Panel Discussion: Egypt’s Revolution: One Year Later, the Revolution Continues

Mon, January 23, 2012 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Co-sponsored by AMEJA (Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association), the Ad-Hoc Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution, and NAAP-NY (the New York chapter of the Network of Arab American Professionals).

Doors open at 6:30pm

Tickets: $5 (free for Alwan members)

A Two-Part Panel Series
Monday, January 23rd, 7 pm and Wednesday, January 25th, 8 pm

Panelists: Timothy Mitchell, Omar El-Shafei and Heba Gowayed

Since ousting of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians have remained determined to see the revolution to completion. They have returned to the streets, struck their workplaces, and risked their lives again and again in pursuit of freedom and social justice. In retaliation, the successor and offspring of the Mubarak regime -- the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) -- has used a combination of co-optation and repression, including trying civilians in military courts, beating, torturing, and murdering activists on the streets and in prison, and launching brutal misogynistic attacks on female protesters -- all paid for and with the diplomatic support of the US government.

These panels seek to go beyond the mainstream media’s reporting of the revolution and conventional misconceptions and shed light on the underlying causes and current contours of the revolution.

PANEL I, Monday, 1/23, 7 PM:

A Political Economy of Egypt: Class, Power and the Roots of the Revolution

Panelists: Timothy Mitchell, Omar El-Shafei and Heba Gowayed

A look at the roots of inequality and exploitation, workers’ revolts, and the interaction with the millions in the squares of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mahallah al-Kubra, and other cities. What would winning the demands of “bread, peace, and social justice” mean for Egypt’s masses? What parallels can be drawn between Egypt's labor movement and the broader struggle of the 99% against the global 1%?


Timothy Mitchell
is a political theorist and historian, teaching at Columbia University since 2008. Prior to Columbia, Mitchell taught for twenty-five years at New York University. His areas of research include the place of colonialism in the making of modernity, the material and technical politics of the Middle East, and the role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge in the government of collective life. Mitchell has published a number of essays on agrarian transformation, economic reform, and the politics of development, mostly drawing on his continuing research in Egypt. Some of his works include:Colonising Egypt(1991), a study of power and knowledge that define the experience of modernity; andRule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (2002), which draws on his examination of the making of “the economy” and “the market” as objects of twentieth-century politics, the relationship between law, private property, and violence in this process, and the problems with explaining contemporary politics in terms of globalization or the development of capitalism.

Omar El-Shafei
is an Egyptian leftist political activist, and independent researcher currently living in NYC. He is a doctoral candidate of International Law at Paris VII University in France. Omar is a founding member of the “Committee of Solidarity with the Struggle of the Egyptian People” in Paris, France, and author of “Workers, Trade Unions, and the State in Egypt, 1984-1989,”Cairo Papers in Social Science, American University in Cairo Press (Volume 18, Monograph 2, Summer 1995).

Heba Gowayed is a researcher on poverty alleviation policy and gendered wellbeing in Egypt.She is currently pursuing her MA at Columbia University’s sociology department with a research focus on the social costs of privatization policies and the hindrances on access to education in Egypt.She comes to Columbia from the American University in Cairo where she worked as a researcher, and monitoring and evaluation officer on the Egyptian Conditional Cash Transfer Program, on a team advising the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Hebareceived her BA in political science and sociology from the American University in Cairo.

PANEL II, Wednesday, 1/25, 8 PM:

Tickets: $5 (Free for Alwan members)

The Rise and Imminent Fall of Egypt’s Military:
How did the Military Come to Power, and What Will It Take to Remove It?

Panelists: Zachary Lockman, Nancy Elshami, Ashraf Khalil, Samah Selim and Menna Khalil

An analysis of SCAF’s role in Egypt’s, economy, the role of US military aid, and connections with previous regimes. What tactics has SCAF used to maintain its power? What illusions are held about the military, and what has its role been in regional strategic as well as political conflicts? How has the SCAF's current violence manifested against the Egyptian people, especially women, and in what ways are they resisting?


Zachary Lockman is a Professor of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies and History at New York University. His main research and teaching field is the socioeconomic, cultural and political history of the modern Middle East, particularly the Mashriq. His books includeWorkers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954, with Joel Beinin;Workers and Working Classes in the Middle East: Struggles, Histories, Historiographies; and most recently,Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism.

Nancy Elshamiis an independent journalist and researcher, whose work has been featured onZNet, Jadaliyya,andWorld Policy Blog. Nancy graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economic History and Middle Eastern Studies. She is currently a research analyst at Cornell University’s Institute for Compensation Studies, focusing on Egyptian political economy and modern social history.

Ashraf Khalil has covered the Middle East for theWall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, the Times of LondonandThe Economist. He worked as a correspondent for theLos Angeles Timesin Baghdad and Jerusalem and has been based in Cairo for most of the last fifteen years. He is an Egyptian-American and a graduate of Indiana University. His first book,Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation, was recently published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2012.

Samah Selim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University. Her research focuses mainly on modern Arabic Literature (19th/20th century) in Egypt and the Levant. Her book,The Novel and the Rural Imaginary in Egypt,1880-1985, explores the relationship between the rise of the novel genre, the politics of nationalist representation and the peasant question over the course of the 20th century in Egypt. Dr. Selim, who is also a practicing literary translator, is currently at work on a book about translation, modernity and popular fiction in early 20th century Egypt.

Menna Khalil is an independent researcher and writer working between the Middle East and the United States. She holds an MA in International Human Rights Law from the American University in Cairo and a BA in International Studies, French, and Economic Theory from DePaul University in Chicago. Menna’s academic interests in anthropological approaches to language, sensorial mediation, and narrative production have guided her work on translation and forms of storytelling. She has been carrying out ethnographic work on the relationship between citizens and the Egyptian army following the ouster of former President Mubarak.

Last updated: 2012-01-23 15:33:28

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