Conversations with Revolution
An interview with a humble cog in the Egyptian revolution
I recently had published an interview with an Egyptian friend, Ahmed. Ahmed has been in Istanbul since the crushing of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Morsi, by military general, coup-leader and sitting Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Although Ahmed has been living and working in Istanbul for a number of years now, it remains unsafe for him to return to Egypt. He is an exile, or a refugee, or preferably, just Ahmed. I worry about his safety more than Ahmed does, but I am fond of this photo of him, and he was happy for me to use it, so I included it above.
The full interview is here and richer in detail. It offers an accessible level of insight on the Egyptian revolution, and the wider “Arab Spring”, as a result of being the simple story of someone who was in it.
Whereas history and media tend to foreground the leaders of a movement or a revolution, the point at which revolution itself becomes possible is that one where those who identify as ‘regular people’, rather than leaders, believe that the risks of a torrid status quo are in fact bigger than the risks of protest, and as a result become willing to join with a struggle for political change.
This is, naturally, a political question for people to engage with in countries around the world, particularly those that make the repressiveness of the Egyptian state possible. The UK, for example, remains Egypt’s largest source of overseas investment, and it is the second-biggest recipient of US military spending, after the Israeli state.
For insight on modern Turkey from a refugee perspective, the Arab Spring in retrospect, or Egyptian revolution and the ongoing detainment of prisoners including Alaa Abd El-Fattah, the conversation was particularly enriching, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
For more of my own news, I am about to get on the road for the coming months, by bicycle, and with an update on a pretty significant project coming soon.
Köprü is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.