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Egypt Explainer

The Washington Report

Predictions for 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, speaks to Manoush Zomorodi about his predictions for the coming year in the Middle East, Europe, China, and in the coming elections here in the United States.

The Takeaway

Egypt Report Puts Revolution Death Toll at 846

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A new investigation confirms that the Mubarak regime was behind the violence carried out against protesters during the revolution in Egypt. Egypt’s transitional government carried out the investigation and found that at least 846 people were killed during the three-week-long revolution that resulted in the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. The new death toll is more than double previous estimates by the Egyptian government. The results come from a panel of judges and are based in part on interviews with 17,000 government officials and witnesses and over 800 video clips.

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It's A Free Country ®

The 2011 Food Crisis

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

High food prices are not by themselves a guarantee that governments will fall, because if it were, we'd see overhauls in the governments of India or China. It's certainly the case that higher food prices combined with other things are like revolution kindling. A food price spike can spark something that can turn into this kind of democratic overhaul.

Raj Patel, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for African Studies, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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It's A Free Country ®

Egypt in the Eyes of the USA

Monday, February 14, 2011

To some extent, we all know democracy works best when it comes from the country itself, out of its own traditions, its own people, its own leadership. Egypt has demonstrated that, not that a foreign country can make those kinds of things happen. We ought to be very carfeul about that.

—Ambassador Thomas Pickering,of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Dawn of a New Egypt as Mubarak Steps Down

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is the ninth and final edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

Egypt's three-week-long anti-government revolt reached a happy denouement today when Hosni Mubarak, the country's autocratic leader of nearly thirty years, stepped down, ceding power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. In today's Wave of Change, we bring you a medley of jubilant voices from Cairo, where after 18 days of protest, people power won over the forces of an oppressive regime.

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Tahrir Square Before Mubarak's Speech; U.S. Policy in the Middle East; Who is Omar Suleiman?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is the eighth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

This episode was recorded shortly before President Hosni Mubarak announced that he was transferring some of his power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, but refused to step down. While protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square are furious now, before Mubarak spoke, the expected him to step down and were jubilant, thinking Mubarak was about to step down. We take you there with a BBC interview with one of the protesters. Also, a discussion with Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, on how U.S. policy has affected and may continue to affect democracy in the Middle East. Plus, in an excerpt from today's Takeaway, a look at Omar Suleiman with Patrick Lang, retired Army colonel, former head of Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency, who has known Suleiman for 20 years.

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It's A Free Country ®

Protest Context: The History of Mubarak Abuses

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Torture actually spread, it became sort of an epidemic, which is what it is today, I'm sorry to say. It happens in police stations, it happens not just with political dissidents, it happens with people just picked up for suspicion of committing ordinary crimes. This has become a serious and widespread problem.

Joe Stork deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division, on The Brian Lehrer Show

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Protesters Gain New Stamina; A Lifetime Under Mubarak; Egypt's Restless Youth

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

This is the seventh edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

In this episode, we get the latest from Cairo, where anti-government protesters have been buoyed; a "face in the crowd" interview with protester Ahmed el Gaddar, who, at 30 years old, has lived his entire life under the Mubarak regime; Tarik Yousef, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of "Generation in Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East," on the disconnect between Egyptian youth and their leaders; and, in an excerpt from this morning's Takeaway, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim on what lessons Southeast Asia's Muslim democracies can offer Egypt.

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The Takeaway

Egypt's Youth in Revolt

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

"This belongs to the Egyptian youth," declared Wael Ghonim in an interview with Egypt's most popular talk show. Ghonim, the internet activist who became a symbol of the repression that characterizes the Mubarak regime when he was released from captivity after nearly two weeks, was of course talking about the now sixteen-day-old pro-democracy movement that has shaken Egypt to its foundation.

Looking at the multitude of young faces in the many powerful images of anti-government protesters that have streamed out of Egypt since the uprising began, there is no doubt that the youth of this country are the ones propelling this revolt. Their numbers are vast. The median age of Egypt's population of 80 million is just 24. As Ghonim said, perhaps as a reminder to non-Egyptians who are dubious of their revolution, it was not the Muslim Brotherhood who took to the streets demanding a better life, but the "'Facebook youth' who went out in the tens of thousands on January 25."

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It's A Free Country ®

Rejecting The Muslim Brotherhood

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood is so elusive and, in a way, far more dangerous than al-Qaeda because of their ability to participate in a democratic system even though they have undemocratic objectives, and to make everybody believe they are peaceful...Once they get to a place of power, we've seen quite the opposite

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, former member the Muslim Brotherhood in Kenya and the author of Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [34]

The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Freed Google Executive Reignites Demonstrators' Passions; 36 Hours in Captivity in Cairo

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

This is the sixth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

In this episode, we get the latest from the streets of Cairo, where protesters have been reenergized after the broadcast of an interview with Wael Ghonim, a young Google executive credited with stoking the pro-democracy movement on the internet, who was freed after being detained for 12 days; we ask Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, if Wael Ghonim is a revolutionary leader or merely a messenger of the people; and, in an except from today's Takeaway, Human Rights Watch's Daniel Williams gives his own harrowing account of being held for 36 hours in captivity in Cairo.

