I grew up in the aftermath of Nasser’s Egypt, where public education was made free for all. For me, learning has always been remote… It began with walks to the public libraries, and random flaneur strollings in Old Cairo’s Sur al-Azbakiyya, a treasure hunt for books, old and new, in a modest...
Can literature widden the scope of our understanding of the nations of the Middle East away from Orientalism and ISIS to include the struggle of a middle class that continues to fight for reform in the region?
Nostalgia is our reaction to rapid social change. It expresses our desire to return to a time we imagine as happier and more innocent. Cavafy’s cosmopolitanism was an ideal we cannot recreate. But neither should we dismiss it, as many are want to do, because of its imperfections and injustices.
Homage to a renowned Egyptian novelist whose work resonates both in Egypt and abroad.
The #Taksim protests in #Turkey should IMHO be read as part of #Occupy, not as analogous to the #Arab_Spring. The same is true of the protests in Brazil: Occupy not Spring.
Globalization: Déjà vu all over again?
You’d think from current writing on transnationalism that our interconnected society is an exceptional time in human affairs. Reading work on globalization, by either academics or journalist, you get the impression that we are experiencing a unique phenomenon. Writers are so taken by contemporary developments that they forget to set them in a historical context.