Economic Reform in Egypt

by Agnieszska Paczynska
published in MER218

Texts Reviewed

Ray Bush, Economic Crisis and the Politics of Reform in Egypt (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999).
Nicholas S. Hopkins and Kirsten Westergaard, eds. Directions of Change in Rural Egypt (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1998).
Marsha Pripstein Posusney, Labor and the State in Egypt: Workers, Unions and Economic Restructuring (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).

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Solidarity in the Time of Anti-Normalization

by Elliott Colla
published in MER224

The 1979 Camp David peace treaty may have brought an end to formal hostilities between Egypt and Israel, but their peace is a cold one. Moreover, there has always been a wide gap between how this treaty shapes Egyptian foreign policy and popular Egyptian sentiment toward Israel. Since Camp David, Egyptian academics, artists and professionals have expressed their opposition primarily through a policy of “anti-normalization,” whose logic is simple. While Egyptian citizens cannot erase President Anwar Sadat’s signature from the accord, they can ensure -- by refusing to travel to Israel, by blocking the kind of cultural and professional ties expected of neighbors at peace -- that relations between the two countries will remain distinctly abnormal.

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Egypt's Summer of Discontent

by Mona El-Ghobashy | published September 18, 2003

As the long, hot Egyptian summer of 2003 wore on into autumn, gloom-and-doom scenarios filled opposition papers and daily conversations, warning of a terrible quiet before the storm. Elites and the masses are slowly being pushed together by palpable disaffection at rapidly deteriorating economic conditions, fueled by the government’s January devaluation of the Egyptian pound, and the stagnation in the nation’s political life, symbolized by raging speculation that Husni Mubarak is grooming his son Gamal to succeed him as president.

Two Miles into Limbo

Displaced Sudanese in a Cairo Slum

by Pascale Ghazaleh
published in MER225

As many as five million Sudanese displaced by the country’s 19-year civil war live in Egypt, many on the urban margins of Cairo. Mostly poor and unemployed, the Sudanese displaced get by in an environment where no one -- the Egyptian government, civil society or the UN -- seems willing or able to help them.

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Unsettling the Authorities

Constitutional Reform in Egypt

by Mona El-Ghobashy
published in MER226

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Sparks of Activist Spirit in Egypt

by Paul Schemm | published April 13, 2002

For a few days in October 2000, near the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada, it looked as though Egypt's student movement had finally found its voice again after years of quiescence. Students at Cairo University and other schools demonstrated daily and even clashed with security forces during attempts to march on the Israeli embassy to show their solidarity with the Palestinians. When this movement petered out soon after it began, most observers sympathetic to the student movement shook their heads and lamented the loss of Egypt's activist spirit.

What Does the Gama`a Islamiyya Want Now?

by Ewan Stein
published in MER254

In the early 1990s, the security forces of Egypt were embroiled in a low-grade civil war with the Gama‘a Islamiyya (Islamic Group), an uncompromising outfit committed to the violent overthrow of the government. The Gama‘a, like the even more radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Takfir wa al-Hijra, grew out of study circles reading the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual godfathers of jihadi groups across the Muslim world, including al-Qaeda. Qutb taught that jahili (pagan) governments and social elites had usurped the entire realm of Islam.

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