Anand Gopal

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Tag Archive for: egypt

Egypt’s Cauldron of Revolt

Anand Gopal | Feb 17th, 2011 | Foreign Policy

Mahalla, Egypt–In the sprawling factories of El-Mahalla el-Kubra, a gritty, industrial town a few hours’ drive north of Cairo, lies what many say is the heart of the Egyptian revolution. “This is our Sidi Bouzid,” says Muhammad Marai, a labor activist, referring to the town in Tunisia where a frustrated street vendor set himself on fire, sparking the revolution there.

Indeed, the roots of the mass uprising that swept dictator Hosni Mubarak from power lie in the central role this dust-swept company town played years ago in sparking workers’ strikes and grassroots movements countrywide. And it is the symbolic core of the latest shift in the revolution: a wave of strikes meant to tackle social and economic inequities, which has brought parts of Egypt to a standstill.

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The People’s Triumph in Egypt

Anand Gopal | Feb 12th, 2011 | The Nation

CAIRO—Late Thursday night, one could hear the sound of hundreds of thousands of people hushing each other. In Tahrir, the central square that has become the heart of the Egyptian revolution, they jostled, they craned their necks toward the soundstage, they inched closer to the giant TV screen, to listen to dictator Hosni Mubarak.

When he finally appeared on screen, the square fell silent. Mubarak began by sympathizing with the martyrs of the revolution, and acknowledging that the protesters’ demands were “legitimate and just.” He spoke about putting the interests of Egypt ahead of his own. The crowd shivered in anticipation. But the words so many desperately wanted to hear never came. “I will not leave,” he said defiantly, “until I am buried in the ground.”

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Fighting for Liberation in Tahrir Square

Anand Gopal | Feb 10th, 2011 | The Nation

Walk south along the Nile in Cairo’s febrile downtown, past austere, colonial-vintage government buildings and stately luxury hotels, cross into Tahrir Square, and you’ll pass from one authority to another. Outside, tanks and armored personnel carriers guard Egypt’s besieged and maligned government; inside the square, in the heart of the city, hundreds of thousands of protesters and revolutionaries hold jurisdiction, establishing a parallel capital where dictator Hosni Mubarak has little control. Those who for years lived in fear under Mubarak’s regime openly taunt police. Impromptu lectures and debates erupt on the curbside, near the Ministry of Information, no less. “I see the world with new eyes,” one protester told me.

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