How poetry fuelled the Arab Uprising

‘Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found its words’, like all great maxims, this musing of Robert Frost may seem on the face of it too suspiciously beautiful to hold any real truth. But with recent events in Egypt, the world watched as a nation which had long suffered from suppression of expression fought back through the written word. During a regime of controlled press and, in its later stages, restricted use of social … Read more

‘The graduate with no future’

Paul Mason has written a sweeping post here based upon some notes he made in preparation for a Newsnight package that didn’t go out in the end: It’s his analysis on why 2011 is starting to take on the hues of 1848 and 1989 with it’s gathering storm of insurrectionism. Like the very best blogging, its worth reading because it’s a scratchpad rather than an article. It doesn’t lead us to a conclusion – it just dumps a pile of subjective … Read more

Egypt, human rights and being caught on the wrong side of history

The people of Egypt continue to show extraordinary courage in taking to the streets en masse – and in the face of apparently orchestrated violence – to demand the human rights which have been denied them for so long. Countries like the US (and the UK) have been well aware of these human rights violations by the Mubarak administration for many years. Indeed, the US State Department compiles its own annual human rights report for Egypt. Pick any particular year you like. … Read more

Egypt: Will it be the secret policeman’s fall?

President Hosni Mubarak’s shuffling of the Egyptian cabinet while Cairo burns, has all the appearance of rearranging deckchairs on a doomed Titanic. Yet, despite the protests, he may still survive. If he were to go, who would replace him? His son, the just as unpopular Gamal?  The Muslim Brotherhood? Mohamed ElBaradei? Or Omar Suleiman, intelligence chief and new vice-President? Whatever the outcome of this week’s events across Egypt, any administration genuinely wishing to bring the country out of chaos must urgently address … Read more