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About Mona Abaza

Mona Abaza is Professor at the Department of Sociology, American University in Cairo. Her latest books include The Cotton Plantation Remembered: An Egyptian Family  Story (American University in Cairo Press, 2013) and Twentieth Century Egyptian Art: The Private Collection of Sherwet Shafei (American University in Cairo Press, 2011).

Articles by Mona Abaza

This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Strikes, protests and Egyptian nights of curfew

A conversation about journalism and research in times of uprising and repression on the fourth anniversary of Egypt's Rabaa massacre.

The criminal, the victim, the policeman, the judge

“I do not know if Carlo Ginzburg would agree, but I came to evaluate fear as a precious tool for fieldwork in authoritarian contexts.”

Where we come from

“The real problem is a lack of appreciation of history by the general public and their willingness to accept myth as history.”

Multiple entanglements

“My presence in a public space holding a notebook let alone a voice recorder or camera would cause immediate suspicion.”

Ethnography in a time of upheaval – Egypt before and after the ‘Arab spring’

Even within the narrower parameters of public spaces, debates which might lead to issues around accountability and transparency are not hugely popular in the public eye.

Sitting on top of Egyptian civilisation

Giving birth to a centre for liberal arts in a popular neighborhood of Cairo, which is covered in layers of stories, sounds, movements and smells, was a deliberate choice.

Surviving sociology in Egypt and elsewhere

Strangely, although nationalism is a pervasive social phenomenon with immense effects everywhere in the world, it’s not a central preoccupation of sociology or any of the dominant social science disciplines. Interview.

A tribute to Sadek Jalal al ‘Azm

Engaging with Sadek never ceased to be a delight, a charmer who caught you with his sharpness and wit. How often have I wished to freeze that year I spent in Holland. In memoriam.

Egypt: scattered thoughts on a counter-revolutionary moment

The euphoric, Bakhtinian, carnivalesque and dramaturgical moment of January 2011, which caught the attention of numerous observers and which lasted for almost four years, seems to have withered away. 

Who is afraid of Disneyfication? A response to Sonja Hegasy

In spring 2003, Sonja Hegasy argued in openDemocracy that Arab intellectuals’ evasion of the challenge of globalisation was central to the Arab world’s culture of victimhood. Here, Mona Abaza – writing before the death of Edward Said, a key reference-point in the argument – responds that the seizure of Enlightenment values by an American-led imperial project undermines the search for an equal relationship between east and west.
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