Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Wisdom of Nawal el Saadawi

Earlier today on Twitter I summarized 80 year-old Egyptian feminist activist and writer Nawal el Saadawi’s comments in an interview published in the weekend edition of The Financial Times.  The parts I did not tweet is about her flirting with the writer and her opening quote: “I was very good-looking when I was younger. This created

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...

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

Five for the weekend. First up, via AfriPOP!, Nomsa Mazwai’s new video for her song ‘Nguwe.’ (The video comes with a translation.) Then, Vox Sambou (below) and The Narcicyst tell how they read ‘Article 14′ and its relation...

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Tank Girl

Nadine Hammam’s work turned out to be “too risky” for Art Dubai. Her new exhibition, Tank Girl, opens tonight at the Gallery Misr (Cairo, Egypt).

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

“There is nothing left” in Alexandria

The emigrants Céline Condorelli interviewed about their past lives in Alexandria, Egypt, often arrived at this conclusion: “Il n’y a plus rien .” Condorelli, an artist of Italian and Egyptian descent currently based in London, found that Alexandria was...

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The Noise of Cairo

Last month the Daily Beast decided that Cairo had lost its voice. It reminded me of a New York Times article which renamed Cairo The City Where You Can’t Hear Yourself Scream. It’s a city (or something),...

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

January in Cairo IV: the two faces of Egyptian art

Om Kalthoum, the late great Egyptian singer, stands in the studio of Khaled Hafez. Her eyes are closed, her mouth open in song or lament. There is not one of her, but six (including a shadow), laser-printed repetitively...

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...

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...

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

‘Very African and Very Modern’

It may be tempting to read Congolese-Belgian rapper Baloji's music as a relatively straightforward exercise in “indigenizing” or localizing hip-hop, but the story of his transnational musical moorings — especially his ambivalence toward Congolese pop — complicates...

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Egyptian Post

Consider this painting by Mai Heshmat. Its her proposal for the new Egyptian stamp - now that Mubarak's head has been deposed - and demonstrates a refreshing humor. The ambivalence of this woman's faceless face is suggestive...

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...

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

January in Cairo III

We can deduce certain trends about Egyptian painting and the nature of its buyers.

Monday, January 16th, 2012

January in Cairo II: The Ministry of Culture

Negar Azimi reflects on the difficult decisions facing Egyptian art: “A survey of titles of works from recent exhibitions in Cairo reveals the following: ‘Freedom,’ ‘Drink Freedom,’ ‘Shadow of Freedom,’ ‘People Demand,’ ‘Man Crying’ and so on.”...

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

The Hall of Shame

Before Boima rides us out this year with West Africa’s best dance tunes, we couldn’t resist including a post with some of the lowlights of 2011. Colonial Themed Weddings New South Africans can’t help themselves. The white...

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

2011: The Year of the Woman

It was a great year, maybe one of the best ever, for direct action in-the-streets in-your-face pro-democracy movements, and they were largely pushed and pulled by women. Starting with Tunisia, food uprisings spread quickly to Egypt, Algeria,...

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.

Monday, December 12th, 2011

“Iconic” Africa

Time  unveiled its “Top 10 Photos of 2011″ online last week. At least four of the photographs cover African topics: they’re all from “conflict” situations–two in Libya’s civil war (view it here and here), one in Egypt’s...

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


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

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...

Friday, October 14th, 2011

‘New music for new politics’

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The African Nations Cup

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

‘Revolutions devour their children’

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