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February 15, 2012
REGIONS
MIDDLE EAST
THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT NOW
William B. Quandt
How President Obama can get peacemaking back on track READ MORE
A UNIVERSITY AND A REVOLUTION
Lauren E. Bohn
Three young Egyptians talk about their roles in the revolution READ MORE
LISA ANDERSON’S WORLD VIEW
Lauren E. Bohn
Upon entering the office of the American University in Cairo President Lisa Anderson, you’ll admire the beautiful colored globe prominently displayed on a table. But dozens of globes? There’s a collection of smaller globes on a bookshelf. There are bowls of tiny globes (key chains, actually) on a coffee table. Globes, globes, everywhere. READ MORE
ISLAM AND GENDER
Lauren E. Bohn
Butler is harsh on the tendency in the West, especially among feminists, to categorically condemn the veil. “Negotiating questions of sexuality and gender is not always done according to the same language you find in the U.S. or in France,” she explains. READ MORE
THE STRUGGLE FOR MIDDLE EAST DEMOCRACY
Shadi Hamid
Why the Arab street finally revolted READ MORE
REFLECTIONS ON ARAB RENAISSANCE
Ahmed Zewail
A call for education reformREAD MORE
“I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING”
Hossam Badrawi
Former National Democratic Party Secretary General Hossam Badrawi tells how the Tahrir revolution looked from inside the regime READ MORE
“I WANT A DEMOCRATIC EGYPT”
Esraa Abdel Fattah
“Facebook Girl” Esraa Abdel Fattah appeals to members of her generation to become active in political parties for the sake of rebuilding their nation READ MORE
FAITH AND HOPE IN EGYPT
Amr Khaled
Populist Muslim preacher Amr Khaled argues that economic development, religious coexistence, and international partnerships are keys to the country’s future READ MORE
A MORE ASSERTIVE ARAB FOREIGN POLICY
Nabil Fahmy
Former Ambassador to the United States Nabil Fahmy believes that a democratic Egypt will not abandon its strategic commitment to peace but will pursue a more pro-active approach in international relations READ MORE
FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY
Amr Hamzawy
Political analyst Amr Hamzawy says that Egypt’s new challenge is to transform the “protesting citizen” into a “participating citizen" READ MORE
REGION IN REVOLT
Rami G. Khouri
Veteran analyst Rami G. Khouri predicts that the historic change sweeping the Arab world will lead to a secular rather than Islamist political order READ MORE
NARRATING THE REVOLUTION
Alaa Al Aswany
Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany explains how a nation rediscovered itself by rising up against dictatorship READ MORE
SEEKING JUSTICE
Aida Seif El-Dawla
Longtime activist Aida Seif El-Dawla demands that Egypt’s regime be held accountable for past—and ongoing—human rights abuses READ MORE
RISE OF THE BROTHERS
Essam El-Erian
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Essam El-Erian says that with new political opportunities in post-Mubarak Egypt, the group seeks to “participate, not dominate” READ MORE
GALAL AMIN: THE PEOPLE VS. THE ARMY
Lauren E. Bohn
Egyptian author Galal Amin's new book is certainly timely. “Egypt in the Era of Hosni Mubarak, 1981-2011” chronicles the corruption and misrule that led to Egypt’s January 25 revolution. Amin, a professor at the American University in Cairo, spoke to the Cairo Review after his book launch. READ MORE
AFTER REVOLUTION, ENTRY POINTS FOR EGYPTIAN YOUTH
Laila El Baradei
If we aspire to achieve responsive governance in Egypt to reform our institutions, there are many channels to enable the youth so they can play a role: from within the government bureaucracy, from within the private sector and non-government sector, through organized political and advocacy activities, and through conventional and non-conventional media and communication tools. READ MORE
DICTATORS AND THE INTERNET
Warigia Bowman
The Internet network is inherently not governed. Yet, each player has a valuable role. January 27 teaches us that a move away from centralization, particularly in the presence of autocratic governments, is crucial. READ MORE
THE WHEEL TURNS FOR LIBYA
Ty McCormick
When President Obama went on national television Monday night to defend launching a military assault on Libya, didn’t his address have a familiar ring? Muammar Gadhafi is a “tyrant,” Obama said, who “murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world, including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.” READ MORE
THE BROTHERHOOD'S DEMOCRACY DEFICIT
Sarah Grebowski
While Egypt's popular uprising has given the Brotherhood the chance to flex its political muscles, it is also forcing the organization to face up to its own democracy deficit. While it prefers to walk the line between being an advocate for reform and a guardian of the political status quo (under which it is one of the only forces prepared to compete in upcoming parliamentary elections), the Brotherhood is facing internal and external pressure to conform to Egypt's emerging democratic standards. READ MORE
