Thursday 2nd February, 2017
6:30pm to 7:30pm
In 2011, Cairo's Tahrir Square commanded the attention of the world as the Egyptian people demanded their freedom. At the time, President Barack Obama famously declared: “Egyptians have inspired us, they have changed the world.” But, half a decade later, is this the whole story?
The Arab World's most populous nation remains as volatile as ever and thoroughly enmeshed with a broader moment of political turbulence that is unfolding across the globe. In his new book, "The Egyptians: A Radical Story," former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian, Jack Shenker, examines the roots of Egypt’s revolution, arguing for a much more nuanced, and far-reaching view of the forces that are reshaping the region. Egypt’s revolutionary turmoil has never just been about Mubarak, or his successors, or elections, says Shenker. It is not merely a civil war between Islamists and secularists, nor a fight between backwardness and modernity. Underlying it all, the unrest is about economically marginalized citizens muscling their way onto the political stage to demand sovereignty over domains previously closed to them: factories and urban streets, the houses they live in, the food they eat and the water they drink. The real story is more complicated and, ultimately, more hopeful.
Author and Journalist, Former Egypt Correspondent for the Guardian
David D. Arnold
President, The Asia Foundation
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