Popular Uprising in Egypt

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Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an ISDN line on campus and a satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability near campus.

Roger Allen

Professor of Arabic Language and Literature 

He has research experience in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, and has a particularly interesting comparative take on what is going on in these countries.

Quote: “The role of the Egyptian military and its reaction to the popular forces which are clearly not intending to back down will be crucial.  The issue now seems to be whether those forces will demand that President Mubarak step down immediately or whether some compromise can be reached that will allow for new elections and a move towards a greater degree of democracy and, as part of that process, a more dignified exit for the current president -- probably in the relatively short term, but not immediately.”

 

Marwan Kraidy

Associate Professor of Communications in Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication

A scholar of global communication and an expert on Arab media and politics, Professor Kraidy was previously a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the founding director of the Arab Media and Public Life project at American University.

Quote: “The full social, political and economic impact of ongoing popular protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries remains to be understood, but the vibrant Pan-Arab media landscape has played an important role in fomenting and sustaining contentious political actions.  From al-Jazeera to anonymous blogs, through Facebook, Twitter, camera-ready theatrical street performances and text-messaging, a full gamut of communication practices and technologies is changing the ways that Arabs communicate with each other, their rulers and the world.”

 

Ian Lustick

Professor of Political Science

Dr. Lustick is an expert in American foreign policy and Middle East politics, agent-based modeling of political dynamics and violence and religious fundamentalism

Quote: "The military's announcement that it will not fire on demonstrators seals the deal.  He's being shown the door by the U.S.  ElBaradei will be a rallying point for the generals who will keep their wealth, the Muslim Brothers who will be given an opportunity to compete openly for political office and the grass-roots mobilizers who will get a new regime."

 

Eve Troutt Powell

Associate Professor of History

Dr. Troutt Powell teaches courses on the history of and religion, revolution and nationalism in the modern Middle East.  As a cultural historian, Dr. Troutt Powell can speak about the history of revolutions in Egypt, the causes that led to this uprising, Egypt's regional importance and how this affects Egyptians and other Middle Eastern and African societies.

Quote:  “The fact that this battle for the future of the Egyptian government is taking place in Tahrir Square shows how acutely aware all the protesters are of Egyptian history.  There are struggles in front of the Egyptian museum, struggles in front of several five-star hotels, in front of the old American University in Cairo campus and near the famous Umar Maqram mosque. We are watching people make their mark on their history, seizing their mark, in fact.”

 

Eric Trager

Ph.D. candidate in political science who has just returned from Egypt

His dissertation research focuses on the relationship between Egyptian opposition parties and the Mubarak regime.  He has interviewed more than 100 Egyptian opposition party leaders and was in Cairo for the first week of the demonstrations against the regime.

Quote: “The fall of Mubarak will give Islamists unprecedented opportunities for dictating the terms of a post-Mubarak future since they are key players in the opposition coalition that has been formed to represent the protesters.  And, even if the opposition coalition’s primary aim is to achieve fair and free elections, there is a strong possibility that certain groups will seek to control specific policy areas and that foreign policy could fall into the hands of decidedly anti-American and anti-Israel groups.”

 

• Robert Vitalis

Professor of Political Science

His research focuses include the political and cultural economy of the world oil industry and American expansionism. 

Quote: "Too little, too late. The U.S. is going to have to learn to live with the changes being ushered in by the rise of this unprecedented -- at least since 1950, and no one else has gotten the history right, frankly -- mass movement."