A SPECIAL REPORT: INSIDE AL-ASSAD'S SYRIA TODAY
Lauren E. Bohn
Yazan is one of legions of Syrians who have internalized the paranoia that has been the hallmark of life under the Baath Party regime. The vast network of Syria's security agencies, the feared mukhabarat, has turned Syria into a kingdom of silence.READ MORE
ALGERIA'S NEW TEST
Akram Belkaïd
Arabs finally know “Berlin time.” Their wall of fear is collapsing. The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are fragile. Libya can tip into chaos. But, one might ask, who cares? The long-awaited time of freedom has come. The Arab world is entering a new phase of the end of the post-colonial period, a crucial one in which the regimes can no longer control their populations with an iron fist. Algeria cannot remain impervious to the huge expectations. READ MORE
HOW HEZBOLLAH SEES ARAB REVOLUTION
Nicholas Blanford
Hezbollah is keeping a close eye on the unprecedented uprising in neighboring Syria, wary that the collapse of the Al-Assad regime could fundamentally reshape the strategic balance of the Middle East and present stark challenges to the Lebanese group and its Iranian patron. For now, Hezbollah officials and cadres are expressing a quiet confidence that President Bashar Al-Assad will prevail. READ MORE
THE WORST-KEPT SECRET
Nabil Fahmy
The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb. By Avner Cohen. Columbia University Press, 2010. 416 pp. READ MORE
TRAINING ARAB POLICY MAKERS
Ross S. Donohue
Due to its geography and political standing, Egypt has interacted with the wider world throughout its long history. In taking its place on the international stage, it has produced honored statesmen and Nobel laureates. It has provided numerous global public servants, including a secretary general of the United Nations and a director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. READ MORE
ARAB VOICES
Hafez Al Mirazi
Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters. By James Zogby. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 248 pp. READ MORE
TEARS AND JOY OF TAHRIR!
Shems Friedlander
Opened just two months after the start of protests, Tahrir! embodies the texture as well as the spirit of a revolution that is still ongoing READ MORE
THE CAIRO REVIEW INTERVIEWS
Scott MacLeod
Inside Egypt's Uprising READ MORE
Q&A WITH U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
Scott MacLeod
McCain: Support anti-Gadhafi Libyan rebels, de-legitimize Syria’s AssadREAD MORE
WHEN WILL THE ARAB AWAKENING WAKE UP WASHINGTON?
Scott MacLeod
Three months after the January 25 Revolution in Egypt, President Obama's approach to the Middle East is hopelessly adrift. He is hesitant to truly embrace the Arab freedom movements, failing to lead Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and lacking effective diplomacy to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions. Two years after his ballyhooed Cairo University reach-out to the Arab and Muslim worlds, it's clear now that he actually doesn't get it.READ MORE
CURTAINS FOR BIN LADEN’S FREAK SHOW
Scott MacLeod
There was a theatrical air about Osama bin Laden. He cultivated mystique. For example, he relished inviting selected international journalists–some known for their own theatricality–to meet him in dangerous or shadowy circumstances that facilitated dramatic storytelling. I had a minor part in bringing Bin Laden to the world stage in 1996 when I interviewed him in Khartoum for a TIME magazine story headlined “The Paladin of Jihad.” Bin Laden’s enemies added to the hype. George W. Bush, the gun-slinging president from Texas, responded to September 11 with a line straight out of Hollywood: “I want justice. And there's an old poster out West I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"READ MORE
OBAMA'S MIDDLE EAST CLUELESSNESS
Scott MacLeod
Friday's announcement of George Mitchell's resignation as the U.S. mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict appears to be yet another sign of the disarray and failure in President Obama's handling of the Middle East. Recently, two articles provided a troubling inside look at the ineptitude that makes Mitchell's departure unsurprising. A New Yorker piece on the Arab Spring by Ryan Lizza describes Obama's navigation between realists and idealists, and tags him (per the article's title) as "The Consequentialist." Perhaps "The Cluelessist" is more like it.READ MORE
SPECIAL REPORT: WHAT THE PEW POLL ON EGYPT REALLY MEANS
Yasmin Moll
What Egyptians want, above all, is an Egyptian democracy. For many of them, this means a democracy that doesn’t view religion as either a backward relic to be surmounted and militantly policed (again, France) or an apolitical feel-good faith to be celebrated as long as it behaves (Great Britain).READ MORE
THE LONG REVOLUTION?
