"This Is Our Square"

Fighting Sexual Assault at Cairo Protests

by Vickie Langohr
published in MER268

In June 2013 popular anger, excitement and apprehension rippled through Cairo. Lines at gas stations snaked into major roadways, paralyzing traffic. Artists occupied the Ministry of Culture to oppose a new minister from the Muslim Brothers’ Freedom and Justice Party who had fired respected cultural leaders. Artists, including the Cairo Opera ballet troupe, performed in solidarity in front of the Ministry, in a pointed retort to a member of the salafi Nour Party who said that ballet “provoke[ed] people to immorality.” Determined to oust then-president Muhammad Mursi, citizens signed the Tamarrud (Rebellion) petition calling for early presidential elections and planned to attend anti-Mursi demonstrations on June 30.

Gender and Counterrevolution in Egypt

by Mervat Hatem
published in MER268

The 18 days of revolution beginning on January 25, 2011 united Egypt. A wide range of citizens, men and women, veiled and unveiled, young and old, middle-class and working-class, stood behind the goals of ending the 30-year rule of Husni Mubarak and stopping the planned succession of his son to the presidency, as well as winning bread, freedom, social justice and dignity. The military supported this national consensus and pushed its aims forward.

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Gender and the Revolutions

Critique Interrupted

by Norma Claire Moruzzi
published in MER268

How is gender related to revolutions? What is the connection between “gender” and women or, for that matter, between gender and women and men? If gender is generally understood to be the social construction of sexual difference, what explains the differences in gendered identities across cultures or over time? And in thinking about gender, how can observers avoid the naturalization of the familiar, or the demonization of gender relations that seem foreign?

Egyptian Workers After June 30

by Joel Beinin | published August 23, 2013

The independent labor movement that has flourished in Egypt since the ouster of former president Husni Mubarak enthusiastically supported the Tamarrud (Rebel) campaign for the huge June 30 demonstrations asserting a popular vote of no confidence in President Muhammad Mursi. The Center for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS), Egypt’s most experienced (and during the 1990s only) labor-oriented NGO, claims to have gathered 200,000 signatures for the Tamarrud petition through its six regional offices.

True Democrats Don't Bankroll Juntas

by Joshua Stacher | published July 12, 2013

The military’s coup in Egypt has placed the American political establishment in a bind. Many observers insist that the Obama administration must either formally condone the military takeover or call it a “coup,” which would require a cutoff of American aid, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has advocated.

Said, A Bridge Through Time

by Evelyne Accad
published in MER143

Laila Said, A Bridge Through Time: A Memoir (New York: Summit, 1985).

 

Egypt in Year Three

by The Editors | published July 10, 2013

Was the gathering of millions in Egypt on June 30 the continuation of a revolution or the occasion for a coup d’état? The answer is “both,” but the question is not the right one to ask.

The Fate of the Family Farm

by Karen Pfeifer
published in MER145

Samir Radwan and Eddy Lee, Agrarian Change in Egypt, An Anatomy of Rural Poverty (London: Croom Helm, for the International Labor Organisation, 1986).

Alan Richards, ed., Food, States and Peasants, Analyses of the Agrarian Question in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986).

 

These two books are welcome additions to the sparse literature on recent agricultural development and agrarian change in the Middle East. Neither makes easy reading, but students of both economic and social change in the Middle East (mainly Turkey and Egypt) and agrarian change in general will find them useful.

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"Food Security"

published in MER145

As Egypt’s dependence on food imports has increased, so has the cry for food security. The phrase “food security” (al-amn al-geza’i) can have several meanings in Egyptian policy debates. It is usually taken to mean either “hedging against fluctuations in world food prices” or “increasing domestic production of food crops.” The Ministry of Agriculture has recently been renamed Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The Language of Food

PL 480 in Egypt

by Jean-Jacques Dethier , Kathy Funk
published in MER145

“I went down to Cairo with a little wheat in my pocket and they had the red carpet out for me there…. I was speaking the language of food and they understand.” -- US Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, 1974

 

For more than a decade now, the political embrace of Washington and Cairo has directly affected what Egypt’s 45 million people eat and how much they pay for it. Once a leading granary for the entire Mediterranean, Egypt today is one of the largest food importers in the world, and one of the largest markets for US agricultural exports. Each year more than $4 billion worth of imported food comes through its ports. About one quarter of this comes from the United States.