This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Remembering, contesting and forgetting: the aftermath of the Cairo massacres

The Egyptian Government’s anti-terrorism measures in the wake of the Rab'aa mosque massacre continue to colour people’s daily lives with the suppressed trauma and memory of these events.

Report thy neighbour: policing Sisi’s Egypt

A regime bereft of legitimacy, save for its promise to guarantee national security, turns citizens into active players in a new culture of surveillance and reporting.

Liberalism without democracy: the case of Egypt

Maged Mandour

The weakness of the urban middle class and their sense of isolation has become a bastion for the support for autocracy. Fear of a social revolution has been the main driver in the alliance between the military and the urban middle class.

There is no such thing as a moderate Syrian opposition

The Syrian Arab Army has multiple charities that go house to house looking after its men in uniform.

On the margins of terror: Daesh and the new geography of hate in Sinai

The systematic neglect of border regions by military-backed governments in the Middle East has enabled the success of extreme terrorist groups in these marginalised areas, resulting in 'geographies of hate'.

The Islamic State's arrival in Gaza

With a never-ending siege on Gaza, the economic capacity of Palestinians has shrunk to an unbearable limit where families struggle to feed their children. A breeding ground is thereby created for extremism and radical ideologies. 

Gendered paradoxes of Egypt’s transition

Four years after the downfall of Mubarak, women face a new patriarchal bargain: abandoning all forms of independent organizing in return for protection of their rights.

EU and the Arab world: 'cooperation' to fight terror is an excuse

Maged Mandour

The EU is following a bizarre logic, where support is given to autocratic regimes who benefit from the rise of extremist groups, instead of seeking reasons for the rise of radicalization among European youth. Why?

The Coptic Church: mixing politics with religion

Mina Fayek

To mourn the unjustly massacred and raise your voice against oppressors is unwelcome in the Coptic Church, but to interrupt prayers and let politicians speak during a mass is welcome and appropriate.

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.

Arab dictators: between tactical brilliance and strategic stupidity

Maged Mandour

The Arab World is becoming increasingly unstable and the current elites are using severe coercion to remain in power. However, the use of coercion will lead to instability, as the opposition becomes more radicalized and prone to violence.

Charlie Hebdo: the Prophet does not want to be avenged

Those who hold Muslims accountable for these acts, or demand that they apologize for them, are delusional. Beyond Europe, Al-Qaeda has declared open war against most Arab and Muslim-majority countries, especially those allied to the west. 

Article 11: feminists negotiating power in Egypt

Faced with unequal power relations at the negotiating table and authoritarian consolidation, a member of the 50-committee explores how feminist voices achieved leverage when drafting the 2014 Egyptian Constitution to include article 11. 

Interview: bread, freedom and social justice

The authors of Bread, Freedom and Social Justice discuss the lessons of the past few years for the labour movement and political activism in Egypt, so that we can move forward.

The CIA torture report: through Arab eyes

Maged Mandour

The fear that the US has lost its moral compass is vastly exaggerated, for the simple reason that the US - at least in the Arab World - never possessed this moral legitimacy in the first place.

We promise you an operetta

The development of Egypt's military-brand nationalism over the past year can be traced in a series of formulaic, epic 'operettas'.

Turkish PM in conversation, part 4: The Arab Spring and Turkey’s future

Has the Arab Spring failed to go far enough? What kind of complicating factor is ISIS? Turkey's PM calls for a stategy to ensure democracy survives in the region–and hints at the opportunity Europe has.

Turkish PM in conversation, Part 2: Old Turkey, New Turkey

Many observers fear Turkey is heading towards majoritarian tyranny. How does Turkey's 'representative democracy' contrast with General Sisi's claims that he represents the 'general will' of Egypt?

This week's window on the Middle East - December 16, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

Military trials in Egypt: 2011-2014

More civilians have been tried in military courts in the three years since the revolution than during the whole of Mubarak’s authoritarian rule. What happened to the revolutionary cry for “bread, freedom and justice”?

Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

Mina Fayek

Less than four years have passed since the people of Egypt revolted against a tyrannical regime. Those tyrants have had all charges against them dropped, to many people's dismay.

Egypt: from bathhouse to prison

No one is immune to the Egyptian authorities’ ruthless crackdown. Most recently ‘debauchery’ charges have been brought against those deemed to fall short of their moral standards.

Israel in the Arab consciousness: friend or foe?

Maged Mandour

The events of the Arab Revolt have dramatically shifted the position of Israel in the region. Arab regimes have moved from rejecting the existence of Israel to accommodation, to implicit cooperation, in some cases, open cooperation.

Call for the release of Ahmed Maher

The Egyptian activist and leader of the April 6 Youth Movement languishes in jail with countless others, as western governments resume business as usual with an increasingly oppressive Egyptian state.

The battle for Mohamed Mahmoud: developing a counter narrative

Maged Mandour

Even though the regime has the upper hand in material repression, it is far from invincible. Its Achilles heel is its ideological weakness, and the creation of a revolutionary mythology may be a first step in the long journey of dismantling its ideological base. 

For history’s sake, the Arab peoples have revolted

Not only did the Arab peoples revolt, but the power of their revolts was so significant and threatening to the regional geopolitical order that the regional powers had to diffuse the collective consciousness at any cost.

Problems of revolutionary organisation

An approach to building revolutionary organisation addressing the specific challenges of the Egyptian context, while also being rooted in a broader tradition of revolutionary socialist politics.

Egypt’s mega projects from rhetoric to reality

Egypt's plan to fund a host of huge infrastructure projects is risky and puts an even tighter squeeze on the economy.

Physical space and ‘Occupy’ tactics: a new trend in civil resistance?

Does the term ‘occupation’ delegitimize movements by casting participants as short-term guests, instead of representatives communicating grievances held by a wider society within a public forum that is theirs?

The last Arab

Maged Mandour

The signs of the erosion of Arab identity are visible across the region. This identity is directly tied to the nature of the Arab political order: the two go together.

The refutation of the Djerejian doctrine

When, rarely, Middle East elections take place, the Djerejian doctrine seems confirmed. But it is the west who only endorse one vote at one time, when the results serve its interests.

What happened to the Middle East Marshall Plan?

With economic instability and political upheaval spreading through the Arab world, is it time for a Middle East Marshall Plan?

Egypt: press freedom at a crossroads

The military-backed regime in Egypt has an answer to criticism—blame the messenger. But journalists are fighting back.

This week's window on the Middle East - November 3, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: A Syrian fearing exile and return.

Is justice blind in Egypt?

Yara Sallam might be just one more name to add to the list of people wronged by the Egyptian justice system. But more importantly, she is one more name temporarily taken off an ever shrinking list of those fighting against all odds to correct injustice. 

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