Posts tagged "Tahrir Square"
The Imran Khan Fantasy

The Imran Khan Fantasy

In case you haven’t heard, Islamabad is in turmoil right now. Twin marches led by Pakistani-Canadian Imam Tahir ul-Qadri, and cricketer-turned-politican Imran Khan, have turned violent and shaken the government’s foundations. On Saturday night, a crowd of about 25 000 people marched to the Prime Minister’s statehouse, and after some protesters broke in, the police began a crackdown. More»

Do the Rabia

Do the Rabia

Never mind the quenelle. There’s a new hand sign in Egypt. The Rabia, as it is called, consists of holding up four fingers, with the thumb tucked in, as a protest against military rule. The gesture is Islamist, and refers to the massacre of supporters of deposed president Morsi, which took place in Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiya Square on August 14th, 2013. More»

Africa and the Left

Africa and the Left

Few continents have been as lost on the left as Africa. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been openings, however. From the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980s, to the Arab Spring, there have been plenty of opinions on offer. But, the idea of Africa, as a site of political struggle, between the West, and its inhabitants, is relatively new. That is, to post-Cold War progressive politics. More»

Mediterranean Protest Music

Mediterranean Protest Music

Besides their release this year in beautifully packaged vinyl editions, and use of Mediterranean field recordings, Mutamassik’s album Rekkez, and Savage Republic’s Varvakios LP, don’t seem to have a lot in common. However, both come from an aesthetic of fatalistic, yet rebellious, sonic energy, fuelled by an urgency to burst into a future weighed down by ancient history. More»

Syrians Take Aim

Syrians Take Aim

The Syrian civil war has caused an explosion of political graffiti, cartoons, and flyers in the country’s many Diasporas. The following examples, which contain many Syrian slang words, were photographed in Berlin last month. They give an impression of increased bitterness and radicalization directed against an autocrat who, little over a year ago, was said to be unaffected by the Arab Spring. More»

Arab Spring and the New Left

Arab Spring and the New Left

Eighteen months ago, we flooded public squares across the Middle East. We sought to situate ourselves against the old order, en-nizaam – the regime. En-nizaam meant more than just Hosni Mubarak and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. It referred to an entire way of doing things, one that mired the region in dysfunction when the old empires finally collapsed.  More»

Rape and Revolution

Rape and Revolution

Shall I respond violently? No. The bloody mist that hangs above the ancient cities- Jalalabad, Quetta, Peshawar- reeks of vengeance. Shall I grieve endlessly? No. I am weary of perpetual sadness. I will not pout among clouds of opium like the ghosts of Khorramshahr. More»

Tahrir Via Nintendo

Tahrir Via Nintendo

I recently traveled to Tahrir Square in order to gain a richer perspective on the Egyptian Revolution. I was in Tahrir for the period immediately after the runoff elections, when the country was gripped with uncertainty regarding its final outcome. The graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud street has been seen globally. These new designs are particularly evocative of the square’s current atmosphere. More»

Welcome to Egypt

Welcome to Egypt

“Walk like an Egyptian.” “Trafalgar square = Tahrir Square.” Comparisons to the uprising then-underway in Egypt were aplenty at London’s anti-cuts protest in March 2011. No surprise there. For the first time since 1989, revolutionary fervor was crossing national boundaries, challenging authoritarianism in the name of democracy. More»

The Pakistani Radical

The Pakistani Radical

He was a casually dressed man in his fifties. He greeted me colloquially, and asked me if I wanted anything to drink. “I’d love some orange juice,” I responded. Referring to the man behind him, he said: “Watch for the paranoid schizophrenic back there. He’s bothering that couple and they don’t know what to do about it.” More»

Reverse Exodus Narrative

Reverse Exodus Narrative

I was one of thousands protesting all over Cairo last week, and of dozens who spent their weekends in Tahrir Square during the first anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s February 2011 resignation. The euphoria has faded, and much of the Arab Spring’s optimism has turned to cynicism. However, this is why I believed that February 2012 was the best time to finally travel there. More»