The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order?
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opposition to the regimes of Egypt. For forty years, Negm’s colloquial poems—many set to music by Sheikh Imam— have electrified student, labor and dissident movements from the Egyptian underclass. Negm’s poetry ranges from praise (madh) for the courage of ordinary Egyptians, to invective (hija’) for Egypt’s overlords—and it is no accident that you could hear his songs being sung by the leftist activists who spearheaded the first day of revolt on 25 January. Besides these poets, we could add many
and minorities, and the Sudan. The 1919 revolution had two stages: the violent and short period of March 1919 that involved large-scale mobilizations by the peasantry in rural areas that were suppressed by British military action; and the protracted phase beginning in April 1919 that was less violent and more urban, with the large-scale participation of students, workers, lawyers, and other professionals. The economic and political crises of World War I, experienced in Egypt as the expansion of
call for civic government, and an elevation of political grievances above economic ones. Thus, we have seen the participation of a wide range of groups with differing ideological orientations but nonetheless coherent and articulate in their demand for an end to the ancien régime. These have included strong elements of trade unions and other labor movements, inspired by the 2006 strike in Mahalla. But labor movements do not exhaust the types of players involved—including, of course, the new social
the curators of these archives through such thickets, perhaps a board of “wise men?” Haddad T02676 00 pre 16 30/08/2012 12:36 Foreword xvii CONCLUSION The creation of a new archive to record a set of world historical events is an exciting project, but also one that brings with it great responsibilities. It is the Arab people themselves who, after decades of neglect, took center stage, whether as participants or observers, victims or villains, each with his or her own set of memories, each
scholarly analysis to assimilate Arabs to the African continent. This is the continuation of a Cold War area studies paradigm, as well as a colonial politics of race. The ongoing revolution in Libya has been rightly interpreted in light of what is now a succession of regional revolutions moving from Tunisia to Egypt and now to Libya, with continuing unrest in Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, and elsewhere. The area that is considered vulnerable to this regional unrest stretches at least from Algeria to