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Egypt Voices

It's A Free Blog

Credit to Bush for Pro-Democracy Movements? Not So Much.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

While America has a valuable role to play in supporting the cause of democracy around the world, it would be foolish to take credit for the events of the past two months. The months ahead will show us where this trajectory leads, and we can’t predict the future. But it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the past and know that George W. Bush wasn’t the inspiration for Tahrir Square any more than the Beastie Boys.

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It's A Free Blog

A Free Middle East? Blame George W. Bush!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

With protests sweeping the Middle East from Bahrain to Yemen to Jordan and, of course, to Libya, and with the departure of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak from Egypt, now seems like a good time to remind everyone: Bush was right.

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It's A Free Country ®

Comments Roundup: Voices of Arab New Yorkers

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WNYC

On the Brian Lehrer Show today, North African and Middle Eastern New Yorkers called in with thoughts and feelings about the uprisings raging across the region. Plus, Debbie Almontaser, an educator and board chair of the Muslim Consultative Network whose brother lives in Yemen, discussed her views on what's happening in the Middle East.

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It's A Free Blog

Revolution in Egypt, Evolution in Iraq

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On the front page of Tuesday's New York Times: Democracy protests in Iran, Yemen and Bahrain. But I want to talk about Iraq. As I mentioned on this page last week, the U.S. miscalculated badly there, spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to bring democracy to the Middle East. But, in an ironic twist, as the winds of change sweep through the region, true democracy has not come to Iraq.

History teaches that real change is organic and comes from within; it cannot be imposed from without.

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It's A Free Blog

Obama Timidly Comes to the Right Side of History

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In his inaugural speech, President Obama said, "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history." But his timid responses to democratic uprisings in the Middle East have shown his commitment to those on the right side of history is sorely lacking.

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It's A Free Country ®

Live From The Greene Space: Regime Change and its Aftermath

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hear audio above, watch the full video here, and check out the slideshow below.

On Friday, The Brian Lehrer Show and It’s A Free Country called a meeting. The agenda: understanding revolution.  At a live event in the Greene Space, people with first-hand experience of revolution from all over the world gathered with interested audience members for an in-depth conversation about what happens after an uprising. Journalists, academics and policy experts were there to inform and be informed by those with their ears to the ground — and to offer advice to Egyptians in the midst of revolution.

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It's A Free Blog

Egypt — What Happens Now?

Friday, February 11, 2011

I have been watching the events in Egypt over these 18 days and it was clear that the country had risen together for a single cause — the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. But as I have suggested before, a revolution does not a democracy make.

There can be no orderly transition of government in Egypt in the midst of chaos. The protestors have made their point. They have won the day: Murbarak has resigned.

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It's A Free Country ®

Twitter Responses To Military Announcement

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BREAKING—Egyptian military commanders told protesters in Tahrir Square that all their demands would be met today, but they were not. On twitter, the day started off with joyous pronouncements that the revolution had succeeded, followed by remarks of uncertainty, and now we're seeing anger, disappointment and promises to march to the palace in Cairo tomorrow.

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It's A Free Blog

Money, Power, and the Egypt Protests

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Give up the romantic notions you have about Egypt becoming a democracy. Seriously, grow up my friends and smell the baklava. The unrest in Egypt isn’t for a democratic government. The unrest in Egypt is spurred by the monied military class which is seeing its wealth shrink globally while all the other operations within the country still move at full tilt. The Suez Canal operations continue unabated this year, but Egypt’s profits on their exports have declined. The Egyptian monied military class (heretofore mentioned as MC’s to give them some Hip-Hop street credibility) wants a facelift. Forget your romantic notions about students and plebians organizing this unrest. That is pure fantasy.

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It's A Free Blog

Tear it Down, Build it Up: The Architecture of Democracy

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Having a constitution and respecting that constitution are clearly not synonymous. Without legitimacy, a constitution is nothing more than words on a page. The importance of a constitutional system has less to do with the actual words in the document than the commitment that the people have to respect it. A large number of Egyptians clearly do not think their Constitution has secured what it promises.

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It's A Free Country ®

US Policy Towards Egypt Evolving With Crisis

Friday, February 04, 2011

Protests in Egypt have consistently shocked the region and the world in recent days, catching President Hosni Mubarak off guard with calls for his ousting. But President Mubarak wasn't the only one surprised by Egyptian activism; the U.S. leadership has also scrambled to adapt to a changing diplomatic situation, in a region where Egypt's stability is seen as incredibly important.

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It's A Free Blog

In Egypt, Reflections of a World Not Safe for Journalism

Friday, February 04, 2011

There is great alarm in America about a great many things in Egypt, including the treatment of journalists during recent anti-government protests. The ugly truth, however, predates the Egyptian crisis of the last ten days and spills far beyond the streets of Cairo. Eighty-seven journalists were murdered worldwide in 2010. And that's not taking into account the journalists who have been assaulted, kidnapped, harassed or otherwise suffered violence in the line of duty.

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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 ®

Assessing Egypt's Future

Thursday, February 03, 2011

We should listen to the young people. They have basic demands: they want freedom. This is the internet generation, people who were born under Mubarak, who have a large number of unemployed, they belong to the—at least—40 percent of Egyptians who live under the poverty line. They need jobs, they need houses, they need to marry and start families. They do not care much about politics—the right or the left—and that's a good sign!

Aladdin Elaasar, former Presidential candidate, on the Brian Lehrer Show

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It's A Free Country ®

Slideshow: Little Egypt Reacts To Mubarak

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A few hours after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak released a recorded statement saying he would not seek re-election this Fall, WNYC's Kristen Clark visited "Little Egypt" in Astoria, Queens to get reaction to Mubarak's statements, and the pro-democracy protests taking place around the Arab world.

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WNYC News

Coptic Christians, With an Eye on Egypt, Worry About Uprising

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Census figures show about 50,000 people of Egyptian ancestry live in New York and New Jersey combined. Most Egyptians are Muslim, but about 10 percent of the country’s population is Coptic Christian. They are the largest minority group in Egypt and, in recent days, many in the New York metro area have been following news of Egyptian protests with less excitement than trepidation.

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It's A Free Blog

The Lessons of Obama's Cairo Speech

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

You’ve heard the phrase, “lead, follow or get out of the way.” In these cases, we can do a little of each: leading in declaring unwavering support for democratic principles, following the events with support for proper process and the safety of local populations, and making sure we play no role in obstructing the astonishing show of popular expression or the subsequent march toward new, fair elections — whether in Egypt and or wherever people rise up next.

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It's A Free Country ®

#Jan25, #Mubarak, #Egypt: The Arab Diaspora on Twitter

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

WNYC

#Egyptians have won. No matter how long it takes 4 #Mubarak 2 leave already, let's take this moment and say MABROUK (CONGRATS) EGYPT. #JAN25

@monaeltahawy, Egyptian American columnist, blogger, and activist.

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It's A Free Country ®

Comments Roundup: Egyptian New Yorkers React

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

WNYC

For 30 years people have just been sitting on the sidelines saying we can't do anything about this and for the first time, they are finally able to stand up and it's an exhilarating moment. And I'm here in New York and all I want to do is get on a plane and get to Egypt and stand with my people because it's the first time in my entire life that I'm proud to be Egyptian.

- Sharin in Brooklyn

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The Takeaway

A Face in the Crowd: 'Syriana' Actor Amr Waked

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Actor Amr Waked is best known to Western audiences for his role in the George Clooney oil movie Syriana, but this week, he has been protesting along with millions of his countrymen in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo, as the Egyptian people rise up in an attempt to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years.

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