Heather Ferguson
The closing sentence of Eliza Griswold’s “Talk of the Town” vignette in the May 16 edition of the New Yorker poignantly connects Abbottabad to the surge of protests sweeping North Africa and the Middle East: “I’m afraid of our economy,” an Abbottabad realtor insists, “not of Osama bin Laden.” This simple, yet powerful, statement transcends ideological warfare—be it against terrorism or for democracy—and reminds us that dire economic conditions are the most basic driving force behind the protests.READ MORE
THE CASE FOR EGYPTIANISM
Tarek Osman
The rising sectarianism, violence, and the conspicuous presence of many religious groups bent on Islamizing the society in Egypt in the past three months since the forced removal of President Mubarak raised the prospect of the establishment of an Islamic state in the country. To assess whether or not that prospect will transpire, five factors need to be understood.​READ MORE
ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE IN SYRIA?
Josef Olmert
The longer the protest continues, the worse it is for President Bashar Assad, whose claim for political legitimacy is based primarily on the assumption that his regime was the only one capable of maintaining stability in Syria.READ MORE
A WOMAN’S BUSINESS
Madeline B. Welsh
Women in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) are making appreciable strides in social development. They now outnumber men attending universities in most Arab countries. Disparities in literacy and enrollment in primary and secondary education have fallen dramatically in the last few decades. The impact of these changes can be seen in the labor market as well. As a result of better educational opportunities and growing economies, employment for women has been rising at a faster rate than for men.READ MORE
OLD FUNNY SONG
Madeline B. Welsh, Lauren E. Bohn
Vendors in Tahrir Square have been doing a brisk business selling T-shirts of various colorful designs that usually have “January 25” emblazoned on the front. Certainly the first day of the Egyptian revolution, when tens of thousands initially gathered in Cairo’s central square, was a milestone. Now, with the television cameras largely gone and souvenir stands taking over, the revolution might appear to be over. Egyptians know better, perhaps none more than Hossam El-Hamalawy.​READ MORE
THIS BURNING LAND
Jonathan Randal
This Burning Land: Lessons From the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. By Greg Myre and Jennifer Griffin. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, 2010. 320 pp.READ MORE
EGYPT'S CHALLENGES
Mohamed A. El-Erian
Egypt, led by Egyptians, is today at a very special juncture. Egyptians have a remarkable opportunity to shape a new and better destiny for their country. And the rare combination of both willingness and ability comes wrapped in a new sense of purpose, energy and engagement on the direction of the country.READ MORE
WOMEN AND THE ARAB SPRING
Lauren E. Bohn
Egyptian women were on the front lines of the protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak. The Arab Spring has not expressly rallied for the advancement of women’s rights, though many have said that the empowerment they felt during the demonstrations should be used to effect change for women themselves. Now, however, many women are worried they are being sidelined in the formation of a new Egypt as the country's de facto ruling body, the military, charts a framework for transition. Isobel Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, talked to the Cairo Review about the days ahead for women in Egypt.READ MORE
ORIENTAL HALL, ETC.
