The Rough Guide to the “Arab Spring”

In rebellion, Repression on December 22, 2011 at 7:44 am

by Sophia Azeb, Africa is a Country

Here goes my list of Top Ten bloggers, politicians and journalists who are related to the “Arab Spring” of 2011. I can’t stand the term “Arab Spring” but for the sake of Africa Is A Country’s 10×10 theme, let’s use it as an ironic reference.

Jadaliyya is the kick-ass open-source news and opinion blog arm of the Arab Studies Institute, which also puts out the Arab Studies Journal. The contributors are geographically, linguistically and professionally diverse, so Jadaliyya provides a unique opportunity to gain insight into matters of the so-called “Arab” world from a huge variety of positionalities.

Atef Said
Said is actually one of those incredible writer/lawyer/academics that I’m embarrassed to not have known of earlier. His early comments on the ongoing Egyptian revolution in such online and print publications as The Immanent Frame and Jadaliyya are magnificent, but do make sure to follow him on Twitter for up-to-date news and on-point analyses of current events in post-Mubarak Egypt.

Hossam el-Hamalawy
Probably well overstated in 2011 already, but Egyptian journalist and long-time activist Hossam el-Hamalawy of Arabawy fame continues to provide incredible photo, video and news reports from Egypt (I covered him earlier this year here).

Gamal Hassan
Leader of the ultra-Salafi Al-Nour political party. Dude successfully helped to lead Al-Nour to some pretty major victories in the Egyptian parliamentary elections, and he freaked the hell out of the United States while he was at it. We’d like to give ironic props to the master of Islamist take-over terror in 2011.

Anderson Cooper
For getting his ass kicked (more like pushed around) in Cairo during the inexplicable 25 January 24-hour newscasting on Egypt by American journalists who remained happily ignorant of the fact that their ability to even get to Egypt during the first 18-day uprising was thanks to the fact that their government was keeping our dictator in power. A beat-down on Anderson Cooper is the best kind of Anderson Cooper episode. Thanks for the coverage bro.

Laura el-Tantawy
And her contributions to burn magazine. The first piece by el-Tantawy I was put onto was a photo blog of Cairo during the initial uprising. Beautiful, thoughtful, and so necessary. More recently, her post on Reda Abdelaziz Mohamed, a young man blinded by the Egyptian military while trying to carry away the corpse of a fellow protester, reminds us all how far we have left to go before our country is truly free.

Alaa Abd El Fattah
@alaa on Twitter. Actually, his whole family — his father Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad, his mother Laila Soueif (yes, novelist Ahdaf Soueif’s sister), his sister Mona Seif, his wife Manal Hassan and everyone else. What a brilliant family. We are still praying for his release and wishing him a quick return to his family.

Nawal el Saadawi
My African feminist superstar, but also revisit here and here to see why she should be your feminist superstar too.

Our army of radical and rabid football fans has taken their Ahly v. Zamalek energy and transformed it into some serious anti-SCAF ass-kicking. Ultras, we’ll never misjudge you again. You are real Egyptian heroes. (Even if you are Zamalekawy).


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