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Middle East Forum

The Middle East Forum is a project that encourages emerging young voices to express themselves, exchange views and be heard. The project provides participants with a series of workshops to develop writing skills, media presence, and digital security as well as a free discussion space where they have the capacity to debate constructively. Participants in the forum host speakers, acquire skills, share knowledge, and give feedback to one another. This page shares with our readers some of the highlights and outcomes on various topics and issues that the participants have engaged in throughout our Egyptian pilot programme, to launch what we hope will become an exciting online space in English and Arabic for vibrant regional debate.

Arab Awakening
is renamed!

We are now North Africa West Asia (NAWA), a name that better reflects the scope of our coverage and the diversity of this regionRead on»

The military
industrial
complex

What role does the military industrial complex play in Egyptian politics and economy? Join the debate»

HESHAM SHAFICK
HESHAM SHAFICK

 

Sports and
politics

What role do sports and sport fans play in politics? Are they means of control or dissent? Join the debate»

KARIM ZIDAN
KARIM ZIDAN

 

What is
happening
to Egyptians?

Why are so many Egyptians no longer challenging the structures of power in the country? Join the debate»

SARAH ADEL
SARAH ADEL

 

Our partners

We would like to thank the Network for Social Change, Fritt Ord and the National Endowment for Democracy for their generous support of our work.

Bahrain on North Africa West Asia

Call for participants: Tunisia, Middle East Forum

يبحث موقع openDemocracy عن مشاركين لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط لتونس.

openDemocracy is looking for participants for the Middle East Forum for Tunisia.

شبح بأظافر مطلية بالأحمر

المعاناة تأكلك ولن تتقيأ فجأة شخصاً عظيماً من حطامك. إنك بائس، وهكذا هو الأمر. والآن ماذا؟

صراع البقاء ورهانات التغيير.. الصحافة السوريّة إلى أين؟

من الصعب أن يتحوّل السوري لصحافي يعمل بطريقة احترافية في مؤسسات تخضع لسلطة الممول والأجندة السياسية، وسط فقر الالتزام بمعايير العمل الصحافي.

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

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

سياسات العمل الثقافي السوري في تركيّا: التهميش مازال مستمراً -١ من٢

الانتقال القسري نحو السياق التركي يحمل صعوبات لا يختلف طعمها كثيراً عن طعم التهميش الذي اعتاده كثير من السوريون في وطنهم، ومازالوا.

الإضراب عن الطعام يستمر حتى تحقيق المطالب

لافتات السوريين وبياناتهم ووقفاتهم وإضراباتهم تخدم فكرة واحدة، السوري ليس بربرياً، السوري ليس إرهابياً، السوري صاحب قضية محقّة، ولن يتوقف عن الدفاع عنها، أبداً.

Seeking refuge in refugees

Glimpses of life in a Greek refugee camp through the diary of a young volunteer.

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.

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 without Egyptians: the story of the Red Sea islands

Egyptian nationalism, as an ideology nurtured by the military elites and embraced by the middle class, marginalizes the mass of Egyptians.

نقطة اللاعودة: كيف غيّرت الحكومة المصرية والرأي العام معالم إرث الألتراس؟

هذا الجزء الأخير من أربعة أجزاء عن هواة كرة القدم في مصر وكيف تحوّلوا من مشجّعين إلى "إرهابيين". English

Sisi’s neoliberal assault: context and prospects

Six years after the January 2011 revolution, the need for a return to its demands and slogans have never seemed more urgent.

The revolutionary arena: a battle of minds

Six years have passed since that fateful day on January 25. As Egypt plummets into a terrible state, people can't help but ask: "Was it worth it?"

Crossing the rubicon: how Egypt’s government and public opinion reshaped the Ultras legacy

The final piece in a four-part series on football fandom in Egypt and how the fans are now labelled 'terrorists'. عربي

الألتراس في حالة حداد: قصة نهاية كرة القدم المصرية بسبب مجزرة وتداعيات ثورة وسياسة

هذا الجزء الثالث من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري. English

شهداء كرة القدم: كيف أصبح مشجّعو الألتراس ثوّاراً؟

هذا الجزء الثاني من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري.English

عالمية حقوق الإنسان ومدى ارتباطها بالثقافة

لو كانت الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان قيماً جماعية، أما كان العالم أكثر انجذاباً إليها؟  English

Pain and torture: state violence in Egypt

The root of state violence and torture is not poor police training, nor a political decision that can be reversed, it is the nature of the regime and the political order it has created.

Whatever is happening to the Egyptians?

Why are so many Egyptians no longer challenging the structures of power in the country? Join the debate

Sports and politics

Sports have been and still are used as a way to control the masses. How and why do fan clubs shift from sports to politics? Join the debate

The military industrial complex

What role does the military industrial complex play in Egyptian politics and economy? Join the debate

Help us rename Arab Awakening!

Do you have any ideas for an alternative name? Let us know what you think! We are collecting suggestions and will announce the new name soon!

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

Ultras in mourning: how a massacre, revolutionary aftermath and politics killed Egyptian football

The third in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. عربي

Human rights’ universality and correlation with culture

If democracy and human rights were collective values, wouldn’t they have been more appealing to the world? عربي

Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East

The election of Trump will give second wind to autocrats in the region as well as create space for the growth of Russian influence.

Football’s martyrs: how the Ultras become revolutionaries

The second in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. عربي

بين هوس العَظمة واليأس، هل فقد السيسي صوابه؟

English .صنعت الدولة المصرية دائرة مفرغة من اليأس الشعبي والإرهاق العاطفي

Whatever is happening to the Egyptians, Pt. 5: colonizing Egyptian bodies

This is an invitation to every Egyptian to review what s/he really wants and make active personal choices that transcend the inherited imperialist norms.

Egypt's Military Inc.

Unless Egyptian capitalism evolves beyond the current stage of cronyism to competitive accumulation, no amount of loans or policy reforms will solve the problems of the economy.

رياضة وثورة وسياسة: كيف أثر نادي الألتراس على الوعي المصري؟

هذا الجزء الأول من أربعة أجزاء تتعمّق في تاريخ ما يُعرف بـ"الألتراس"، أي المشجعين الرياضيين المتطرفين، وتأثيرهم على المجتمع المصري. الجزء الأول: مَن هم الألتراس؟ English

Sports, politics, revolution: how a hardcore football fan club impacted Egyptian consciousness

This is the first in a four-part series that delves into the history of the Ultras and their impact on Egyptian society. Part One: Introducing Egypt's Ultras. عربي

On megalomania and despair: is Sisi really nuts?

The Egyptian state has composed what looks like a closed circuit of public despair and emotional drainage.

ماذا حدث للمصريين؟ الجزء الرابع: مشروع أرستقراطيين

ما الذي يثير قلق أغنياء مصر ويشعرهم بعدم الأمان؟ لماذا يريدون الهرب فجأة؟ لمَ نخيفهم؟ English

Whose revolution?

The Egyptian mass protests can only be classified as a reform movement that had hoped to create a liberal order. A modest goal that has degenerated into a full-spectrum military autocracy.

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