(Watch Wael Ghanim's interview with Egypt's DreamTV after the jump.)

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The Takeaway

Wael Ghonim: A New Kind of Revolutionary?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

He thinks of himself as just another body among the faceless masses gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding a new era in his nation's politics, and a better future for all the people of Egypt. Yet, it was a heartbreaking interview with Wael Ghonim, broadcast on one of Egypt's satellite channels last night, that drove thousands of Egyptians to march on their Parliament for the first time, refueling Egypt's two-week-old pro-democracy movement.

Ghonim, a marketing executive at Google, has become the face of the internet-based youth movement calling for the ouster of Egypt's autocratic leader, Hosni Mubarak. Using social networking tools like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, Ghonim helped inspire the protests that have brought a government thought to be stable to its knees, and became a symbol of that government's repression when he disappeared for twelve days.

 

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Inside Egypt's Military; The Legacy of George W. Bush's 'Freedom Agenda'

Monday, February 07, 2011

This is the fifth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

In this episode, get up to date on all the events that transpired over the weekend in Egypt; in an exclusive interview, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times takes us inside the generational divide in the Egyptian Army; and, Bush administration deputy national security advisor Elliot Abrams tells us why he thinks George W. Bush's "freedom agenda" was right for the Arab world.

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The Takeaway

Inside Egypt's Army, a Rift Along Generational Lines

Monday, February 07, 2011

As the tides of democracy have swirled in Egypt over the past 14 days, many questions have been raised over what the role of the nation's Army will be as Egypt transitions out of a three decade long era of autocratic rule. Widely credited with providing some semblance of order amid the chaos of the last two weeks, Egypt's Army has been portrayed as deeply respected and popular in a country with few credible institutions.

At numerous times throughout Egypt's revolution, the anti-government protesters and the Army have declared their affections for each other. However, deep inside this hallowed institution, a more complicated picture emerges. A significant divide along generational lines in Egypt's military threatens to rankle the evolving nation's future stability.

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: Recapping a Tumultuous Week in Egypt; Egypt's Strategic Importance to the U.S.; Coptic Christians

Friday, February 04, 2011

This is the fourth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Egyptian Cell Phone Surveillance & the Crackdown

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"One of the things that a cell phone network allows you to do in particular is to pinpoint the locations of individuals. And one of the things we do know about the Egyptian security state is that they depended on surveillance much more heavily than other countries might… One of the more cynical takes here is that the Egyptian government knew what they were doing. They wanted to shut down communications to take away organizing tools…This turned out not to work…It can’t be a coincidence that they turned the networks on at the exact same moment they began the crackdown that we are now witnessing... For activists that have just been casual users of cell phones, which is basically everybody but a small group of people who took precautions, the government will know their phone numbers, know how to reach them and how to look for them out on the streets...Those activists may be vulnerable.”

 —Andrew McLaughlin, former deputy Chief Technology Officer for the Obama Administration discussing why the Egyptian government shut down the internet and suddenly turned it back on, on today’s Leonard Lopate Show. You can hear the full interview here.

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The Takeaway

Wave of Change: 'Common Sense' in US Foreign Policy; a Mubarak Supporter Speaks

Thursday, February 03, 2011

This is the third edition of Wave of Change, a new special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and their consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.

In today's episode, we get the latest analysis with Samer Sheheta, professor of Arab politics at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University; we speak with a 25-year-old anti-Mubarak protester who was kept home by violence, but is eager to return; Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, calls for "common sense" in America's foreign policy; and, a Takeaway from this morning's show with one Egyptian who is satisfied with Mubarak's pledge to step down.

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The Takeaway

As Egypt Changes, Obama Stumbles

Thursday, February 03, 2011

After all of the events that have rocked Egypt over the last ten days, January 25 seems like ancient history. But it was just last Tuesday when Egyptians took to the streets to demand their autocratic leader of over 30 years relinquish his power. It was also last Tuesday when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronounced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government "stable," saying it was "looking for ways to respond to legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people." 

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It's A Free Country ®

Threat or Promise: The Role of the Muslim Brotherhood

Thursday, February 03, 2011

WNYC
If I were an Iranian leader like Ahmadinejad and the mullahs, I would be terrified, because as we well know, in the last year or so Iran has witnessed a great deal of social upheaval, and the reverberations of [Egypt’s] upheaval in the Arab world could have tremendous, tremendous impact.

Fawaz Gerges, professor in Middle East and International Affairs at the London School of Economics on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

In History, a Template for Egypt's Future?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

As night falls on the ninth day of the people's revolt in Egypt, the country's future isn't the only thing that is uncertain. It has yet to be seen whether Egypt is in the midst of a true revolution, or more of a coup d'etat. From Iran to Algeria, history provides a number of models that may be clues to what an Egypt without Hosni Mubarak could look like.

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