Intellectuals and the People: Portrayals of the Rebel in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising

Giedrė Šabasevičiūtė

Abstract


Apart from attempts to account for the massive support provided by Egyptian writers to President Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi, the 25th of January uprising was rarely explored from the standpoint of Egyptian intellectuals. Yet, during the uprising, some did take an active part in the events, such as forging an image of the revolution and its actors through opinion columns. However, by promoting what became an iconic image of the Egyptian protester—middle class youth, peacefully seeking liberty and rights—they drew on the same discourses as those adopted by their counterparts in the semi-official press: the belief that the uprising threatened to unleash the oppressed masses who would embark on the destruction of the State. This article attempts to shed light on the conditions associated with the 25th of January revolution by exploring op-eds published in several Egyptian private dailies during the first years of the uprising.


Keywords


Egypt; 25th January Revolution; Intellectuals; Op-Eds; Violence

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2016.6.3791

The author is a post-doctoral fellow in the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences. She received a doctoral degree in sociology from EHESS (Paris) for her dissertation on Sayyid Qutb's transitions from literature to politics to religion. During the Egyptian revolution, she was a doctoral fellow in CEDEJ, in Cairo, where she closely followed multiple stages of the uprising. My research foci are sociology of intellectuals, media commentary, historical uses of the term "revolution", contemporary Islamic intellectual networks in the Middle East.