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procrastination & inspiration


Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne on an early gig

Anonymous asked:

what books would u recommend about egypts history to help me better understand egypts current situation?? like 1900s to present day?? thank u!


So I took a few history classes at AUC last semester…the most helpful was my “Modern Egyptian History: Isqat al-Nizam” class, where most of the following texts come from. We basically studied past Egyptian revolutions / regime change to understand the patterns and anomalies of 2011.

I really do suggest buying the first two books I mention. As for the rest of the material…I realize you’re not operating in a classroom setting where you can discuss them and you may not actually have access to them. However, I’ve tried to make available what I can, and if you have access to a university library (or interlibrary loan) you should have no problem. (Deena t…if you want to download/upload & link some of the remaining texts, feel free!)

In no particular order:

(*) = favorite

Books on Tahrir (Competing explanations for 2011’s successful mass mobilization)

(*) Tschirgi, Dan, Walid Kazziha, and Sean F. McMahon, eds. Egypt’s Tahrir Revolution. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013. [x] [Introduction]

Sowers, Jeannie, and Chris Toensing, eds. The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt. Verso Books, 2012. [x]

Worker Activism in Egypt

Journey to Tahrir, chs. 9, 17.

(Do some research on the Urabi revolt)

Joel Beinin, “Fikri al-Khuli’s Journey to al-Mahalla al-Kubra,” in Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East (2001), 99-113.

John Chalcraft, “The Coal Heavers of Port Sa’id: State-Making and Worker Protest, 1869–1914,” International Labor and Working-Class History 60 (2001), 110-124.

Revolt of the Poor (1977)

“Egyptians Riot in the Streets in 1977” (CBS documentary) [x]

Hossam Hamalawy, “1977: The Lost Revolution” available on [x]

Legislating and Constitution-Making: Secular vs. Islamic Law 

Journey to Tahrir, ch. 11.

Khaled Fahmy and Rudolph Peters, “The Legal History of Ottoman Egypt,” Islamic Law and Society 6, 2 (1999): 129-135.

Sami Zubaida, Islam, the People, and the State, ch. 2. [x]

Nathan Brown, “Sharia and State in the Modern Muslim Middle East,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 29, 3 (Aug 1997): 359-376.

Nasser and Sadat: The Army Leading the Nation (1952-1973)            

Raymond Baker, Egypt’s Uncertain Revolution under Nasser and Sadat, ch. 1

Anwar Sadat, In Search of Identity, ch. 9, “The October War”

(*) Zeinab Abul-Magd, “The Egyptian Republic of Retired Generals,” Foreign Policy: The Middle East Channel, posted 8 May 2012. [x]

Islamism & The Muslim Brotherhood

The Journey to Tahrir, chs. 14-16.

Hasan al-Banna, excerpt from Between Yesterday and Today, [x]

John Calvert, Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism (2010), ch. 8. [x]

Gender and Revolt: 1919 and 2011

(*) Margot Badran, Feminists, Islam, and Nation (1996), 74-88.

Bahithat al-Badiya, “A Lecture in the Club of the Umma Party (1909),” in Opening the Gates: A Century of Arab Feminist Writing, 227-238.

Mona El Tahawy, “Why Do They Hate Us?” Foreign Policy (May/June 2012) [x]

Yes I’m making you read Mona El Tahawy so you can read these:

List of responses to Mona El Tahawy’s piece, “Why Do They Hate Us?” 

International politics in the Middle East


i can tell you the things you should read about to understand, but i can’t recommend individual books for the life of me because the only good book i really remember reading that covered this period was Leila Ahmed’s A Quiet Revolution and that one focuses on the hijab in Egypt during that period.

so try to find books about:
- the 1952 revolution (you will be hard pressed to find books that cover Nasser fairly, as people tend to either idolise or demonise him. try to find a couple from different perspectives?)
- the United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria
- the 1967 war
- the 1973 war
- Sadat’s assassination
- the Muslim Brotherhood throughout all of this
- Mubarak 
- the 2011 revolution

i don’t think there are any books after that…? honestly starting 2011 you could really just read news articles. a better person to ask about this might be noor3amoor.

if you understand arabic, you should just watch hassanein heikal on youtube because he’s literally a living relic that just constantly talks about that period of time.

McMahon, Sean. “Egypt and Neo-Gramscian Theory: Social Forces, the State and Middle East Order.” in Egypt’s Tahrir Revolution [x]

Aggenstam. “The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization” in The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization: The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East (2009), 325-350 [x]


Abu Yassir, a 20-year-old Palestinian Syrian from Yarmouk camp, arranges packets of cheese in a perfect circle while preparing lunch for himself and his friends in an apartment in Athens, Greece. Abu Yassir worked in a candy factory back in Syria. Like most refugees who travel to Greece, he does not wish to stay there. He has run out of money and does not know how or when he will have enough resources to travel. Palestinian Syrians, refugees twice, have an especially difficult time, as their camps in Syria are almost completely destroyed, and many do not have full Syrian citizenship.






kitten vs humidifier





His face at the end, the poor thing looks so lost

This kitty is SO confused as to what is actually going on and what it’s actually batting at with its precious little paws…




UNITED STATES, New York : A view of New York city to the south from the 75th floor of 432 Park Avenue October 15, 2104 the day after it earned the distinction of being the country’s tallest residential skyscraper. The 104-unit condominium tower with its 96 stories will officially tower over the rest of the Western Hemisphere topping out at 1,396 feet. The luxury tower will welcome its first residents next year, giving them a breathtaking view stretching from Central Park to the Atlantic Ocean and from Lower Manhattan, where the Freedom Tower is located, to Connecticut. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary


Early Mornin… | Gold Coast, Hong Kong


Who are the men who go sprinting at transfer stations? The doors open, they fire out and go windmilling toward a train that may or may not be there. They suck non-maniacs into their orbit, setting off stampedes toward nothing. Taking no chances, one supposes. Very stressful, these men.




I will never get over this