Navigating #Egypt's turmoil - an utterly subjective, highly incomplete reading list from the past week... [Now updated - thanks to all who suggested additions!]
Following the initial drama of Morsi's downfall and instant reaction to it, I've spent much of the past week - like many people both inside Egypt and beyond - wading through reams of analysis and counter-analysis, all aiming to prod and chivvy the country's multiple fast-moving parts in to some kind of solid conceptual shape. Most seem to get lost somewhere on the way, which is understandable; others pig-headedly insist on driving into a brick wall, which is less forgiveable.
For what it's worth, here's a few select choices - very arbitrary, and no doubt reflecting my own perspective on recent events - that I think stand out from the crowd. I don't agree with everything written in these articles, but I do think they all make a good stab at illuminating some of the nuances missing in many other pieces and act as a useful corrective to some of the wildly misleading things written about Egypt in some quarters, particularly the mainstream western media. Do pop me a tweet if you think there's a particularly good piece floating around that I've missed here...
- For a brilliant overall summary of where Morsi and the Brotherhood went wrong, and how they squandered the opportunity to salvage things, look no further than Michael Hanna (@mwhanna1):
- To understand the fallacy of this faux Brotherhood or military binary being relentlessly pushed by those solely obsessed with elite politics, read Wael Gamal (@waelgamal):
- And on the same theme, this excellent piece by Thanassis Cambanis (@tcambanis):
- For two more very good overviews of the situation from a revolutionary rather than a knee-jerk reactionary perspective, check out both MERIP's editorial (@meriponline): http://www.merip.org/mero/mero071013 and Philip Rizk's Jadaliyya essay (@tabulagaza): http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12895/is-the-egyptian-revolution-dead- - both of which do a good job of highlighting, among other things, the role that the Brotherhood's fealty to an anti-revolutionary neoliberal agenda played in proceedings.
- There are few better analysts of the Brotherhood than Nathan Brown; here he explores the movement's regrets and options going forward:
- The events of #June30 and July 3rd have not just played out in Tahrir and Itthadeya; already both workers' groups and local communities are mobilising to press home revolutionary demands. Omayma Kamal explores some of the initiatives and makes some concrete proposals:
- Here Ahmad Shokr (@ahmadshokr) looks to the future as well, with both optimism and unease; "Revolutionary moments can arouse the greatest hopes but also expose the deepest fears. The line between those two feelings is a fine one."
- I don't agree with all of Sarah Carr's analysis of recent developments, but here she argues persuasively and powerfully about the danger of a myopic, exclusionary discourse when it comes to state violence against the Brotherhood (@Sarahcarr):
- And here the always perceptive @baheyya argues that despite revolutionary intentions on the part of many, #June30 and its aftermath has allowed the military complex to manufacture a false elite-sponsored 'realism' which demands citizens "accept tutelage or face chaos":
- The international media has had some notable low points in recent days; here Karim Ennarah (@kennarah) picks apart a recent NYT story (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/middleeast/improvements-in-egypt-suggest-a-campaign-that-undermined-morsi.html) with customary panache: https://www.facebook.com/karim.ennarah/posts/10151652993480914 and Omar Robert Hamilton (@ORHamilton) critiques the prism through which Egypt is being viewed in the western press: http://www.madamasr.com/content/selective-memories
- Finally, the struggle against sexual violence has never been more important. Mariz Tadros takes an overview: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/mariz-tadros/egypt-politics-of-sexual-violence-in-protest-spaces and, more upliftingly, Mona Abaza explores a surge in feminist graffiti: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12469/intimidation-and-resistance_imagining-gender-in-ca