Blog Entry #3


Article 1: Egyptian students begin new revolutionary year by Dr. Walaa Ramadan

Article 2: Ruthless pragmatism has triumphed over the people’s revolutions by Nabila Ramdani

In this blog entry, I looked into two articles by Middle East Monitor. These articles were written by students and advocates of Middle East. In the first article, Dr. Ramadan talks about the beginning of a new academic year for Egyptian students. For the universities, it was originally suppose to start in September but was delayed by the authorities to mid-October to allow them time to prepare their security forces, for the expected demonstrations. Egyptian security forces sought to increase  their grip on students who had been showing much persistence, resilience, and determination previous year, who had moved Egypt’s first democratically-elected president. Security forces such as Falcon was put in the universities to “handle” the demonstration. Diaa Sawy, deputy head of Youth Against the Coup, said: “Falcon is a militia which the government uses to clamp down on students on university campuses.” When anti-regime student movements from 20 universities across Egypt took part in “The students are back” campaign, it led to clashes between the police and students in Al-Azhar, Cairo and Ain Shams universities, resulting in the security firm withdrawing its personnel. This followed a day in which the riot police fired tear gas and students broke down security fences in Al-Azhar and Cairo universities. The article goes on to say how students have been mobilising and fighting lengthy battles to obtain court orders to remove the police presence, put in place by previous dictators Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, from universities. Police were expelled from campuses following the January 25 revolution, and were replaced with alternative security personnel affiliated with each individual university. Following the massacres in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares in August 2013, students erupted into raging protests resulting in unprecedented retaliation by police and security forces who shot hundreds and arrested thousands, without any distinction between males and females. Overall, this article emphasized how the revolution was very much alive, and it will continue to be alive by the students as long as there was injustice.

The second article, Ms. Ramdani begins with the background of Arab Spring and how it started out to be a peaceful protest by students and turned into violent battles of people against government. Moreover, she states that economically, things have not improved at all for Egypt, however, politically other countries (she emphasizes Western power) had taken advantage of the Arab Spring and sought a way to use the regimes for their own interest. The author states that the Arab Spring was crucial because it highlighted the cynicism and inconsistency of the West, while also drawing attention to the problems of economic inequality and human rights violations. The pro-democracy movements were never going to solve these issues, but at least the global community is now talking about them. She states that, “what we have learned beyond doubt over the past three years, however, is that the ruthless pragmatism of power politics and economic self-interest has, in the short term at least, triumphed over the people’s revolutions.” Both articles tried to focus the attention back of the people of the Middle East. The authors had much patriotism for their countries. In the second article, the dislike for western power seemed apparent. She emphasized how political power seem to still triumph over people’s revolution.



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