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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

On patriotism

After living abroad for five years, I found myself asking my mother, who still lives in Alexandria, how she still has this strong patriotic bond to Egypt after all she has seen.

The wave of democracy in Egypt

A democratic force no doubt existed in Egyptian politics but it was marginal and contingent upon circumstances which, in turn, resulted in its transience. عربي

Other erratic nations of our time

While the US and the Soviet Union were in a proxy war, Americans were also fighting an internal ideological war, believing themselves defenders of liberal American thought in the face of communist evils. عربي

Egypt: targeting Mozn harmful to MENA regional gender justice struggle

If Mozn Hassan and other activists are not able to continue their work for human rights the road towards gender equality and long-term stability in Egypt is not within reach.    

Disembodying honour and exposing the politics behind it

The reaction to the public stripping of a Coptic grandmother in Upper Egypt reminds us of the power of popular campaigns to shame those who use embodied concepts of honour politically.

Can Islamism provide deliverance?

Maged Mandour

Modern day Islamism represents the interests of a specific social class that has few qualms about current social and economic structures.

Who is afraid of the urban poor?

Maged MandourIn Egypt, both the ruling elites and the urban middle class cling to the military regime, in the hope that they will be protected from a seemingly inevitable tide of social unrest.

التيار الديموقراطي في مصر

التيار الديموقراطي في مصر كان تياراً عابراً محدوداً وُلد في ظرف معين وانتهي سريعا. وإنشاء تيار ديموقراطي قوي في مصر لن يتم سوي بإبعاد المفاهيم الخاطئة عن الماضي. English

Hatred for authority and self-loathing

The police institution is the ugliest reflection of authority in Egypt. It is almost a duty to hate it – but this hatred breeds self-loathing. عربي

كراهية السُلّطّة واحتقار الذات

الشرطة هي التجسيد الأكثر قبحــًا للسلطة، لذا فكراهيتها فرض عين. ولكن هذه الكراهية في لحظة ما، تفقدني شعوري كوني إنسانـًا وتصيبني بحالة من احتقاري لذاتي. English

Can Sisi stop Egypt’s implosion?

Maged Mandour

Neither Sisi nor anyone else can bring stability to the country without radical social transformation, to address the key issues that brought about revolt in the first place.

A fascist history of the Egyptian revolution III: phase two, from the numinous to the real

What we see today is not a revolt against the ruling class, but rather a battle within this class; an attempt to redistribute the state’s power and resources.


On the spectacle of violence

Maged Mandour

Violence and repression are becoming more severe, and are symptomatic of the failure of Arab leaders to build a hegemonic vision they can use to control the citizenry. 

Where are the workers?

Maged Mandour

Even though the number of strikes and industrial actions in Egypt has skyrocketed since the mid 2000s, labour's demands have mostly been local and fragmented.

The thin line between pride and shame

Professing national pride or hiding in shame are two extremes like black and white and do not fit in a moderate and multihued world. عربي

العِزّةُ والعَارُ ومابينَهُما

النباح بعزة الوطن، أو الانغماس في قلب الرمال لمحو عاره، ألوان حادة مثل الأسود والأبيض لاتسود العالم المتعددة ألوانه. English

العنصر المفقود في مصر: الشعور بالانتماء

مع عقود من السياسات النيوليبرالية ، تزايد الانقسامات الطبقية ، وهدم الساحات العامة ، قد اختفى الاحساس بالانتماء الاجتماعي في مصر ، والحاجة إلى استعادته عاملا مشتركا في التحركات الجماهيرية. English

The missing element in Egypt: a sense of belonging

With decades of neoliberal policies, growing class divisions, and the demolition of public space, social belonging has vanished. The need to reclaim it has been a common factor in Egypt's mass mobilisations. عربي

Egypt’s parliament crushes Nubian right of return to ancestral lands

The parliament has approved designating many of the villages to which Nubians wish to return no-go military areas, and Nubian activists have yet again taken to the streets to demand their rights.

The untouchables: Egypt’s petty security officials

Maged Mandour

The regime has unleashed a wave of repression that it can no longer control. Power now lies in the hands of those that police local communities: Egypt’s new untouchables, the petty security officials.   

Giulio Regeni, Egypt, and the deafening silence of Europe

Giulio Regeni's case is not only about academic freedom, but about the responsibility of EU states to protect their citizens: silence cannot be the response to his torture and murder.

Egypt: the stamp of the street on its children

Egypt's legal system does not protect vulnerable children and mainstream society is too self absorbed to reach out to those in need – but there are those doing all they can to help.

Spring into winter: Nasser, Sisi and the fate of Egypt’s revolution

Why would a country that showed itself so courageous in confronting Mubarak’s repression now be content to sacrifice its hard won gains, and accept a regime that has gone far further?

Regeni: victim of a regime of fear

Giulio Regeni was a dedicated and meticulous researcher, an “avant-guarde for Europe”, as the Italian writer Erri De Luca described him.

The revolution and rural Egypt: a lost opportunity?

Maged Mandour

The peasantry is still missing from the discourse of the protest movement. As important as political and security sector reform are, the protest movement must include rural Egypt if it is to reach critical mass.

Shame on those who try to justify Giulio Regeni’s assassination

Claims that Regeni’s supervisors bear responsibility for sending him into danger are outrageous, betraying both ignorance of the facts and a severe lack of empathy.

Insecurity under Egypt's ‘security’ forces

Abuses are systemic despite regime attempts to portray them as 'isolated'. People have much to fear from the police and their sense of impunity but they are not taking it quietly.

From revolution to reaction in Egypt

Young people's experience of revolution has not evaporated, or been eradicated by oppression. Start building a new revolutionary wave that will not fall prey to the 'Islamic vs. secular' division.

A fascist history of the Egyptian revolution II: laughter and the future

The revolutionary calls were necessary; they united otherwise mutually hostile groups, politicised the apolitical and neutralised the anti-political. But it was not exactly a rupture nor a total break with the past.

On illusions and inflated condoms

Maged Mandour

The Muslim Brotherhood, secular activists and even regime supporters have decided to shield themselves from reality, focusing on a discourse that provides them with a protective layer from the grim conditions engulfing them.

Window on the Middle East – February 7, 2016

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East.

Book review: The Egyptians

Jack Shenker's The Egyptians: A Radical Story is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how and why Egypt's revolution happened – and why it continues.

Stability Sandwiches: the control of street entrepreneurs in Sisi’s Cairo

The post-Sisi drive to restore and sanitize public space in Cairo is as much about keeping disadvantaged and vulnerable groups ‘in their place’ within the social order as about restoring stability.

Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying, 25 January 2016

On the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s uprising: a range of opinions in articles and tweets, first and foremost from the people of Egypt.

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