I don’t always follow the Coptic Lenten fast, but when I do…

I make okra. What? The Egyptian Lenten fast is 55 days long (out of about 210 days in the year... The Copts take their religious dietary restrictions seriously, it seems). The fast calls for an entirely vegan diet over those 55 days, excluding all dairy, meat and fish products. I'm not a regular practitioner of … Continue reading I don’t always follow the Coptic Lenten fast, but when I do…

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“This has to stop.”

As I prepare to leave for Turkey, and as I continue to absorb the onslaught of the news and reflect on this harrowing summer, the words of Rachel Corrie echo,* written in an e-mail to her mother from Rafah, Gaza three days before her death: I'm having a hard time right now. Just feel sick … Continue reading “This has to stop.”

Remembering Andrew Pochter, مصلح

"Every act of violence is a betrayal of language." -Naomi Shihab Nye "I detest any form of violence." -Andrew Pochter Pochter wrote that in an e-mail to a group of Kenyon students which included myself following violence in Gaza and Israel last November. A month and a half after losing him, I still don't have … Continue reading Remembering Andrew Pochter, مصلح

ثورة

A Prayer by Naguib Mahfouz from Echoes of an Autobiography, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies I was less than seven years old when I said a prayer for the revolution. One morning I went to my primary school escorted by the maid. I walked like someone being led off to prison. In my hand was a copybook, … Continue reading ثورة

Why I Don’t Call It The Arab Spring

This article was originally published in Kenyon College's MESA Journal, Vol. 3, Ed. 1 (November, 2011). I can already see the entries in future history books: what began with self-immolation by a frustrated young fruit vendor in Tunisia launched unprecedented revolution across the Arab world. Aided by Facebook, Twitter and other social media, movements spread … Continue reading Why I Don’t Call It The Arab Spring

Democratization and the Will of the People

"I must confess, my friends, the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will be still rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. There will be those moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. Our dreams will sometimes … Continue reading Democratization and the Will of the People

khalas.

"Mubarak loyalists" my ass... If Hosni actually wanted to "defend Egypt's safety and stability and its people's wishes" he would be on a plane. Sending out hired thugs to "counter-protest" and incite violence does not reflect the wishes of Egyptians, it reflects and mirrors the last 30 years of your reign. Ya Mubarak, don't plant … Continue reading khalas.