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About Amro Ali

Amro Ali is a Middle East analyst and assistant professor in sociology at the American University in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter @_amroali or visit his blog: 

Articles by Amro Ali

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

On the need to shape the Arab exile body in Berlin

A long essay on why the Arab intellectual community in Berlin needs to acquire a name, shape, and a mandate of sorts.

Unhappiness and Mohamed Salah’s Egypt

Salah is a hero of disruption, a political voice without talking politics.

Why do authoritarian regimes love elections?

By the very nature of their positions, authoritarian leaders project extreme insecurity, as their legitimacy is not reaped from popular representation and democratic accountability.

How Egypt functions in the Moroccan imagination

A journey through Morocco as an Egyptian. Amro Ali shares his observations and insights from common spaces of discussions.

Kakistocracy: a word we need to revive

Either kakistocracy gets used and thoroughly examined or a Trump presidency will force us to do so.

Burkinis accepted: for a poor woman scrubbing France’s floors

The woman on the beach in her human quest to be visible, had the grace, understandably, to be bewildered. A large swathe of your citizens are bewildered, France. The world is bewildered, France.

The hidden triumph of the Egyptian revolution

A message to the revolutionaries of Egypt: you can no longer recognise your pre-2011 self.

A frightening vision: on plans to rebuild the Alexandria Lighthouse

If modern Alexandrian history is any indicator, rebuilding the lighthouse will become a symbol not of communal spirit but of excess, and a visible target of rage. 

What Louis Armstrong taught Egypt and the Middle East about itself

Armstrong’s encounter with the Middle East was a reflection of the wider socio-political disease of denial and scapegoating in the region—one that just festers with time.

The Egyptian lesson: how to strengthen student opposition

In a country choked with ironies, the Egyptian regime might just be building up the new student opposition that it is trying to eliminate.

The maddening betrayal of potato-seller, Omar Salah

It is ironic that street vendors have spent more time in the square than any protestor ever has. Omar comes out staggeringly alive in his death. A spectrum of colours is added to his socially-perceived black and white life. We are teleported into another world of how the other (majority) Egypt lives.

I can’t believe it’s not Qatar!: addressing the Brotherhood’s other patron

If the Arab uprisings have taught us anything, it is that the Arab public represents a formidable challenge to power elites. Grievances should not limit Egypt’s revolutionary camp at the expense of a proactive outreach to Arab societies, united in their anti-authoritarianism.

Two years on: a revolution is a process, not an event

2013 has many surprises in store for Egypt.



Top ten ways to craft and promote your Arab Awakening column

Amro Ali, one of Arab Awakening's columnists from Egypt, presents his personal approach to crafting and promoting his work as a guide for present and future openDemocracy columnists.

Brothers in the hood: Egypt’s soft powers and the Arab world

The question riding on the chaos being played out – from the burning offices of the Freedom and Justice Party to the squares of Egyptian cities to the palace gates of power – is how will all this shape future trends throughout the Arab world?

The President and the fatal trilateral logic of US, Egyptian and Israeli relations

Morsi has shown that his policy on the Palestinians is no more imaginative than Mubarak-era policies and, partly as a result of US approval, he has undertaken a democratic rollback that has ignited Egypt’s streets.

The Revolution will not be eroticised

Even before Islamists made their mark, the state oversaw how people thought, felt and behaved. This guiding philosophy of the Mubarak regime has been inherited by the Islamists – it is an insult to millions of Egyptians who detest the state for treating them as children.

Silent Commander-in-Chief: From Khaled Saeed to Malala Yousafzai

In the midst of revolution, martyrs and icons can become potent symbols that strike deep at the heart of Arab regimes.


Tahrir Square: rent-a-thug culture

The Brotherhood should not delude themselves. The fact they have to bus in members from other governorates is the first clue that their strength is not in the urban heartlands.

The Arab world’s “Call me Doctor!” complex

You hear statements like, “I have a PhD in veterinary science, but I do know a bit about the changing Middle East socio-political landscape”.

Turning the tide on Egypt’s sinking book reading culture

Contrary to what media outlets reported and activists tweeted, the raid was nothing to do with Brotherhood censorship. But we must be vigilant, nevertheless.

Egypt and Iran: it’s complicated

For years, Egypt has been frustrated at being sidelined in the regional order. If Iran was surprised at Morsi’s bold statements at the summit, then so were the US and Israel.

Eating the democratic crumbs from the Arab ruler’s table

The Morsi-Mubarak contrast will eventually wear thin as people demand their human security. All 83 million of them.


The Alexandria mafia’s new adversary: civil society

Post-revolutionary Egypt was visited by the semi-break down of law and order, and an Egyptian public that became distracted with the country’s tumultuous political transition.

Egypt’s stake in the Syrian revolution

Numerous segments of the Egyptian public have thrown their weight behind “their” Syrian revolution and cheered for their team.

Egypt’s history repeating itself fallacy

Questions are being asked, is Egypt going to become like 1979 Iran, 1991 Algeria, Old model Turkey, 1999 Pakistan, or even 1954 Egypt?

Egypt’s morning after: against Dictatorship 2.0

With Egypt’s first elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, SCAF is no longer going to be grooming a fourth military dynasty and will enter various degrees of power struggles only to discover that raw power can only take you so far.

Revolution never sleeps

Alexandria became known initially for the revolution’s poster-child, and then for its ‘No’ Vote in the constitutional referendum. Now finally Sabbahi’s success has given rise to the expression ‘Revolutionary Alexandria’ in popular discourse.

Voting for security in Alexandria

In Alexandria, our author encounters three violent incidents in as many days. Witnessing such crimes prior to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution was so rare, it is no wonder that security was on voters’ minds.

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