Madeline B. Welsh
Happenings, speakers, and events at the American University in Cairo from Summer 2011READ MORE
SPECIAL REPORT: WHY THE PAST IS CRUCIAL TO EGYPT’S FUTURE
Michael Wahid Hanna
As Egypt’s post-revolutionary politics oscillate between protest and politics, the uneven progress of change has led to widespread frustration and suspicion that the remnants of the old regime are sabotaging efforts at fundamental change.READ MORE
FIVE DICHOTOMIES OF THE EGYPTIAN PSYCHE
Tarek Osman
There is near consensus that because Egypt has enormous cultural influence on the Arab world, the direction the country takes after the 2011 revolution will be an indication of the direction of Arab politics in general. To understand the dynamics shaping Egyptian socio-politics, observers need to reflect on five dichotomies that mould Egyptian psyche.READ MORE
EGYPT’S NEW DOWNSTREAM DIPLOMACY
Sarah Grebowski
A curious thing has happened on the Nile since the fall of Hosni Mubarak: after decades of dictating the river's politics, Egypt is finally acting like a downstream state. Sensing both its vulnerability and opportunity for change in the wake of the January 25 revolution, Egypt's transitional authorities have shuttled representatives from one Nile Basin state to another, making gestures in the name of cooperation and mutual development.​READ MORE
REMEMBERING SERGIO
Shaden Khallaf
The day I met Sergio Vieira de Mello, who died eight years ago, remains imprinted in my memory. I had never been as mesmerized by someone. I had heard and read about him. Who in the United Nations system hadn’t? But when Dennis McNamara, his lifetime friend and colleague, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Special Envoy for Iraq (with whom I was traveling on mission) introduced me to him in Larnaca, Cyprus on June 1, 2003, I was star-struck.READ MORE
WILLIAM B. QUANDT ON THE PEACE PROCESS: “AT A DEAD END”
Lauren E. Bohn
Despite the intense focus on the uprisings across the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to command diplomatic attention. Later this month, the United Nations General Assembly is slated to vote on Palestinian statehood. William B. Quandt, author of Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab–Israeli Conflict Since 1967, spoke to the Cairo Review on the outlook for progress.READ MORE
EGYPT’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
Anne W. Patterson
Egyptians today are engaged in a vigorous discussion over the political future of the country. This is a healthy and vitally important debate, and I am confident that it will result in a democratic Egypt that protects human rights and helps address its citizens’ needs. However, we know from experience that successful democratic transitions not only rely on political reform, but also depend on broadening economic opportunity.​READ MORE
GLOBAL MUSLIMS IN THE POST-OSAMA ERA
Lauren E. Bohn
Best selling author and Mind/Body pundit Deepak Chopra has deemed him a “Muslim Gandhi” for his calls for a pacifist antidote to the often inaccurate Islamist extremist discourse that emerged post 9/11, and he has been widely sought in the American Media for his American- Muslim perspective. In his new book Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era, Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer by trade and founder of themuslimguy.com charts out a new global movement based on peaceful coexistence that is firmly rooted within the framework of modern Islam. Iftikhar talked to the Cairo Review about how the Arab Spring has affected his mission and how Obama is getting it wrong.READ MORE
THE MIDDLE CLASS AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE ARAB WORLD
Ibrahim Saif
It has become commonplace for people to talk about the middle class and its role in economic and societal transformations, and many have credited this group with playing a role in the current changes sweeping the region. But despite the newfound ease with which people talk about it, there are those who argue that the middle class has dwindled and that its values and the role it plays in Arab societies have changed. But what do we actually know about the size of this group and nature of its role, and can we generalize across countries that differ vastly from one another?READ MORE
FREE SPEECH IN THE AGE OF TWITTER
Jillian C. York
The microblogging service has become the digital tool of choice for political and social activists. But more important than Twitter’s protest-friendly architecture is the commitment of company executives to uncensored expression.​READ MORE
THE CAIRO REVIEW INTERVIEW: “PEOPLE NEED TOOLS”
Walter Isaacson
Biz Stone and Evan Williams changed the way our world talks to itself when they co-founded Twitter five years ago. They spoke with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson about the future of the Internet.READ MORE
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TWEETED
Rasha A. Abdulla
There is no doubt that social networking helped bring Egyptians to Tahrir Square for the country’s January 25 revolution. But, equally important, services like Facebook and Twitter also prepared the ground by providing a model of horizontal communication and democratic participation.​READ MORE
EGYPT'S SEARCH FOR TRUTH
Michael Wahid Hanna
The effort to hold the former regime of President Hosni Mubarak to account is off to a poor start. But as the experiences of other nations in transition have shown, establishing a credible record of past abuses is essential to forming a democratic culture.READ MORE
THE ERDOĞAN EFFECT: TURKEY, EGYPT AND THE FUTURE OF THE MIDDLE EAST
Nuh Yilmaz, Kadir Ustun
Turkey has adopted a pro-active foreign policy in support of democracy in the Middle East. Together with a democratic and economically strong Egypt, Turkey can help Arab countries forge an integrated regional order.READ MORE
JOINING HEZBOLLAH
Nicholas Blanford
The militant Lebanese Shia group believes that the psychological makeup of individual fighters, rather than their weapons, is the key to their battlefield triumphs. An inside glimpse at how the Iranian-backed party sustains its war against Israel.READ MORE
JEREMY VERSUS GOLIATH: J STREET’S BRAVE EFFORT TO PROMOTE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Scott MacLeod
A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation. By Jeremy Ben-Ami. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 242 pp.READ MORE
ORIENTAL HALL, ETC.
