :: TokTok comics :: توك توك محطة القصص المصورة
- Summer 2011: The great escape (Joseph Fahim's article on post-revolution box office flops in Egypt)