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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Egypt: do you really want to counter terrorism?

Is the failure intentional or a result of general incompetence? Because of repression or Islamic ideology? This debate should be far from over.

Critical voices in critical times: revolution without revolutionaries, an interview with Asef Bayat

Asef Bayat talks about revolutions and revolutionary ideas, the place of ordinary people in social transformation, and what we can learn from the “Tahrir moment.”

Sisi, the guardian of sexual morals

The repression of the LGBT community in Egypt stems from the colonial legacy of imperialism and is driven by the middle class in its attempts to create its own version of “modernity.”       

مصر: جريمة مسجد الروضة قد تتكرر

أسباب الهجمات الإرهابية في مصر موجودة منذ سنوات دون علاج أو تطوير أو تغيير بما يهدد بتكرارها.

Egypt’s predictable tragedy: more instability, attacks to come

Conflict and political radicalization are the lifeblood of a regime unable to wean itself off the exploitation of its own people.

‘We need to talk’ about Sisi’s twisted take on human rights

No one is keeping the Egyptian government from “fighting terrorism.” But Sisi’s rhetoric on the “right to combat” terrorism underlies his belief of an “Egyptian exceptionalism.” 

Egypt’s faltering counter-insurgency strategy

There is a lack of preparedness in countering the insurgency and the wave of repression has not lead to an improved security situation, on the contrary, Cairo has now become more of a target.

ذكوريتي التي غلبت إنسانيتي

أنا نسوي التوجه، ويوجد كثير من الذكور في هذا المجتمع يؤمنون بهذا التوجه الفكري، فالنسوية ليست سُبة أو إهانة إذا وُصف بها الذكور، النسوية تجعل الذكور أقل ذكورية وأكثر إنسانية.

أنا_سمية: التحرش في مصر، قصة لا تنتهي#

"سمية، لا أملك مالًا لأعطيك إياه، ولست طبيبة لأجري لك العملية بدون مقابل، لا أملك سوى قلمي ولذلك رويت قصتك لعل أحدهم يهتم ويساعدك بشكل أو بآخر."

Why I write

“Though my writing career has gone further than I ever imagined, it has come at a high personal price, namely life in exile.”

The anti-Islamist campaign and Arab democracy

Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Arabs deserve better than to be told that they must choose between extremism and chaos or autocracy.

Human Rights Council condemns reprisals amidst unprecedented rate of cases in MENA region

One can only wonder how the HRC can maintain its credibility while its member states are actively working against the council’s very raison d’être of protecting human rights.

Pain, torture and alienation

Due to Egypt’s dire political and economic situation, pain and alienation are bound to be a feature of the lives of many for years to come.

"نائبان لوزير الداخلية: كواليس معركة السيسي ضد "مافيا الشرطة

ترى من سينتصر في النهاية: الشعب و الرئيس، أم مافيا الشرطة والداخلية؟

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.

Egypt: an obsession with the state

The view that social struggle should be repressed is hindering the opposition. Unless the view of the state and its coercive apparatus changes, the chances of wide scale social transformation are limited.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Questions of legitimacy

The people of Egypt need to accept that they have to forge their own path to democracy, which at this point in history will most likely come at a bloody price.  

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.”

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

Who will defend Egypt’s human rights defenders?

NGOs play an essential role in local communities; the government’s reckless, repressive actions will jeopardize the country’s future.

The football kicking the players, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war

What was truly ironic about the Arab legal case was that Arab representatives at the 1967 UNSC laid out the legal justification for what Israel did, beginning on June 5.   

Tunisi’s dream, Erdogan’s nightmare

“Our principles remind us that not justice, but oppression will inevitably result from an unrestrained one-man rule that is unaccountable, unchecked and unstoppable…”.

Why aren't Egyptians revolting against the price hikes?

Some are frustrated at the Egyptian public’s ‘non-reaction’ to the waves of successive price hikes and deterioration of living standards. العربية

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: a class under siege

The urban middle class in Egypt is averse to situations where class conflict is heightened and thus justifies repression by the state.

The Egyptian Army’s violent trail of breadcrumbs

Supporting Egypt’s particular brand of fighting terrorism is equivalent to supporting a climate of expedited radicalization.

لماذا لم تنتفض الجماهير ضد ارتفاع الأسعار؟

مع كل موجة ارتفاع للأسعار أو أي قرار بزيادة قيمة أي من الخدمات أو السلع، لماذا لا يثور المصريون؟ English

Multiple entanglements

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

The weakening of Egypt’s regional role

As time passes, pressure on the regime will mount and a choice will have to be made between a domestic crisis, loss of valuable allies and international support.

Egypt’s activists should be celebrated, not criminalised

As justice remains elusive, celebration of Egyptian civil society can build a strong counter-narrative to criminalisation.

Copts of Egypt: from survivors of sectarian violence to targets of terrorism

Recent bombings mark a new era in the religious targeting of Copts – one which is qualitatively different from previous patterns of sectarian violence.

The changing security dynamic in the Red Sea

The expected transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands is revealing a number of regional dynamics between Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt: the deep state’s war on journalism

The state is aware that free press means more accountability and their fear of being monitored, exposed, or held accountable indicates how fragile and insecure they are.

الحركة العمالية: صعود جديد يدفعه الإفقار ويعوقه القمع

محاولة عاملات المحلة الإضراب في مطلع فبرايريمكن اعتبارها أحد إرهاصات وبوادر صعود جديد للحركة العمالية في مصر.

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.

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