Madeline B. Welsh
Happenings, speakers and events at the American University in Cairo from Fall 2011READ MORE
GRAFFITI NATION
Erin Biel
A curious image is displayed on a wall outside the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Square campus. Inconspicuous at first glance, the red and white chess board is more than a game. The pawns are grouped together at one end, and an upside-down king is flanked by bishops, knights, and castles at the other. An apt metaphor, to many revolutionaries, of how a ruler was toppled yet strongmen remained in power.READ MORE
THE TUNISIAN ARMY—A NEW POLITICAL ROLE?
Yezid Sayigh
The conduct of peaceful and free elections for a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution in Tunisia presents an impressive model for other Arab countries undergoing transition. READ MORE
THE ARAB LEAGUE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
Hassan Yassin
Aside from the gaffes of US presidential candidates, much of the world’s attention today is focused on two specific regions: Europe and the Middle East. Both regions are facing significant challenges that beg for concerted action through their regional bodies. The European Union is dealing with a debt and confidence crisis of great magnitude and consequence, while the Arab League is trying to display unity and decisive action in the face of regional upheavals and the unacceptable methods used by some to quell challenges to their regimes. Both regional groupings are playing their future, with vast implications worldwide.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: DEMOCRATIC FRONT PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Democratic Front Party (Al-Gabha al-Dimuqrati) is part of the liberal spectrum. It defines itself as a civil party, which is secular in orientation but not hostile to Islam and recognizes that Islam is part of the fabric of the Egyptian state. It is a member of the Egypt Bloc.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-WASAT (CENTER PARTY)
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Al-Wasat, as its name indicates, is a moderate Islamist party, originally a spin-off from the Muslim Brotherhood that was finally allowed to register in 2011 after fifteen years of unsuccessful efforts. The party is in talks to join the Third Way alliance when it is announced.​READ MORE
“MR. MIDDLE EAST” RESIGNS
Scott MacLeod
There are no signs that Ross’s nearly three years of serving the Obama administration contributed an iota to achieving a peace settlement. His diplomatic involvement in the Bush 41 and Clinton administrations yielded similar failure. But rather than give hope for a new beginning, his departure only illustrates what a sad shambles Obama’s Middle East policy has become. READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: FREEDOM AND JUSTICE PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Freedom and Justice Party was formed by the Muslim Brotherhood in May 2011 and is the dominant Islamist party in Egypt. It could receive a plurality of votes in the election, although not a majority. Aware of the fears that surround its participation, the party defines itself as a “civil” party rather than an Islamic one, and has formed the Democratic Alliance with a number of liberal and leftist parties.READ MORE
IS MILITARY RULE IN EGYPT REALLY TEMPORARY?
Philippe Droz-Vincent - Analysis from Sada
The end of Hosni Mubarak’s regime marks a critical juncture in Egypt’s civil-military dynamic. In the breakdown of institutional order following the dictator's ousting on February 11, 2011 and the subsequent disappearance of the police, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) reluctantly assumed power. The time frame for this arrangement (initially scheduled for six months) is currently unpredictable and may be prolonged. Faced with a possible surrender of its influence held under decades of authoritarian rule, the military is trying to strike a delicate balance. READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-WAFD PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Al-Wafd is one of the old, established political parties seeking to find their place in post-uprising Egypt. Rooted in history—today’s party, technically the New Wafd but always referred to simply as the Wafd, is the successor to the once powerful organization Nasser disbanded in 1952READ MORE
GUIDE TO EGYPT’S ELECTION PROCESS
Thomas Plofchan
The initial round of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak election for the 498-seat lower house of parliament begins Monday. It will move ahead despite violent protests against the ruling military council that forced the interim government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to resign and raised doubts about the country’s transition to democracy. READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-GHAD PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Originally a splinter from the Wafd Party, al-Ghad has maintained its liberal orientation but has joined the Democratic Alliance with the Freedom and Justice Party rather than the Egypt Bloc with most other liberal parties. Troubled by internal dissensions exacerbated by the Mubarak regime’s effort to discredit its leader Ayman Nour, the party has failed to establish an identity separate from that of its leader. READ MORE
WHAT DO EGYPTIANS WANT?
