In the light of early morning, the Vimy circles the pyramids at Giza on a dawn tour, May 1995.Photograph by James L. Stanfield, National Geographic
Photo break: The golden hues of Cairo brighten up this cold November day
New York Times Cairo Bureau Chief, David Kirkpatrick, tells Terry Gross about Morsi's competence as President
What is the Morsi government? There’s Morsi and a small group of people around him and, for sure, they were not terrific. They made a lot of mistakes. They weren’t particularly well-qualified. … The Muslim Brotherhood — the movement that he came from — was sort of surprised to get power all of a sudden and sort of cobbled together a team as best they could. So those people, I’m not saying they were terrific — I’m not even saying they were competent — but they also weren’t in control.
You know, a lot of the people who were making decisions on a day-to-day basis below him throughout the bureaucracy hated him and I think they sort of passively or actively resisted him throughout, and so, you know, after a year perched uneasily … on top of this government it basically swallowed him up.
Image via ABC News
New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick tells Terry Gross about the hyper-nationalist euphoria that has swept up even Egyptian liberals and leftists who spent years struggling against the country’s previous military-backed governments:
I’ll put it bluntly: It’s how I imagine Europe in the first part of the 20th century might have felt during the rise of fascism. … It may not last. It may be just a momentary national hysteria, but at the moment there is a surreal-seeming enthusiasm for the military … even by people who just a few months ago were calling for the end of military rule.
Top image via EuroNews; still from The Triumph of the Will
We used all the available tools in order to communicate with each other, collaborate and agree on a date, a time and a location for the start of the revolution. Yet, starting Jan. 28, the revolution was on the streets. It was not on Facebook, it was not on Twitter. Those were tools to relay information, to tell people the truth about what’s happening on the ground.
— Internet activist Wael Ghonim says sites like Facebook are tools that can help connect people and disseminate information to the masses, but cannot create social changes on their own.
I was writing with my heart, not my keyboard. I was writing what I felt should be written.
— On today’s Fresh Air, Internet activist Wael Ghonim talks about how his Facebook page helped start Egypt’s revolution.
The protests that led to the Egyptian revolution, were organized in part by an anonymous Facebook user. When the police found out who he was, they arrested and interrogated him. Now, Wael Ghonim is internationally famous. On tomorrow’s Fresh Air, we talk to Wael Ghonim about revolutions, Egypt, and social media.
(Tweet from Ghonim last Jan. Complete Storify to acclimate yourself.)
Tomorrow’s Fresh Air: Democracy movements are sweeping across the Middle East. But the dramatic changes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria have not yet come to the West Bank. If and when that does occur, it could be a game-changer for Israel and the United States according to Robert Malley. He’s the program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group.
Journalist Charles Sennott, on the impact of the Egyptian revolution: "This was one of the really exciting and beautiful aspects of this revolution, to see young people within Egyptian society coming together from a lot of different walks of life. The 30-year truth of the regime of Mubarak was that he made sure that never happened. He kept people divided. There was a concerted attempt not to allow people to pull together like that. And I think [those in Tahrir Square] were thrilled and energized by that and you could feel it."
Dispatch from today’s guest, Charles Sennott, last Friday in Cairo.
To be there on the ground to see history unfold was the most exciting and thrilling story I have ever covered in 25 years of reporting.
30 years seems like yesterday
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters marched in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, on Friday.
The military endorsed President Hosni Mubarak’s plan for a transfer of power and presidential elections later this year. The move is likely to further enrage protesters who massed outside Parliament, the presidential palace and other key symbols of the regime Friday more determined than ever to force Mubarak out. NPR’s live blog of the latest events is here.