Tag Archives: Egypt

VOMENA 6.4.14 – Practicing Return and Voting or Not Voting in Egypt

Today we will discuss the recent presidential elections in Egypt.

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared himself the president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military has been getting support from a huge sector of the Egyptian public?

Khalil Bendib posed these questions to Cairo-based activist and journalist, Hossam El-Hamalawy.


Later in the show, we discuss the creative ways Palestinians have used to practice their right of return over recent years.

We will speak with Samera Esmeir, associate professor at the department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley about her recent article, “A Guide for the Perplexed: On the Return of the Refugees” published on the Middle East Research and Information Project. In this text, professor Esmeir focused on the the the return of some of the Palestinian refugees to their village Kafr Bir’im, located in northern Palestine in the Galilee, whose residents were expelled in 1948.

“Refugees no longer, we have returned!” a group of Palestinian youths declared in 2012 as they decided to practice their right of return by going back to their village of Iqrit in northern Palestine.A year later, some of the refugees from the neighboring village Kafr Bir’im declared their return to their village. Announcing that they were no longer refugees, to Israel’s consternation, they moved to live in the church and in the two-room school structure of the village, holding gatherings, parties, events and concerts.

Kafr Bir’im’s history and refugees struggle with the Israeli courts as they continued occupying their land. Samera Esmeir started taking us through the village which was declared by the Israelis a national park in the aftermath of the 1948 Nakba.

Read Samera Esmeir’s article, “A Guide for the Perplexed: On the Return of Refugees” here. 

VOMENA 1.15.14

Thousands marched on May 6 on the parliament, denouncing the army’s crackdown on the Abbassiya protesters and calling for the release of the detainees. Hassam el-Hamalawy.

Nearly three years after the fall of Mubarak, with the deep state and the military openly back in control, Egypt seems to have come full circle. How did that happen and what is the situation on the ground really like, as Egyptians go to the polls again to vote on a new proposed constitution? Vomena’s Khalil Bendib speaks with Egyptian activist, blogger and journalist, Hossam el-Hamalawy.

Selma Debbagh wanted to explore the conflict in Palestine from a different angle: the struggle between the personal and the political. She wrote a contemporary novel about what it means for individuals to constantly weigh up the competing demands of the Palestinian cause and society, on the one hand, and their own individual wishes and desires on the other. “ I wanted to present a state of war, a state of being, a state of pressure, of siege.” Malihe Razazan speaks with Selam about her background shaped who she is today and how it has influenced her writing. Selam Dabbagh is the author of Out of It.

VOMENA 12:12:2012

El-Housseini abu-Deif died at a hospital in Cairo after a week-long coma from being shot in the head during clashes.

Protesters numbering in the hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Egypt after President Morsi granted himself near-absolute power last month. This week, VOMENA talks with Egyptian journalist Ahmad Shokr about the quickly-evolving political landscape in Egypt, and who the key players are. Also, journalists and activists mourned the death of photojournalist El-Husseini abu-Deif, who died yesterday after being shot in the head during clashes last week. Adel Iskandar, adjunct professor of communications at Georgetown University and author of the forthcoming book, “Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution,” weighs in on the current state of independent media in Egypt and Al Jazeera’s new role in the country’s politics.

The Iran tribunal investigation

For the past week, the world’s attention has been focused on the protests in front on US embassies in Muslim majority countries, with special attention devoted to the protests in front of the American embassy in Cairo. But at the same time Egyptians were gearing up for a different type of protests! Tonight, you will hear from Egyptian journalist and activist Hossam El-Hamalawy, about the recent wave of labor strikes in Egypt.

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Egyptians in the street

 Mass protest in Egypt

Last Saturday, a criminal court in Cairo sentenced Egypt autocrat Hosni Mubarak -along with his long-time interior minister Habib al-Adli, to life in Prison but dismissed corruption charges against Mr. Mubarak and his deeply unpopular sons, Alaa and Gamal, on technical grounds. Six top police commanders, who faced the a charge of complicity in killing unarmed protesters, were acquitted for what the judge said was a lack of evidence.

Soon after the verdict was announced, protesters poured on to Tahrir Square and planned for a million strong march, which took place yesterday. Khalil spoke with Egyptian journalist Amad Shokr about the protests and the current political landscape in Egypt.

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Tonight’s program

On this week’s program, we’ll be speaking with three Leading analysts of Egypt, Professor Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Professor Samer Shahate of George Town University about their contribution to the brand new book, the Journey to Tahrir : Revolution, protest and Social Change in Egypt, 1999-2011


We will be also hearing track from the CD Kelmti Horra ( My Word Is Free) by Tunisia’s rising singing star, Emel Mathlouthi ( take a look on our previous post )



Last week’s Radio show

The Voices of the Middle East and North Africa show aired on Wednesday, April 25th 2012. Produced by Malihe Razazan.

Hossam El-Hamalawy – Egyptian journalist
Caveh zahedi – movie director “The sheik and I”

Media & the Current Political Landscape in Libya & Egypt

Flickr: Khalid Albaih

This week’s Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, we will be speaking with University of New England political science professor Ali Ahmida about the current political situation in Libya three months after the fall of the autocratic leader of the country, Muammar Gaddafi.

Later in the program, we will bring you the first part of a conversation with  prominent Egyptian activist and blogger, Hossam el-Hamalawy about the changing media landscape in post-Mubarak Egypt.

We will also hear the commentary, God’s Pirates by Amir, the co-authour of the graphic novel, Zahra’s Paradise about the strange incident between  Iranian fishermen and American sailors.

Ali Ahmida
Hossam el-Hamalawy

Upcoming Event: Palo Alto Players present- Aftermath: A Documentary Play About Displaced Iraqis. Playing at Lucie Stern Theatre from Jan 13-22. Click here for ticket information.

Youth Uprising in the Middle East

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This week, we look at the youth uprising in the Middle East. As we witness the revolutionary tide sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, and as we follow the heroic struggles of people against authoritarian regimes and client states of Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and other countries in the region, a major social group, which has garnered a lot of attention is the youth.

The young between the ages of 15 and 29 make up more that 50% of the population in several countries of the Middle East and North Africa. What is the status of these young people in these neoliberal times? Can what is taking place in the Middle East and North Africa be considered a youth uprising? What are the shared values of this generation that have made them such an integral part of the political upheaval in Muslim majority countries?

These are some of the questions explored in a newly published book titled Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South And North, co-edited by Linda Herrera and Asef Bayat. Linda Herrera is Associate Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Asef Bayat is Professor of Sociology and Middle East Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This program can also be heard live on-line at KPFA.org. The Middle Eastern and North African Perspectives (MENAP) produces Voices of the Middle East and North Africa that is aired on KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley, KFCF 88.1 FM in Fresno every Wednesday at 7 PM (PST). This program is also aired on Tampa’ WMNF 88.5 HD3 every Thursday at 6PM (EST) To contact us, please call 510-848-6767 ext. 632, or send us e-mail to info@vomena.org

The Historic Uprising in Egypt

Special Voices of the Middle East broadcast about the historic uprising in Egypt and its implications for the region at large and the world beyond. We’ll be joined by a stellar team of middle East and north African experts, who will analyze and decode for us the meaning and significance of this epic moment in world history.

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