Thomas Plofchan
Heading into their first post-revolution election for parliament, 51 percent of Egyptians had not yet made up their minds on what party to vote for. Yet the race appeared to be dominated by two long-established political groups–the Muslim Brotherhood, represented by its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, and the New Wafd, a liberal party with roots in Egypt’s nationalist movement.READ MORE
OCCUPYING THE FUTURE
Heather Ferguson
As I write, a moment of reckoning tangibly links three seemingly disparate protest sites: Tahrir Square, Los Angeles City Hall, and plazas across the University of California system. The opening moment of elections in Egypt, the closing of the Occupy movement’s last tent encampment by Los Angeles mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and a UC-wide meeting of the Regents to discuss the shockingly mishandled response to student protests clearly illustrate, in their coincidental proximity to each other, what actors in each of these three contexts have long been self-consciously referencing: a global crisis.READ MORE
ARAB MODERATION, WESTERN EXTREMISM
Hassan Yassin
Witnessing the popular and democratic revolutions sweeping across the Middle East, it is ironic to see that the United States and the West are focusing only on the perceived threat of Islamists coming to power democratically. While it is no surprise to us that the West is ready to forego its cherished democratic principles when it comes to Islamists being popularly elected (see Algeria and Palestine), it is all the more disturbing that they do not seem preoccupied about more dangerous extremists gaining influence in their own countries.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-ASALA PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Al-Asala is a Salafi party founded by Adel abd al-Maqsoud Afify following the January 2011 uprising. It is the second Salafi party after al-Nour to gain official recognition in Egypt. Al-Asala is a member of the Democratic Alliance.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-GEEL PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The al-Geel Party was established on February 9, 2002. Nagi al-Shihaby is the party leader and was formerly a member of the Shura Council. He has called for the adoption of a party list electoral system. Al-Shihaby has personally expressed his support for Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and he maintains that the United States poses the greatest threat to Arab and Islamic countries. Another prominent party member, Ali al-Badry, is a journalist and vocal advocate of labor unions and their right to organize.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Building and Development Party (Al-Banna’ wa al-Tanmiyya) is the official political party of the Egyptian Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group). It was founded by the prominent Islamist Tareq al-Zumr following the January 2011 uprising. Al-Banna’ wa al-Tanmiyya is a member of the Democratic Alliance. READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: EGYPTIAN CURRENT PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Egyptian Current Party is a moderate Islamist party founded by prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood youth wing who had become disgruntled with the group’s old guard and were unwilling to join the Freedom and Justice Party. The Egyptian Current Party is not a member of either the Democratic Alliance or Egypt Bloc but is in talks regarding joining the Third Way alliance with al-Adl and al-Wasat.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: EGYPTIAN LIBERATION PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Egyptian Liberation Party is a new Islamist party with a strong Sufi influence. The party was founded by Ibrahim Zahran following the January 2011 uprising and gained the support of a number of prominent Sufi leaders, including Mohamed Ala’a al-Din Abu al-Azayem of the Azamiyya Sufi Order. The Egyptian Liberation Party is a member of the Egyptian Bloc alliance and is the only party in the bloc with a religious orientation.READ MORE
ARAB EXCEPTIONALISM
Rami G. Khouri
It has been eleven months since the Arab citizen revolts started in Tunisia last December and rolled through the Arab world in a wave that has manifested itself in different ways across the region. The two most striking things about the past eleven months are also slightly contradictory.​READ MORE
SYRIA: WARFARE USHERS IN TRANSITION
Rami G. Khouri
