Taking Back the Village

Rural Youth in a Moral Revolution

by Lila Abu-Lughod
published in MER272

On January 25, 2011, like most of the rest of the world I watched the uprisings in Egypt on television. I was struck by the consistent vantage point: a reporter speaking from a balcony or rooftop overlooking the masses in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. There was an occasional interview with a member of the crowd. Sporadic reports appeared from the streets of other cities -- Alexandria, Suez or Port Said -- where people were demonstrating.

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Small Farmer Uprisings and Rural Neglect in Egypt and Tunisia

by Habib Ayeb , Ray Bush
published in MER272

“We should make it up to the peasants,” Muhsin al-Batran, erstwhile head of the economic affairs unit in Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture, told the official daily al-Ahram two months after the toppling of Husni Mubarak in 2011. “Make it up” -- why? And what is it that needs to be made up?

Sisi at the UN

by The Editors | published September 25, 2014 - 10:44am

This week ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi paid his inaugural visit to the United States as president of Egypt. The occasion was the annual meetings of the UN General Assembly. We asked some veteran Egypt watchers and MERIP authors for their reactions.

Mona El-Ghobashy

Strangers in the Crowd

by Vivienne Matthies-Boon | published September 5, 2014 - 6:34pm

“The system of fear is back,” whispers an Egyptian political activist. “It is showing its teeth, saying ‘I’m baaack.’” The protest veteran speaks sotto voce even though he is sitting in his living room. And that, he points out, is the biggest change since the heady days of 2011, after the fall of Husni Mubarak, and even since the more somber times of 2012 and 2013.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER127

This issue examines the political impact of the economic crisis that has wracked Tunisia and Morocco over the first half of this decade. Even as we prepared this issue, the combustible recipe of austerity decrees and popular desperation exploded into violence in neighboring Egypt, in the industrial town of Kafr el-Dawar, near Alexandria. The decision in mid-September to double the government-controlled price of bread touched off the seething resentment of poor and working class Egyptians at the galloping price increases of uncontrolled market items over the last year. The final blow was a three percent increase in payroll deductions for all state workers.

The Massacre One Year Later

by Ahmad Shokr | published August 16, 2014 - 12:12pm

In Cairo this summer, there is scant appetite for anniversaries. The passage of one year since the critical events of the 2013 coup d’état scarcely attracts the public’s attention. There are few official ceremonies or rallies to mark the huge demonstrations on June 30 against Muhammad Mursi, the July 3 military takeover or the July 26 marches summoned by ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi to give himself popular cover in his self-styled fight against terrorism.

Davis, Challenging Colonialism

by Fred H. Lawson
published in MER129

Eric Davis, Challenging Colonialism: Bank Misr and Egyptian Industrialization, 1920-1941 (Princeton: Princeton University Press,

1983).

Eric Davis intends his study to answer a wide range of questions concerning capitalism and industrialization in the Middle East. Two issues in particular are central to his analysis: “what were the social forces behind the formation of the Bank Misr” and “why did the bank experience a period of rapid economic growth only to later face financial collapse?” (p. 5)

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Egypt's Elections, Mubarak's Bind

by Bertus Hendriks
published in MER129

In the May 1984 general elections in Egypt, the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won almost 73 percent of the vote. The new Wafd got just above 15 percent. The other three contenders failed to get the eight percent minimum needed for a seat: the Socialist Labor Party (‘Amal) got just over seven percent; the National Progressive Unionist Party (Tagammu‘) got just over four percent; the Socialist Liberal Party (Ahrar) did not exceed one percent. These “lost” votes accrued to the biggest party, the NDP, which thus took 390 seats to the Wafd’s 58 seats. [1]

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The Cold Peace

by Joel Beinin
published in MER129

March 26, 1985, will mark the sixth anniversary of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, brokered and signed in Washington, the culmination of the “Camp David process.” What have been the consequences of this pact, and where is the peace it was supposed to usher into the region?

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The Campaign Against Coal in Egypt

by Dina Zayed , Jeannie Sowers
published in MER271

A campaign opposing coal imports would seem unlikely to attract much attention given the political upheavals and deepening social polarization that Egyptians have witnessed over the past three years. Yet since 2012, a loose coalition of environmental and human rights activists, government officials and voluntary organizations have led a sustained campaign to contest the government’s decision to import coal to supply Egypt’s cement plants. Making use of new and old media, and drawing upon the “Tahrir networks” forged in street protest, the anti-coal coalition challenged government and business assertions that importing coal was the only way to meet Egypt’s energy needs.

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