Author Archive

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Music Break. BET

Erykah Badu rocks a niqab! Lupe Fiasco’s Palestinian flag! At the BET Hip Hop Awards last night. Here.

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Columbus Day

Today is Columbus Day in (most of) the U.S. and Thanksgiving (yes) in Canada. In contrast, this is not a day of celebration for indigenous (First Nations) peoples in the Americas. Native hip hop artist Wahwahtay Benais breaks...

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

A Sitcom Waiting to Happen

Non-Arabic speaking peoples have a tendency to lump “Arabs” together, as though racial and economic hierarchies don’t impact us as they do the rest of the world. The fact is, orientalism is common even in SWANA (South...

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Youssef Chahine’s Cairo

The late, great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine shot this drama/documentary/biography on Cairo for television in 1991. As brilliant and beautiful a depiction of the city as any, Chahine infused the story with his usual political narratives–power, wealth, poverty, racial...

Monday, August 8th, 2011

“Egyptian Reggae”

The music of a kawala and fish-skin riqqs drift through the Mounira neighborhood in Cairo each Tuesday night, piquing the curiousity of many passerby. These are ancient instruments, still used in popular Egyptian music but usually so integrated...

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

The Mubarak Show

Hosni Mubarak denied all charges of economic corruption, illegal export dealings and murder against him during his first day in court. Mubarak, laid out on a stretcher in a cage in his Cairo courtroom, and his two...

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Ramadan Kareem

Though it remains to be seen what political, economic and social changes will happen (if any) in the “New Egypt,” its first Ramadan after Mubarak’s downfall will undoubtably be memorable. Iftar in Tahrir will be magnificent, I...

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Egypt, July 23

July 23 is actually the celebration of the The Free Officer’s Movement that culminated in a military coup d’état in 1952, overthrowing King Farouk I. Most Egyptians don’t celebrate February 22 – the date in 1922 when...

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Hip Hop and the “Arab Spring”

From “Hip Hop & Diaspora: Connecting the Arab Spring” by Lara Dotson-Renta over at the Arab Media & Society online journal: The diasporic connections visible in the hip-hop of the Arab Spring, and the many possibilities for...

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Tomorrow Is Waiting For You (and so is Coca-Cola)

As a child I remember that each bright, hot morning in Alexandria my father would listen for the call of our neighborhood baker, run down the stairs and come back with the most amazing pit-oven baked pita...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Football: The Cairo Derby

If you want to know more about why every Egyptian football fan you know is in hysterics right now, the Guardian has provided a pretty nice summary of the Cairo Derby:

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

July 5, Algeria

On its 49th year of independence from France, Algeria is undergoing another popular anti-colonial (and anti-Bouteflika) movement. Like some other African states whose independence days we’re celebrating through pop music, Algeria may have an entirely different independence...

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The “Fall” of Capital

On May 18th, Slavoj Žižek, Mamdouh Habashi, Samir Amin, David Harvey and Zygmunt Bauman participated in a roundtable entitled “Meaning of Maghreb?” during the Decolonization: New Emancipatory Struggles conference in Croatia. Largely focused on Egypt (the moderator explained...

Friday, May 20th, 2011

“Piss Off to Tahrir Square!”

Al Jazeera’s documentary on the April 6 Youth Movement (“The Arab Awakening: Seeds of Revolution”) follows the group leaders – among them Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel, Amr Ali and Amal Sharif – throughout Egypt’s January 25 revolution...

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Nawal el Saadawi Feels Young Again

On March 11 – just one month after Hosni Mubarak was ousted by the January 25th protesters – Nawal el Saadawi (my hero) spoke as one of the “Revolutionary Women: Voices of Dissent from Egypt and Pakistan”...

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Islam Goes Pop

Ahmed Abu Haiba, an Egyptian entrepreneur and (self-described) devout Muslim, launched an Islamic music television channel, “4Shbab,” in 2009. 4Shbab (literally, 4 Youth) fulfilled Haiba’s vision of utilizing, “media innovation from the West,” to spread the message...

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

“The African-Filipino Occupation”

Very much in the fashion of other democratic states, some Israelis have decided to take up the cause against social ills such as unemployment, crime and disease. How do they plan to do it? Not by addressing...

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Vanity Fair does Egypt

Vanity Fair’s May issue features a photographic series of young Egyptians dubbed, at various points in the accompanying article, ‘tech-savvy internet activists.’ The first photograph is of Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who created the Arabic-language Facebook...

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Music Break

If you’re wondering who will replace the coward Amr Diab as international Egyptian superstar (who has recently resurfaced, tail between legs, with a song honoring the revolution), check out the younger, cuter singer Hamada Helal. His latest...

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

‘We should have left it in North Africa in the first place’

This conversation on CNN (about an escaped Egyptian cobra at the Bronx Zoo) strikes me as a particularly apt allegory of the United States’ relationship to the revolutions throughout Africa and Asia.–Sophia Azeb.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Football is the Opposite of Politics

Football once kept Egyptians distracted, silent, and angry at the wrong people. However, when Egyptians rose up on January 25th to call for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak and his regime, the Egyptian Soccer Federation quickly moved to...

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Where does Africa end and the Middle East begin?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

We Are Not All Clay Shirky

Sophia Azeb Not to say that technology did not play a role in aiding the world’s ability to follow and support the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, but we must understand that Twitter and Facebook were mostly...

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Freedom Day

By Sophia Azeb For every day I have been alive, Muhammad Hosni Sayed Mubarak has been my president. Hosni Mubarak’s face, blown up onto enormous posters loomed over every street in Alexandria. His speeches and political declarations...

Monday, February 7th, 2011

The Soundtrack of the Revolution

By Sophia Azeb Egyptians once led the Arab world in terms of literature, music and film, but Hosni Mubarak’s regime significantly hampered the will and pride of the people in their own culture. This sense of disempowerment...

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

‘Against the Government’

Egyptian rapper Ramy Donjewan’s song “Against the Government” is an appropriate music break today as Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, his allies in the West, and Egyptian state TV–in the face of mass protest–still pretend Egypt is a stable...

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The Museum Will Be Open

By Sophie Azeb Guest Blogger The entry on Egypt in satirical news agency The Onion’s atlas, Our Dumb World, reads: “Free Admission on Sundays. Located in the Smithsonian, the Louvre, the National Gallery in London, and countless...

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