AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Monday, February 10th, 2014

Football, Art, and its Many Intersections: An Interview with Franklin Sirmans

Shortly after the opening of Fútbol: The Beautiful Game at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) I had the opportunity to speak with the exhibition’s curator, Franklin Sirmans. It was actually three days after the exhibition opened to the public, to be precise, and I’m grateful to Sirmans for scheduling a walkthrough with

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

New Exhibition at LACMA Devoted to The Beautiful Game’s Global Significance

Today the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Fútbol: The Beautiful Game opens to the public. An exhibition curated by Franklin Sirmans, it is devoted to football’s global position as a “common human experience shared by spectators...

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

The Popular Resistance in Egypt

It feels like we have been here before. The last time I had to field this many phone calls, texts, and e-mails was in February 2011. Then, as now, Egyptians and their allies all over the world celebrated...

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Cairo mosh pit

A few days ago Tom posted another installment of 10 African films to watch out for, one of which is the documentary “Underground/On the Surface,” on the popular “second-class” youth music genre mahragan shaabi. While we wait to...

Friday, July 20th, 2012

What, dear readers, are your most cherished Ramadan meals and traditions?

It’s that time of year once more – Ramadan Kareem all! Last Ramadan I reminisced about my favourite sights and sounds in Egypt during our annual period of fasting and self-reflection. This year, food is on my mind....

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Mubarak is a Diva

So much has been written on the Egyptian presidential elections already that it is a bit overwhelming to weigh in on them now. So let me be clear – this post is intended only to introduce some...

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Unfinished Revolutions

What is the nature of the Arab Revolution? Why did it start and where is it headed? Most important, what is the potential for the emergence of new forms of political democracy, social equality, and regional autonomy...

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Why We Loved Warda

Yesterday, 72 year old French-born Algerian-Lebanese songstress Warda Al-Jazairia passed away. Known just as Warda to her millions of beloved fans, she leaves behind a legacy comparable to such musical stars as Umm Kulthum. Warda died in...

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Defiant One (in Morocco)

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Nawal el Saadawi on Egypt’s Revolution

The current issue of Bidoun magazine features a very timely conversation with Egyptian feminist Nawal el Saadawi. Her view that “nothing has changed” in Egypt since January 25 of last year and her contempt for the co-optation...

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

In Praise of Mohamed Aboutrika

My brother, Karim, does a guest post on Mohamed Aboutrika, the 2008 BBC African Footballer of the Year, and arguably one of Egypt's greatest players as well as a hero off the field. He announced his...

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

M.I.A’s Bad Girls

I’m feeling a little puzzled by M.I.A’s video for Bad Girls (which originally appeared on her Vicky Leekx mixtape). In what I suppose is intended to be edgy imagery, M.I.A gyrates in the midst of ‘veiled’ women...

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The ‘football riot’ in Egypt

On Wednesday, after Al Masry beat Al Ahly 3-1, attackers armed with knives and clubs stormed the pitch. Whether the armed crowds were only Al Masry Ultras or not is still being debated–after all, why attack the...

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Ahdaf Soueif’s Cairo

Days after "The Economist" decided no-one in the "Middle East" reads books, Ahdaf Soueif dedicated a short piece to Cairo in Newsweek. Just like Youssef Chahine's Cairo, beautifully expressed on film, Soueif identifies the ugliness that exists...

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The Narcicyst salutes Egyptian life

The Narcicyst, an Iraqi hip hop artist (and scholar!) based in Canada, released this video in honour of the one-year anniversary of #Jan25. Most of the scenes are from around Cairo, though it does dip outside of the city...

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

#Jan25 Egypt

One year ago Mostapha El-Shafey took this now iconic photo of a protestor, Abdulrahman Ezz, confronting police in Meydan Tahrir. Today, Egyptians aim to take back Tahrir and the revolution. There will be many more photos and videos...

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Political Football in Egypt

Remember way back when in 2011, when I shouted out Egypt’s crazed football fans for kicking ass during and after the fall of Mubarak? Well, in honor of the upcoming protests marking one year since the initial...

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

#OccupyNigeria Music

Literally hot off the press (or whatever the youtube equivalent is) here is Tha Suspect’s video for SUBsidy, an anti-corruption theme song offering for the ongoing Occupy Nigeria protests. h/t Siddhartha Mitter

Friday, January 6th, 2012

A Conversation on Apartheid

Next week Omar Barghouti, one of the organizers of a cultural and academic boycott against Israel, will join legendary U.S.-based scholar-activists Angela Davis and Fred Moten to discuss the correlations between the divestment campaign against South Africa's...

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The Rough Guide to the “Arab Spring”

No list about the "Arab Spring" is complete without Jadaliyya, the kick-ass open-source news and opinion blog arm of the Arab Studies Institute, which also puts out the Arab Studies Journal.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

‘A Family Tradition’

Robert Mackey’s The Lede over at The New York Times has an update on the detained Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah:

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Islamismisms

Not unsurprisingly, the news that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, along with Salafists, received the bulk of votes cast in Egypt’s first elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, was met with dismay by our...

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Egypt Elections

Egypt’s parliamentary elections are underway despite the intense violence that has rocked the nation over the past few weeks. While we all watch and wait (and vote!), a friend reminded me of this song (originally by the legendary...

Friday, November 18th, 2011

The Nude Revolution in Egypt

So an art student named Aliaa Magda Elmahdy in Egypt decided to post nude photos of herself on her blog to “defy restrictions on freedom” and Twitter basically explodes. (Seriously – check the #NudePhotoRevolutionary hashtag and the tweets culled...

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Free Blogger Alaa Abd el Fattah

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Hajj of the Revolution?

Millions of Muslims from all over the world are currently gathered in Mecca for the Hajj, a pilgrimage that must be made by every Muslim who is financially and physically able at least once in their lifetime. However,...

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Gaddafi est Mort, II

2011 has been a year ripe for revolution, mass protest and, apparently, extralegal assassinations. It makes sense. After all, dead men tell no tales, and keeping Muammar Gaddafi alive would have been very awkward for Western governments...

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The Striker from Mauritania

Fans and announcers alike chant “Domoneek Domoneek Domoneeeeek!” each time Dominique da Silva scores a goal for the Egyptian club team Al Ahly (and he scores a lot). ‘Da Silva’ is relatively pronounceable in Arabic, but Egyptian...

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The French Algerian Massacre

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the “French-Algerian Massacre,” when at least 200 Algerians living in Paris were killed by French police and another 11,000 or so were arrested while protesting for Algerian independence from France. Nabila...

Monday, October 17th, 2011

“A writer in a revolution”

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