The trend of events inside Syria these days is towards a troubling increase in organized military operations by both the government and opposition groups, with breakaway troops from the state armed forces now attacking state institutions. This is both a worrying escalation that can push Syria into destructive domestic strife that could escalate into civil war, and also a more or less routine rite of passage for modern Arab states that ultimately find themselves dealing with the consequences of their own contradictions, incompetence and even some criminality.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: NASSERIST PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Nasserist Party is more important for what it represents in the past history of Egypt than for its future role. Led by aging politicians, it has been struggling with a generational divide in its ranks and has been losing support. It belongs to the Democratic Alliance.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-NOUR PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Al-Nour is a Salafi political party founded after the January 2011 uprising. It was originally a member of the Democratic Alliance, but left the alliance in September 2011, calling instead for the creation of an alliance between all the Islamist political groups in Egypt.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: REFORM AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Reform and Development Party falls on the liberal side of the spectrum. Starting as a splinter from the Democratic Front in 2009, it was not allowed to register officially until May 2011, but remained active in the interim. The party has so far remained aloof concerning alliances, joining neither the Democratic Alliance nor the Egypt Bloc.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: NATIONAL PROGRESSIVE UNIONIST (AL-TAGAMMU) PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
One of the oldest Egyptian parties still in existence, al-Tagammu is a leftist party in serious decline under an aging leadership, struggling to find its place in a changing environment. Before the 2011 uprising, it had become increasingly reconciled with the Mubarak regime. After the uprising, it first joined the Democratic Alliance but left to become a founding member of the Egypt Bloc.READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The National Democratic Party (NDP), Egypt’s former ruling party, first established by President Anwar Sadat in 1976, remained the country’s dominant party until the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. It tried to survive by announcing on April 13 that it would participate in the forthcoming elections under the name New National Party and under new leadership. READ MORE
EGYPT ELECTIONS: AL-ADL PARTY
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Al-Adl is a new party seeking to carve for itself a centrist position and a role as a bridge between the Islamist-dominated Democratic Alliance and the liberal-dominated Egypt Bloc. It is seeking to create a “Third Way” coalition which is yet to be announced. So far, only the Egyptian Current Party and al-Wasat are the only other parties that have shown interest in joining the Third Way Coalition. The party has been critical of the polarization of politics and of the participation in elections of former members of the National Democratic Party.READ MORE
LIBYA’S HARD ROAD TO FREEDOM
Shems Friedlander
Death is at the end of every street. Mohamed Messara whispers this in my ear as he points to a photograph he took in the Libyan desert that bleeds dust and belches hot air as bullets fly, many bullets, as the photo of a rebel fighter in the battle to free the city of Sirte shows. A myriad of empty shells, a carpet thrown over the dust and mud of the road.READ MORE
A TURNING TIDE IN LEBANON
Rudy Sassine - Analysis from Sada
In an unexpected move, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati has committed $33 million (Lebanon’s total contribution) for the United Nations’ Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) established to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Following prolonged stalemate over funding that threatened to bring down his government, Mikati’s decision comes as a harbinger to the turning political tide in Lebanon.READ MORE
LANDMINES IN EGYPT’S CONSTITUTIONAL ROADMAP
Nathan Brown
Egypt’s protracted series of parliamentary balloting has just begun, but it is not too soon to think about the implications of presidential elections that have yet to be scheduled. And indeed, the way those elections have been planned (or, more accurately, the way they have not been planned) should cause deep concern.READ MORE
THE SPECTER OF “PROTECTED DEMOCRACY” IN EGYPT
Yezid Sayigh
When the Egyptian military ousted President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011, it was greeted by most Egyptians as the savior of the nation, the institution that had sided with the people against dictatorship and would steer the country through a period of transition toward democracy. READ MORE
SALAFIS AND SUFIS IN EGYPT
Jonathan Brown
As expected, Egypt’s first parliamentary election after the overthrow of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak confirmed the popularity and organizational strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party, which won 77 of the 156 parliamentary seats contested in the first electoral round. Surprisingly, it also revealed the unexpected strength of the Salafi alliance, dominated by the al-Nour party, which secured 33 seats. Much to the discomfort of secular Egyptians and Western governments, Islamist parties now dominate the Egyptian political scene.READ MORE
THE SCAF: AN OVERVIEW OF ITS ACTIONS
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
