December 18, 2017

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  • The decline of knowledge in Egypt

    A Cairo Bookstore by Jennifer Allen.

    BY NAEL M. SHAMA Cairo Scant budgets, fanaticism, encroachments on freedom of expression and a growing isolationist, inward-looking attitude to the world have undermined the quality and reach of Egypt’s cultural production. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The real misfortune is that knowledge in Egypt has been deformed and  commodified. Like a Pepsi can or a bag of chips, products with fine packaging and generous marketing campaigns win the race, leaving little room to any real transmission of knowledge. From a historical perspective, the “commodification of culture” is certainly not a new phenomenon, but lately it has…

    In Pictures: Violent clashes mar anti-judiciary protest

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    Thousands of protesters belonging to Islamist parties, led by the ruling Freedom and Justice, gathered in front of Egypt’s Supreme Court to demand a purge of the judiciary in a scene that descended into chaos as they clashed with anti-Islamists, hurling stones and firing buckshot and Molotovs at each other, leaving over 100 wounded. Powered by Cincopa Video Hosting.  

    Khan’s ‘Ambition’ captures crisis of connection

    Scene from "Blind Ambition", directed by Hassan Khan. (Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel6)

    BY WAFAA WALI Cairo Imagine the oddity of watching on screen Cairo’s visually noisy streets without the actual noise. The phrase “eerie vacuum” comes to mind, but that’s precisely what director Hassan Khan has done in his latest offering “Blind Ambition”. Khan’s work, which was commissioned for the prestigious dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, premiered in Cairo Sunday as part of the downtown D-Caf festival. The 46-minute film split into nine different episodes taking place around Cairo shows diverse groups of people engaged in conversation which do not all revolve around a specific issue. With no clear aim and not reaching…

    Op-ed: Egyptian Democracy’s Last Chance?

    File photo of President Mohamed Morsi giving a speech in Tahrir Square after winning the elections in June 2012..

    BY ALVARO DE VASCONCELOS Cairo Egypt’s upcoming general election could help to consolidate its nascent democracy and provide legitimacy to the government’s efforts to address the social, political, economic, and security challenges facing the country. But no election, however successfully conducted, will be enough: Unless Egypt overcomes its current political polarization and builds a broad consensus that includes ruling Islamists and the secular opposition, its problems will persist, jeopardizing the prospect of a democratic future. Egypt’s lack of strong democratic institutions and its ongoing economic crisis are fueling social unrest and crisis, division, and hostility within the political system. At…

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