On February 10, 2011, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) met for the first time without its chairman, former president Hosni Mubarak. It issued a communiqué indicating that Mubarak was preparing to relinquish his powers to the military after eighteen days of massive antigovernment protests. The SCAF’s first statement signaling the power transition assured the Egyptian public that the council would remain in continuous session in order to ensure the protection of the people and nation, and that it would support the legitimate demands of the protesters who had called for Mubarak’s overthrow.READ MORE
WHEN VICTORY BECOMES AN OPTION: EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD CONFRONTS SUCCESS
Nathan Brown
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood stands on the brink of an impressive electoral victory. After several months of suggesting it would check its own electoral ambitions, the Brotherhood plunged into politics with unprecedented enthusiasm, focusing all of its energies and impressive organizational heft on the parliamentary vote. Now, with the electoral list of its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, likely to gain close to (and maybe even more than) half the seats and perhaps cabinet positions as well, the movement is entering uncharted waters. READ MORE
SYRIA LOOKS MORE LIKE LIBYA EVERY DAY
Rami G. Khouri
The continuing deterioration of the political situation inside Syria last week led the emir of Qatar to suggest that it would be appropriate to send in Arab troops to stop the killing. How seriously he meant this suggestion remains unclear. He may have been offering this as a practical proposal or merely sending a political message that the Arab world could not wait forever as Syrians are killed by the dozen every day.READ MORE
THE SEVENTY PERCENT
Bassem Sabry
The headline “Islamists win 70% of Egyptian Parliament list seats” was ubiquitous, even though we already knew that result was brewing since November and throughout the elections’ preliminary vote counts. Accompanying the historic headline was a significant frenzy of anger and despair.READ MORE
THE FRUIT OF REVOLUTION
Nabil Fahmy
Little over a year ago, no political analyst I know would have argued that the leaders of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen would be deposed in the immediate future. This set of leaders, cumulatively, had been in office for more than 100 years. Nor would anyone have projected that there would be uprisings in Bahrain and Syria. Clearly, 2011 was the Year of Revolution in the Arab World.READ MORE
A YEAR ON, HAVE WE LOST THE PLOT?
Rania Al Malky
First there was Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, then came Libya’s bloody war, Syria’s ongoing crimes against humanity, Yemen’s forgotten struggle. And somewhere in between there was and continues to be Egypt’s so-called “revolution.”​READ MORE
ILLUSTRATING THE REVOLUTION
Erin Biel
To most around the world who watched the events of the Jan. 25 Revolution in Egypt unfold, the images of Tahrir Square protesters fleeing flanks of riot police, tear gas, and armored tanks served as vivid depictions of the egregious violence experienced directly by those on the ground. However, for those on the ground, other vivid images began to illustrate the Revolution: cartoons. READ MORE
WHO ARE THE NON-ISLAMISTS IN EGYPT’S NEW PARLIAMENT?
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Since the release of the result of parliamentary elections, all of the attention has been on Egypt’s Islamist parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Salafi al-Nour Party, which gained the majority of seats in Egypt’s People’s Assembly. Nevertheless, the presence of non-Islamist, or secular, parties is important in assessing Egypt’s new parliament especially with regards to their potential as a counterweight to the Islamists.READ MORE
SYRIAN SCENARIOS
Rami G. Khouri
Now that the Arab League has decided to ask the UN Security Council to back its plan to resolve the crisis in Syria, the prospects of international involvement in Syria inch forward just a bit more. This adds a new dimension to the already fertile debate on how the mounting violence and expanding political crisis in Syria will end. In the past several months, I have heard dozens of suggested scenarios. Some are plausible, others are fantastic, but all are suggested seriously by usually knowledgeable observers and analysts, and they go something like this.READ MORE
CELEBRATING TWO GREAT INEVITABILITIES
Rami G. Khouri
Well, reviewing events in Syria this week, I guess the uni-polar world, the looming American century, and the end of history that were simultaneously announced by assorted American chauvinists and crackpots at the end of the Cold War around 1990 can be discarded for now. The continuing killings in Syria, and the energized global diplomacy that is trying to wind it down and/or evict President Bashar el-Assad and his family from power, should be seen as two distinct dynamics that converge now for a moment.READ MORE
Celebrating Two Great Inevitabilities
Why SCAF Must Go
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